#AuthorInterview Fresh Eggs And Dog Beds by Nick Albert @Nickalbertautho @rararesources #BlogTour #Memoir

Hello lovelies! As part of the blog tour for Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds, I have a fab Q&A with the author Nick Albert but first a little about the book:

Fresh Eggs Kindle

Title: Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds by Nick Albert 

Date Published: 25th September 2017

Genre: Memoir

Description:

Nick and Lesley Albert yearn to leave the noise, stress and pollution of modern Britain and move to the countryside, where the living is good, the air sweet, with space for their dogs to run free. Suddenly out of work and soon to be homeless, they set off in search of a new life in Ireland, a country they had never visited. As their adventure began to unfold, not everything went according to plan. If finding their dream house was difficult, buying it seemed almost impossible. How would they cope with banks that didn’t want customers, builders who didn’t need work, or the complex issue of where to buy some chickens?

Purchase Links –

UK 

Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075NY9BNN/

Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1977611605

Audible: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1977611605

USA

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075NY9BNN/

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977611605

Audible: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977611605

Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds Full Tour Banner

Q&A with Nick Albert:

Can you tell me a little bit about your book?

‘Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds’ is the first in a five-book series of humorous memoirs chronicling our quirky lives since we gave up the stress and pollution of modern Britain and bought a derelict farmhouse in beautiful rural Ireland – a country we had never before visited. Hindered by a lack of experience and money, we combined our optimism and enthusiasm with a second-hand DIY manual and set about renovating our new home. Since then, we’ve rescued seven dogs and two cats, become reluctant chicken farmers and learned to live life at a slower pace. Along the way there were many thrills and spills, some sadness and tragedy, but overall our new life has brought us lots of laughs. We really are living the dream! 


Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

As an Englishman living in Ireland, I’m frequently asked, “Why did you move here?” This happy event usually occurs at dinner parties, soon after I’ve cornered some unsuspecting stranger in the kitchen. Lacking what most people would consider appropriate social filters, I tended to treat that polite ice-breaking enquiry as a genuine expression of interest, requiring a comprehensive answer and perhaps a slideshow of photographs. After a few minutes, these poor unfortunates would either pretend to have a heart attack, or politely slip under my arm mumbling, “You should write a book.”

Okay, that’s not entirely correct! In truth, I was extremely lucky to find a publisher with vision and patience who loved my story. Even though they disliked the rambling manuscript I’d already written, they could see the potential for five or more memoirs and were prepared to work with me for a year while I wrote the first Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds book.   


If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be?

The comical tale of an English couple and their unruly dogs searching for a better life in rural Ireland. 


What is a typical writing day like for you?

I like my routines and need to have a clear desk and a focused mind before I begin writing. Every morning after breakfast, I’ll take my dogs for a long walk through the forest or across the moorland surrounding our house. After some exercise and a shower, I’m usually ready to write by around 11am. Ideally, I’ll start my workday by catching up with emails, fan mail, social media and other marketing tasks. It’s amazing how much stuff authors have to do these days, outside of research and writing. On a good day, my desk is clear and I’m ready to write by around 2pm. I have a strict rule not to work beyond 6pm, except for when my wife is away in England visiting family. If I’m close to a print deadline and feeling the need for a little more writing time, I’ll announce a period of ‘Digital Detox’. It’s rather a false economy as there’s usually a bunch of catching up to do when I go back online, but sometimes the writing has to take priority.

If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why?

If I could only have one book, it would be the life story of British Air Force pilot Robert Stanford Tuck, ‘Fly for your life’ written by Larry Forrester. Not only is it a cracking tale of bravery during the Battle of Britain and whilst he was a prisoner of war, it’s a really well written memoir.

Who are your favourite authors?

Hmm. That’s a tough question to answer honestly.  My book collection is somewhat eclectic; I’m not sure what that says about me. As well as a library, I have dozens of stacked boxes bulging with hundreds of golf books, biographies featuring authors from all walks of life, loads of thrillers, some sci-fi and the complete works of Sue Grafton, Lee Child, Tom Holt, Terry Pratchett and William Shakespeare. I’m never without a book. One secret I can reveal, if I’m writing comedy, I’ll only read thrillers – and vice versa. When I was a student living in Norwich, England, my first flat was next door to the best second-hand bookshop in the city. What heaven! Back then I read a lot of sci-fi books and thrillers, purely for the escapism. Because I was from an Air Force family, I also collected hundreds of military biographies. Other favourites in my collection were Clive James, David Niven and Spike Milligan. These books were treasured possessions, I still have most of them now. 


Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!)

At the age of 14, when I still had hair and before I acquired wrinkles, I worked as a professional actor on stage and TV. Before my dad convinced me I’d be better off with a proper job, I even did a little modelling! 

What are you currently working on?

I’m well into writing book four of the Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds series. At the same time, I’m working with Andy Stevenson, who is doing an awesome job narrating the Audible audio version of book three. 

About The Author: 

Nick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial Fresh Eggs Author ireland 3 004services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant. As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid 1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally. After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs.
In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in early 2020.

Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.

Social Media Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Nick-Albert/e/B00B0126PU/

https://www.facebook.com/author.nick.albert

https://www.facebook.com/NickAlbertAuthor/

https://www.nickalbert.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/nickalbertauthor/

https://twitter.com/Nickalbertautho

http://nickalbert.allauthor.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6886008.Nick_Albert

https://nickalbertauthor.blogspot.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkJbnDhXu73jaDz4vqIpK0w/

#BlogTour #Extract Raging (The Chemical Estate Series #2) by Stephen Scarcliffe @StephenScarc @damppebbles #Raging #TheChemicalEstateSeries #damppebblesblogtours

Hello lovelies and welcome to my stop on the Raging blog tour, the second novel in the Chemical Estate series. Today I have an exclusive extract for you but first a little about the book:

Title: Raging (The Chemical Estate Series #2) by Stephen Scarcliffe

Date Published: 4th February 2020

Genre: Crime Noir

Description:

A bloody turf war is erupting between the shellsuit gangsters and the Donaldsons, while the family outcasts look to take advantage of the disorder on the streets…

Who torched Dougie Donaldson’s taxi? 

Why are the bodies piling up in the high rises? 

Why is a scorned figure from the past poking his nose into everyone’s business?

As things escalate, Billy Wright is forced to question who is plotting against him as he is dragged even deeper into the world he is trying to escape. George Donaldson is sucked into a bitter feud with childhood pals that forces him to answer serious doubts around his loyalties and Sean Donaldson schemes to shift the balance of power in Muirhouse, hellbent on revenge against the uncle who has frozen him out of the family drug business.

Will Billy fulfil the promise he made to girlfriend Lyndsay and leave the life of crime behind as fatherhood approaches? Can George successfully defend his old man’s territory in the face of mounting adversity? Is there any line Sean won’t cross in his quest for supremacy?

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: 

Digital https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raging-Stephen-Scarcliffe-Chemical-Estate-ebook/dp/B081ZG3NQX/ref=sr_1_2?crid=MJZ1A4FSXQZV&keywords=raging+stephen+scarcliffe&qid=1580733343&sprefix=raging+ste%2Cdigital-text%2C145&sr=8-2

Paperback https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raging-Stephen-Scarcliffe-Chemical-Estate/dp/1711748803/ref=sr_1_3?crid=MJZ1A4FSXQZV&keywords=raging+stephen+scarcliffe&qid=1580733375&sprefix=raging+ste%2Cdigital-text%2C145&sr=8-3

Amazon US: 

Digital https://www.amazon.com/Raging-Stephen-Scarcliffe-Chemical-Estate-ebook/dp/B081ZG3NQX/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=raging+stephen+scarcliffe&qid=1580733406&sr=8-1

Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Raging-Stephen-Scarcliffe-Chemical-Estate/dp/1711748803/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=raging+stephen+scarcliffe&qid=1580733425&sr=8-2

Raging banner

Extract:

The posh decor always made Billy feel uncomfortable. The long polished oak table conjured up memories of being summoned to court for one of his many misdemeanours. It was the first time he had sat down for a meal with Lyndsay’s whole family and it was making him sweat. There weren’t many things that made Billy feel anxious. He had been lunged at with swords, battered with sticks, and lived day to day with the threat of all kinds of maniacs coming through his door, yet none of this came close to affecting him the way sitting down for a meal with a middle class family from Morningside made him feel. He was shitting it. Who was he kidding? He was the biggest ecstasy dealer in the north side of Edinburgh, and a murderer now to boot. And yet here he was breaking bread with this posh family, completely oblivious. Her Dad had a pot belly, a comb over, a pair of square tinted spectacles, and one of those red faces that suggested he had spent more time in Spain than he had Edinburgh over the years. Her Mum, he had to admit was stunning for a woman in her forties. It was no surprise where Lyndsay got it from. There was an elegance to her, with her curly brunette hair just like Lyndsay’s, her firm tanned legs that perfectly complemented the rest of her petite frame, and a face that wore its age impressively well. Still, she had her nose stuck in the air with an expression that made out she constantly had a whiff of shite drifting up her nostrils. Her brother had blonde curly hair. Sitting there tensing his arms through his checked Christian Dior shirt as if he fancied himself as something special. Reminded Billy of the type of private school wankers he used to terrorise on the way back from high school. He felt a gentle squeeze on his hand and looked round to see Lyndsay’s face beaming back at him. Even that wasn’t enough to calm his thudding heartbeat. She clearly she sensed it was a struggle. He had never felt further from his comfort zone in his life. Billy was conditioned to grimy flat stairs, backstreets, dark corners, graffiti. That was where he thrived, not places like this. Joe was right on the money. Who was he kidding? Certainly not himself.

“Do you like Rugby Bill?” said the brother, Colin or Campbell was his name, Billy wasn’t quite sure, and hoped he would be able to make it to the end of the meal without having to use it. Bill? Who had ever in his entire life referred to him as Bill?

“Nah, more of a fitba, I mean football man, me.” 

“Who’s your team?”

“Hibs. Bit of a shite time…” He stopped dead and glanced around the table at the alarmed faces and swiftly relented. “I mean bad time of it they’re havin just now.”

“How’s the labouring going?” asked her old man.

“No bad. Same shhh… Same thing different day eh?” He let out a nervous laugh before swigging back his beer and retreating within his awkward shell. Before long he was so conscious of every word that passed his lips that they stopped coming. 

Billy had been hoping for a decent bit of steak or something that could take his mind off his raw nerves as dinner was served out. Not fish. Anything but fish. He stared at it with dread, its shrivelled little black eyes stared back at him accusingly, like it knew all his darkest secrets, daring to pass them round the table.

“Billy. BILLY.”   She clutched his arm this time.  “Are you okay?” 

“Aye. I-I jist need a bit of fresh air, eh.”

He sucked the cigarette as hard as he could, feeling the relief as he released the cloud of smoke into the night air. He let it stay within his lips and drew in as many draws as he could manage at the one time. 

“Do you want to tell me what’s going on Mr?” said Lyndsay as she appeared behind him. 

His head lightened from the tobacco rush as he turned too quickly.  “Och just feelin a bit queasy. Probably just the fish, ye ken I’m no keen oan it.”

“I probably should have mentioned that to my Mum.” She squeezed in next to him and took the cigarette from between his fingertips. She took a draw and passed it back as he eyed her inquisitively. 

“Since when did you take smokin up again?”

“I haven’t.” She looked up at him and smiled. “I find them hard work too you know.”

“Fair enough. No more though, got the bairn tae think about.”

“Billy?” She stood in front of him and grabbed the collar of his coat, melting him with those eyes of hers.  “I know it’s not easy. But just try. Okay?”

He let out a long sigh. Even Lyndsay didn’t know all of his secrets.

“Easy fer you tae say. It’s hard Lyndse. I’m fae a different planet fae them know what I mean? It’s like I’m fae Mars they’re fae Pluto.” 

“I know. But just try.” 

“Sure thing.” He offered her a restrained smile. The moment she disappeared into the house, he flicked the cigarette into the night air, opened the car door and jumped in. He took a deep breath, jammed his keys in the ignition and started the car. He felt as desperate to get away as he had from Alan Goddard’s dead body underneath the Forth Road Bridge that night. 

About The Author:

Growing up around the north of Edinburgh where the Chemical Estate book series is set lends first-hand experience and authenticity to both the story and its characters. _TDS0986

Around 14 years ago, and 4 pints (or more) down, I bumped into a certain Irvine Welsh in a pub in Edinburgh city centre. After giving him a copy of a short story I had written, I received a really encouraging email that spurred me on to write a novel. The process was extended somewhat by spending 10 years as the singer-songwriter for Edinburgh Alt-rock band The Number 9s, before opting to turn my main focus to writing. Two books in now with number 3 in development I hope to continue for many years to come. 

You can keep up to date with details of new releases and plenty more by signing up for my mailing list at www.stephenscarcliffe.co.uk. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StephenScarc  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stephen.scarcliffe/

Website: http://www.stephenscarcliffe.co.uk 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stephenscarcliffe_writer

damppebbles blog tours

#BlogTour #Extract Subject A36 (The Colony #1) by Teri Polen @TPolen6 @RRBookTours1 #SubjectA36 #YABooks #YADystopian #Scifi #RRBookTours

Welcome to the blog tour for Teri Polen’s new release, Subject A36, the first book in a brand new series called The Colony!  

Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a signed or digital copy of the book!

a36 cover front only

Title: Subject A36 (The Colony #1)

Expected Publication Date: 13th February 2020

Genre: YA Dystopian/ Sci-Fi

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Description:

If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49106637-subject-a36?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=ukJeTFeSVR&rank=1

Pre-Order Link: 

https://www.amazon.com/Subject-A36-Colony-Teri-Polen/dp/1684334152/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=subject+a36+by+teri+polen&qid=1574188560&s=specialty-aps&sr=1-1

Excerpt: 

It was time to take action.  Just as I was ready to gather a search party, the low growl of a motor reached my ears.  The glow of headlights splashed over me as a truck bounced along the dirt road leading to our compound.  Relief flooded through me.  Paige, Jonah, and I rushed over to meet them.

My relief melted away when I noticed the reckless manner of the driver.  The truck swayed from side to side and changed speeds erratically.  I grabbed Paige’s arm to pull her out of its path just before it jolted to a stop.

The driver remained a mystery until the door flung open and moonlight fell upon Mason’s close-cropped copper hair.  He tumbled from the driver’s seat, gripping the doorframe as he struggled to stay on his feet.  An inky blackness dripped from his hairline and trickled down his face.

Blood.

About the Author

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The Walking Dead, Harry Potter,author photo (6) and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium. She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat. Her first novel, Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, was a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Visit her online at http://www.teripolen.com

Author Links

Teri Polen: https://teripolen.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeriPolenAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TPolen6

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tpolen6/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/teripolen/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/teri-polen

Giveaway: You can either win a signed copy of the book (US only) or a digital copy (International)! Click the link below to enter!

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f139/?

Blog Tour Schedule:

February 10th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

My Bookish Blitz (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

February 11th

Lunarian Press (Spotlight) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Tranquil Dreams (Spotlight) https://klling.wordpress.com/

James J. Cudney (Review) https://thisismytruthnow.com/

February 12th 

The Bookworm Drinketh (Spotlight) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

Didi Oviatt (Spotlights) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/

February 13th

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Rea’s Reads (Review) https://reasreads.wordpress.com/

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

February 14th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

Port Jerricho (Spotlight) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

Cocktails & Fairy Tales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

Jaunts & Haunts (Review) https://jonathanpongratz.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Blog Tour Organised By:

R&R Book Tours

R&RButto200x200

Link: http://rrbooktours.com

#Blogtour #Extract The Six-Week Solution by Paula Darnell @PaulaJDarnell @RRBookTours1 #HistoricalFiction #RRBookTours

Hello lovelies! Today I’m thrilled to share a brand new historical fiction called The Six-Week Solution by Paula Darnell. I have an excerpt for you to read plus a giveaway to enter below!

Cover (12)

Title: The Six-Week Solution

Publication Date: 1st January 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

Never guessing that their very lives might be in danger, well-to-do women come from all over the country to stay at guest ranches around Reno to establish the six weeks’ residency required for a quickie Nevada divorce in 1955.

When a Circle E Ranch guest dies after her Cadillac plunges off Mount Rose Highway, a mountain road between Lake Tahoe and Reno, Washoe County Deputy Sheriff Ben Cameron is assigned to investigate the accident. His inquiries lead him to question everyone at the Circle E, where he meets Mary, an attractive prospective divorcée from New York, who soon has an accident of her own. In the meantime, Ben’s case takes a turn as twisty as the Mount Rose Highway, and when Mary suffers a second accident, he quickly figures that someone is out to get her. Unless Ben can discover who’s targeting the out-of-towners, some of them won’t live long enough to have their day in court.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50252815-the-six-week-solution?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=VaSVmzAMps&rank=1

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Six-Week-Solution-Paula-Darnell-ebook/dp/B083CV6S3K/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Six-Week-Solution-Paula-Darnell-ebook/dp/B083CV6S3K/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1581246499&sr=1-6

Paperback – Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Six-Week-Solution-Paula-Darnell/dp/1887402012/

Paperback – Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-six-week-solution-paula-darnell/1135997234?ean=9781887402019

Hardback (Large Print) – Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Six-Week-Solution-Paula-Darnell/dp/1887402020/

Hardback (Large Print) – Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-six-week-solution-paula-darnell/1135997234?ean=9781887402026

Extract:

Mary and Shirley, each carrying a couple of large shopping bags, emerged from Gray Reid. Mary hadn’t intended to spend so much on her new swimwear, but Shirley’s infectious enthusiasm had rubbed off on her, and she’d purchased two swimsuits, a flowery cover-up, a wide-brimmed sun hat, a couple of beach towels, a bathing cap, and a large straw beach bag. She rationalized that she’d need some way to keep busy for her six weeks in Nevada, and since the Circle E had a nice pool and Shirley had offered to teach her how to swim, it made sense to buy swimwear.

“All you need now is some suntan lotion,” Shirley said. “We’ll stop at a drug store on our way back to the ranch and pick some up. Right now, I’m starting to feel hungry. Why don’t we stop for lunch at one of the casino restaurants? By the time we get back to the Circle E, lunchtime will be over. It’s usually just soup and sandwiches set out as a buffet at noon anyway. At the ranch, the big meal of the day is always dinner.”

“Casinos have restaurants, too? I thought they were only for gambling.”

“Most of them are hotels as well as casinos, and usually they have at least a couple of restaurants. They have big-name entertainment, too. Frank Sinatra played the Sky Room at the Mapes a couple of months ago, and Tony Bennett sang there just last month. Of course, it’s not New York or L.A., but, for a town this size, it’s something.”

“I didn’t realize that. Every time I’ve heard about Reno, it’s always been in connection with a divorce, and now here I am to get one myself. I can’t quite believe it.”

Shirley and Mary lingered over a long lunch in the bustling coffee shop at the Riverside. Walking through the casino had been like a trip through a foreign land for Mary as she gazed in amazement at the crowd of gamblers playing table games and slot machines. The gambling didn’t stop in the casino, either. It spilled into the coffee shop, too, where patrons could play keno while they were enjoying their meals. Short, stubby pencils and packs of keno forms were on every table in the coffee shop, and keno runners in black and white garb came by the tables periodically to collect the keno forms that customers were going to play or to return them after the numbers had been verified. Shirley, who had played the game before, explained to Mary how it worked. It was as simple as choosing numbers on the form that resembled a bingo card, then hoping that the numbers the house drew matched. Winnings could range from a dollar to several thousand dollars, depending on how many numbers were played and how many numbers matched those that the house drew. In every casino game, losers outnumbered winners, but gamblers’ optimism that they’d beat the house kept the Nevada gaming business healthy.

Shirley lost several dollars before giving up, but Mary won enough to pay for their lunch and leave their waitress a generous tip. Gathering up their shopping bags, they left, satisfied with Mary’s small winnings.

As Mary and Shirley emerged from the Riverside, they were surrounded immediately by a large crowd of tourists who had evidently just arrived by bus. They sidled their way through the crush—they were leaving while the tourists were clamoring to enter the casino. Finally, the tourists all passed, and the two women paused to recover from the jostling for a moment. The onslaught wasn’t over yet, though, as another tourist bus pulled up to the curb, and its passengers began streaming from the bus. Hoping to cross the street to get away from the throng, Shirley and Mary hurried to the corner where they had to wait for the red light to change. Mary turned to look for Shirley, but she didn’t see her new friend. Somehow, they’d become separated when the big group of tourists mingled with the locals outside the casino. 

The temperature had risen considerably since Mary and Shirley had left the Circle E in the  morning, and Mary thought it must be well above ninety degrees by now. She squirmed in her beige raw silk suit, which was stylish, but too heavy to wear in hot weather. The shopping bags felt like lead weights, and her girdle felt constricting, as beads of sweat popped out on Mary’s forehead. People kept bumping into her, and she began to feel as though the whole world were closing in on her. Assuming that Shirley would catch up to her on the other side of the street, Mary inched her way forward until she stood right on the edge of the curb, and there was nobody between her and the street. Fighting lightheadedness, she took a deep breath. The red light seemed to stay on forever. If only she could reach the other side of the street, if only she could escape from the crowd, if only she could get out of the hot sun. The seconds ticked away, seeming like an eternity to Mary.

Suddenly, she felt a blow on her back, and she pitched forward, into the busy intersection. She heard screams, maybe from herself, maybe from Shirley or other people on the crowded sidewalk as a taxi screeched to a halt just inches from her. People rushed to help. The cab driver leaped from his taxi and picked up the scattered contents of Mary’s shopping bags while Shirley and a couple of cowboys held onto Mary as she struggled to stand. Throbbing scrapes covered her knees and forearms, and she had a large bump on her forehead. Her silk stockings were in shreds.

“Lady, you’re lucky you weren’t killed,” the cabbie said. “I sure burned rubber trying to avoid hitting you.”

Looking as though she might pass out at any moment, Mary moaned and swayed.

“Can she sit down in the cab?” Shirley asked. “She’s about ready to faint.”

“Oh, sure. Sorry, lady.” The cabbie flung open the taxi’s back door, and the cowboys guided Mary onto the seat.

“Lie down, Mary,” Shirley said.“You’ll feel better.”

Shirley turned to thank the two ranch hands who had helped, but they’d already disappeared into the crowd.

“Where you wanna go, lady? It’s on the house,” the cabbie said. “Maybe we should take her to the hospital,” he said to Shirley.

“I’ll be OK,” Mary said. “I felt like I was going to pass out for a few minutes back there, but I’m starting to feel better.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to see a doctor, Mary? You have quite a bump on your head.”

“No, let’s go back to the Circle E. I don’t want to be a bother.”

“All right.” Shirley gave the cab driver directions to her car. When they arrived, she offered to pay him, but he refused to take any money, repeating that the ride was “on the house.”

Shirley’s car felt stuffy, but at least it had been parked in the shade. Shirley and Mary rolled down the windows and enjoyed the rush of air, even though it was hot, as Shirley drove back to the Circle E. She whizzed past a drug store without slowing down before she remembered that she’d intended to stop so that Mary could buy some suntan lotion.

“Oh, shoot. I meant to stop at the drug store. I guess we’ll have to come back tomorrow. You’ll need to get those scrapes cleaned up as soon as we get back, anyway. I bet they really hurt, don’t they?”

“Oh, boy, do they! It reminds me of when I was a kid and fell off a curb while I was roller skating. I was really banged up then, too.”

“I’m sorry our shopping trip came to such a bad end, Mary. We were having fun until you fell and nearly got run over by that taxi.”

“Shopping was fun, but I didn’t fall. I was pushed.”

About the Author:

An instructor at five colleges over the years, Paula Darnell most often taught the dreaded first-year English composition classes, but she’s also been happy to teach some fun Author Pic (15)classes, such as fashion design, sewing, and jewelry making. Paula has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Paula’s interest in DIY craft projects and fashion led to her writing hundreds of articles for print and online national publications. She is the author of Death by Association and Death by Design, both in her cozy series, the DIY Diva Mysteries.

Paula lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband Gary and their 110-pound dog Rocky, whose favorite pastime is lurking in the kitchen, hoping for a handout.

Author Links

Author’s websitehttps://www.pauladarnellauthor.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/PaulaJDarnell

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18782445.Paula_Darnell

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/paulad0057/

 

Giveaway: 3 print copies & 3 digital copies

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f141/?

 

Blog Tour Schedule:

February 10th

Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

February 11th

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

Tsarina Press (Spotlight)  https://www.tsarinapress.com

February 12th

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

Cup of Toast (Review) https://cupoftoast.co.uk

I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

February 13th

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Cocktails & Fairy Tales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

February 14th

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Blog Tour Organised By:

R&RButto200x200

R&R Book Tours

Link: http://rrbooktours.com

#BlogTour His Wife’s Secret by Susan Willis @SusanWillis69 @rararesources #AuthorInterview

Hello lovelies! Today I have a fabulous Q&A with Susan Willis as part of the blog for her novel His Wife’s Secrets but first a little about the book:

His Wifes Secret Cover larger size

Title: His Wife’s Secret by Susan Willis

Date Published: 4th December 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction / Psychological Suspense

Description:

When David meets old school-friend, Erin again he falls head over heels in love. He leaves his wife and their sixteen-year-old daughter to marry Erin. But, in a small village people have long memories and they move south for a fresh beginning. Erin’s behaviour starts to change in a very strange way and David wonders if she is punishing him for something he’s done?

You can buy your copy here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B082914DQZ

https://amzn.to/34kAVoR 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3e9QpJQjfE&fbclid=IwAR1Nsf9mZ0AD8rZH99A0cAqEqE94mqSFi49yGK6onOlzb-sionuuQvz09bc&has_verified=1

Q&A with Susan Willis

Can you tell me a little bit about your book? 

We hear about domestic violence from a man to a woman regularly in the news but from a woman to a man is rare. However, in my book this does happen. When David meets old school-friend, Erin again he falls head over heels in love. He leaves his wife and their sixteen-year-old daughter to marry Erin. But, in a small village people have long memories and they move south for a fresh beginning. 

David is just a typical guy and for two years is deliriously happy until the move down to London. This is when everything changes, and his wife begins to act out of character in a strange way. Unbeknown to him, it was whilst packing to move that Erin finds her mother’s diary in an old trunk. What is written in the diary to make her lash out at her husband? David wonders if she is punishing him for something he’s done? 

Where did the inspiration for your book come from? 

Although I don’t watch the soap, Coronation Street, I knew they were addressing the topic of domestic abuse. It made me wonder what would make a woman behave in this way and set about creating a backstory and plot for a story.  

If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be? 

Something from the past can change the way we are today 

What is a typical writing day like for you? 

I usually do one hour of social media and then begin to write. I often have a word count in mind to complete for the day, but this depends upon on how the writing flows. Most days I meet this but like everyone else, some days are better than others. 

If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why? 

Any Agatha Christie novel. She was one of the golden age detectives. I think, ‘And Then There Were None’ is my favourite. Hopefully this summer I’m going to visit Burgh Island where the story was based. 

Who are your favourite authors? 

Harlan Coben. An American crime writer. I love his books. He is the master of a twist at the end of a story – which I like. 

Is writing your only job? If not, what is your other job?

I am semi-retired. I still work 3-4 months of the year as a Food Technologist developing new products and recipes for food suppliers. Much of my work is for M&S Food. 

Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!) 

I have a healthy / unhealthy obsession with shoes and handbags. And, all of my wardrobe is colour co-ordinated. I’m not sure what this says about myself but if I was to take a green handbag with a red outfit, I’d feel totally out of sync?  

What are you currently working on? 

I’m aiming to write another three Cosy-Crime short reads before Spring. I already have three on amazon but would like to put them all together into a collection. I also have a novel from March 2019 which needs editing and then I’ll self-publish on amazon.  

His Wifes Secret Full Tour Banner

About The Author:

Susan Willis is a published author of four novels and five novellas. She lives in Co-His Wife - author shot 1a first SMALL SIZEDurham surrounded by a big family and dear friends. Susan works as a food technologist developing new recipes and weaves the different aspects of her job into stories. 

Her last two novels are psychological suspense. Readers who have left reviews on amazon love the books because they are realistic with everyday people in situations that can happen. 

She has a collection of Fun-Size Tales of Love & Family which are available in Ebook and paperback. 

Susan is now writing Cozy Crime Short Reads and incorporating up to date issues of poor mental health in a kidnap scene, the perils of social media, and an intruder on Skype. Nest year she hopes to publish these stories into a collection.   

Social Media Links – 

https://twitter.com/SusanWillis69

https://www.instagram.com/susansuspenseauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/AUTHORsusanwillis 

https://www.susanwillis.co.uk/ 

The Alibi Girl by C.J. Skuse @HQStories #Extract #BlogTour

Today I’m bringing you an extract from CJ Skuse’s latest thriller The Abili Girl but first a little about the book:

Title: The Alibi Girl by C.J. Skuse

Publication Date: 6th February 2020

Publisher: HQ

Genre: Thriller 

Description:

Joanne Haynes has a secret: that is not her real name.

And there’s more. Her flat’s not hers. Her cats aren’t hers. Even her hair isn’t really hers.

Nor is she any of the other women she pretends to be. Not the bestselling romance novelist who gets her morning snack from the doughnut van on the seafront. Nor the pregnant woman in the dental surgery. Nor the chemo patient in the supermarket for whom the cashier feels ever so sorry. They’re all just alibis.

In fact, the only thing that’s real about Joanne is that nobody can know who she really is.

But someone has got too close. It looks like her alibis have begun to run out….

Extract:

1

Ellis

Monday, 21st October

I can’t read this Hello! magazine again. There’s only so many times I can admire Brooklyn Beckham’s left armpit. It’s not as though there’s anything else to read either. There’s a Vogue with dried snot on the contents page. And Charlize Theron is on the cover of Cosmo so I can’t even touch that one. I’ve been afraid of her since Snow White. Keep thinking she’ll come out of the page and bite me.  

So, in the absence of reading material, I’m squinting at a cockroach scuttling across the floor with a clump of shorn hair on its back like some tiny game show host. My own hair sits lankly around my ears – it can’t wait another day. I’ll give it another five minutes before I go back to the flat and dye it myself over the bath with a kit.

And now the baby’s grizzling. I’ve tried sticking my knuckle in her mouth but she’s hungry. I’m not feeding her here. How can you talk to a perfect stranger quite politely one moment and then flop your boob out the next? How do women do that? And what is the stranger supposed to do? Not look at it? A boob is my third most private part after my feet and my noo-noo. I’d look. Not for long, but I would look.

After fifteen-and-a-half full minutes, a short Roseanne Barr-ish woman scuffs through the beaded curtain. She has Hobbit feet wedged into mint-green flip flops and tattoos up and down both forearms – Tom Hiddlething as Loki all up her right, Chris HemWhatNot as Thor all up her left.

‘Hiya I’m Steffie. Is it Mary?’ Her eyes don’t smile.

‘Yes. Mary Brokenshire.’

Steffi’s in a washed-out Gryffindor t-shirt and her hair is spare rib coloured, parted and shaved severely up the side. 

 ‘If you’d like to come this way …’

Steffi leads me through the beads, across the glittery black floor tiles and through a grubby woodchip archway towards the sinks but not quite at them. We swerve over to a side chair with a mirror in front of it and she sits me down and places her hot hands on my shoulders. She gives me an unnecessary chat about what I want done even though she already knows because I came in last week for a patch test and we went through it all then.

‘Right, black it is then. Have you been offered a tea or coffee?’

‘No.’ I don’t like tea or coffee. I’d prefer a juice but they don’t have juice, only some value squash which I only have to look at to feel my teeth rotting at the roots. Even I know asking for a milk would be too childish in this environment so, for appearances sake, I say ‘I’d love a tea, thanks.’

Steffi disappears and returns with a cape but no tea. She waits for me to take Emily out of the papoose and transfer her to the pushchair, hoping to catch a glimpse. I get it: people love babies. I tuck her into the buggy and drape a muslin over the opening. I don’t like people looking at her, or me, for too long. Just in case.

Steffi sweeps the cape around my body, rendering everything but my head invisible. I used to like wearing a cape. Or an oversized bath towel. There’s nothing quite like that feeling of getting out of a hot bath, wrapping the big bath towel around you and pretending to fly up the corridor with the towel flapping along behind. Me and my cousin Foy used to do that all the time after our baths. Or was it only once?

‘How are you coping with the little one?’ Steffi asks.

‘Fine thanks. She’s our fifth so we’re used to being tired all the time, you know what it’s like I’m sure!’

‘Oh yeah,’ she says, face brightening. ‘We’ve got four and it’s chaos. We love it though. Love the chaos!’ We share the laugh only parents can share as she begins pasting on my colour. ‘Have you got anything planned for the rest of the day?’ I get the impression she’s asked this question 11,000 times. There’s no inflection. No real note of interest. I still answer.

‘Not really. A bit of shopping. Pick the kids up. I’m still on maternity leave from my practice so it’s nice not to have such a rigid timetable.’

‘What sort of practice?’

‘I’m a doctor. A GP.’

‘Oh right. Where are they all today then? At a friend’s house?’

I’m momentarily confused. ‘My children? They’re all at school.’

‘They not on half term?’

‘They’re all at private school,’ I say. ‘Their half term was last week.’

‘Oh,’ she says, with more than a hint of lemon juice about it. ‘You’ve got four of them at private school?’

 ‘Yeah,’ I tell her proudly, rocking the buggy. ‘Apples of their daddy’s eye. We’re stopping at five though. I’m having my tubes tied in January, I’ve told him already. He’d have a football team, given half the chance.’

‘Yeah, I think mine would!’

‘It’s our anniversary today so my mum and dad are going to have the kids tonight so we can go out for a meal.’

‘Ooh, where are you going? Anywhere nice?’

What a stupid question that is. No, we’re off to a complete dive with a one star hygiene rating and a chef who wipes his bum on the lettuce. ‘The China Garden. The one with the gold dragon hanging from the ceiling? His treat.’

‘What does he do then, your bloke?’

I ignite when she says ‘Your bloke.’ It’s lovely to have a bloke who belongs to me. ‘He’s a personal trainer.’

‘Nice. I wish my old man would take me out. Do you know I don’t think we’ve had a night out since our Livvy was born. And she’s starting Reception next month.’

‘Oh really?’

‘Yeah. We can’t afford it anyway. Rich’s been laid off from the airport.’

‘Oh right,’ I say, with the hint of gloom she seems to expect. ‘What did he —’

‘—baggage handler at John Lennon. Twenty years he gave them. Went in on his days off when they were striking and everything. And he caught a terrorist.’

‘Oh gosh.’ Cockroach Game Show Host scuttles back along the skirting board. I pretend to have a coughing fit and Steffi asks if I’d like some water, which is when she’s reminded about the tea she hasn’t made me yet and scurries off to see “where it’s got to” like tea has a mind of its own.

I’m finally brought my tea and two Custard Creams – one with a corner snapped off. I remove the top of one biscuit and scrape out the cream with my bottom teeth. I put the two sides back together and munch it until it makes a neat circle of spitty biscuit between my thumbs, then I put it in my mouth til it dissolves. I don’t realise until I swallow that Steffi has been watching me. My cheeks flame as red as my roots.

But then, my phone pings in my handbag and I riffle around to find it. ‘Probably Daddy, checking in on his girls.’

‘Ahhh,’ says Steffi, all misty-eyed.

It isn’t Daddy. It’s an email from eBay, letting me know about their half term sale on personalised school stationery.

‘Was it him?’ says Steffi, combing my colour through.

‘Yeah. He’s asking if I want anything brought in. Bless him.’

‘He sounds like a keeper.’ I hold up my iPhone screen to show her his photo. She takes it off me and squints. ‘Blimey, he’s gorgeous.’

I know what she’s thinking – that a woman like me couldn’t have possibly ‘got’ a guy like him. ‘I’m very lucky.’ She returns me the phone and I put him away safely in my bag. ‘We were childhood sweethearts.’

‘You started early then. I thought you looked young to have five kids.’

‘I had the first one at fourteen.’

‘Blimey.’

‘Then the twins, then Harry. Wasn’t easy with the medical degree, but we managed. Then this little surprise came along.’

‘I met my Rich on a hen weekend.’

I hadn’t asked and it’s not interesting to me but I pretend it’s the most interesting thing because for some reason I’m happy in her company. Two married mums together. ‘I love a good knees up.’

‘Yeah it did get a bit rowdy,’ she laughs. ‘He did karaoke to Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady and pointed at me when he was singing. I knew then he was The One.’

I smile at the mirror. ‘The One. It’s a nice feeling, isn’t it?’

‘Oh don’t get me wrong, we have our moments. He woke up yesterday with a cold, right? And his breathing has become all like that Darth Wossit. And I said to him “Rich I swear to God, if you breathe like that anymore, I’m gonna ram your head in the bacon slicer.” He was winding me up that much.’

I don’t get that. Why stay with a person whose breathing makes you want to commit actual murder on their head? So I ask her.

‘So you don’t love him anymore?’

‘Oh course I do,’ she laughs, ‘I were only joking. Just wish he worked on an oil rig or summut so he’d leave the bloody house once in a while, you know?’

I don’t get that either but, before I can ask, she hands me the same magazine I read six times in the waiting room and I’m treated to another glimpse of hairy Brooklyn and interviews with Liam Payne’s mother and the Britain’s Got Talent failure who’s had twenty facelifts and still hates himself. 

AlibiGirl_BTB

About The Author:

C.J. SKUSE is the author of SweetPea, In Bloom, Pretty Bad Things, Rockaholic, Deadc j skuse Romantic, Monster and Deviants. She was born in Weston-super-Mare. She has first-class degrees in creative writing and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance fiction consultant and lectures at Bath Spa University. CJ Skuse’s Rhiannon Lewis series (SWEETPEA and IN BLOOM) has sold over 20,000 copies in PB and been optioned for television by See-Saw, the company behind the Oscar nominated film Lion. 

#CoverReveal Knock Knock by Chris Merritt @bookouture @DrCJMerritt

Hello lovelies, I’m very excited to be bringing you a cover reveal for Knock Knock the new novel by Chris Merritt but first a little about the book:

Natasha Mayston wasn’t expecting anyone to knock on her door so late at night and she has no idea that the face staring back at her is the last one she’ll ever see…

As Detective Dan Lockhart is called to a wealthy London street to investigate Natasha’s death, he’s startled by the similarity to another case. Noticing the cable-tie restraints and the tiny scratches on Natasha’s wedding finger, Dan already knows what he will find if he looks in her throat – the small metal ball which choked her to death. He knows for sure that this isn’t the killer’s first victim and that he will strike again.

Months earlier, Kim Hardy was found in the same position in a hotel across the city – the same cable ties around her wrists, lacerations on her left hand and the same silver ball in her throat. But Kim’s murderer was caught and sent to prison – did they arrest the wrong man? Fearing that he’s dealing with a serial killer, Dan calls in psychologist Lexi Green to help with the case.

Then another body is discovered just days later, just as Lexi finds a clue online leading to the killer. Dan and his team aren’t convinced she’s found the right man, but Lexi reaches out to the suspect, putting herself in unthinkable danger. Dan thinks he knows who’s next on the killer’s list. But can he reach her before it’s too late?

Fans of Angela Marsons, Robert Dugoni and Cara Hunter will love this thrilling new series from Chris Merritt. From an explosive start to a heart-stopping finale, you will not want to put this book down!

 Sounds fantastic right? I know I’m looking forward to reading it!

Now here is the gorgeous cover:

Knock-Knock-Kindle

You can pre-order your copy here:

https://geni.us/B0848XBLB3Cover

About The Author: 

Hello! I’m a British author whose crime thrillers combine psychology, suspense, and characters you care about.CURRENT PHOTO

All my novels are set in London, where I live. My first trilogy starred Zac Boateng and Kat Jones, two detectives motivated by family, who tackle organised crime and police corruption. LAST WITNESS, the second Boateng and Jones book, reached #13 in the UK Kindle chart in 2019.

My second series features detective Dan Lockhart – an ex-soldier with a missing wife – and psychologist Dr Lexi Green, an American living in London. These novels are darker, more psychological serial-killer cases, with romantic relationships as a central theme.

I began writing fiction in 2014, after previous careers as a diplomat, based in Iraq and Jerusalem, and later as a psychologist working with victims and perpetrators of crime. I specialised in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which sparked my interest in telling stories about how people cope when faced with extreme adversity.

Now, I spend most of my time writing novels and drinking coffee while *thinking* about writing novels. When I’m not writing, I love climbing and playing basketball.

You can find out more about my work at www.cjmerritt.co.uk or follow me on Twitter @DrCJMerritt

 

#BookSpotlight Men of the Year by Colleen McMillan @btwnthelinespub @RRBookTours1 #indiepub #romance #Promo #Excerpt

Welcome to the blog tour for Men of the Year by Colleen McMillan! Read on for an exclusive excerpt from Colleen’s debut novel!

MofY digital cover

Title: Men of the Year by Colleen McMillan 

Publication Date: 8th October 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Willow River Press

Description:

Cassie doesn’t want your pity. She doesn’t want your sympathy. And she certainly doesn’t want to date you.

When perpetually single Cassie McTiernan agrees to her friends’ online dating scheme, she thinks she’ll go on maybe two dates then bail before things get uncomfortable. She’s turning 30; might as well give it a shot, right? Little does she know that they’ve devised a contract, binding her to date one man per month for one year. Sure, if she finds Mr. Right she doesn’t have to complete their challenge. How hard could dating be?

Jumping through an increasingly long list of hoops, Cassie realizes that she might have to endure the entire tortuous year with twelve strange men beside her. What could go wrong? Why does her first date need two cell phones? And is the man who broke her heart years before lurking behind that shadowy bush?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48391661-men-of-the-year

Purchase on Amazon: 

https://www.amazon.com/Men-Year-Colleen-McMillan-ebook/dp/B07YNG4W6N/ref=sr_1_1?crid=L6ANEWK5SM9A&keywords=man+of+the+year+colleen+mcmillan&qid=1571163865&sprefix=men+of+the+year%2Caps%2C183&sr=8-1

Excerpt:

“We have a proposition for you,” says Alicia, suddenly in let’s-make-a-deal mode.  Her tone fits a power suit more than her jeans and sequined top.

“More of a bet, you guys said it was a bet,” says Keeley in a much more anxious voice than Alicia.  There better not be a male stripper waiting at my apartment building when I get home. Hopefully they didn’t shave my cat like last Fourth of July.

“You’re such an ass Keel,” says Lindsey, in no way helpful.  “She won’t win anything if she does it.”

“Oh, she’ll do it.  She’s curious already.”  Alicia’s grinning now too, but I feel my smile fading.  It’s like I’m in front of a court-marshal hearing.

“What did you do?”

“It’s really awesome!  I think it’s a really good idea!  Lindsey and Alicia thought of it.”

“Great, so what is it?”  The bar music changes to the Dropkick Murphys’ thudding beats, and I notice how many people are in the bar.  A public place. Somewhere I can’t lose it and scream at them. “What is it?”

They all talk at once, cutting each other off.

“Don’t be mad—”

“Who cares if she’s mad, she’s doing it—”

“It was a good idea, right?”

“Enough you guys!”  I pound the table with my mug, sloshing beer.  It spills on my hand and I reach for some napkins.  “Did you get me something stupid like a pony?”

“You wish,” says Alicia.

“It’s better than a fucking pony.”

“It’s a boyfriend!”  Keeley’s exclamation startles me.  She covers her lips with her fingers.  “Sort of…”

“Not very easy to wrap,” I say and cross my arms over my chest.  Please not a blow-up doll, please not a blow-up doll, not in front of all these people.

“It’s not the sort of thing Macy’s gift-wraps for you with a sprig of mint or whatever,” says Alicia as she waves her cocktail straw back and forth in a motion that suggests scolding one of her children.  “We got you something thoughtful this year. Something you actually need.”

“I need a new loofa,” I mumble.  And maybe some nice bath soaps.  Is it too much to ask for nice bath soaps?  Maybe honeysuckle-scented? 

“Stop bitching and listen,” says Lindsey.  “Alicia, Keeley, and I got together and really thought this through.  Step one: you need to stop moping about dating and just get on with it, or ‘get it on with it’ if you will, you’re not getting any younger or thinner.”

“Thanks a lot.”

She ignores me and goes on, “Step two: stop whining about your job and get a better one.”

“She means start writing again,” whispers Keeley, trying to sound supportive.

“So basically, what you got me is an inspirational rant from a divorcee whose sole purpose in life is to sleep with as many men as she can before her vagina falls off.”

“Ha ha.  Listen. We signed you up for an online dating service.”

“You did what?”

About the Author

Colleen may be a writer, but she’s also a dater. Many of the events in this novel happenedcolleen to her or someone she knows, both male and female. Who hasn’t felt the harsh slap of an unanswered email on Match.Harmony.Fishing.com? Who hasn’t narrowly avoided an oncoming mouth with its tongue sticking out and drool tendrils forming in the corners? She wrote this novel because her fellow online daters needed a voice, or at least a fun read to get them through the day after their online crush quit the website because he “found someone else.” She has been published in Iconoclast literary magazine as well as in her college literary journal, Prologue. She lives in Minnesota with her faithful cat, Duncan.

REASON FOR WRITING THIS PARTICULAR NOVEL

My love life is disastrous, mainly because it’s nonexistent. What dates I did go on in my twenties went well enough, or so I thought. After a long string of first dates with men who weren’t too keen on my opinions once we actually met in person, I wondered if my other friends were having the same issues. Hint: they were. This was before rampant “dick pics” emerged, and most online dating sites were pay only. I signed up for Plenty of Fish, a free matchmaker site my friend recommended, which was an even bigger school of sharks masquerading as tropical fish. I had a terrible relationship stemming from that site, which prompted me to finish the little novel I’d been working on for years.

-Colleen McMillan

Author Links:

Between the Lines Publishing: https://btwnthelines.com/

Blog Tour Schedule

January 6th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

January 7th

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

Al-Alhambra Book Reviews (Review) https://alalhambrabookreviews.home.blog

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

January 8th

B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

The Middle Years Journey (Review) https://themiddleyearsjourney.com/

I’m Into Books (Review) https://imintobooks.com

January 9th

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

January 10th

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organised By: 

R&R Book Tours

R&RButto200x200

Link: http://rrbooktours.com

#BookSpotlight Death in Smoke (The Cape Mysteries #2) by Barbara Elle @barbaraelleauth @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Thriller #Books #promo #Giveaway #excerpt

Congratulations to author, Barbara Elle, on the release of her exciting thriller, Death in Smoke! I have an exclusive excerpt, plus your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift card but first a bit about the book:

Death in Smoke Cover

Title: Death in Smoke (The Cape Mysteries #2) by Barbara Elle

Publication Date: 5th December 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

A bloodied body buried in a snowbank on a remote island off Cape Cod.

A cold case in Kansas.

What’s the connection between two unrelated murders over a thousand miles away and decades apart?

In Death In Smoke, the thrilling sequel to Death In Vermilion, artist Leila Goodfriend unravels the truth about two brutal killings.

From Cuttyhunk Island to a Native American casino in Kansas, Leila tracks a trail of blood and revenge, littered with smoke screens and stone relics of a faded past.

Once again, Leila has to trust her instincts, which puts her at odds with Detective John Grace—a relationship of attraction that, in the end, reveals a tragic secret from her own past.

Despite the detective’s warnings, Leila puts her life at risk, obsessed with proving her friend’s innocence, at least of murder.

Death In Smoke, the new psychological thriller from acclaimed author Barbara Elle, takes readers on an inner and physical journey across clashing cultures and time, challenging assumptions about what is truth—what remains a mystery.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49906431-death-in-smoke

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y7PT1B6

Excerpt: 

Her fingers bled as she dug, the blood spread like a stain, but she couldn’t know now whether it was her blood, or the blood seeping up from beneath the surface.

She knew what she’d find now. There was no urgency. Not anymore. Not with this spreading stain. She slowed down. She brushed aside the snow carefully, like an archaeologist at a dig; she had to see the eyes. The eyes would tell whether there was life, or death. It was silent, except for the pounding of blood in her ears.

The blood, coagulated into a fibrous mesh-like flesh, was more like a birth than a death. It was a woman. The crown of the skull had been split, maybe cracked along a fissure? The features were contorted. Had there been time to beg, no, no, don’t? Had there been time to scream? 

She brushed the bloody flecks away. Horrified. There was no question now. The eyes were open. The woman was dead. 

It was a queer, horrible irony that suddenly struck Leila: she had found another dead body. Iris. Now, there was this poor woman. This was supposed to be a walk in the woods.

Although the violence of death had distorted the features of its victim, there was something familiar in the angular chin, the cheekbones, and the mannish set of the jaw. It was a face she never expected to see again. 

Damn. It was Susie.

Giveaway: Win a $25 Amazon gift card:

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f129/?

About the Author:

In her stunning debut thriller, Death In Vermilion (The Cape Mysteries Book 1), barbaraelleacclaimed author Barbara Elle paints a clever and twisted picture of women and sisters, whose lives are entwined by a brutal murder in a Cape Cod town. Who can you trust?

Now, Death In Smoke (The Cape Mysteries Book 2) asks what’s the connection between a bloodied body buried in a snowbank on a remote island off the Cape and a cold case in Kansas? Can artist and amateur sleuth Leila Goodfriend solve this new mystery?

Barbara Elle fell in love with books and writing at a young age, honing her writing chops as a copywriter at major publishers and as a freelance journalist.

Growing up in Boston, but she became a New Yorker as an adult. Her writing draws on people and places she remembers, setting The Cape Mysteries on Cape Cod, a place of memories.

Barbara Elle continues collecting characters and plots, often traveling the world with her touring musician husband, the musical director for rock and roll icon Cyndi Lauper. In her travels, Barbara has explored Buddhist temples in Beijing, crypts in Vienna and Kabuki Theater in Tokyo.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barbaraelleauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17931175.Barbara_Elle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbaraelleauth

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/barbaraelleauthor/

Blog Tour Schedule

January 6th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

January 7th

Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

January 8th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Shalini’s Books & Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

January 9th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Tranquil Dreams (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

January 10th

Ally’s Reading Corner (Spotlight) http://allysreadingcorner.wordpress.com

The Genre Minx Book Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

Blog Tour Organised By:

R&R Book Tours

R&RButto200x200

Link: http://rrbooktours.com

#BlogTour #GuestPost A Cornish Inheritance by Terri Nixon @TerriNixon @PiatkusBooks @annecater #ACornishInheritance

Hello lovelies! Today I have a fantastic guest post from Terri Nixon about the inspiration behind her novel A Cornish Inheritance but first a little about the book:

Title: A Cornish Inheritance by Terri Nixon 

Publisher:  Piatkus 

Date Published: 5th December 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

Welcome to Fox Bay Hotel, where family fortunes rise and fall.

1920, Bristol. Helen Fox is happily married to the love of her life: charming, former playboy Harry. With their three children, glamorous lifestyle and extravagant parties, they have the perfect life. But after a tragic motorcycle accident, nothing will ever be the same…

Helen is forced to leave their home and move to the Fox family’s hotel on the Cornish coast – where she discovers her perfect life has been based on a lie.

Now Helen must find a way to build a new life for herself and her children with the help of a vivacious new friend, Leah Marshall.

But when the future of the hotel is threatened, Helen discovers that she hasn’t left her past behind after all, and unless she takes drastic action, she’s going to lose everything all over again…

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cornish-Inheritance-Fox-Bay-Saga/dp/0349423989

Cornish Inheritance BT Poster

Guest Post: Meet the Foxes of Fox Bay

1920s Fox Bay Hotel is a bit of a glamour trap. A former monastery, now a holiday destination for the most discerning of guests, and situated on the coast within a stone’s throw of a picturesque village. An art deco dream of a place… Too too perfect, darling, you simply must go! But sign up a lawyer first…

I was all fired up ready to write a fourth volume in the Penhaligon Saga; I’d written a detailed outline, which I loved (I still do) and was hoping my publisher would pick it up. But they decided the saga had run its course, had tied everything up nicely in book 3, and answered all the questions I’d asked in book 2. ‘We’d like you to write something new.’ 

So I plucked something out of mid-air and threw it at my agent. ‘Uh, how about a… a hotel? Set on the South Devon coast?’ It would be so wonderful to write something set in the area in which I was born, and a hotel would give me the opportunity to have any number of different types of guests, with their own interesting secrets and stories. I was buzzing already.

The publisher was equally enthusiastic. ‘Sounds great, send in a submission package. We particularly love that it’s set in Devon!’ 

Hooray! 

I wrote an outline and the first three chapters, and sent it all off. 

‘Yes please, we’ll take 3. Only please could you set it in Cornwall instead?’

So I happily re-set my fictional village on the west coast of Cornwall and began the exciting job of getting to know my characters.

A few years ago a good friend of mine moved into a gorgeous flat that had once been part of a military hospital here in Plymouth. He’d gone exploring up in a communal attic space and found this painted on one of the beams: 

a cornish inheritance pic

H & H, The Heavenly Twins… what’s not to love about that? He knew I’d be all over it, and he was right; when I realised I’d called my main character Helen, and her husband Harry, I knew I had to incorporate that mysterious, hastily-painted little slice of history somehow. 

And so the Heavenly Twins were born. 

Harry the bon viveur and former playboy, living – in modern parlance – his “best life,” in the years immediately following the Great War, and throwing the biggest and glitziest parties, with the brightest and smartest friends.

Helen, not quite timid, but certainly no social butterfly, could hardly believe he’d chosen her at first, and she wasn’t the only one, but in the years since they married they have defied expectation and silenced the critics. Their marriage has been passionate and rock-solid, and their three children are adorable but headstrong individuals, who have grown up rich in matters both material and emotional. Everyone loves the Foxes.

But of course this can’t last; it’s a family drama! If this family existed in a soap you’d just know there was something nasty in the woodshed; some shade from the past, or a terrible decision, is going to shove a spanner in the spokes, and the fates just sit back and watch with a sly grin, while everything collapses.

So it is with the Foxes. When Helen has to take the children away from the home they’ve known all their lives, and even the memories of those halcyon days are tainted, she has to re-evaluate her situation, and, at the same time as she’s coming to terms with her own “new normal,” she has to protect her children’s futures. 

She makes a new friend, Leah Marshall, a widow with a shady past, but such a talent for mimicry and play-acting that the Foxes warm to her immediately. She brightens everything, becomes an honorary aunt to the children, and later, when Helen has cause to question her honesty and her intentions, I hope the readers will feel the conflict as deeply as if Leah is a real member of the family. She’s a question mark, hidden by the brightness of her own smile. 

Helen herself is unused to standing her ground and having to fight for what’s hers, and all we can do is watch, and will her on. The family motto is Vulpes latebram suam defendit – The fox defends his lair. Helen has a lot of work to do…

The second half of the first book, A Cornish Inheritance, prominently features one of the now grown “children,” and each of the next two books will do the same for the others. It’s been interesting to see how the sudden change in lifestyle has affected the “cubs” during their formative years, and each of them has their own individual set of interests and ambitions, which can lead them into dangerous, potentially deadly, situations. But will they listen to me, the mere author? As if! They’re just going to go right on with what they’re doing, and if they won’t listen to me, what do you suppose chances are that they’ll listen to Helen?

So hold on to your hats; those Fox cubs are going to shake things up at the bay, and the shockwaves might well stretch across the whole of Cornwall!

About The Author: 

Terri was born in Plymouth. At the age of 9, she moved with her family to Cornwall, to Terri Nixon Author Picthe village featured in Jamaica Inn — North Hill — where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those.

Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press.

As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice.

Terri’s self-published Mythic Fiction series set in Cornwall, The Lynher Mill Chronicles, is now complete and available in paperback and e-book.

Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency. She now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.

Twitter @TerriNixon

Website : http://www.terrinixon.com/