Games We Played by Shawne Steiger @Ramelle1 @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #GamesWePlayed

Welcome to the tour for Games We Played, a gripping novel by Shawne Steiger! Read on for details and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Title: Games We Played by Shawne Steiger

Date Published: October 17th, 2020

Genre:Literary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction/ Thriller

Description:

When actress Rachel Goldberg shares her personal views on a local radio show, she becomes a target for online harassment. Things go too far when someone paints a swastika on her front door, not only terrifying her but also dredging up some painful childhood memories. Rachel escapes to her hometown of Carlsbad. To avoid upsetting her parents, she tells them she’s there to visit her Orthodox Jewish grandmother, even though that’s the last thing she wants to do. But trouble may have followed her.Stephen Drescher is home from Iraq, but his dishonorable discharge contaminates his transition back to civilian life. His old skinhead friends, the ones who urged him to enlist so he could learn to make better bombs, have disappeared, and he can’t even afford to adopt a dog. Thinking to reconnect with his childhood friend, he googles Rachel’s name and is stunned to see the comments on her Facebook page. He summons the courage to contact her, Rachel and Stephen, who have vastly different feelings about the games they played and what might come of their reunion, must come to terms with their pasts before they can work toward their futures.

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Excerpt

Stevie and his mother were evicted from their apartment after his mother’s big fight with the landlord at two in the morning. They left with only his mother’s purse and went to his grandpa’s house to sleep. Stevie had seen his grandpa just once before, and he barely remembered the visit. For the whole taxi ride, his mother kept saying, “Just until I get a job. We won’t stay long. Don’t worry, Stevie.”

He dozed, lulled by a spicy cigar smell and the erratic crackle of the radio from the front of the car. The driver let them out at a two-story stucco house that loomed like a yellow castle in the shadows of streetlight and moon. Stephen followed his mother through a wrought-iron gate that opened to a sidewalk made of pink stone

slabs. He lurked behind her when she knocked, looking around at the rock garden, a few lemon trees, and a big white wall that surrounded the front yard, blocking any view except for bits of road.

Nobody answered, so his mother dropped her purse and slammed the heel of her hand into the doorbell over and over. Then she turned away from the door, picked up her purse, grabbed Stephen’s arm, and dragged him toward the gate and the street, and the door finally opened. His grandpa stood on the threshold, silhouetted by a glow from the living room. Stephen would always remember that glimpse of his grandpa, the faded gray robe held closed at the chest, the gnarled toenails and bushy white hair, how big he was. He wasn’t fat, just big and as shaggy as the mountains he could see from Carlsbad, even though it took eight hours to reach them.

His grandpa stared at Stephen’s mother with bloodshot eyes. Then he looked down at Stephen and twisted his mouth into a closed-lipped grimace. Later, Stephen learned that his grandpa didn’t like to show his mouth when he wasn’t wearing his dentures, but at the time, the vampire smile frightened Stevie.

“Well, you might as well come in, then.” 

His grandpa’s voice was harsh and phlegmy. After he finished talking, he coughed until his face turned red, and he lit up a cigarette. Stevie’s mother propelled him through the front door and into the house, where they stayed much longer than she had promised.

Two weeks later, they were still there. Stevie’s mother stayed in her room nearly all the time, leaving Stevie to eat Hungry-Man frozen dinners and watch The Price is Right with his grandpa. When she did come downstairs, she pulled a kitchen chair into the living room and sat on that, far away from Stevie and Grandpa on the sofa.

When Stevie had his sixth birthday, his mother didn’t come down to sing “Happy Birthday,” buy him a cake at the grocery store, or tell him she was sorry she couldn’t afford a present but that she loved him. But his grandpa made sure he had a special day. 

He took Stevie up to the attic and showed him the guns gleaming on their racks inside a tall wooden case with a glass front. His grandpa opened a cardboard box next to the gun case and dug beneath a bunch of magazines until he produced a silver key. He inserted the key into the lock very precisely, as if opening that case was a more delicate task than shaving the whiskers around his throat.  Then he removed the guns one by one and showed them to Stevie.

He had six guns in six different shapes and sizes—three thick-handled guns with narrow noses that his grandpa said were Lugers, a smaller-nosed pistol called a Walther, a rifle called a Mauser, and one MG 34 machine gun. Stevie liked the rifle best because its long brown nose seemed sleek and dangerous.

His grandpa cradled it. “With this Mauser, I killed a Jew resistance fighter who thought he could get away.

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About the Author:

Shawne Steiger wrote her first story when she was seven. Over the years, she has been a pizza maker, dressage teacher, house cleaner, and therapist. The one constant in her life has been her writing, which is why, after years working as a trauma therapist, she applied to Vermont College of Fine Arts and completed an MFA in Fiction writing. After learning that she’s happiest when writing, Shawne published short stories and essays in several literary journals. Supporting her writing habit with her social work degree, Shawne frequently incorporates her understanding of how trauma affects people into her fiction. When not writing or working, she enjoys going to the theater, reading and travel. Luckily her love of travel stops her from fully realizing her aspirations to enter the realm of mad cat woman, since she’s yet to find the perfect suitcase that will fit both her cats and still be light enough to carry.

Shawne Steiger | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | BookBub

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The Country Village Summer Fete by Cathy Lake @LakeAuthor @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookReview

Title: The Country Village Summer Fete by Cathy Lake

Date Published: 10th June 2021

Publisher: Zaffre 

Genre: Rom Com/Women’s Fiction

Description:

Take a trip back into Little Bramble…

Emma Patrick’s life is spiralling out of control. On the cusp of her 50th birthday, she suddenly realises that she doesn’t have many meaningful relationships in her life. She’s single, successful, living alone and thinks she’s loving it, but being so focussed on work and always online means she’s lost any real connection to people.

When Emma gets a call to say her ageing father is becoming increasingly confused, she decides that she should go back home to the countryside to spend some time with him. But returning to Little Bramble, the village she grew up in, after all these years is filled with complications of its own and people she’d rather avoid.

As Emma starts to settle into her childhood home, she finds herself loving village life – much to her surprise. When the opportunity to get involved in the running of the summer fete comes her way, before she knows it she’s embracing jam making, cake baking and bunting. And with romance brewing, Emma begins to doubt the glamorous life in London that she worked so hard to build . . .

Review:

I want to thank Tracy Fenton for inviting me on this tour and Zaffre for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Country Village Summer Fete follows the story of Emma Patrick, who returns to the village of Little Bramble to look after her elderly father when he gets ill. She left the village behind years ago for a successful career in London and coming back is full of bittersweet memories, especially when it comes to an old flame of hers.

This story was just a delightful read with plenty of sweet and heartwarming moments. I also enjoyed the fact it was a second chance for romance novel, focusing on older characters who are proud to be older, as they should be!

This is the second in the Little Bramble series but works perfectly well as a standalone. I only noticed when I went looking for more books by Cathy Lake and found the first book.

The characters are all so likable and sweet, I really enjoyed meeting them. I felt for Emma, she’s burnt out and a bit isolated when we first meet her, trying to keep up with her freelance editing work and running herself into the ground. On top of all that, she gets the dreaded news about her father who might have dementia then having to face up to her old heartbreak… I just wanted to give her a hug!

The Country Village Summer Fete is a combination of gentle humour and sweet romance that is the perfect summer read. I’m looking forward to more books from Cathy Lake!

About The Author:

Cathy Lake is a women’s fiction writer who lives with her family and three dogs in beautiful South Wales. She writes uplifting stories about strong women, family, friendship, love, community and overcoming obstacles.

#CoverReveal A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman @G13Julie @rararesources @0neMoreChapter_

Hello lovelies! Today, I’ve a gorgeous cover reveal of A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman, due to be published on 21st May 2021, organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. First a little about the book:

Escape to the beautiful Scottish Highlands for a heartwarming and feel good cosy romance that will whisk you away from lockdown!

When Scotland’s sleepiest hamlet becomes the centre of hot gossip, Layla Devlin finds herself caught in a mystery…

When Layla’s fiancée has an unexpected heart attack and dies – in another woman’s arms, no less – Layla is determined to pack up and leave Loch Harris, the village she’s always called home. But an unexpected inheritance and love for her quiet corner of Scotland send her down a new path.

Now Layla finds herself facing a whole new kind of drama. Rumours swirl that a celebrity has moved into Coorie Cottage and Layla is determined to have him headline her opening night at local music venue The Conch Club. But the reclusive star is equally determined to thwart Layla’s efforts. Rafe Buchanan is in hiding for a reason, and soon his past comes to Loch Harris to haunt him…

Now for the cover:

Gorgeous right? If this sounds up your street you can pre-order your copy here: 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Scottish-Escape-Julie-Shackman-ebook/dp/B08T5WWNDR/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Scottish-Escape-Julie-Shackman-ebook/dp/B08T5WWNDR/

About The Author:

I am a contemporary romance author from Scotland, who is obsessed with stationery and handbags.

I am married with two sons and have a poodle cross Romanian rescue puppy called Cooper. A Secret Scottish Escape is my fifth book.

I trained as a journalist and studied Communication & Media. When I’m not reading or writing, I love getting out for long walks, listening to music and watching romcoms.

Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/julie.shackman

https://www.instagram.com/juliegeorginashackman/

#BlogBlitz #Promo Twinkle by Patricia Leavy @PatriciaLeavy @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Title: Twinkle by Patrica Leavy

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Description:

Twinkle follows Tess Lee and Jack Miller after two years of marriage. Tess is a wildly successful and world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore our innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Jack is a federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. As they both heal from past trauma, their epic love, fostered by their ability to truly see one another, has brought them true happiness. 

However, when an anonymous threat is made against Tess’s life, everything changes. Will they learn to lean on each other, or will they fall apart into the darkness? Their friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend, who calls her Butterfly; the female president of the United States, who Tess visits regularly to discuss politics and bake cookies; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau, who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby, Jack’s younger friend, who never fails to lend a calming presence. 

Twinkle is a novel about the nature of doubt, the struggle to feel worthy of love, the relationship of the small part to the greater whole, and the ways in which love – from lovers, friends, or the art we experience – can help us move from trauma to healing and redemption. Written as unfolding action, Twinkle is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy.

About The Author:

Patricia Leavy, Ph.D. is a bestselling author. She has published over thirty books, earning commercial and critical success in both fiction and nonfiction, and her work has been translated into many languages. She is also series creator and editor for ten book series with Oxford University Press, Guilford Press, and Brill/Sense, including the ground-breaking Social Fictions series. She has received numerous accolades for her books. Recently, her novel Film won the 2020 American Fiction Award for Inspirational Fiction, her novel Spark won the 2019 American Fiction Award for Inspirational Fiction and the 2019 Living Now Book Award for Adventure Fiction, and her Handbook of Arts-Based Research won the 2018 USA Best Book Award for best academic book. She has also received career awards from the New England Sociological Association, the American Creativity Association, the American Educational Research Association, the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, and the National Art Education Association. In 2016 Mogul, a global women’s empowerment network named her an “Influencer.” In 2018, she was honored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame and SUNY-New Paltz established the “Patricia Leavy Award for Art and Social Justice.” In addition to writing, Patricia loves art, movies, and travel. She resides in Maine with her husband, daughter, and their dog.

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/3gCg8EP

#BlogTour #Promo The Memories We Bury by H.A. Leuschel @HALeuschel @rararesources

Hello lovelies! Today I have a promo for the lovely H.A. Leuschel’s latest book:

The Memories We Bury Cover

Title: The Memories We Bury by H.A Leuschel 

Date Published: 17th April 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Description:

An emotionally charged and captivating novel about the complexities of female friendship and motherhood, from the author of Manipulated Lives.

Lizzie Thomson has landed her first job as a music teacher, and after a whirlwind romance with Markus, the newlywed couple move into a beautiful new home in the outskirts of Edinburgh. Lizzie quickly befriends their neighbour Morag, an elderly, resourceful yet lonely widow, who’s own children rarely visit her. Everything seems perfect in Lizzie’s life until she finds out she is pregnant and her relationship with both Morag and Markus change beyond her control.

Can Lizzie really trust Morag and why is Markus keeping secrets from her?

In The Memories We Bury the author explores the dangerous bonds we can create with strangers and how past memories can cast long shadows over the present.

About The Author:

Helene Andrea Leuschel gained a Master in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She later acquired aPhoto - Helene edited (1) Master in Philosophy, specializing in the study of the mind.

Helene has a particular interest in emotional, psychological and social well-being and this led her to write her first novel, Manipulated Lives, a fictional collection of five novellas, each highlighting the dangers of interacting with narcissists.

She lives with her husband and two children in Portugal. Please find out more about Helene at heleneleuschel.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

#BlogTour #Review Beyond The Yew Tree by Rachel Walkley @rararesources @RachelJWalkley #Giveaway

Hello lovelies! Today I have my review of Beyond the Yew Tree plus a giveaway to win a copy of either The Last Thing She Said or The Woman of Heachley Hall (see bottom of the post) but first a little about the book:

Beyond the Yew Tree_eb

Title: Beyond The Yew Tree by Rachel Walkley

Date Published: 27th March 2020

Genre:Ghost Story/Women’s fiction 

Description:

Whispers in the courtroom.

Only one juror hears them.

Can Laura unravel the truth by the end of the trial?

In an old courtroom, a hissing voice distracts shy juror, Laura, and at night recurring nightmares transport her to a Victorian gaol and the company of a wretched woman.

Although burdened by her own secret guilt, and struggling to form meaningful relationships, Laura isn’t one to give up easily when faced with an extraordinary situation.

The child-like whispers lead Laura to an old prison graveyard, where she teams up with enthusiastic museum curator, Sean. He believes a missing manuscript is the key to understanding her haunting dreams. But nobody knows if it actually exists.

Laura is confronted with the fate of two people – the man in the dock accused of defrauding a charity for the blind, and the restless spirit of a woman hanged over a century ago for murder. If Sean is the companion she needs in her life, will he believe her when she realises that the two mysteries are converging around a long-forgotten child who only Laura can hear?

Ordinary women.

Extraordinary experiences.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51837017-beyond-the-yew-tree

You can buy your copy here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0857FQT2V

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0857FQT2V

Beyond The Yew Tree Full Tour Banner

Review:

I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources tour for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Beyond the Yew Tree is an intriguing mix of ghost story, historical fiction, mystery and romance, with even a little legal thriller action thrown in there too!

I liked the main character Laura. She’s a little blunt but honest and level headed, not the kind of person you’d think would even entertain the notion of being haunted! But she hides a secret pain in her past, a mistake that’s  troubled her for years. Sean was also a very sweet character who compliments Laura’s bluntness well.

The ghost of the story also has a compelling and tragic tale to tell, expertly woven throughout the novel. 

I did find the trial aspect a little tedious at times (it was to do with fraud, not a subject I find that interesting) but that didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the novel.

Beyond the Yew Tree blends several genres together to make a sweet and satisfying read.

About The Author:

Aspiring writer who pens Women’s Fiction and magical tales about family secrets.

What else?Beyond The Yew Tree Author Photo

An East Anglian turned Northerner – almost.

Information professional, always.

Biologist, in my memories.

Archivist, when required.

Amateur pianist and flautist.

Reluctant gardener.

Scribbler of pictures.

And forever…. a mother and wife.

Oh, not forgetting, cat lover!

Social Media Links – 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17766384.Rachel_Walkley

Twitter – https://twitter.com/RachelJWalkley

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RachelJWalkley

Instagram / Twitter handle – https://www.instagram.com/raejcreations/

Newsletter – https://forms.aweber.com/form/09/569468809.htm

Giveaway to Win One copy of The Last Thing She Said or The Woman of Heachley Hall (Open INT)

  • If the winner is in the UK then it will be a print copy, otherwise International winner is e-book. 

Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494364/?

#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.  

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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/ 

#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

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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

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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: 

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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/

#BlogTour Love, Look Away by Lisette Brodey @LisetteBrodey  @RRBookTours1 #LoveLookAway #RRBookTours #Romance #WomensFiction #Books

Hello lovelies, today I an excerpt from Love, Look Away by Lisette Brodey as part of the blog tour organised by Shannon at R&R Book Tours but first a little about the book:

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Title: Love, Look Away by Lisette Brodey

Publication Date: 10th October  2019

Genre: Romantic Comedy/ Women’s Fiction

Description:

Twenty-nine-year-old Sage Gordon has had it with love. When she’s not busy running her metaphysical gift shop in the old-money town of Swansea, New York, she’s content with the company of her dog and two cats.

Years ago, the boy she thought she’d marry some day disappeared in the middle of the night and was never heard from again. Haunted by the loss of Jimmy, she remains wary about love, until she is set up with a gorgeous NYC marketing executive. Love moves quickly, and she finds herself engaged — but if only he had betrayed her before she sent out the save-the-date cards.

Sage reverts to her former mindset: love, look away. Forever. Despite her best efforts, though, two completely different yet wonderful men enter her life. Still haunted by the past, can she let romance back into her life?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Love, Look Away is set in the same fictional town (Swansea, NY) as my first romantic comedy, Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! This book is not, however, a sequel or a series. Love, Look Away is a stand-alone novel. Some readers will recognize several characters from Molly, including Molly herself, playing supporting roles.

And to readers who have never read Molly, but who may wish to do so, rest assured this novel does not give away the ending.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48415672-love-look-away?ac=1&from_search=true

Purchase Link: 

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07YYSVVSV/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Love%2c+Look+Away

Excerpt:

Sage hurried back into the store, to see a gorgeous man with a huge head of tousled brown hair and a sexy two-day growth on his face. He was wearing a button-down blue-and-white checked cotton shirt, with three buttons undone and a pair of sunglasses hanging from the V neckline it created. His sleeves were rolled up to reveal three leather bracelets on his left wrist and a watch on the right. He wore khaki chino pants and ankle-high brown moccasins. And he had the biggest smile Sage had ever seen.

“G’day!” he said before she could greet him. He turned to see Godiva. “And g’day to you too.” 

“You must be Freddie’s houseguest,” Godiva said. “From Australia.”

“Benton Bradley,” he said, taking care to make eye contact with both women before Rufus greeted him with enthusiasm. “G’day, fluffy mate. I reckon you and my Kelpie Matilda might enjoy a good pash.”

“Is that short for ‘passionate?’” Sage asked as she walked around the counter to greet him, her eyes bright and curious. “Hi, I’m Sage Gordon.”

As Rufus finally settled on his mat by the meditation cushion, Benton took both of her hands in his. “Indeed it is, Sage. You’re beautiful as.”

Unnerved, but not put off by the intimacy of the exchange, Sage delicately pulled away. “Benton, you said, right?”

“I did.” He winked. “You can call me Bent, but please, don’t call me crooked.”

Sage laughed, finding herself unable to avert her gaze. 

He looked at Godiva. “You must be Freddie’s lady, Godiva Jones.”

“I am,” Godiva said as she walked over to shake his hand. “Or I will be,” she mumbled under her breath. “It’s lovely to meet you, Benton.” She winked at Sage. “I’m going into the office to finish those website updates we talked about.”

Sage’s eyes widened in surprise, then narrowed as if to playfully chastise Godiva. “Yeah, by all means, update my website. Seems like we’ve been talking about that incessantly … and nothing else.”

“Don’t I know it? Well, you know where to find me if the bells clang too much,” Godiva said. She walked behind the curtains with a satisfied smile.

Sage looked at Benton while his eyes scanned the store with great interest. “Quite a place you have here. I like it.” He looked at the sign above the counter. “What’s that all about?”

“Oh, the Private Property sign. It’s just there for decoration.”

“I don’t suppose you’d like to sell it. I’ve got a small farm, and that would be a welcome addition to my front gate.”

“It’s not for sale,” Sage said. “Besides, you can’t bring wood into Australia. They’d confiscate it at customs.”

“No wood for me then,” Benton said, laughing to himself.

Sage felt oddly tantalized by the stranger’s words.

“That sign looks a good deal older than you.”

“It is, I think. Or maybe it just ages faster. Besides, I use moisturizer twice a day. I don’t think the sign cares about self-preservation.”

“It could use a good oil rubdown,” Benton said, grinning. “I’d be happy to do that for you.”

About the Author:

Lisette Brodey is a multi-genre author who writes strong, character-driven

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novels/stories, infused with humor, centered on the lives of flawed human beings in both tragic and funny situations. She writes mostly women’s fiction and literary fiction, but has written a YA paranormal trilogy, and a 1970s coming-of-age novel.

She was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She spent ten years in New York City, and now resides in Los Angeles. In addition to writing, she occasionally works as a SAG background actor in movies and television. And she loves animals.

Website: https://lisettebrodey.com/

Molly Hacker: http://mollyhacker.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisetteBrodey

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

Book Blitz Organized By: 

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R&R Book Tours: http://rrbooktours.com