Brook Cottage Books Presents: ETHAN’S DAUGHTER by RACHEL BRIMBLE 14 – 18 AUGUST, 2017


Cover (best)

Series: Templeton Cove Stories # 7 (can be read as a standalone)
Genre: Romantic suspense
Release Date: August 1st 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Superromance

There’s safety in solitude…isn’t there?
Single dad and best-selling thriller writer Ethan James has no problem being Templeton Cove’s most famous recluse…until a surprise visit from the past plunges him into a real-life crime drama just as feisty nurse Leah Dixon barges her way into his world.
Ethan’s first priority is to protect his daughter. His second priority is to keep Leah out of this dark web—and that means out of his bed. Except Leah isn’t going anywhere; she’s afraid little Daisy is in danger. Ethan couldn’t live with himself if anything happened to Leah…but pushing her away may be even harder..



On the other side of the front door, the kitchen/dining room stretched from the front to the back of the house. Even though it was in semi-darkness, Leah could see straight through to some French doors at the back, the only illumination coming from the overhead light of the stove as it glinted on steel toward the center of the room.
Snapping her gaze to Daisy, Leah’s opinions on personal tastes flew to the wayside. The little girl’s eyes were wide as she chewed her bottom lip. Leah frowned. “Are you all right, sweetheart? Do you want me to knock?”
Daisy nodded and raised her arms toward Leah as though asking to be picked up. “Yes, please. Daddy might be mad.”
“Oh, Daddy won’t be mad.” Leah bent down and picked her up, hitching her onto her hip as Daisy’s arms wound around her shoulders. “If Daddy’s mad, I’ll show him how to calm himself down real quick. Don’t you worry about that.” Leah lifted the brass knocker and let it fall a little harder than necessary.
No answer.
Narrowing her eyes, she knocked again.
She was readying to knock a third time when the door swung open.
“I told you to get the hell out of here and not come back.” The man’s dark hair sprouted from every angle, his raging eyes bulging and his right hand swathed in a blue and white¬¬––and bloodied––dishtowel. His gaze held Leah’s for a split-second before he snapped his attention to Daisy. “My God, Daisy. What are you…” He cupped Daisy under her armpits, wincing slightly as he pulled her from Leah’s arms to hold her close. He pressed a lingering kiss to her temple, his raging eyes hidden behind his closed lids.
Leah stared, completely stunned by this flannel-shirted, blue jeaned, incredibly good-looking man…despite the bulging eyes. She coughed in a bid to find her voice. “Mr. James?” She planted her hands on her hips. “You’re Daisy’s father, I presume?”
He opened his eyes and Leah stepped back.
Apparently when his eyes had softened and were filled with regret rather than rage, they looked good. Really good.
She stilled. Oh, good Lord. Be damned if those weren’t the eyes of Templeton’s reclusive novelist, Ethan James.


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Rachel Brimble – Why I Decided To Write About A Single Dad…

Deciding characters’ occupations, marital status, financial status and a hundred and one other things is how I start every story. The first thing I wanted to do when I began writing Ethan’s Daughter was make either my hero or heroine a novelist – purely because nineteen books in and I have never given any character my vocation. Writing what I know rather than what I don’t know would be fun!

The second thing I wanted to include in this book was a child – I love writing kids. As a mum to two daughters I have their young voices still ringing loud and clear in my mind. Not to mention the funny things they have said and done over the years. Adding a child into the plot often brings a great angle for humour as well as suspense.

We love and fear for our children (and other people’s) in equal measure.

My Templeton Cove series is published by Harlequin Superromance and one of the main factions of the line is family and community. So I had my chosen career and a young daughter set in my mind. The question next was, who to give them to? The hero or the heroine.

I decided on the hero as I thought it would add a different perspective using the male POV with his child rather than the female. My husband is very close to our girls, but I still wonder how different they would become as women if I wasn’t around. It was something I wanted to explore. Those early lessons and values a father would instil in his children rather than what a mother would had to be different, right? Or was I wrong and children become what they are meant to be whether raised by a mother or father alone or as a couple?

At the start of the story, Ethan has been raising little Daisy alone for five years – her mother left them when Daisy was just two years old. These early foundation years are important and often run through a person’s life forever. I wanted Ethan to be imperfect, make mistakes and judgments based on his own fears and flaws rather than those of Daisy. How would this affect him and her?

Then I thought of the perfect romantic match for him – the woman who had caring and nurturing, healing and supporting as part of her everyday life for years. Along came Leah Dixon who had already appeared in three previous books. As an ER nurse, Leah has seen her fair share of child accidents and neglect, as well as the powerful connection between children and the parents who adore them but are as equally capable as the rest of us of messing up.

The three of them are thrown together in dangerous and suspenseful circumstances which leads to each of the characters reacting and behaving in conflicting ways. Ethan’s Daughter was a fun story to write and reviewers are saying the book has everything – romance, family, intrigue, suspense and love. I hope your visitors give the book a try and entirely agree!

Happy Reading,

Rachel x


Me at Ashford2Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had seven books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and an eight coming in Feb 2018. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.


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Brook Cottage Books Presents: SECRETS OF THE VILLA ROSSO by LINN B HALTON 24 July – 4 August 2017


Vill Rosso med

Genre: Cosy mystery/romance
Release Date:21 July 2017
Publisher: Harper Impulse

The Secrets of Villa Rosso: Escape to Italy for a summer romance to remember

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate’s director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.



It isn’t just the sunshine and the electric blue sky, but the musical calls of the countryside that reach out to me. A chorus of low-level sounds play like a soft melody in the background. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and I feel like I’m watching a re-run of a favourite film. I could stand here for a long time simply taking in the detail and with each sweep of my eyes noticing something new.
Spinning around I look back at the villa, taking in the rustic beauty of the stonework and the pale orange-red hue of the sun-bleached roof tiles. This is, quite simply, unreal. It’s a little piece of heaven and, so far removed from my daily life that it’s hard to believe this is on the same planet. The sheer scale of the landscape literally steals your breath away. I’m a mere speck, small and insignificant in the grand scheme nature is presenting to me. But rather bizarrely, it doesn’t feel alien in anyway at all. The vastness isn’t overwhelming, but strangely comforting.
I walk back to a cluster of wooden tables surrounding a small fountain and take a seat. As I dive into my bag to extract some sunglasses, I hear a polite cough and look up at the face staring down at me.
‘Mrs Maddison? I’m Max, Max Johnson. Welcome to Villa Rosso.’
I stand, automatically plastering a pleasant smile on my surprised face as recognition kicks in. I know this man, I mean, I’ve met him before. At least I think I have, but there’s nothing similar reflected back at me, only a warm smile. The sort of smile that radiates out from mysteriously deep, hazel eyes. We shake hands. He’s younger than I expected, probably in his early forties and tall. Six foot something that’s for sure, because I feel he’s towering over me.
‘I’m sorry to disturb you. I just wanted you to know that I’m here at your disposal whenever you are ready to begin. Would you like me to fetch you a coffee so you can sit for a while and enjoy the view?’
Although I knew he was British, his tan and elegant demeanour lend an air of cosmopolitan sophistication. I would not have been at all surprised if he had been Italian. He’s hovering politely and I still haven’t answered him…


As someone who holidays regularly in Italy and loves everything about the country, I was looking forward to reading The Secrets of the Villa Rosso. I have to say Linn didn’t disappoint.  The description of Ellie’s visit to Castrovillari brought everything back – the sights, sounds and aromas.  It was all so vivid I could have been there.

The story was beautifully written.  First I was taken on soul mates Ellie and Josh’s journey – falling in love, getting married and having kids (I loved Hettie and Rosie and all their growing pains – two very typical teenagers). And then it shifted from life in the Maddison household as Ellie’s unexpected visit to Italy brings her face to face with Max Johnson and a feeling of déjà vu.  From that moment you are drawn into a world where Ellie is trying to be all things to two very different men. A difficult if not impossible situation. Her relationship with Max is cleverly and believably woven as concern for his situation draws her deeper into the mysterious disappearance of his fiancée Aletta.

I had no idea how this would all end but when it did it was not only a surprise, it left me reaching for the tissues.

A brilliant and well deserved five stars!



L B HaltonBristol-born Linn B Halton lives in the Forest of Dean, in the UK.
“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of strong coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, writing … and house renovation! Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache…”
An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Under the Stars and A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love also became best-sellers in 2016 & 2017. Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Harper Impulse, Choc Lit and Endeavour Press.

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9781909983625NOT THOMAS

Genre: Fiction
Release Date: 15th June 2017
Publisher: Honno Press

Tomos lives with his mother. He longs to return to another place, the place he thinks of as home, and the people who lived there, but he’s not allowed to see them again. He is five years old and at school, which he loves. Miss teaches him about all sorts of things, and she listens to him. Sometimes he’s hungry and Miss gives him her extra sandwiches. She gives him a warm coat from Lost Property, too. There are things Tomos cannot talk about – except to Cwtchy – and then, just before Easter, the things come to a head. There are bad men outside who want to come in, and Mammy has said not to answer the door. From behind the big chair, Tomos waits, trying to make himself small and quiet. He doesn’t think it’s Santa Claus this time.
When the men break in, Tomos’s world is turned on its head and nothing will be the same again.




The lady’s here. The lady with the big bag. She’s knocking on the front door. She’s knocking and knocking. And knocking and knocking. I’m not opening the door. I’m not letting her in. I’m behind the black chair. I’m very quiet. I’m very very quiet. I’m waiting for her to go away.
I’ve been waiting a long time.
‘Thomas, Thomas.’ She’s saying it through the letter box.
‘Thomas, Thomas.’
I’m not listening to her. I’m not listening at all. She’s been knocking on the door for a long long time. I’m peeping round the black chair. I’m peeping with one of my eyes. She’s
not by the front door now. She’s by the long window. I can see her shoes. They’re very dirty. If Dat saw those shoes he’d say, ‘There’s a job for my polishing brush’.
She’s stopped knocking. She’s stopped saying ‘Thomas’. She’s very quiet. The lady can’t see me. I’m behind the big black chair. And I’ve pulled my feet in tight.
‘Thomas?’ she says. ‘Thomas?’ I’m not answering. ‘I know you’re in there. Just come to the window, sweetheart. So I can see you properly.’
I’m staying still. I’m not going to the window. I’m waiting for her to go back to her car. It’s a green car. With a big dent in it. If I hide for a long time she’ll go. She’ll get back in her car and drive away. She’s knocking. And knocking again.
She’s saying ‘Thomas.’ And knocking and knocking again.
That is not my name.



P1040360Sara Gethin is the pen name of Wendy White. She grew up in Llanelli and studied theology and philosophy at Lampeter, the most bijoux of universities. Her working life has revolved around children – she’s been a childminder, an assistant in a children’s library and a primary school teacher. She also writes children’s books as Wendy White, and her first, ‘Welsh Cakes and Custard’, won the Tir nan-Og Award in 2014. Her own children are grown up now, and while home is still west Wales, she and her husband spend much of their free time across the water in Ireland. ‘Not Thomas’ is her first novel for adults.




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BROOK COTTAGE BOOKS PRESENTS: Promotion for The Bride’s Trail by A A Abbott




Perfect for fans of John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer and Ruth Rendell

Twenty grand has vanished from Shaun Halloran’s casino, and so has gorgeous blonde croupier Kat White. Once he’s tracked her down, he’ll shoot first and ask questions later.

Amy Satterthwaite’s just learned Kat stole her ID for a sham marriage. Desperate to clear her name and save her friend from Shaun, she swallows her pride and turns to arrogant Ross Pritchard for help. But can they find Kat in time?

Twists and tension keep the pages turning in A.A. Abbott’s stunning crime thriller. As Kat’s trail leads from London’s smart Fitzrovia to secret tunnels below central Birmingham, the stakes couldn’t be higher.




“What do you want?” she asked.
“Where’s Kat? I need to see her.”
“I don’t know.”
He took the knife from his pocket.
“No,” Amy said, “I really don’t know. If I did, I’d tell you. She’s been gone for three days and I can’t reach her. I’ve tried, believe me.” This was no time for heroics. Had she the slightest idea of Kat’s whereabouts, she would have divulged them, of that she was sure.
His eyes darted down to the knife. He flicked it open, stroked its blade, then looked up at her again. “I need answers, Amy,” he said, almost sorrowfully. “If someone had stolen twenty grand from you, you’d want some answers too.”
“Kat stole twenty thousand pounds?” A week ago she wouldn’t have believed it. Now, she couldn’t be sure. “That’s not all she’s done. She married an illegal immigrant, using my name. The police were round this morning.”
“Do they know where she is?”
Amy sighed. “No.”
“Good. I want to see her before the police do. I don’t suppose they’ve searched this flat for clues to her whereabouts?”
She was silent.
“No,” he said. “I thought not. You and me, Amy, we’re going to do that now, before any such clues might do a vanishing act like our mutual friend. Show me Kat’s room.”
“You’re in it.”
He looked around, shook his head. “Really? I thought this was the lounge. Okay, I want you to take everything out of those boxes.” He pointed to a stack of wooden wine crates, painted white, in which Kat’s belongings were stowed.
The top crate was crammed with shopping bags, over a dozen of them, bearing the names of designer boutiques: Prada, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu and more. Reluctantly, Amy picked up a bag.
“Open it,” the knifeman said.
It was from Agent Provocateur, a powder pink paper bag sealed with a black ribbon. Carefully, Amy untied the bow. Inside, there was a pink cardboard box.
“Now that,” he ordered.
“Must I?” Amy pleaded. “These are Kat’s personal things.”
“That’s the whole point.”
Silently, she opened the box, unfolded the black tissue paper inside and shook out a frilly silk underwear set. A receipt showed it had cost two hundred pounds.
He whistled, leering. “Very nice. Now the rest.”
Altogether, Kat had spent over four thousand pounds on unworn purchases. “A shopping addiction,” he said thoughtfully, reflecting Amy’s surprised reaction. “Carry on.”
The crates below mostly contained clothes, neatly folded, and shoes in bags. There were a few books, overspill from the shelves by the wall, and finally, a box file containing paperwork.
“Give me that,” the dangerous stranger commanded. He fished out a letter. “Dearest Kat,” he read aloud, “I hope you are well. I am fine, and so is Cedric the Cat, but he is very old now. I have a little job now at Treasures in Harborne. Same old, same old. Do write and tell me your news. With love, Auntie Lizzie.” He paused. “Isn’t that sweet?” he said sarcastically. “Let’s see if there’s more of the same.”
He rifled through the box, shaking his head. Evidently, nothing further was deemed worthy of comment. He asked her to empty the only other article of storage in the room, a large rosewood chest, but that merely yielded towels and bedding.
“Interesting, and predictable,” he muttered. “I’ll tell you what we haven’t found. No suitcase, money, passport, women’s things like cosmetics. No certificates for qualifications, birth, marriage even.” He looked pointedly at Amy. “She’s done a runner.”
Amy bit her tongue. He was unlikely to appreciate being told he was stating the obvious.
He pocketed the letter. “I’ll be back. And you’ll tell me where she is, okay?” He fingered the knife again. “Not a word to the Old Bill. I’ve never been here, not on your life.”
“What about the CCTV?” she couldn’t resist challenging him.
“What about it?” he said dismissively. “None in that car park. I cut the wires.” He stood to leave, putting a finger to his lips. “You’re a lucky, lucky girl, Amy, because I believe you. Thousands wouldn’t. Now don’t forget – not a dicky bird, okay?”
When he’d gone, Amy bolted the door and searched the kitchenette for alcohol. Finding a bottle of Snow Mountain vodka, less than a quarter full, she drank all that was left of it and went straight to bed.

Please note there is also a taster story, The Gap, at


aa abbottAA Abbott (also known as Helen) chose her pen name in a shameless attempt to slot into the first space on your bookshelf. Born near London, she’s lived in Birmingham and Bristol, and worked in all three cities. She works for big companies for half the year as a tax accountant, taking temporary work so she can spend the rest of the year writing fast-paced crime thrillers. Although her work gives her inspiration, she says none of her colleagues have murdered, blackmailed or defrauded anyone. Hanging out in coffee shops and cocktail bars, she loves city life and can’t resist writing about it.


Twitter: @AAAbbottStories
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Historical fiction
Series: A Dan Foster Mystery
Release Date:
16 May 2017
Publisher: S Books

In the winter of 1794 Bow Street Runner and amateur pugilist Dan Foster is assigned to guard a Royal Mail coach. The mission ends in tragedy when a young constable is shot dead by a highwayman calling himself Colonel Pepper. Dan is determined to bring Pepper to justice, but the trail runs cold.

Four months later Dan is sent to Staffordshire to recover a recently excavated hoard of Roman gold which has gone missing. Here he unexpectedly encounters Colonel Pepper again. The hunt is back on, and this time Dan will risk his life to bring down Pepper and his gang.

The Fatal Coin is a prequel to Bloodie Bones, the first Dan Foster Mystery, which was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016.



“Dan dragged himself to the injured man, leaned over him, tried to see how much blood there was. A lot.
‘Wilkinson, stay awake. Stay with me.’
Dan struggled to loosen the rope at his wrists until the skin was raw and bleeding. He and the naval lieutenant shuffled back-to-back and tried to unpick each other’s knots. Then they tried sawing the ropes on the rim of one of the mail coach’s wheels. At the end of an hour they had made little progress.
Release came when a carrier wagon full of seamen on their way back to their ships plodded along the road. But by then, Wilkinson was dead.”

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LucienneBoyce2 300dpiRGBLucienne Boyce is a historical novelist and women’s suffrage historian. Her first historical novel, To The Fair Land (SilverWood Books) an eighteenth-century thriller set in Bristol and the South Seas, was published in 2012. Her second novel, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery (SilverWood Books, 2015) is the first of the Dan Foster Mysteries and follows the fortunes of a Bow Street Runner who is also an amateur pugilist. Bloodie Bones was winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016, and was also a semi-finalist for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016.
In 2013, Lucienne published The Bristol Suffragettes (SilverWood Books), a history of the suffragette movement in Bristol and the west country. She regularly gives talks and leads walks about women’s suffrage.
Lucienne is on the steering committee of the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network, and is also a member of the Society of Authors and the Alliance of Independent Authors. She is a regular presenter on the Silver Sound show for BCfm Radio, a Bristol community radio station.
Lucienne is working on the third Dan Foster Mystery, and a biography of a married couple who were involved in the suffragette, socialist and pacifist movements. She was born in Wolverhampton and now lives in Bristol.
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Brook Cottage Book Tours presents: The Man in the Needlecord Jacket by Linda MacDonald 29th May – 9th June 2017



Genre: Adult contemporary fiction; Domestic Noir
Release Date: 28th May 2017
Publisher: Matador – An imprint of Troubador Publishing

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket follows the story of two women who are each struggling to let go of a long-term destructive partnership. Felicity is reluctant to detach from her estranged archaeologist husband and, after being banished from the family home, she sets out to test the stability of his relationship with his new love, Marianne.

When Felicity meets Coll, a charismatic artist, she has high hopes of being distracted from her failed marriage. What she doesn’t know is that he has a partner, Sarah, with whom he has planned a future. Sarah is deeply in love with Coll, but his controlling behaviour and associations with other women have always made her life difficult. When he becomes obsessed with Felicity, Sarah’s world collapses and a series of events is set in motion that will challenge the integrity of all the characters involved.

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket is a thought-provoking book, written from the perspectives of Sarah and Felicity. The reader is in the privileged position of knowing what’s going on for both of the women, while each of them is being kept in the dark about a very important issue.

Inspired by the work of Margaret Atwood and Fay Weldon, Linda explores the issue of mental abuse in partnerships and the grey area of an infidelity that is emotional, not physical. The book will appeal to readers interested in the psychology of relationships, as well as fans of Linda’s ‘Lydia’ series.




As soon as I began reading this I took an instant dislike to Coll. What a selfish pig of a man! The whole world revolves around him and his needs.  He has been in a ten year relationship with Sarah which has had its on-off moments as well as (she suspects) other women, whom she labels OWs.  Both in their fifties, all the things he has promised her – a new home and an enjoyable retirement together – have yet to materialise.  If this story had been written from the third person, I might have felt Sarah had brought a lot of this on herself.  She is too accommodating, too reluctant to challenge his behaviour for fear of losing him. By virtue of the fact he was an artist he seemed in her eyes to be allowed this temperamental and I have to say, awful behaviour. But written from the first person and learning of her tragic past, I could see how this had influenced her attitude to life and Coll.

Enter restaurateur Felicity. Tall, attractive, self-assured. She’s everything quiet librarian Sarah is not. She’d abandoned her marriage a year ago to live abroad with a much younger lover. Now it has all gone wrong she’s returned, planning to build fences with her husband Ted, sure he’ll take her back. The problem is in her absence someone else has come into his life; a woman Felicity’s children are coming to accept.

Coll is looking for an outlet to sell his paintings, and what better than the bare white walls of Felicity’s newly opened restaurant?  Felicity is very taken with this mature, handsome man and his teasing banter and agrees to his proposal. For a time it seems she’s keeping her options open with two men in the frame as Coll begins to show a healthy interest in her, spending time with her and asking her out to the theatre.  I didn’t immediately take to Felicity. I could see she wanted her husband back for all the wrong reasons. If she had really been set on a reconciliation Coll wouldn’t have even figured in her plans.  She seemed to want the best of both worlds, flattered by the attention Coll gives her. However, it’s when she learns of Sarah’s existence that we see the kind of woman she really is.

A great read. Written from Sarah and Felicity’s viewpoint I was able to get far deeper into each of the two women’s characters than if the story had been told from the third person.  Coll was a cleverly drawn character – so easy to dislike.  A man who breezed through life never happy with what he had, always wanting the next ‘out of reach’ thing.  His obsession with Felicity was his undoing and I had absolutely no sympathy for him. A great five star read.

five star rating



Colour cropLinda MacDonald is the author of three independently published novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind and The Alone Alternative. They are all contemporary adult fiction, multi-themed, but with a focus on relationship issues.

After studying psychology at Goldsmiths’, Linda trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. She taught these subjects for several years before moving to a sixth-form college to teach psychology. In 2012, she gave up teaching to focus fully on writing.
Linda was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria and now lives in Beckenham, Kent.

Twitter: @LindaMac1
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Second prize signed copy of The Man in the Needlecord Jacket + 3 recipe cards and bookmark (uk only) OR an ecopy of The Man in the Needlecord Jacket (International participants.)

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Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: 14/03/2017
Series – Willoughby Close #3 (can be read as a standalone)

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

Harriet Lang had the perfect life, so she’s left reeling when everything is taken from her in one fell swoop. Suddenly, Harriet learns her beautiful farmhouse in the Cotswolds is double-mortgaged, her husband Richard’s been unceremoniously fired—and he’s become a little too close to his young, sexy assistant.

Harriet moves into Willoughby Close with her three children, trying to hold her head up high. With the help of her neighbor and newfound friend Ellie Matthews, Harriet starts to rebuild her life–but dipping a toe in the dating pool feels strange and meanwhile her children are struggling in different ways. She wonders if starting over is really possible…

Then Willoughby Close begins to weave its healing magic on both her and her children, and Harriet begins to see a way forward. She even starts to date sexy local vet Tom Roberts–but when Richard reappears in her life, wanting to make amends, Harriet must make the painful decision about how much of the past can be forgiven—and what kind of future she is fighting for.


“Come on,” Harriet said now, as she climbed resolutely out of the car and gave them all as cheerful a smile as she could. “Let’s check it out.”
The movers had already come; Harriet had marked what furniture to take from their house to Willoughby Close, and it had been a depressingly small amount. The big, bespoke kitchen table wouldn’t fit, and the huge dresser with all the pottery she’d collected over the years wouldn’t either. In fact, at least two-thirds of their furniture was going into storage, which was expensive, but Harriet couldn’t bear to lose all of it along with the house. They’d need it when Richard got his job, and they bought something bigger.
She’d spent hours and hours, weeks and months, selecting all the furniture for the house, with the help of the expensive interior decorator who had more or less held her hand through the entire process. She’d bought tasteful antiques interspersed with fresh modern pieces, carpets and kilims from various holidays, watercolors and oil paintings of places that were meaningful to them. Sophie had once said, with admiration that bordered on envy, that Harriet’s house could be featured in Country Life.
And so it would again. This was a blip, damn it. Things were going to get better. Richard was going to find a job, he’d said so, and they’d get back their house or buy an even better house, and she’d live there without him, happy and defiant. Or something like that. She couldn’t picture specifics yet, but she couldn’t stand the thought of the rest of her life looking like… this.
The children trooped silently behind her as she fumbled with the keys and then opened the door to number two. The smell of fresh paint and emptiness hit her like a smack in the face. It was the smell of fresh starts, and she didn’t want one.
She stepped inside, reaching for the lights. Although it was only four in the afternoon it was already getting dark, the skies heavy and low with gray clouds. Spring felt a long way off, despite the fact that it was mid-February, and the spattering of snowdrops interspersed with an early crocus or two that she’d seen on the drive in.
“This is it?” Mallory’s voice rang through the empty space, scornful and incredulous. William kicked at the skirting board, scuffing the pristine white paint. Chloe stuck her thumb in her mouth.
“Yes, this is it,” Harriet said, trying to pitch her tone somewhere between firm and bright. “It’s lovely, isn’t it?”



Kate Hewitt is the author of over 65 novels of women’s fiction and romance. Whichever the genre, she loves telling a compelling and emotional story. An American ex-pat and former New Yorker, she now lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five children. You can learn more about her books and life at

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Five Must-See Places in the Cotswolds by Kate Hewitt

 The Willoughby Close series is set in the Cotswolds, and I sometimes worry it gets a bit of a bad rap in the books. Admittedly when I moved to the area I struggled with some of the wealth and snobbery I encountered, especially as I had moved from an area that was remote and economically deprived, and everything and everyone just seemed so… entitled.

However, I don’t want readers to think that the Cotswolds is all snooty mums decked out in Burberry, or overpriced coffees at organic farm shops, although there is a fair amount of both of those! So I thought I’d compile a list of some great places to visit in the Cotswolds.

1.)    Cotswold Water Park: This sounds like a pool with slides and inflatables but is actually a nature preserve with a lake and a lot of water sports. There is a lovely man-made beach and some great swimming, although it is sure to be crowded on a sunny Saturday!

2.)    Cotswold Wildlife Park: This is a small zoo with a great playground and a surprisingly good collection of exotic animals—lions, tigers, giraffes, and gorillas all feature. It’s a lovely day out, especially if you have under 12s.

3.)    Burford: This is a lovely village with a medieval bridge, a long high street with lots of quaint shops and cafés, and a beautiful church. It’s called ‘the Gateway to the Cotswolds’, although I gather there are several of these!

4.)    Blenheim Palace: This is the only non-royal, non-episcopal palace in the country, and it is quite magnificent, both for the house itself and its gardens. It’s also the birthplace of Winston Churchill, and there is a nice exhibit on Churchill, including the room where he was born.

5.)    Thirsty Meeples: This isn’t technically in the Cotswolds, as it is in Oxford, but my family has had a lot of fun there. It is a café with over two thousand board games and if you make a reservation, you can come and play any of them for up to three hours, with café staff who will help explain the rules. If you don’t have enough people to play a game, you can join tables. So much fun!

 The Cotswolds is a great place to visit, and even though I don’t live there anymore (I moved sixty miles away, to Wales, which feels very different!), it’s also a great place to live—as all the characters in the Willoughby Close books come to discover!

Happy Reading, Kate






Publication Date: 8th May 2017
Series: Eleanor Raven – Book 3
Genre: Crime / Thriller

The brand new thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the author of The Safe Word and The Vault.

Winter is settling on Toronto and a series of seemingly unconnected murders are weighing heavily on DI Eleanor Raven. When an army veteran holds his family hostage, leaving chaos and an unidentifiable skeletal human hand in his wake, Raven is left tangled in a web of leads, lies and secrets, with each thread leading her closer to the all too terrifying truth.

But with time running out, Raven needs to re-connect with her past life – the one she thought she’d finally escaped from – if she’s to find out who the killer is before they strike again . . .

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_DSC7264Karen Long was born and raised in the English midlands, educated at Bangor University and taught English and Drama for fifteen years. During her teaching years she studied biology and neurology with the Open University and this interest in medicine, forensics and forensic psychology is reflected in her writing. She is an enthusiastic traveller and has spent time in Toronto, which became the backdrop and inspiration for The Safe Word.
She is a keen amateur naturalist with a deep and abiding love for the crow family. She has dedicated time, love and several fingers in an effort to rehabilitate crows, magpies, rooks and ravens.
Karen is happy to correspond with readers and can be contacted through her website, where she posts regular blogs.
The Safe Word is Karen’s first novel and was an Amazon bestseller, later joined by the second in the Eleanor Raven series, The Vault.


All author or review enquires please contact Karen Long’s Personal Assistant J.B. Johnston –

Did you know that Eleanor Raven is also online?


Like the sound of this book? Have a book blog? Want to review THE COLD ROOM? Be part of the review tour 15th – 19th May!


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Brook Cottage Book Tours presents: Death of a Cuckoo by Wendy Percival. Blitz Day Wednesday 12 April, 2017

death of a cuckoo cover.jpe

Death of a Cuckoo by Wendy Percival

Release Date: 6th March 2017
Pages: 106
Genre: Cozy Mystery

An Esme Quentin Short Read

A letter. A photograph. A devastating truth.

When Gina Vincent receives a letter of condolence from a stranger following her mother’s death, a photograph slipped inside reveals a disturbing truth – everything she’s ever known is based on a lie. Shocked and disorientated, she engages genealogy detective Esme Quentin to help search for answers.

The trail leads to an isolated and abandoned property on the edge of Exmoor, once the home of a strict Victorian institution called The House of Mercy and its enigmatic founder, whose influence seems to linger still in the fabric of the derelict building.

As they dig deeper, Esme realises that the house itself hides a dark and chilling secret, one which must be exposed to unravel the mystery behind Gina’s past.

But someone is intent on keeping the secret hidden. Whatever it takes.


I ran down the steps and squeezed my way down the slim passage. In the recess was a narrow door but it didn’t match the faded, peeling paint of the remainder of the house’s decoration. It was brighter, as though it had been protected from the elements. As I stepped closer, I realised that’s exactly what had happened. Under my feet were pieces of broken planking. Until very recently, this doorway had been covered by a decorative panel and disguised. So who had uncovered it? It couldn’t have been there at the viewing.


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What would you do if you discovered your whole life had been a lie? Quite a scary thought, but that’s exactly what happens to Gina Vincent after her mother dies. She receives a letter of condolence and an accompanying photo. This has come from a woman who claims to have been a close friend who has lost touch over the years .  Comments in the letter lead Gina to check her birth certificate only to find her mother had a hysterectomy three years before she was born.  Enlisting the help of genealogist Esme Quentin, the pair set out to uncover the mystery surrounding  Gina’s birth and the identity of her real biological mother.

The plot is a clever one with plenty of twists and turns. The subject matter, discovering your biological mother is someone you have never known, is handled well. Gina is the main character in this story but Esme provides strong support alongside her. Although this was a bit of a departure from my usual book choice I grew to like Gina’s character and wanted to know how everything worked out.  An enjoyable and engrossing read. Highly recommended.



61Ct7XEv9ZL._UX250_Wendy Percival was born in the West Midlands and brought up in the Worcestershire countryside. After training as a primary school teacher she moved to North Devon in 1980 to take up her first teaching post and remained in teaching for 20 years.

An impulse buy of Writing Magazine inspired her to start writing seriously. She won Writing Magazine’s Summer Ghost Story competition in 2002 and had a short story published in The People’s Friend before focusing on full length fiction.

The time honoured ‘box of old documents in the attic’ stirred her interest in genealogy and became the inspiration for the Esme Quentin mystery novels Blood-Tied and The Indelible Stain. She is currently working on the third in the series, where the clandestine past of the Second World War provides the secret world into which Esme must delve to uncover the truth.

When she’s not writing fiction, Wendy conducts her own family history research, sharing her finds on her blog,

Wendy lives in a Devon thatched cottage beside a 13th century church with her husband and a particularly talkative cat

You can find more on her website




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Brook Cottage Book Tours presents: MURDER ON THE RUN by Lesley Cookman 3 – 7 April 2017



Genre: Cosy Crime/Women’s Contemporary Fiction/ Crime
Release Date: December 1st and January 31st
Publisher: Accent Press

The world of running is completely alien to Libby Sarjeant and her friend Fran Wolfe, but when Libby’s son Adam and Fran’s stepdaughter Sophie join the Nethergate Harriers, they have to take an interest. And when one of the runners goes missing in the middle of the Nethergate 5K, they take more than an interest! It’s not long before a body is found – and Libby and Fran are caught up in another investigation…

The seventeenth instalment in the hugely popular Libby Sarjeant murder mystery series.



Me at AlimosLesley Cookman is a former model, actor, DJ and air stewardess, among other things. She has been writing for money for nearly 40 years (no, I know she doesn’t look old enough), her particular areas of interest being Theatre, Old Time Music Hall and Pantomime. She lives on the Kent Coast and has four grown up Performing Children and two cats.






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