BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: MURDER BY THE BARREL BY LESLEY COOKMAN 16 – 20 OCTOBER 2017

So pleased to be part of Lesley Cookman’s book tour. Check out my interview with her below…

Murder By The Barrel cover

Series: Libby Sarjeant series number 18 (can be read as a standalone)
Genre: Cosy crime
Release Date: 5th October
Publisher: Accent Press

When the village of Steeple Martin announces its first beer festival, the locals are excited. Beer, sun and music, what could possibly go wrong?

But when an unexpected death shakes the village, it’s up to Libby Sarjeant and friends to solve the puzzle.

Was it just another rock star death or is there something more sinister afoot?

BUY LINKS
AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

 

 TOUR INTERVIEW WITH LESLEY COOKMAN

Good Morning Lesley and welcome. Can I start by asking you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a former journalist turned author (among other things) and I live on the Kent coast with my two cats and occasional returning children.

When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer and how did you begin that journey?

I always wrote, but had no idea I could ever earn money at it until the magazine Which Computer asked me to write an article on the very first desktop computer. I stayed a journalist for the next thirty years.

What in particular attracted you to murder mystery?

It’s been my favourite genre since I was 9 and allowed to rifle my parents’ bookshelves.

You have written a huge number of books. Has there been a favourite?

That’s difficult. I don’t think so. I always hate them by the time they get out into the world, but if I have to read them again a few years later, I quite like them!

Where did your inspiration for amateur detective Libby Sarjeant come from?

I have no idea! She popped into my head fully formed one day when I was driving past a tiny village in Kent to pick up a daughter from a friend’s house.

Dorinda Alexander is your newest investigator and this time you have taken readers back to the Edwardian era. What was the most difficult part about switching from contemporary to historical crime?

Oh – it wasn’t! I know the era and the world in which I set the books, and I used exactly the same area for those books as the modern ones. The only thing I had to contend with was the way the police investigated crime – not very well, sadly.

Are you able to tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?

The 19th in the Libby Sarjeant series with a cultural connection!

Who out of all the crime writers past and present do you most admire?

Ngaio Marsh, although I love most Golden Age crime writers, who did not labour under the genre labels we do today, but simply wrote books.

And lastly a fun question. You’re organising a dinner party and can invite four celebrity guests (either living or dead), who would you invite and why?

Only four? OK – Judi Dench, Victoria Wood, Julie Walters and Ronnie Barker. I wouldn’t have to say a word.

 

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ABOUT LESLEY COOKMAN

Me at AlimoLesley Cookman writes the Libby Sarjeant Mysteries and the Edwardian mystery series, The Alexandrians. She has a varied background as a model, an air stewardess (when it was posh), a nightclub DJ (in a silver sparkly catsuit), editor of a Music Hall magazine, The Call Boy, a magazine called The Poulty Farmer, and pantomime writer and director. She lives on the Kent coast and has four grown up children who are variously musicians and writers, two grandchildren and two cats, not necessarily in that order.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LesleyCookman

Blog: http://lesleycookman.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/news

Website: www.lesleycookman.co.uk

 

 

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: SECRETS WE KEEP by FAITH HOGAN 2 – 13 OCTOBER, 2017

SECRETS WE KEEP
BY FAITH HOGAN

 

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Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: February 2017
Publisher: Aria Fiction – Head of Zeus

Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept..
A bittersweet story of love, loss and life. Perfect for fans of Patricia Scanlan, Adele Parks and Rosamunde Pilcher.
The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.
For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?

MY REVIEW

What a wonderful read!   I absolutely loved this book.   When Kate arrives to stay with her mother’s sister Iris and husband Archie she unexpectedly falls in love with the Bath House, abandoned since the death of Archie’s brother Robert many years ago.  In fact the pull of the place is so great that she abandons her high flying legal job and relocates, determined, with the help of a local woman, Rita, to bring the place back to its former glory.  But her happiness is short lived when someone from long ago turns out to be the new owner of Ballytokeep castle, and has arrived planning his own refurbishments.  If you thought this was the story, then think again because woven through 1988 when all this takes place, is Iris’s story and it’s every bit as intriguing as Kate’s.

There are so many different characters in this book, each with their own tale to tell, but important in their own way to the central story.  Iris, now in her late seventies is watching husband Archie’s forgetfulness and fearing the onset of dementia. Kate, finding her true vocation with the Bath House and friendship and support from Rita and local farmer Colin Lyons. Rita too has her problems and is glad Kate is on hand to give her the benefit of some legal advice.  Then we are introduced to Todd, who did something totally unforgivable to Kate many years ago.  A forty something rock star with a young model in tow, it takes a heart attack for him to realise what is important in life and the need to make changes.

Woven within this main story are the past events in Iris’s life as Kate’s arrival and the sale of the Bath House bring everything to the surface. Naivety and bad choices followed by the tragic loss of a child cloud her earlier years. Then later her arrival in Ballytokeep, where she falls in love with the gentle reliable Archie only to find herself drawn to his brother; the unreliable but charismatic Robert.  All these events from the past have an impact on the future in this story of family secrets, love and betrayal.  I simply could not put this book down. If I was able to give more than five stars I would!

 

five star rating

 

EXTRACT

‘I’ve never seen anything like it,’ Kate said. It was her first thought as they turned down the cove and saw the bathhouse snuggled into the cliff face. It was a turreted, stocky grown-ups sandcastle. ‘It could have been emptied from a child’s bucket,’ was her first reaction. It had been painted, white with a light blue trim once, then the waves and the spray had all but washed that away. It still sat proudly, if shabbily, on a huge flat rock, that upturned in a lip over the sea. It was a plate, large enough for any giant.
‘Genesis Rock – it’s a metamorphic rock, probably over a thousand million years old,’ Rita said. ‘Sorry, did I mention I taught geography and home economics, once upon a time.’
‘No, but I probably should have guessed.’
‘I don’t remember the bathhouse even being open. I could imagine that I’d have spent all my days here if I had.’ Rita looked at the washed white walls that reached high into the cliff face.
‘Well, Archie said they ran it for a few years, but he didn’t say when it shut.’ This place probably held sadness for Archie, if his brother died here. Kate couldn’t feel it. Instead, it made her feel energized, as though the sea was spraying something like an invitation deep into her lungs. It made her heart pound with an expectation she hadn’t felt in years. Even the deserted castle keep that loomed up in grey stone at the tip of the headland seemed to carry a hopeful secret in its towers.
‘It must have been lovely once. Even now, you can see.’ Rita rested her hands on the thick window ledge, her nose pressed firmly to the cold glass of the windows. ‘It looks like they just closed up one evening and never came back.’
Kate walked to the back of the bathhouse; it dug into the cliff face, as though the construction of one depended on the other. Alongside the building, a small narrow road clung to the cliff for a couple of hundred yards before it feathered off onto what counted as a main road in these parts. Far below, the waves lapped serenely against the stone. It was low tide now; Kate wondered how close the water actually came to the rock. ‘I’d love to get a look inside.’ Rita followed her round to the front of the bathhouse. They peered through a sea sprayed window for a few minutes. Inside, Kate could see there were tables and chairs, a small stove and an old-fashioned counter where once someone had taken orders for afternoon tea. ‘It’s a little café, wouldn’t it be lovely if it was open for coffee?’ Kate mused, it was so much more than just a bathhouse.

BUY LINKS

Amazon.com:

Secrets We Keep – Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Secrets We Keep – Amazon.UK

Kobo:

Secrets We Keep – Kobo

Nook:

Secrets We Keep – Nook

GooglePlay

Secrets We Keep – Googleplay

iBooks

Secrets We Keep – iBooks

 

ABOUT FAITH HOGAN

newauthorpic2017Already an international best seller, Faith Hogan is an original voice in women’s fiction, she has been hailed as a Maeve Binchey for a new generation. Her stories are warm and rooted in a contemporary Irish landscape which has lost none of its wit or emotion thanks to its modern vibe.
Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.
She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.
‘Secrets We Keep,’ is her second novel published with Aria Fiction. Her first, My Husbands Wives has been a top ten best seller and is currently available in paperback. 

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

Twitter: @gerhogan

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15109450.Faith_Hogan

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

Website: https://faithhogan.com

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENT WATCH FOR ME BY MOONLIGHT by KIRSTY FERRY 9 – 13 OCTOBER, 2017

WATCH FOR ME BY MOONLIGHT
BY KIRSTY FERRY

 

9781781893876

Series: The Hartsford Mysteries series
Genre: Timeslip
Release Date: 6th October 2017
Publisher: Choc Lit

“It was the first full moon since that night. She waited and watched by moonlight, as she had promised …”
When her life in London falls apart, Elodie Bright returns to Suffolk and to Hartsford Hall, the home of her childhood friend Alexander Aldrich, now the Earl of Hartsford. There, she throws herself into helping Alex bring a new lease of life to the old house and its grounds.
After a freak storm damages the Hall chapel and destroys the tomb of Georgiana Kerridge, one of Alex’s eighteenth-century relatives, Elodie and Alex find a connection in the shocking discovery brought to light by the damaged tomb.
Through a series of strange flashbacks and uncanny incidents, they begin to piece together Georgiana’s secret past involving a highwayman, a sister’s betrayal and a forbidden love so strong that it echoes through the ages …

EXTRACT

Elodie had no idea how she made it to the church so quickly when she could barely see anything for the rain bucketing down in front of her eyes.
Pushing her way out of the gift shop, she ran, ploughing through mud and churned up grass, splashing through ankle deep puddles. Water was fountaining out of the drain covers like so many geysers, but Elodie didn’t look down, didn’t look to see where her feet were going. Her trainers would need to be binned and her clothes would probably never dry out again, but who cared? She just kept her sights on the church.
Against the shadows, she saw a tall figure running towards the place and knew instinctively who it was.
‘Alex!’ The wind tore the words out of her mouth and blew them somewhere towards Norfolk.
He reached the church moments before she did and stopped short at the door.
‘Alex!’
This time he heard her and spun around, rain dripping off his messy dark hair and into his midnight-blue eyes. ‘The roof, Elodie, it’s been hit. I was in the greenhouse. I saw it happening.’
‘I know!’ She drew up next to him, quite breathless. ‘I saw it too, from the gift shop.’ She hurried past him and put one hand on the ancient bronze door handle, but Alex’s hand came down on her wrist and held it in place.
‘Let me go first. I don’t know if it’s safe.’
Elodie relinquished the handle and hovered near him as he pulled the door open.
They both coughed as a cloud of dust and plaster came out, but thankfully there was no smell of burning.
‘Thank God,’ said Alex, clearly expecting the worst. ‘I’m still going in first though. You stay here until I call you.’
‘Okay. But come right back out if it’s looking bad!’
‘Don’t worry, I won’t hang around if it is.’ He disappeared into the building and Elodie peered anxiously in after him. After what seemed like an age, he called out to her. ‘It’s pretty grotty, but safe enough I think. The Lady Chapel got the worst of it. You can come in if you’re careful. But if it’s too much for your asthma, go straight back out.’
‘I will. But the poor Lady Chapel!’ Her heart pounding, she hurried into the church. As she stood there in the dark with the modern-day emergency lighting glowing in the rafters, and tiles smashed beneath her feet, and one of the beams hanging at a crazy angle from the ceiling to the floor, and one candle still miraculously lit and flickering wildly in an alcove near the altar, Elodie fought back the worst feeling of dread she’d ever experienced in her life.
‘Oh, my God!’
The Lady Chapel, which housed Georgiana’s tomb, was behind the fallen beam and rain was streaming down as if someone had aimed a garden hose through the roof. If anywhere in the place had suffered the worst from the lightning strike, it was, as Alex had said, that area. It had been built on to the church especially for Georgiana’s monument and never seemed to be quite fully part of the old building. The storm had obviously decided that the time had come to sever the connection completely – and it just felt all wrong, somehow. Damn.
‘I have to check Georgiana!’ Elodie scrambled over the rubble and crunched her way towards the Lady Chapel.
‘You’re not going over there on your own! God knows what it might be like. I’m coming with you.’ Alex tossed some bits of wood out of the way and followed her. With difficulty, they climbed over the beam and choked their way through the plaster cloud, the rain still hammering down and bouncing off the stone floor, but doing little to dampen the dust. Elodie felt the tell-tale tightening in her chest that warned of lungs that weren’t particularly happy in that sort of environment, but she had other things to think about and tried to ignore it.
She’d never forget what she saw after that – Georgiana’s beautiful marble tomb was split, right down the middle. It was as if the lightning strike had come straight through the roof and pierced the heart of the monument. It was all sort of broken in half and the place wasn’t filled with plaster dust: it was more like a mist of marble fragments. There were shards of the stuff scattered around and huge parts of the figure were shattered too. Even Georgiana’s lovely face was cracked from forehead to chin, yet she still looked so, so peaceful. And with the rain flowing over her cheeks, it seemed as if she was crying.
‘Oh, Georgiana!’ Elodie whispered and reached out, touching her hair.
There was an ominous creaking and groaning – then: ‘Look out!’ Alex grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her towards him as the whole tomb collapsed in on itself. The side fell off and Alex yanked Elodie out of the way. She lurched into him and automatically buried her head in his sopping wet chest. Then there was a horrible silence and all she could hear was the rain pounding on the wreckage of the tomb and Alex’s heart beating.
The silence was broken by Alex swearing.
‘Where is she?’ he asked. ‘Where the hell is she?’

MY REVIEW

Watch for Me by Moonlight  has all the ingredients to keep readers turning pages to find out what happens next.

On the one hand you have Elodie, who despite things going badly wrong on Prom Night, ten years ago, still finds she has feelings for Alex Aldridge, now Earl of Hartsford.  Putting her failed marriage and London behind her, she has returned home to work on his estate, which since his father’s death he has opened to the public to raise much needed funds for the old house.

Alex too regrets what happened that night and still finds he has feelings for Elodie but with no idea how to remedy the situation feels it best they remain friends.  Enter one storm which wrecks the church roof and badly damages the tomb of Lady Georgiana Kerridge.  The discovery that Georgiana’s body is missing from the tomb sets Elodie (who is highly receptive to things in the spirit world and has always had a strong bond with Georgiana) and Alex on a quest to find out through the objects left within it what exactly happened and where her body is buried.  Sensitive Elodie is soon having visions, where she takes on the persona of Georgiana and discovers she had a highwayman lover: tall, dark handsome Ben who bears a strong resemblance to Alex.

As Alex also begins to have timeslip moments they embark on a journey which reveals a surprising truth about the Kerridge family and what really happened to Georgiana. Their investigation, which sees them working closely together soon finds them facing up to the truth about how they really feel for each other.

If you love historical time slip romance with a sprinkling of mystery then I would highly recommend this.  Am now eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0758K49D4/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Watch-Me-Moonlight-Choc-Lit-ebook/dp/B0758K49D4/
Kobo: http://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/watch-for-me-by-moonlight-2
iBooks: http://www.itunes.apple.com/gb/book/watch-for-me-by-moonlight-choc-lit/id1271346379

ABOUT KIRSTY FERRY

KirstyKirsty is from the North East of England and won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 with the ghostly tale ‘Enchantment’.

Her timeslip novel, ‘Some Veil Did Fall’, a paranormal romance set in Whitby, was published by Choc Lit in Autumn 2014. This was followed by another Choc Lit timeslip, ‘The Girl in the Painting’ in February 2016 and ‘The Girl in the Photograph’ in March 2017. The experience of signing ‘Some Veil Did Fall’ in a quirky bookshop in the midst of Goth Weekend in Whitby, dressed as a recently undead person was one of the highlights of her writing career so far!
Kirsty’s day-job involves sharing a Georgian building with an eclectic collection of ghosts – which can sometimes prove rather interesting.
You can find out more about Kirsty and her work at http://www.rosethornpress.co.uk, catch her on her Facebook Author Page or follow her on Twitter @kirsty_ferry.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kirsty.ferry.author/
Twitter: @kirsty_ferry
Blog: http://www.rosethornramblings.wordpress.com
Website: http://www.rosethornpress.co.uk

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: LONELY HEARTS by GWYN GB 18 – 29 SEPTEMBER 2017

LONELY HEARTS
BY GWYN GB

 

Lonely Hearts cover

Series: DI Falle
Genre: crime thriller
Release Date: 15th July 2017
Publisher: Chalky Dog Publishing

Brings a whole new meaning to killing with kindness.

Meet Rachel. She loves animals and works at a dating agency bringing lonely people together – only somebody is watching her every move and she’s scared…
Neil didn’t see who killed him – but his murder brings DI Claire Falle on the case. What she uncovers leads her to discover that a serial killer is preying on the clients of the dating agency where Rachel works.
Can Claire work out the connection between all the deaths before Rachel becomes the next victim?
And what is it in Rachel’s past that haunts her?
As DI Claire Falle investigates the lives of the dating agency staff and clients, she is pulled into a tangled web of loneliness and deceit which will have devastating consequences for someone.

Buy link: viewBook.at/Lonelyhearts

ABOUT GWYN GB

GwynsmGwyn GB is a writer living in Jersey, Channel Islands. A native of the UK she moved to the island with her Jersey-born husband, geriatric dog, two boys and goldfish.

Gwyn is a former national and international newsreader for BBC TV and ITN in London and Jersey. She’s also freelanced for national newspapers and magazines in the UK, once had her own magazine publishing business and has a PR diploma. She is currently working in the digital industry while writing in her spare time.

Gwyn is also the author of ‘Islands’.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR GWYN

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gwyngbwriter
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gwyngb
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14435501.Gwyn_G_B_
Instagram: http://www.Instagram.com/gwyngb
Website: https://www.gwyngb.com

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: DEADLY INTENT by SHERYL BROWNE 11 – 22 SEPTEMBER 2017

DEADLY INTENT
BY SHERYL BROWNE

Deadly Intent

Series: A DI Matthew Adams Thriller – Book #3 (can be read as a standalone)
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: September 6 2017
Publisher: Death by Choc Lit
18+ (some violence and language)

What if you and your family were at the mercy of a psychopath/a man with no conscience?
Just when DI Matthew Adams thinks he’s left the past behind him, it comes back to haunt him once again; this time in the form of the Conner family.
Like Matthew, the Conners have lost a child in tragic circumstances – and they’ve also found themselves in the hands of one of the most depraved criminals to walk the streets: ‘Dead-eyed’ Charlie Roberts, a drug addicted low-life with a penchant for extreme violence.
Matthew’s greatest affinity lies with Daniel Conner, the brooding father who still blames himself for his youngest child’s death. But when Daniel’s wife and daughter are tortured and tormented by Roberts, can Matthew prevent him from completely ruining his own life for an act of revenge particularly when, once upon a time, that’s exactly what Matthew would have done too?

MY REVIEW

It was great to be back again with DI Matthew Adams. In the first two stories involving him, he was the focus and went through some dreadful experiences before justice was served.

This time he’s watching another psychopath, Charlie Roberts, a man who deals drugs and isn’t averse to putting people in hospital if they cross him.  Quite by accident Charlie learns where he can get his hands on a whole lot of money and it will be like taking candy from a baby.

The Conner family are in a bad place. A tragic accident has claimed their younger daughter and the family are falling apart. Their boatyard has been sold and Daniel, blaming himself for the accident, is planning to leave his family. Jo loves Daniel, but can’t cope with the way he has shut himself off since the accident, unable to show any sort of emotion.  Daughter Kayla already struggling with teenage issues, spends most of her time with her friend Hannah out clubbing.  It’s there that fate brings her into contact with Charlie – a man she’s had a crush on for ages.

Sheryl winds up the tension as Charlie Roberts abducts the Conner family and subjects them to his cruelty in order to get them to sign over the money from the sale of the boatyard.  But Daniel Conner is the ultimate hero.  A man with a painful past, determined to survive anything in order to protect his family.  As Charlie’s mental state deteriorates, it seems his partner Shawn is the only one capable of keeping the family from real harm.  DI Adams is on their trail and determined to bring them both to justice. The question is will he get there in time to prevent a tragedy?

A fast paced read, an outstanding hero and Sheryl’s most evil character to date.

EXTRACT

Daniel’s eyes flickered away from Charlie for a second. ‘Come on, baby, come out,’ he said to the daughter, who was standing hesitantly on the top step. ‘It’s safe now.’
‘Yeah, come on, baby,’ Charlie mimicked. ‘Come and join the party.’
Charlie stepped sideways, allowing the girl to exit, her eyes like a terrified Bambi’s and shaking as much as Danny boy, poor cow. Must be hereditary.
‘Give me a shout if you fancy another quick shag, sweetheart,’ Charlie called as she stepped onto the towpath.
A tic went at the side of Daniel’s mouth. He walked calmly over to Charlie and smiled, which had Charlie momentarily flummoxed, then pulled back the gun and rammed it hard into his stomach.

****

Matthew flinched as Charlie doubled up. ‘Ouch,’ he said under his breath. ‘Okay, Daniel,’ he said carefully. ‘I know how you must be feeling but you need to let him go now. He’ll get what’s—’
‘You have no fucking idea how I feel,’ Daniel shouted, glancing quickly at Jo. ‘The only way that bastard goes anywhere is feet first.’ He raked a hand angrily though his hair. ‘Got that, Charlie? Now, get down on your knees.’
Charlie looked up, astonished. ‘You must be joking. I ain’t—’
‘Do I look as if I’m joking?’ Daniel asked, his eyes burning with hatred.
‘For fuck’s sake,’ Charlie uttered, turning to Matthew, his hands nursing his stomach.
‘On your knees, Charlie,’ Daniel repeated. ‘Now!’
Matthew dearly wished he could turn a blind eye as Roberts blinked at him beseechingly, and scared witless, satisfyingly. Unfortunately, as much as he would relish seeing the abusive piece of scum get a taste of his own, he couldn’t.
‘You need to drop the gun, Daniel,’ he said, moving cautiously towards the boat. ‘Leave him to me and get your wife and child—’
‘Don’t,’ Daniel warned, his eyes and the gun still fixed on Roberts. ‘Back off.’
Matthew hesitated, uncertain. God knows, the man had every reason to … But was Conner actually going to shoot Roberts?
‘I can’t do that, Daniel.’ Matthew stepped closer. ‘You know I can’t.’
‘Stay!’ Daniel shouted, swinging the gun around, then fast back to Charlie. ‘And you,’ he grated, ‘down on your knees, while you still can.’ He aimed the gun lower, which had Charlie dropping to his knees, fast.
‘Get them out of here,’ Matthew shouted, indicating Jo and Kayla over his shoulder. Roberts had pushed Conner right over the edge. He bloody well was going to shoot him. Christ, hadn’t this family already been through enough?
‘Daniel …’ Warning himself to tread carefully, empathising with the man more than he could possibly know, Matthew tried again. ‘You can’t take the law into your own hands.’ He stopped and waited, wondering whether Daniel, who was now swaying on his feet, could even hear him. ‘You have to do this the legal way. Please, give me the gun, Daniel.’
‘Can’t.’ Daniel closed one eye.
Matthew took a breath and stepped closer. ‘Why can’t you, Daniel?’ he asked quietly.
‘Three, two, one,’ Daniel replied, nonsensically.
‘Right.’ Matthew was scared for him now. If he used that gun with police marksmen aiming right at him … ‘Which means what, exactly, Daniel?’
Daniel shrugged. ‘Bang.’ He concentrated his aim.
‘Fuck,’ said Charlie, turning a pale shade of white. ‘Don’t, Danny,’ he pleaded.
Daniel cocked the gun.
‘Look, I didn’t touch your daughter—’
‘Shut the fuck up!’ Daniel yelled.
‘I didn’t. I swear I didn’t.’ Perspiration broke out on Charlie’s forehead. ‘Danny, please. I’m sorry. Okay? I—’
‘The name’s Daniel, not Danny. Not fucking Danny boy. Daniel! Got it?’
‘Yeah,’ Charlie nodded quickly. ‘Daniel. Whatever. Just put the gun down.’
Daniel continued to stare at him.
‘Shit. This is nuts.’ Charlie looked desperately to Matthew. ‘Do something! Don’t let them go!’ He nodded past him, to where the man’s wife and daughter weren’t being persuaded to leave. ‘He won’t do anything in front of them.’
That’s probably the first, and might well be the last, time you’ve said anything sensible in your entire life, you piece of shit. Matthew looked him over derisively. Conner cared about his family. They’d endured too much to go through any more. He must know it.
Matthew drew in a breath and then took a gamble. ‘Okay, Daniel. Fine. Do it,’ he said.
Charlie gawked.
‘Go ahead. Blow his brains all over the boat if it will make you feel better.’ Matthew paused for an instant. ‘And leave your wife wondering why you did it in front of your daughter. Whether to visit you in prison, when you didn’t care enough about her, or Kayla, not to.’
Daniel tightened his grip on the gun.
His hands were shaking, Matthew noticed. Shaking badly.
‘I have kids of my own, Daniel,’ he said softly, taking another careful step towards him.
Daniel’s shoulders stiffened.
‘I know you lost your little girl, Daniel.’ Seeing Daniel reel on his feet, Matthew pushed on and prayed. He needed to get through to him. Had to.
‘You think I can’t know how you feel, but … I lost my little girl too, Daniel,’ he confided, though it almost choked him to say it. ‘I do know at least some of how you feel.’
Still Daniel didn’t move, but Matthew saw a swallow slide down his throat.
‘That bastard has piled pain on top of pain, hasn’t he?’ Matthew kept going, touching raw nerves, he was well aware of that, but what other choice did he have? ‘Persecuted Kayla and Joanne? Taunted them. Touched them, Daniel?’
Daniel’s jaw tightened.
‘Dared you to do anything about it, so he could revel in his pathetic power and beat you senseless? I know him,’ Matthew said forcefully. ‘He’ll get what’s coming to him. But you have to stop this. Now, Daniel. For the sake of your wife and daughter. Show them you care enough not to put them through this.’
‘Jesus!’ Daniel leaned to wipe his perspiring face against his shoulder. ‘Of course I care!’ he raged frustrated, and obviously confused. ‘But he’ll get out, won’t he?’
A sharp cough rattled his chest.
‘Jo and my kids are my life. Jo and Kayla … Were my … I …’ Trailing off, Daniel closed his eyes.
And lowered the gun.
‘Hah.’ Charlie levered himself to his feet. ‘No bottle. Knew it. I’ll catch up with you when I’m out, Danny boy.’ He smirked, as Matthew climbed on board. ‘Keep that pretty wife of yours warm for me, won’t you?’
Daniel brought the gun back up sharp. ‘Say your fucking prayers, freak,’ he hissed.

BUY LINKS
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2gp2D02
Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2vrF91d
Choc Lit – http://bit.ly/2wS2zwW

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ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

Sheryl Browne03 small fileHeartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

 

 

 

Author Links
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Amazon US | Pinterest
Loveahappyending Lifestyle
Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: SHADOWS by THORNE MOORE BOOK PROMOTION 13TH SEPTEMBER 2017

SHADOWS
BY THORNE MOORE

Shadows cover

Genre: domestic noir. Psychological Crime. Women’s lit. Paranormal.
Release Date: 14 June 2017
Publisher: Endeavour Press

Kate Lawrence can sense the shadow of violent death, past and present. In her struggle to cope with her unwelcome gift, she has frozen people out of her life. Her marriage is on the rocks, her career is in chaos and she urgently needs to get a grip.
So she decides to start again, by joining her effervescent cousin Sylvia and partner Michael in their mission to restore and revitalise Llys y Garn, an old mansion in the wilds of North Pembrokeshire.
It is certainly a new start, as she takes on Sylvia’s grandiose schemes, but it brings Kate to a place that is thick with the shadows of past deaths. The house and grounds are full of mysteries that only she can sense, but she is determined to face them down – so determined that she fails to notice that ancient energies are not the only shadows threatening the seemingly idyllic world of Llys y Garn.
The happy equilibrium is disrupted by the arrival of Sylvia’s sadistic and manipulative son, Christian – but just how dangerous is he?
Then, once more, Kate senses that a violent death has occurred…
Set in the majestic and magical Welsh countryside, Shadows is a haunting exploration of the dark side of people and landscape.

 

EXTRACT

‘Is it haunted, Kate?’ Sylvia clapped her hands, like a child wanting ice-cream. ‘Oh please, please say there’s a ghost down here.’
‘There’s a ghost down here.’
‘No seriously, please tell me. You’d sense one, I know.’
What the hell. I closed my eyes solemnly. ‘I detect – a definite shiver of fear.’
‘Is that all? I was hoping for a white lady. If only we had battlements. I’m sure we’d have had a white lady, walking in the moonlight.’
‘Perhaps we can persuade one to move in.’
‘Yes!’ Sylvia gripped my arm. ‘A ghost hotel! We could get a licence to serve spirits!’
We were still laughing as we climbed back to the buttery. To finish, she led me on into the second small room, under the upper chamber.
As before, a low square room. One tiny window, two doors, stained walls, stone floor, just another empty room. ‘Not sure what to call this one,’ babbled my cousin. ‘Think of a good name. The armoury! I wonder if we could get a suit of armour.’ She was already opening the far door, into a panelled arch through deep masonry back into the Great Hall.
Just a doorway to Sylvia.
But not to me. Oh God, not to me.
‘Come on,’ she sang. ‘Where next?’
I watched her pass through, amazed that she could sense nothing. Rigid in my determination to conquer, I followed her, trying to block out the shadow, to refuse it entry into my brain.
I couldn’t. It overwhelmed my defences, enveloping me in a black cloud. Huge atavistic fear, searing thirst, gut-wrenching despair. I could feel the interweaving strands of emotion like filaments of rot, tightening around me, meshing in my lungs, my veins, my bones. How could Sylvia possibly not feel this?

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

ABOUT THORNE MOORE

ThorneMooreThorne was born in Luton and graduated from Aberystwyth University (history) and from the Open University (Law). She set up a restaurant with her sister but now spends her time writing and making miniature furniture for collectors. She lives in Pembrokeshire, which forms a background for much of her writing, as does Luton. She writes psychological mysteries, or “domestic noir,” and her first novel, A Time For Silence, was published by Honno in 2012. Her second Motherlove, was published in 2015 and her third, The Unravelling, came out in 2016. A collection of short stories, Moments of Consequence, came out the same year. She’s a member of the Crime Writers Association.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thornemoorenovelist
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThorneMoore
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562052.Thorne_Moore
Blog: http://thornemoore.blogspot.co.uk
Website: http://www.thornemoore.co.uk

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: DEADLY INTENT by SHERYL BROWNE – COVER REVEAL 6TH SEPTEMBER, 2017

DEADLY INTENT BY SHERYL BROWNE
COVER REVEAL TOUR

Deadly Intent

Series: A DI Matthew Adams Thriller – Book #3 (can be read as a standalone)
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: September 6 2017
Publisher: Death by Choc Lit
18+ (some violence and language)

What if you and your family were at the mercy of a psychopath/a man with no conscience?
Just when DI Matthew Adams thinks he’s left the past behind him, it comes back to haunt him once again; this time in the form of the Conner family.
Like Matthew, the Conners have lost a child in tragic circumstances – and they’ve also found themselves in the hands of one of the most depraved criminals to walk the streets: ‘Dead-eyed’ Charlie Roberts, a drug addicted low-life with a penchant for extreme violence.
Matthew’s greatest affinity lies with Daniel Conner, the brooding father who still blames himself for his youngest child’s death. But when Daniel’s wife and daughter are tortured and tormented by Roberts, can Matthew prevent him from completely ruining his own life for an act of revenge particularly when, once upon a time, that’s exactly what Matthew would have done too?

EXTRACT

Daniel’s eyes flickered away from Charlie for a second. ‘Come on, baby, come out,’ he said to the daughter, who was standing hesitantly on the top step. ‘It’s safe now.’
‘Yeah, come on, baby,’ Charlie mimicked. ‘Come and join the party.’
Charlie stepped sideways, allowing the girl to exit, her eyes like a terrified Bambi’s and shaking as much as Danny boy, poor cow. Must be hereditary.
‘Give me a shout if you fancy another quick shag, sweetheart,’ Charlie called as she stepped onto the towpath.
A tic went at the side of Daniel’s mouth. He walked calmly over to Charlie and smiled, which had Charlie momentarily flummoxed, then pulled back the gun and rammed it hard into his stomach.
****
Matthew flinched as Charlie doubled up. ‘Ouch,’ he said under his breath. ‘Okay, Daniel,’ he said carefully. ‘I know how you must be feeling but you need to let him go now. He’ll get what’s—’
‘You have no fucking idea how I feel,’ Daniel shouted, glancing quickly at Jo. ‘The only way that bastard goes anywhere is feet first.’ He raked a hand angrily though his hair. ‘Got that, Charlie? Now, get down on your knees.’
Charlie looked up, astonished. ‘You must be joking. I ain’t—’
‘Do I look as if I’m joking?’ Daniel asked, his eyes burning with hatred.
‘For fuck’s sake,’ Charlie uttered, turning to Matthew, his hands nursing his stomach.
‘On your knees, Charlie,’ Daniel repeated. ‘Now!’
Matthew dearly wished he could turn a blind eye as Roberts blinked at him beseechingly, and scared witless, satisfyingly. Unfortunately, as much as he would relish seeing the abusive piece of scum get a taste of his own, he couldn’t.
‘You need to drop the gun, Daniel,’ he said, moving cautiously towards the boat. ‘Leave him to me and get your wife and child—’
‘Don’t,’ Daniel warned, his eyes and the gun still fixed on Roberts. ‘Back off.’
Matthew hesitated, uncertain. God knows, the man had every reason to … But was Conner actually going to shoot Roberts?
‘I can’t do that, Daniel.’ Matthew stepped closer. ‘You know I can’t.’
‘Stay!’ Daniel shouted, swinging the gun around, then fast back to Charlie. ‘And you,’ he grated, ‘down on your knees, while you still can.’ He aimed the gun lower, which had Charlie dropping to his knees, fast.
‘Get them out of here,’ Matthew shouted, indicating Jo and Kayla over his shoulder. Roberts had pushed Conner right over the edge. He bloody well was going to shoot him. Christ, hadn’t this family already been through enough?
‘Daniel …’ Warning himself to tread carefully, empathising with the man more than he could possibly know, Matthew tried again. ‘You can’t take the law into your own hands.’ He stopped and waited, wondering whether Daniel, who was now swaying on his feet, could even hear him. ‘You have to do this the legal way. Please, give me the gun, Daniel.’
‘Can’t.’ Daniel closed one eye.
Matthew took a breath and stepped closer. ‘Why can’t you, Daniel?’ he asked quietly.
‘Three, two, one,’ Daniel replied, nonsensically.
‘Right.’ Matthew was scared for him now. If he used that gun with police marksmen aiming right at him … ‘Which means what, exactly, Daniel?’
Daniel shrugged. ‘Bang.’ He concentrated his aim.
‘Fuck,’ said Charlie, turning a pale shade of white. ‘Don’t, Danny,’ he pleaded.
Daniel cocked the gun.
‘Look, I didn’t touch your daughter—’
‘Shut the fuck up!’ Daniel yelled.
‘I didn’t. I swear I didn’t.’ Perspiration broke out on Charlie’s forehead. ‘Danny, please. I’m sorry. Okay? I—’
‘The name’s Daniel, not Danny. Not fucking Danny boy. Daniel! Got it?’
‘Yeah,’ Charlie nodded quickly. ‘Daniel. Whatever. Just put the gun down.’
Daniel continued to stare at him.
‘Shit. This is nuts.’ Charlie looked desperately to Matthew. ‘Do something! Don’t let them go!’ He nodded past him, to where the man’s wife and daughter weren’t being persuaded to leave. ‘He won’t do anything in front of them.’
That’s probably the first, and might well be the last, time you’ve said anything sensible in your entire life, you piece of shit. Matthew looked him over derisively. Conner cared about his family. They’d endured too much to go through any more. He must know it.
Matthew drew in a breath and then took a gamble. ‘Okay, Daniel. Fine. Do it,’ he said.
Charlie gawked.
‘Go ahead. Blow his brains all over the boat if it will make you feel better.’ Matthew paused for an instant. ‘And leave your wife wondering why you did it in front of your daughter. Whether to visit you in prison, when you didn’t care enough about her, or Kayla, not to.’
Daniel tightened his grip on the gun.
His hands were shaking, Matthew noticed. Shaking badly.
‘I have kids of my own, Daniel,’ he said softly, taking another careful step towards him.
Daniel’s shoulders stiffened.
‘I know you lost your little girl, Daniel.’ Seeing Daniel reel on his feet, Matthew pushed on and prayed. He needed to get through to him. Had to.
‘You think I can’t know how you feel, but … I lost my little girl too, Daniel,’ he confided, though it almost choked him to say it. ‘I do know at least some of how you feel.’
Still Daniel didn’t move, but Matthew saw a swallow slide down his throat.
‘That bastard has piled pain on top of pain, hasn’t he?’ Matthew kept going, touching raw nerves, he was well aware of that, but what other choice did he have? ‘Persecuted Kayla and Joanne? Taunted them. Touched them, Daniel?’
Daniel’s jaw tightened.
‘Dared you to do anything about it, so he could revel in his pathetic power and beat you senseless? I know him,’ Matthew said forcefully. ‘He’ll get what’s coming to him. But you have to stop this. Now, Daniel. For the sake of your wife and daughter. Show them you care enough not to put them through this.’
‘Jesus!’ Daniel leaned to wipe his perspiring face against his shoulder. ‘Of course I care!’ he raged frustrated, and obviously confused. ‘But he’ll get out, won’t he?’
A sharp cough rattled his chest.
‘Jo and my kids are my life. Jo and Kayla … Were my … I …’ Trailing off, Daniel closed his eyes.
And lowered the gun.
‘Hah.’ Charlie levered himself to his feet. ‘No bottle. Knew it. I’ll catch up with you when I’m out, Danny boy.’ He smirked, as Matthew climbed on board. ‘Keep that pretty wife of yours warm for me, won’t you?’
Daniel brought the gun back up sharp. ‘Say your fucking prayers, freak,’ he hissed.
BUY LINKS
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2gp2D02
Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2vrF91d
Choc Lit – http://bit.ly/2wS2zwW

 

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STOP PRESS! Want to review this book for the review tour 11th – 22nd Sept? Email brookbooks@hotmail.co.uk

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ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

Sheryl Browne03 small fileHeartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

 

 

 

Author Links
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Amazon US | Pinterest
Loveahappyending Lifestyle
Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association

 

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENT: NEVER ON A SATURDAY by SUE BARNARD 4 – 8 SEPTEMBER, 2017

NEVER ON SATURDAY
BY SUE BARNARD
never on saturday cover

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 9 February 2017
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Two stories, two heartbreaks: one past, one present…

Leaving her native France and arriving in North Wales as a postgraduate student of History and Folklore, Mel is cautiously optimistic that she can escape from her troubled past and begin a new and happier life.

She settles into her student accommodation and begins work on her thesis, concentrating particularly on one fascinating manuscript: a compelling and tragic tale of a cursed medieval princess.

Then she meets Ray – charming, down-to-earth and devastatingly handsome. Within days, Mel’s entire world has transformed from lonely and frustrated to loving and fulfilled. Despite her failure with previous relationships, she allows herself to hope that this time, at last, she can make it work.

But Mel’s dreams of happiness are under constant threat. She is hiding a dark and terrible secret, which Ray – or indeed anybody else – must never ever discover…

EXTRACT

From Chapter 3
[SUNDAY]
“Here you are!” Ray had appeared at her side, clutching two large white bread rolls, each wrapped round with a paper serviette. “Hang on to these for a moment, would you? I need to go back for the coffees.”
Mel laid aside the binoculars before lifting up the top of one of the bread rolls and peering cautiously inside. The bread itself was feather-light, and the filling consisted of two steaming slices of dark-pink meat, each edged with a strip of crisp golden-brown fat. Her mouth watered at the bewitching aroma, but she forced herself to wait until Ray had rejoined her and placed two paper cups on the table in front of them.
“So, this is a bacon bap?” she asked, as she handed one back to him.
“It is indeed!” He pulled the paper serviette aside and took a large bite from the roll, chewed for a moment, then closed his eyes as if in rapture. On opening them again, he noticed that her roll still remained untouched.
“Come on,” he urged, “don’t let it go cold!”
Mel picked up her roll and took a cautious nibble. The flavour was quite unlike anything she had ever experienced; smoky, savoury, salty and sweet, all at the same time.
“Mmm, this is divine!” she murmured. “I can’t believe I’ve lived for so long without tasting this.”
Ray grinned. “And you come from France – the spiritual home of good food?”
Mel nodded as she prepared to take another bite. “I’d always thought it was. But I suppose this must prove that there’s still room to learn more!”
They finished their rolls in companionable silence. As they sipped their coffee, Mel took up the binoculars and focussed on the tops of the pine trees.
“What are you looking at?” Ray asked.
“Those birds up there. What are they?”
Ray picked up his own binoculars and followed her gaze. “Oh, they’re crossbills. They feed on the seeds from the pine-cones. Can you see the shape of their beaks?”
“Cross-bills? Oh, yes, I see now. In France, we call them becs-croisés. I didn’t realise you had them round here. That’s probably why I didn’t recognise them.” She sighed.
“What’s the matter?”
Mel forced a smile. “The last time I saw any of them was in the pine forests in the Vendée. They reminded me a little of home.”
Feeling a tear pricking the corner of her eye, she quickly turned her head away and focussed even more intently on the birds. Why did such a seemingly trivial thing as the sight of a flock of crossbills make her so upset? But she would not cry – not here, not anywhere. She would enjoy the day. Whatever else might be troubling her, she would enjoy the day.
In fact, she had another six days before she needed to trouble herself about anything at all.
Yes, she told herself firmly. She would enjoy the day.

BUY LINKS

Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Never-Saturday-Sue-Barnard/dp/1542479541/
Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Never-Saturday-Sue-Barnard-ebook/dp/B01N4DOV64/

ABOUT SUE BARNARD

Sue Barnard AuthorSue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet whose family background is far stranger than any work of fiction. She would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.
Sue was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. She speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.
Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird”. The label has stuck.
Sue joined the editorial team of Crooked Cat Books in 2013. Her first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet) was officially released on St Valentine’s Day 2014. Since then she has produced three more novels: Nice Girls Don’t (2014), The Unkindest Cut of All (2015) and Never on Saturday (2017) – all published by Crooked Cat.
Sue lives in Cheshire with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.
Personal: https://www.facebook.com/sue.barnard.7
Author page: https://www.facebook.com/suebarnardauthor
Twitter: @SusanB2011
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1171386.Sue_Barnard
Google+ http://google.com/+SueBarnard
Blog: http://broad-thoughts-from-a-home.blogspot.co.uk

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A signed copy of the paperback of Never on Saturday, plus ten runner-up prizes of a signed Never on Saturday postcard. (Open Internationally)

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENT: TOO DAMN NICE by KATHRYN FREEMAN 4 – 15 SEPTEMBER, 2017

.TOO DAMN NICE
BY KATHRYN FREEMAN

 

TDN_FRONT_RGB150dpi

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 1st August 2017
Publisher: Choc Lit

Nice guys don’t kiss like that …

Do nice guys stand a chance?

Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move. But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles.

Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and-coming Hollywood bad boy by her side.

But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?

BUY LINKS
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2vDQkzQ
Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2vE5zsK
Choc Lit – http://bit.ly/2xLXJhp

MY REVIEW

Nick Templeton has been waiting for the right moment to ask Lizzie Donavue for a date. Standing on the edge of the dance floor at her 18th birthday party he feels he might be doubly lucky tonight – a dance and a date. Until her father announces she has secured a modelling contract and is off to New York.
For Nick, when it comes to Lizzie he seems to have one role in life: a friend and support in times of trouble. He’s there to comfort her when the unthinkable happens and she loses her family in a tragic accident which sees her brother Robert (Nick’s best friend) hospitalised. And now she’s in trouble again with unsavoury photos of her circulating in the press. Without hesitation, Nick flies to LA to bring her back to the UK to stay with him.
Poor Nick, although he has a current girlfriend (Sally) he’s never been able to get rid of the long term crush he’s had on Lizzie. So how will he cope now that she’s staying with him in his barn conversion?
I’m a great fan of Kathryn’s and have enjoyed everything I’ve read of hers so far. This is no exception. The story is told from both Nick and Lizzie’s point of view and it’s great to see how things develop between them. Nick is such a lovely guy and although not the usual Choc Lit hero he more than deserves the accolade. I absolutely loved him!
A very worthy five star read!
five star rating

 

ABOUT KATHRYN FREEMAN

5707-2-2A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7373990.Kathryn_Freeman
Website: http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: SHAPE ON THE AIR by Julia Ibbotson 14 – 25 AUGUST, 2017

A SHAPE ON THE AIR
BY JULIA IBBOTSON

 

this one

 

Genre: historical time slip romance
Release Date: 28th July 2017
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Buy link: AMAZON

Two women 1500 years apart. One need: to save the world they know. Can they help each other to achieve their greatest desire? And what if that world they want is not the one that’s best for them? University lecturer in medieval studies, Dr Viv Dulac, is devastated when her partner walks out (and with her best friend too!) and threatens her home. Drunk and desperate, her world quite literally turns upside down and she finds herself in the body of the fifth century Lady Vivianne, who is struggling with the shifting values of the Dark Ages and her forced betrothal to the brutish Sir Pelleas who is implicated in the death of her parents. Haunted by both Lady Vivianne and by Viv’s own parents’ death and legacy, can Viv unravel the web of mystery that surrounds and connects their two lives, and bring peace to them both? A haunting story of lives intertwining across the ages, of the triumph of the human spirit and of dreams lost and found.

EXTRACT

God, why did it all have to happen now, when she needed to be on top form. Oh, why did it have to happen at all. Everything in her life was crumbling away. Pete, what have you done to us …
Again, a movement behind her, a parting of the rushes. The sense of a dark figure at her back. She swung round. Nothing. Then she turned back to the mere. A shadow on the water. She stared at the ripples but the image diffused and disappeared. Hardly daring to look she glanced round again. Nobody. She was alone.
Viv shuddered, her eyes fixed on the water in front of her. She must get out of here, get safely home, but somehow she couldn’t move. She was transfixed and held against her will, as if her body was bound with invisible ropes. The mere and the world around her juddered, swept away and then returned, misty and echoing in her head.
She felt herself cry out. But it was a cry, not for help, but of despair.
Then a hand planted firmly on her back, pushing her. She staggered but felt the inexorable push towards the dark murky water. As she fell, she had the odd sensation of someone breathing on her neck, falling with her. Her hand reached out to save herself, to grasp anything that might halt her tumble. She scrabbled wildly at the undergrowth but felt the branches break as she tried to clutch hold of them.
The cold water rose to meet her and there was no longer firm ground beneath her. She flailed about but it was hopeless; the cold stole her breath and her strength. Something was pulling her downwards, sucking her into the murky depths of the mere.
My little Lady Vivianne.
She was sinking, as if there was someone below her who was grasping her ankles and pulling her down. The water covered her head and, even at the last, when she managed to struggle her head above the surface she saw that she was much further away from the bank than she had imagined. She could no longer fight, and with that realisation, the water covered her head for the last time.

* * *

A deep male voice came faintly from far away and slowly entered her consciousness.
“Lady Vivianne!”
Viv felt a strong arm grip her waist and then she was floating, being drawn gently through the water. She gasped for breath as she rose, and her mouth filled with balmy air, sweet and fragrant. Oddly, it was light, and the sun was just starting to sink into dusk.
“What …? In heaven’s name …?” Viv spluttered, as the man lifted her up and over his broad shoulder and, splashing through the shallows, carried her to the bank. The world swirled around her and she found it hard to focus. She tried to draw in her breath but her chest felt too tight. She was trapped against him. Her body felt strange, her dripping sleeves seemed wider than they should be, her jeans somehow flapping against her legs. She was soaked through but yet the mere seemed to be calling her back again. She tried to twist round to it but the man only held her tighter. She grabbed hard at his shoulder and a piece of wet cloth tore away in her hand. It felt strange, not a fabric she was familiar with, thick and closely woven, but not rough.
He lowered her to her feet and grinned down at her. His eyes were dark like smoke, skin olive and exotic, and he ruffled his long dark curly hair to flick away the water that soaked it. She stared at his large wide mouth and the dark shadow that swept his chin and upper lip. His smile was intimate as if they shared a secret. For a moment, Viv felt her brain somersault. Her mind was drifting in and out of consciousness.
She was aware of movement around her and she tore her eyes away from him. There were people, men, their figures moving out of focus behind him, their voices echoing as if from far away. There were trees that she didn’t remember being around the mere. It seemed wilder than it should have been. Yet everything within a few feet of her was exceptionally bright and clear, the light picking out all detail: the veins on the leaves, the knobbles and crevices of the tree bark starkly sharpened in high relief. Beyond that, all she saw was misty and swirling.
As she clenched her hands into fists she realised that she still held the torn fragment of cloth, and made to thrust it into the pocket of her jeans. The pocket was no longer there. She looked down and saw that she wore a long skirt, the dark wet fabric clinging to her legs. Good god, what was happening?
Viv looked back at the tall figure before her. He was dressed in some kind of loose cream tunic, dripping with lake water, with a brown leather belt that was finely tooled in gold, and as she stared he pulled on his boots that he had left at the water’s edge.
She looked wildly around her. The other men were dressed likewise in tunics, though not so fine. There were horses higher up on the bank-top; she could hear their loud snorting and feel the juddering of the earth as they stamped their hooves. What was this? What was going on? Her brain didn’t seem to be working properly; she felt confused, dull-witted. The sun was sinking behind the trees, leaving a trail of bloody streaks, red and orange, in the sky. Yet she had stumbled into the lake in the dark. She remembered staggering, a hand on her back, clutching for the branches to halt her fall into the water, floundering, or being pushed? Her clothes … her peculiar-feeling body … these people.
Her hand found a pouch hanging from her waist within the folds of her soaking skirt and she thrust the fabric into it, hiding it, though she had no idea why she needed to.
“Sir Roland,” murmured one of the men, holding out to the dark-eyed man a large heavily embroidered crimson cloak which her rescuer swept around his shoulders and pinned with a huge gold brooch, covering the torn seam. As he did so, he glanced at Viv and smiled intimately again, his glance insolently drifting down to the clinging folds of her skirt and the pouch where the fragment of cloth nestled. His eyes found hers. Embarrassed, she turned away.

MY REVIEW

After having read and reviewed the Drumbeats trilogy and S.C.A.R.S  A Shape on the Air, Julia’s first published novel with Endeavour Press has moved her writing on to another level.  A time slip novel set between present day and medieval times I found it an entertaining and interesting read.

Poor Viv DuLac, what a shock having her partner Pete return from a conference only to deliver such cruel news. Worse still, not only had he betrayed her with another woman, but that woman happens to be a close friend of hers.  Things, however are about to become far worse. Viv returns home from work one evening to find a  letter from solicitors indicating the flat is to be sold and the money used to cover Pete’s business debts. Apparently it’s something she agreed to and they have signed documentation to prove it. So why is it she can’t remember any of this? Late in the evening after drowning her sorrows in a few glasses of wine she decides on a walk to clear her head. Reaching the the edge of the village she finds herself  on the banks of Cooney’s Mere.  It is here as she feels herself being pushed into the water by an unseen hand, that she returns to AD 499.

Both Viv and her medieval ‘other self’ Lady Vivianne’ are in difficulties. In present day Viv has Pete and the loss of her home in her ‘other life’ it’s Lord Pelleas, a great oaf of a man determined to marry her and claim her lands.  The hero is the dark and dashing Lord Roland, instructed by Lady Vivianne’s parents to watch over and protect her.  And back in present day, Viv meets local rector Rory Netherbridge, who shares her interest in medieval history and admits to having a similar experience as Roland’s character.

Julia’s knowledge of all things medieval gives the  book a very realistic feel. If you love romance, mystery, hidden treasure and danger all wrapped up in a time slip story then this is for you.

About Julia Ibbotson

712xl9knbgL._UX250_Award winning author Julia Ibbotson lives with her second husband in the heart of England in a renovated Victorian rectory, and, their four children having grown up, she is now suffering from empty nest syndrome. She is obsessed with the medieval world and concepts of time travel (and chocolate) (and cakes …). She read English at Keele University (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana) specialising in medieval studies. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but life (and later the need to earn a living as a single mother) intruded and she became a school teacher, and then, on gaining her PhD as a (very) mature student, a university lecturer. Julia has written a memoir The Old Rectory: escape to a Country Kitchen (with recipes) and a children’s book S.C.A.R.S (a fantasy medieval time slip), before embarking on her Drumbeats trilogy (which begins in Ghana). Her latest novel, A Shape on the Air, is a historical (medieval) time slip romance. Clearly, she is obsessed … Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga, baking, and walking in the English countryside.
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