BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: THE MISTRESS OF PENNINGTONS by RACHEL BRIMBLE 16 – 27 JULY 2018

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Title of Book: The Mistress of Pennington’s
Series: Pennington’s Department Store
Genre: Saga/Romance
Release Date: 1st July 2018
Publisher: Aria Fiction

1910 – A compelling tale of female empowerment in Bath’s leading department store. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.
Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.
Determined to break from her father’s iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington’s into a new decade, embracing woman’s equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.
Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?

EXTRACT

Her gentle study drifted to his mouth and back again. ‘Did you love her? The woman you once worked with?’
Joseph stared, as disquiet whispered through him. ‘Why do you ask?’
‘I find it implausible that a man who holds women in such high regard has not known what it means to love one. You have been in love. I see it in your eyes. Unfortunately for you, they’re very revealing.’
He ran his gaze over her face and hair. Every sound muted. The amber glow of the few lit candles danced over her skin, turning it pearlescent. ‘I was married. To a wonderful, caring woman. A woman who worked beside my father and I every day after we were married.’
Her voice softened. ‘What happened to her?’
‘She died.’ He would tell her no more, the shame of his failure burned like acid in his chest and he quickly stood, wanting the intensity to ease, her justified scrutiny to end. ‘Will you try on a pair of gloves?’
He brushed past her and breathed deep as he approached a box of his finished gloves. Lifting a pair of soft kid, perfectly stitched and the exact green of her eyes, the pale cream stitching the colour of her skin.
When he turned and walked back to his bench, she had sat in his seat. She carefully watched his approach, her eyes unreadable.

BUY LINKS

UK Amazon: http://amzn.eu/dOovcMn
US Amazon: http://a.co/661OTCK
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-mistress-of-pennington-s

MY REVIEW

Edward Pennington, the owner of Penningtons – Bath’s most stunning departmental store – is constantly at odds with his daughter Elizabeth, who currently runs the women’s department.  Elizabeth is clever, ambitious and totally committed to the company.  She has an ability to see how much better the store could become if only her father would see beyond the fact she’s female and therefore her ideas are of little value.

When young widower Joseph Carter convinces Elizabeth to take some of his gloves to sell in the store on a trial basis she discovers not only a man who shares her vision but also a philanthropist, keen to carry on his dead wife’s charitable work with the poor of the city. This is a story of one young woman’s determination to be successful in a man’s world; of a forbidden love and dark family secrets. Set against the backdrop of a glamorous store during a period of great social change, The Mistress of Penningtons  certainly has set the scene for a great series.  Wonderful characters, a real feel for the period and with the same magic Mr Selfridge and The Paradise created on TV, The Mistress of Penningtons is an addictive read.  And just as you come to The End, there’s a sneaky peek of what’s in store in book 2.  A definite hit and five stars from me.

five star rating

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.
In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a brand new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s releases in July 2018.
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.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelbrimbleauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelBrimble
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806411.Rachel_Brimble
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelbrimbleauthor/?hl=en
Blog: http://rachelbrimble.blogspot.co.uk/
Website: http://rachelbrimble.com/

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: KINDRED SPIRITS WESTMINSTER ABBEY 18 – 22 JUNE 2018

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Series: Kindred Spirits
Genre: Paranormal Historical Fiction
Release Date: 8th June 2018
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

On hallowed ground…
With over three thousand burials and memorials, including seventeen monarchs, life for the ghostly community of Westminster Abbey was never going to be a quiet one. Add in some fiery Tudor tempers, and several centuries-old feuds, and things can only go one way: chaotic.
Against the backdrop of England’s most important church, though, it isn’t all tempers and tantrums. Poets’ Corner hosts poetry battles and writing workshops, and close friendships form across the ages.
With the arrival of Mary Queen of Scots, however, battle ensues. Will Queens Mary I and Elizabeth I ever find their common ground, and lasting peace?
The bestselling Kindred Spirits series continues within the ancient walls of Westminster Abbey.

 

EXTRACT 1

Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey – Prologue
“McGonagall!”
Mary-Eleanor Bowes triumphantly held the small scrap of paper aloft. The style of Westminster Abbey’s monthly Poets’ Corner Poetry Battle had been selected.
“No!” The anguish in Chaucer’s voice was clear. “We had him only three months back – surely we must pick again! Or, I shall pick. I pull rank, there must be a reselection.”
“There will be no reselection, Geoffrey, not by you or anyone else. And as for pulling rank, what right do you have? Ah, but of course, ‘your wife was sister to the Duchess of Lancaster.’ Well, my grand-daughter IS the Duchess of Lancaster.” Mary-Eleanor straightened out the piece of paper as she spoke.
“Your grand-daughter? Add a few ‘greats’ in there, I think. Besides, you mean ‘Duke of Lancaster’, which any true royal relation should know already, don’t you think?” retorted Chaucer, determined not to let her have the last word. Again.
“Oh, come, come now. Our form is chosen, we must work with what we have.” The calm, steady voice of Charles Dickens broke into the midst of their argument. “Now, shall we re-assert the rules?”
Reluctantly, Mary-Eleanor and Chaucer nodded, and returned to their seats among the rest of the group. With the crowds of the day gone, and Evensong finished, the silence in Westminster Abbey was growing, and in the South Transept, the residents of Poets’ Corner had emerged from their various tombs to take their places, waiting for the monthly competition to start. The first Saturday of the month, every month, since 1343. Although, in fairness, for the first few years it had mainly been Geoffrey Chaucer amusing himself, trying desperately to get the other spirits of the Abbey to join him. It had never worked, no others being so literarily inclined. But now he finally had some competition. Each passing decade and century had brought a whole host of new poets, new writers and new styles.
This month, however, saw a return to the nineteenth century, and the doggerel poetry of William McGonagall.
“At least McGonagall isn’t here to complain about anything,” called Shakespeare, from the corner in which he was huddled with Kit Marlowe. Their heads were bowed over a new academic analysis of Shakespeare’s work, left behind by a careless student. The ghosts were nervous each time such a volume was released, for fear it would spark yet more debate as to the plays’ true authorship. Marlowe had enough fun taunting his friend without help from academics.
“Thank our lucky stars – he stays up in Edinburgh, apparently. I heard it from Mary Queen of
Scots herself, last time she visited,” said Jane Austen. The pride of associating with monarchs was clear in her voice.
“Anyway, to return to the rules,” said Dickens, bringing them back to the point in hand. “Only those writers who are actually buried here may participate. Each poet will contribute two lines of poetry. The order of competitors will be decided first come, first served.” At this he glared at Chaucer, daring him to try and contradict him. The poet kept his silence; Dickens continued. “Any poet not able to contribute two lines within one minute is dismissed from this month’s competition. All agreed?”
“I still don’t see why poets who aren’t buried here shouldn’t be allowed to take part. This rule is surely out-dated by now, and besides, it limits your competition.” Oscar Wilde raised his monthly objection from his position, reclining on the floor and staring up at the ceiling. “Also, think of the lovely collaborations we could run with – all these styles and ideas to play with.”
Rudyard Kipling spoke up. “Rules are rules, Oscar, and these have been in place for centuries, long before you deigned to begin to join us. Perhaps, going forward, we shall hold the odd open competition, but even then, they would be open to those who attend our meetings regularly, not those who simply arrive on Eurostar the day before.”
Extract 2 Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey – Chapter One
Queen Elizabeth I of England was sulking. And not quietly, as the rest of the Abbey’s residents would have preferred. Despite her advancing years, she could still flounce in style, and was keen to ensure everyone knew what was annoying her this time.
“It’s so boring here!” she exclaimed, dropping gracelessly into one of the choir stalls. “Nothing ever happens.”
“She’s been to the Tower again,” whispered Catherine Knollys to her brother, but not quite quietly enough, as the queen’s friends and cousins wandered over to see what specifically had been troubling her this time.
“Yes, yes, I have. At least things happen there.”
“Our Uncle George still as entertaining as ever then?” Henry Carey tried to divert his cousin’s attention, but only made it worse.
“Naturally. He was haunting the barrel of Malmsey with Clarence, and it was hilarious, as usual. Scaring people out of their skins. That’s what we ghosts should be doing, not just loitering about discussing experiments.” She glared at where Charles Darwin and Robert Stephenson were once again in deep conversation, sitting out of the way of the early tourists starting to make their way through the great church. Without a word, Darwin glared at her, then shifted in his seat turning his back against her, much to Elizabeth’s disgust.
“We do plenty of haunting, Cousin. It’s just that, well, you know the Abbey’s never really lent itself to that.”
“No, Catherine – everyone has simply become too old and too dull over the centuries. And too weak to stand up to my wretched great-grandmother. It’s all her fault.”
Catherine and Henry shot nervous glances at each other. When Elizabeth was in one of these moods, little could be done to stop her. Even her beloved Dudley had retreated back to Warwick after witnessing one of her angrier days. Before either could speak again, their cousin had moved on, stomping through the Abbey until she found the memorial to William Pulteney, the Earl of Bath.
As though knowing what was expected, the book in the centre of the statue flicked pages in silence. It wasn’t good enough.
“See? See that? A page of a statue’s book turning. Over three thousand of us in here, seventeen monarchs, no less, as the guidebooks tell us, and that’s the best we can come up with?” Queen Elizabeth spun on her heel, turning back to the siblings. “At the Tower they have my mother removing her severed head, with my step-mother and my aunt alongside her. They have a young, robust King, leading the way forward. They have wailings and chain-rattlings and, well, everything. We have a statue, turning its page.”
By now, a crowd had grown around the Queen, noting, not for the first time, how similar she was to her great-grandmother when her temper really took hold. Fiery Tudor blood indeed.
“We’ve talked about this, Elizabeth.” The chattering and ranting was broken by the only voice which ever had any control over the wayward Queen.
“Now she’s in trouble,” Mary-Eleanor smirked to her companion, only to receive a regal nudge in the ribs from Anne of Cleves.
Edward the Confessor moved slowly through the group, not troubling himself with meeting anyone’s eyes, but knowing they would move for him. They always did.
“We do not waste our time with such infantile behaviour here, Elizabeth, as well you know. We have held meetings.”
“Then we should hold more,” Elizabeth protested. “Otherwise, what is the point of us being ghosts?”
“Spirits,” the Confessor corrected her. “We use ‘spirits’ here. I don’t like ‘ghosts’.”
“Either way, we should be haunting. Surely even just a couple of calm visitations. You’ve never had a problem with Father Benedictus.”
“The good Father has his reasons for still being here. And he does the people he talks to no harm whatsoever. The souls of the Tower are troubled; they know no better than to disturb the peace of the living. Those of us here, we are not of the same ilk.” He glanced at Mary-Eleanor, knowing that of all those present, she would be the second most likely to argue with him. But instead she lowered her head in a slow, graceful nod, not uttering a word.
“I trust this matter is dealt with.” The Confessor ended the conversation and headed back to his shrine.

BUY LINKS KINDRED SPIRITS WESTMINSTER ABBEY
AMAZON UK: https://goo.gl/ye2v13
AMAZON US: https://goo.gl/A97Bf7
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BUY ALL THREE BOOKS IN THE SERIES!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JenniferCWilson-NewPhotoJan2018Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant sincegraduating.

Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books. In October 2017, she celebrated Richard III’s birthday by releasing her first timeslip novella, The Last Plantagenet.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifercwilsonwriter/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/inkjunkie1984
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14551510.Jennifer_C_Wilson
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jennifer-Wilson/e/B018UBP1ZO/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennifercwilsonwriter/
Blog: https://jennifercwilsonwriter.wordpress.com/

 

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: THE WOMEN OF HEACHLEY HALL by RACHEL WALKLEY 11 – 15 JUNE 2018

The Women of Heachley Hall KDP
Author name: Rachel Walkley
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Family Saga
Release Date: 4/5/2018

Miriam has one year to uncover an unimaginable past and a secret that only women can discover.
The life of a freelance illustrator will never rake in the millions so when twenty-eight year old Miriam discovers she’s the sole surviving heir to her great-aunt’s fortune, she can’t believe her luck. She dreams of selling her poky city flat and buying a studio.
But great fortune comes with an unbreakable contract. To earn her inheritance, Miriam must live a year and a day in the decaying Heachley Hall.
The fond memories of visiting the once grand Victorian mansion are all she has left of her parents and the million pound inheritance is enough of a temptation to encourage her to live there alone.
After all, a year’s not that long. So with the help of a local handyman, she begins to transform the house.
But the mystery remains. Why would loving Aunt Felicity do this to her?
Alone in the hall with her old life miles away, Miriam is desperate to discover the truth behind Felicity’s terms. Miriam believes the answer is hiding in her aunt’s last possession: a lost box. But delving into Felicity and Heachley’s long past is going to turn Miriam’s view of the world upside down.
Does she dare keep searching, and if she does, what if she finds something she wasn’t seeking?
Has something tragic happened at Heachley Hall?

MY REVIEW

Although this is a family saga, The Women of Heachley Hall is so much more. It’s a love story, a ghost story and there’s also history as Miriam traces the lives of those who owned Heachley Hall prior to her own family. Beautifully written and full of atmosphere, as a reader it doesn’t take long to become involved in Miriam’s life. Bypassing a pushy estate agent and dealing with a dodgy solicitor, she makes the decision to live in the Hall for a year and a day in order to secure her inheritance.   Swapping city life for the countryside she’s soon immersed in getting the house into some sort of liveable condition.  There’s help from the locals, some of whom she quickly discovers have their own agenda regarding the the Hall.  And then there is Charles the handyman. Arriving on her doorstep he’s a competent pair of hands, although something of a law unto himself. Curiosity about the events which saw her great aunt taken into residential care and the contents of the house sold off take her on a journey to discover exactly what happened.  It’s an intriguing read with twists and turns, stops and starts and I absolutely loved it…a must for everyone’s TBR pile.

 

EXTRACT

‘Are you sure you’re alright being here alone?’ Ruth asked for the umpteenth time, as I stood at the kitchen window: my favourite viewing spot. ‘We’re doing really well on the cleaning. There’s no need to unload anything in the dark, just leave it in the van until tomorrow. And don’t forget, I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to visit. Half-term.’ She put her arms around my shoulders and squeezed them.
‘Sure.’ There was no point lamenting the solitary nature of my occupation. It wouldn’t do me any good to paint myself as a failure before I’d spent one night in the house.
‘I can’t believe your aunt left it to you without explanation. Something has to be out there to explain it all. A missing letter? ’ Ruth picked up a dishcloth and scrubbed a mark on the worktop. Her boundless energy was infectious and I returned to wiping down the windowpanes.
‘I’ve been over it all countless times in my head, read the will over and over, and there isn’t a clue to her reasons why anywhere.’ I chased a smudge of something around the glass, never quite removing it.
‘Nothing in her personal effects in the nursing home?’
I shrugged. ‘Possibly, but according to Mr Porter it’s all gone.’
‘Do you trust him?’

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK: https://goo.gl/Q4cSGC
AMAZON US: https://goo.gl/gU3FAF

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

twitter profile picBorn in the Midlands, Rachel Walkley grew up in East Anglia and is now firmly lodged in the North West of England. Her first writing achievement was her Brownie badge and after that she never let go of the dream of becoming of an author. Once a librarian and caretaker of books, she’s now a teller of tales and wants to share with you the secrets that hide in the pages of her books.

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelJWalkley
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelJWalkley
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17766384.Rachel_Walkley
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raejcreations/
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/103714165043075415680
Blog: https://rachelwalkley.com/blog/
Website: https://rachelwalkley.com/

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: AFTER THE SUN BY KATHERINE E SMITH 28th May – 1st June 2018

After the Sun - Katharine E. Smith

Release Date: 28th May 2018
Series: Coming Back to Cornwall #2 (can be read as a standalone)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

When things seem too good to be true, they usually are.
Alice is finding her feet managing the Sail Loft Hotel when Sam is presented with an offer he can’t refuse. The bad news is, if he says yes, he will have to leave Cornwall.
Sam’s visits home see him split in his loyalties between his daughter Sophie, and spending time with Alice. Sophie’s mother, Kate, seems to be doing her best to make things difficult.
Meanwhile, Alice’s friend Julie is also facing a long-distance relationship as her new partner, and Sam’s best friend, Luke, is working in London. With no children to think of, and plenty of disposable income (on Luke’s part at least), life should be more simple but Julie has yet to find a long-term job and Luke is still getting over the recent death of his mother.
Can these fledgling relationships pass the long-distance test, and can Julie and Alice make life in Cornwall work for them now that the summer sun has gone?

 

EXTRACT

“Oh.” I feel like my stomach has dropped to the floor. I try to look happy. “But that is brilliant, isn’t it? It’s an amazing opportunity, it’s perfect for you.”
“Alice,” Sam says quietly and I look at him. “It’s not perfect, is it? Because it would mean being away from you.”
He’s been offered sponsorship through university, including a year’s practical experience partway through the course, and guaranteed employment afterwards. His exam results were some of the best in the country for his chosen course, Applied Marine Biology, and he’s actually been head-hunted by a brilliant conservation society. It’s more wonderful news, on top of everything else. Only the course they want him to do isn’t at Plymouth, it’s at Bangor, in North Wales.
414 miles away via the quickest route (seven hours, ten minutes). 389 miles via the A30 (seven hours, thirty-two minutes), five changes on the train (eight hours, fifty-eight minutes).
“You have to do it,” I say, “you have to. It’s too good an opportunity to turn down.”
I am saying the right words but I am willing him to say no, he won’t, he doesn’t want to. We have been apart for ten years, and back together again for a matter of weeks. I can’t bear the thought that we will be separated again. But I know that this decision needs to be his. He looks at me, his blue eyes serious and holding my gaze. I look away first, scared that I might cry.
“I don’t know,” he says. “I don’t know.”
“Number fifty-three!” The lady behind the counter calls out cheerfully.
“This is us,” I say, “I’ll go and get it.” I am grateful for the opportunity to break this moment. “Do you want any sauce?” I ask, trying to match the cafe lady’s tone.
“Alice…” Sam says but I am on my feet, walking towards the counter with a smile on my face while inside my heart is breaking. I know that he has to go.

BUY LINKS
AMAZON UK – https://goo.gl/neeV9A
AMAZON US – https://goo.gl/9YkSC8

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Web - Katherine 03Katharine E. Smith is a writer, editor and publisher. An avid reader of contemporary writers such as Kate Atkinson, David Nicholls and Anne Tyler, Katharine’s aim is to write books she would like to read herself. She has three novels to her name, and one non-fiction guide, written with fellow indie authors in mind.
Katharine runs Heddon Publishing from her home in Shropshire, which she shares with her husband and their two children.

 

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Twitter: http://Twitter.com/KatharineESmtih
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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: SECRETS WE KEEP BY FAITH HOGAN 7 – 11 MAY 2018

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Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: February  2017 (E-book) / May 2018 (paperback)

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?

 

Extract from Secrets We Keep by Faith Hogan

‘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 AND NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK TOO!

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Secrets We Keep – Amazon.com

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Secrets We Keep – Amazon.UK

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Secrets We Keep – Nook

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ABOUT FAITH HOGAN

newauthorpic2017(1)Already 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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Win a signed copy of Faith’s new book THE GIRL I USED TO KNOW!  (OPEN INTERNATIONALLY)

Girl I Used to Know 2 2c (1)

 

For a chance to win a copy of The Girl I Used to Know simply click on the link below and register your details – good luck!

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: A WOMAN’S LOT by CAROLYN HUGHES – COVER REVEAL 7 – 11 MAY 2018

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Release Date: 4th June
Genre: Historical fiction
Series: Book 2 of The Meonbridge Chronicles
Publisher: SilverWood Books

How can mere women resist the misogyny of men?

When a resentful peasant rages against a woman’s efforts to build up her flock of sheep.
…or a husband, grown melancholy and ill-tempered, succumbs to idle talk that his wife’s a scold.
…or a priest, fearful of women’s “unnatural” power, determines to keep them in their place.
The devastation wrought two years ago by the Black Death changed the balance of society, and gave women a chance to break free from the yoke of chatteldom, to learn a trade, build a business, be more than just men’s wives.
But many men still hold fast to the teachings of the Church, and fear the havoc the daughters of Eve might wreak if they’re allowed to usurp men’s roles, and gain control over their own lives.
Not all men resist women’s quest for change – indeed, they want change for themselves.
Yet it takes only one or two misogynists to unleash the hounds of hostility and hatred…

A Woman’s Lot is the second MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLE, the sequel to Fortune’s Wheel.

 Do you like the sound of this book? You can review it as part of the review tour on 4th – 8th June 2018! Just email brookbooks@hotmail.co.uk to register your interest and with details of your blog!

ABOUT CAROLYN HUGHES

Carolyn publicityCarolyn Hughes was born in London, but has lived most of her life in Hampshire. After a first degree in Classics and English, she started her working life as a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. It was fun for a few years, but she left to become a school careers officer in Dorset. But it was when she discovered technical authoring that she knew she had found her vocation. She spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the Government. She has written creatively for most of her adult life, but it was not until her children grew up and flew the nest, several years ago, that creative writing and, especially, writing historical fiction, took centre stage in her life. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.

A Woman’s Lot is the second of the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES, her series of historical novels set in fourteenth century England. The first, Fortune’s Wheel, was published in 2016. The third in the series is well under way.

Facebook: CarolynHughesAuthor
Twitter: @writingcalliope
Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2hs2rrX
Blog: https://carolynhughesauthor.com/blog/
Also at http://the-history-girls.blogspot.com (20th of every month)
Website: https://carolynhughesauthor.com

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENT: CAPTAIN ROCKFORD’S RECKONING by SUSAN LODGE 16 – 20 APRIL 2018

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Genre: Historical Romance /Suspense
Release Date: 4.4.2018
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Esmie Elstone is thrown into panic when she hears of Captain Rockford’s return. But she is determined that the days of him interfering with her life are over. Destroying her chances of a happy future during his last visit had resulted in her being foisted on her aunt for a third pointless season in London.
To alleviate the boredom of society life, Esmie helps run a discreet betting enterprise under the guise of a sewing club. But there are some things you just shouldn’t wager on, and Esmie’s integrity is soon put to a dangerous test.
Richard Rockford had known Esmie almost all her life. As neighbours, her father, Admiral Elstone, had depended on Richard to keep an eye on his daughter when he was away at sea – a responsibility he had always taken on willingly. But her cruel and thoughtless actions, from the day he had left four years earlier, had shaken him. Now, he was back, and he wanted answers.
But when Esmie tumbles into a treacherous conspiracy, can he really turn his back on her?

EXTRACT

“Lady Danby, good evening.”
Esmie jerked bolt upright as Rockford’s unmistakably smooth voice floated down. He was standing in front of her aunt. How on earth did he get there without her knowledge? Had he climbed through a window, or lowered himself from a chandelier? He certainly had not entered through the main double doors. Dash it, the man had never been straightforward.
“Ah, Captain Rockford, I see you are back from your travels,” her aunt replied, squinting at him through her pince-nez, with only slightly hidden delight. He had always been a favourite of hers, but especially since he had been elevated in society and wealth by his uncle’s death.
“Indeed, Lady Danby. I hope you are well. You are looking radiant tonight. The shade of your turban is especially becoming.”
Her aunt beamed, and her hand went up to pat her elaborate head-piece.
Oh no. Esmie froze. He had been in her presence for seconds and already causing her misdemeanour with the giant feather to be revealed. But her aunt’s hand was deftly collected in Rockford’s as he bent down, raised it to his lips, and kissed her glove. Esmie thought she detected a malignant smirk on his lips. She lowered her eyes to study the highly-polished buckles of his shoes. The underhanded fiend must have been secretly observing her for several minutes.
“And, Miss Elstone. It has been far too long.”
Reluctantly, she levelled her gaze. Stormy green eyes devoured her whilst his face remained set in a mask of polite indifference. He gave her a short bow, but thankfully made no move to take her hand or compliment on her appearance. His eyes were an even darker shade than she remembered, and Esmie was sure the look of disgust that he had left her with still lurked behind that deadpan expression. Lady Danby, however, continued to prattle amiably to him, not at all aware of the invisible wall of ice that lurked between them.
“I wonder, Lady Danby, if I might engage Miss Elstone in a dance.”
Dance. Esmie tried to swallow the lump of terror in her throat. “Actually, I am feeling quite unwell at the moment, and was about to retire.”
“Nonsense! Esmie, what sort of welcome home is that for the Captain? Of course, she will dance with you, Rockford. I am sure she has spaces on her card.”
Esmie gritted her teeth. Here we go again: poor Rockford; jolly good Rockford; thank heavens for Rockford. Surely he must appear to sprout a halo and wings to her peers.
She handed him her card as if it was the executioner’s axe, and watched him enter his name against the supper dance. “I will count the minutes,” he said softly, to reach only her ears, before he returned the card and walked away.
She watched him head towards the sugar-coated Julia Grant. Well, she was welcome to him; in fact, maybe he would become so infatuated with her beauty that he would completely forget the terrifying appointment now documented and hanging on Esmie’s wrist. Unease stirred in her belly.
He had not forgotten or forgiven.

MY REVIEW

I have to confess to being a great fan of historical romance and Captain Rockford’s Reckoning did not disappoint.  From the very beginning it’s clear Esmie Elstone is a headstrong young woman who seems to get herself into trouble quite regularly. She finds the restrictions of Regency society quite frustrating at times and there are always opportunities to shock. With her father, an Admiral, often at sea and no mother, it falls to Richard Rockford to keep an eye on her.  Richard and Esme are childhood friends, growing up together on neighbouring estates. The Admiral is close to the Rockford family and has supported Richard in his naval career.

In Esme’s eyes Rockford is overbearing and bullying. Part of her resentment goes back to an earlier time when as a smitten fourteen year old, he rejected her.  Seen from Rockford’s viewpoint his task is onerous.  Left to her own devices Esme is a magnet for trouble and he always seems to be stepping in to rescue her.

Richard returns from the war and once again takes up his supervisory duties in Admiral Elstone’s absence.  Esme is as wilful as ever and tries his patience to the limit. However, when the dying request of a musician unknowingly puts Esme in mortal danger he finds himself drawn into a complex web of intrigue which goes to the very top of British society.

Esme is delightful. Sometimes exasperating, sometimes funny. Richard’s rejection of her still stings.

I liked Richard’s character from the very beginning.  Betrayed by a female spy during the war, he is highly suspicious of women and although inheriting a title, is reluctant to take a wife. As the story progresses both Esme and Richard’s attitude to each other begins to change.  When the unthinkable happens and Richard needs to save her it’s the moment their real feelings for each other surface.

An enjoyable read, interlaced with some humorous moments; mystery romance and danger at its centre.

 

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ABOUT SUSAN LODGE

FullSizeRender[213] mugshotSusan Lodge was brought up with five brothers in the West of England and spent her formative years climbing trees and watching westerns. Leaving home, she headed for London and embarked on a career in the Civils Service, gaining a science degree along the way.
Over the years she has worked in several historic cities, where the streets still resonate with the Georgian period, providing a wealth of inspiration for her stories. Her romantic novels are often set against the backdrop of Nelson’s navy, and she always manages to inject a fair dose of humour into the plot.
Susan’s always wanted to be an astronaut but would now settle for a flight into space. She loves tinkering on her piano, perfecting her swing dance routines and discovering new destinations for her characters.
Married, with two children Susan now lives in Hampshire. You can find more of Susan and all her books by:

Visiting her website at http://susanlodge.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susanlodgeauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pagehalffull
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard
Google+ https://plus.google.com/101965349249706893970
Blog: https://susanlodgebooks.wordpress.com/
 

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: FOXTROT IN FRESHBY by AWEN THORNBER 9 – 13 APRIL 2018

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Genre: Romance with Intrigue
Release Date: 6th December 2017
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

When dance teacher Gina Pendleton throws her cheating boyfriend out of her house, she must find a way of earning extra money to pay the bills. The obvious answer is to offer dance classes at her home, even though she knows this will incur the wrath of the owner of the local well-established dance school.
Her life becomes even more fraught when she is targeted by vandals and intruders.

After she meets Chris Jackson, it doesn’t take her long to realise he is the man of her dreams, especially as he’s also a wonderful dancing partner. But can she trust him when it appears he is hiding something from her?

Extract

Gina hurled the Christmas ornament at the wall. It was the first she and Tony had bought together. The sound of the glass shattering on impact, and the sight of the coloured shards that were once a snowy village scene flying through the air to rain down on her oak floor, was surprisingly satisfying.

She looked around the room for some other object on which to vent her anger, and her glance reached the twinkling tree in the corner of the bay window.
“Don’t look so smug,” she muttered. “You’re next. Christmas is officially over, and you’re going in the loft.”
Without the gentle touch she had used to decorate the tree three weeks previously, she pulled and tugged at the ornaments. The sound of banging on the glass at her side made her jump. She looked around to see Tony, standing by the window nearest to the front door, holding his key in front of him. He glared at her.
“Let me in. You’ve put the lock on!”
She shook her head.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2GVt49r
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AWEN THORNBERFormerly a textile artist and design consultant for a craft company, Awen Thornber produced craft projects and articles for magazines, and had a regular craft column in Northern Life magazine. She is always looking for inspiration to spark her creative mind and currently devotes her time to writing novels. Born and bred in Lancashire, Awen also loves walking, painting, ballroom and ballet dancing.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Awen-Thornber-novels-page-1606180283025459/
Twitter: @awenthornber
Instagram: awenthornber
Blog: Waiting for Awen : https://faefielding.wordpress.com

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS:WATCHING YOU by LINDA RENHAM 9 – 13 April, 2018

 

watching

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: 1st April
Publisher: Raucous Publishing

Ewan Galbreith is just out prison. Libby Owen is scared.
Fifteen years earlier she saw Ewan murder her aunt and uncle with their own shotgun and now he’s coming for her.

 

EXTRACT

Prologue
1st January 2000, 1 A.M.
Her bare feet pounded the gravel, the sharp stones cutting mercilessly into her skin. The wind whipped cruelly at her hair and played with her new chiffon dress until her legs became entangled within it. She pulled herself free from the material without once slowing her pace, her heart drumming in her chest. She could hear the blood pulsating in her ears like a wild war dance. Her scalp tingled. Something had touched her. She fought back a scream. It was a branch, just a tree in the blackness of the night. Keep going. She couldn’t stop. A firework boomed and lit up the night sky. She tripped, scattering the detestable gravel. A small sob escaped her lips before she dragged herself up and continued on. He’d seen her. He’d seen her. That’s all she knew. Keep running. Don’t look back. An orchestra of colours exploded in the sky and lit up the tall iron gates of Greystone Hall ahead of her. She thought back to the house and nausea rose up in her gut. Soon she would smell the pungent odour of seaweed. Her heart beat a steady rhythm now. She knew the beach wasn’t far away. Excited voices and the sound of drunken laughter broke through her pulsating eardrums. People were partying on the beach. It was the beginning of something new, something exciting, a new start.
‘Happy Millennium,’ someone shouted.
She tripped in her haste to reach them. Her mouth connected with cold sand, it scratched her skin.
‘Help me,’ she choked. ‘Please.’
‘Had too much?’ said a voice.
There was laughter from a small group huddled around a camp fire.
‘Hold on,’ said another. The voice concerned.
She felt someone touch her.
‘Fuck, she’s bleeding.’
‘Call the police,’ yelled another.
There was scuffling and someone wrapped a coat around her. It was warm and comforting.
‘Christ, what happened?’ he said.
‘Someone shot my Aunt and Uncle,’ she moaned, trying to get up. She couldn’t. She was exhausted.
‘I think they’re dead.’

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ABOUT LYNDA RENHAM

lynda Lynda Renham’s writing will appeal to readers of Susan Lewis books but with more of a thriller edge. She is famous for her romantic comedy novels having written over twelve popular titles. Lynda lives in Oxford, is a prolific writer, blogger and when not writing can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook. http://www.renham.co.uk

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lynda.Renham
Twitter: @lyndarenham
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4494690.Lynda_Renham
Blog: http://www.renham.co.uk
Website: http://www.renham.co.uk

 

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: THE GIRL I USED TO KNOW by FAITH HOGAN 9 – 2- April 2018

Girl I Used to Know 2 2c (1)

Genre: Women’s Fiction
How many Pages – 298
Release Date: 1st Dec 2017
Publisher: Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus)

A beautiful, emotive and spell-binding story of two women who find friendship and second chances when they least expect it. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan.
Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are strangers who share the same Georgian house, but their lives couldn’t be more different.
Amanda seems to have it all, absolute perfection. She projects all the accoutrements of a lady who lunches. Sadly, the reality is a soulless home, an unfaithful husband and a very lonely heart.
By comparison, in the basement flat, unwanted tenant Tess has spent a lifetime hiding and shutting her heart to love.
It takes a bossy doctor, a handsome gardener, a pushy teenager and an abandoned cat to show these two women that sometimes letting go is the first step to moving forward and new friendships can come from the most unlikely situations.

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BookBub: http://bit.ly/2H9W6jc

MY REVIEW

Tess Cuffe and Amanda King share the same house but their lives are poles apart.  Amanda and husband Richard have lovingly restored their Georgian home in Swift Square. The only fly in the ointment is Tess, a sixty something sitting tenant they have so far been unable to evict.  Amanda is the wife who lunches, a woman whose husband’s banking job means she has no need to work.  Her young hopes of an art career were shelved when she married him but Richard has made it clear it is not a pastime he wants her to resurrect any time soon.  Instead, Amanda has concentrated her energies on transforming their garden and then turning her attention to the Square’s park. Currently her life is one of charity work, coffee mornings and an on-going struggle with her weight.

Tess who arrived in Dublin as an eighteen year old student at Trinity’s College of Music, has lived in the basement flat for nearly fifty years and is determined not to be moved.  She has  no time for either Richard King or his wife, who have never ceased in their determination to reclaim the basement of their home.  But life upstairs isn’t as perfect as it seems because on New Year’s Eve Amanda makes discovery that will trigger huge changes in her life.

The book is written from both Tess and Amanda’s points of view.  Although years apart in age, their lives have many similarities.  As the story moves back and forth not only between the two women, but between past and present. It’s a tale of youthful aspirations, disappointment, betrayal, unexpected friendships and second chances.  A wonderful cast of characters and two great entwined stories make it one of the most enjoyable books I’ve experienced in a long time.

five star rating

ABOUT FAITH HOGAN

newauthorpic2017(1)Faith Hogan is an original voice in women’s fiction. Her stories are warm and rooted in a contemporary Irish landscape which has lost none of its wit, charm or emotion thanks to its modern vibe.

Faith 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 was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

Her debut novel ‘My Husbands Wives’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin, published by Aria Fiction in 2016. Her second novel, ‘Secrets We Keep,’ is published in February 2017 – it has been included on the Netgalley ‘Hot List 2017.’ Her third novel – ‘The Girl I Used To Know’ is out in December 2017.

She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a rather busy chocolate Labrador. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/faithhoganauthor/
Twitter: @gerhogan
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15109450.Faith_Hogan
Website: http://www.faithhogan.com

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