Ebook Sale at Tirgearr Publishing

My good friends over at Tirgearr Publishing are celebrating their 6 month anniversary with a 50% off sale! Happy Anniversary!



Today - 29th August 2012 - only! 

A good enough excuse for a party! So head right over to Tirgearr...




Whoosh! I'm sure I can hear corks popping and the tantalising fizz of champagne flowing...


Go on! Discover some fab authors and enjoy some exciting reads!

Happy Reading!

Author Nancy Jardine talks Celtic Britain

I'm thrilled to welcome back fellow romance author, Nancy Jardine, just ahead of her latest release, The Beltane Choice. Set in Celtic Britain, it is a tale of Celtic tribes and their fate at the hands of the expanding Roman Empire. At the same time, the fate of two enemies is at stake. Can enemies unite against the mighty Romans?

So, to find out more about this rather elusive time, I've asked Nancy to pull some background information together for us. It's fascinating! Listen up!



Why Selgovae and Brigante tribes for The Beltane Choice?

Many aspects of the Roman invasion, of the island they named Britannia, fascinate me. The varied successes, and failures, in what was the outer fringe of their massive Roman Empire make wonderful reading. The failure of the Roman might to completely subdue the northern Britannic tribes, and keep them suppressed, holds particular appeal. What were the circumstances that made them conquer inhospitable territory in northern and eastern mainland Europe –yet not Britannia? The answers to questions like that made me want to know more about what actually happened-and I still do, if truth be told. 

Welcome romance author Gayl Taylor

Today, I welcome romance author Gayl Taylor whose debut novel, Ride a Cock Horse, is out now from Breathless Press. Check out the stunning setting of sunny California! Makes me want to jump on a plane.

Over to Gayl...



Hi everyone and thanks for having me, Cathie! So, a little about me - I am a mom to three sons and a crazy cat and live in California on the San Francisco Peninsula. I write contemporary romance that includes a sensual and erotic flavor. My debut as a published writer was this past May with Breathless Press. It was a dream that came true for me. 

I wish I could say I've traveled the world but unfortunately that hasn't come to pass yet. I have been all over California though as well as a few states close by. I love the beach, in fact, at one time, I lived four blocks from Ocean Beach in San Francisco, and while it was mostly foggy and damp, in late October/early November it was clear and hot. Lately, I've had my eye on Half Moon Bay, a quiet and laid back little coastal community. 


The Trouble with Cupcakes by Kristi Ahlers - out now!

Romance author Kristi Ahlers is celebrating the release of her latest book, The Trouble with Cupcakes, available through Tirgearr Publishing. Not just about those deliciously sweet afternoon tea treats, the story is full of recipes - and romance.

I recently read her last release, The Trouble with French Kisses, which I thoroughly enjoyed and rated 4 stars. Can't wait to get into this new one. With a cuppa tea and a cupcake...


Blurb:

Heather Ryan is the proud owner of Cupcakes on Royal. It’s a thriving business, but if she wants to put her cupcakery on the map, she needs to win the coveted Krewe of Bacchus after-party contract. When she finds out who’s leading the Krewe, Heather realizes she’s about to get a second chance with her first true but unrequited love, Alec Carlisle.

Alec is a successful New Orleans lawyer. As the leader of the Krewe of Bacchus, it’s up to him to put together the top caterers from around the city to cater the Krewe’s Fat Tuesday event. He has few regrets in life, but missing a chance with a woman from long ago is one he plans on rectifying when he finds out Heather is the baker behind Cupcakes on Royal. It won’t be an easy task, there are a lot of years behind them, but Heather is worth fighting for. His ex, Lila, who’s also vying for the contract, has her eyes on winning the contract at all costs. She also makes it clear she wants Alec back.

Will Heather and Alec find forgiveness of the past and be able to get past Lila’s obstacles to find the sweet ending they both deserve?


Nessie, ales and Highland midges - part 2

After a hearty, cooked breakfast, we briefly met with the outlaws one last time before we hit the road along the Caledonian Canal south. Our usual 'slow' route takes us through Fort Augustus, Fort William and through Ballachulish and Glencoe, my favourite places, back to Stirling and the central belt.

But not so on that day. We'd managed to get a deal for a night's stay near Aberfoyle in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, so instead we diverted via Oban, a town I hadn't visited in 12 years.

Oban
Funnily enough, Oban hadn't changed much. We parked up on a hill and wandered down to the seafront, browsing shop and estate agents' windows. Clouds scattered the sky which had remained blue throughout our stay in Drum. Temperatures were still high, though, in the mid 20s C, and muggy. Yes, folks, that's high! ;-)

We wandered around town, checked out the ferry, had some ice cream - and drove off. Leisurely.


As we neared Callander, it had started to drizzle and road warnings told us the road along the western side of Loch Lomond was closed due to an accident. Change of plan! Instead, we took the scenic route from Callander to Aberfoyle. I say 'scenic' as it was indeed breathtaking, middle of nowhere territory. As was the road which shouldn't really be labelled 'A'. Sharp bends, up and down, winding its way past small, picturesque lochs and through forests and heather. Idyllic. Perfect getaway.



But not in the pouring rain!

Nessie, ales and Highland midges - part 1


Last week, hubby and I travelled north again - to visit the outlaws living near Loch Ness and enjoy a short break. This time, we enjoyed the stunning, varied landscapes of the Highlands, Perthshire, Argyll and the Trossachs on our way back. But let's start at the beginning.

Two days before we set off we had a call from the B&B we'd booked, cancelling the booking. A family emergency abroad called the owner away. So we ended up staying in two different places in Drumnadrochit (aka Drum, or Nessie town), managing to get a good deal. It's August, after all, prime season in Scotland's most popular destination.
Loch Ness

Welcome thriller author Ian Walkley

Author Ian Walkley is my guest today as part of his blog tour sharing his new release, No Remorse, a dramatic thriller. Make sure to check out the details of his other stops!

To learn more about Ian, I've asked him some questions. Here goes...


1) What inspired the plot for No Remorse?
When I was running my marketing consultancy I traveled a great deal, and loved to read escapist thrillers while flying. I wanted to write a book that other travelers would enjoy.
In my younger days, my writing heroes were Ludlum, Maclean, Wilbur Smith—action, adventure, global conspiracies—so I naturally gravitated to thrillers. When I began writing No Remorse, in 2008, I had in mind writing a Ludlum-esque prologue about some mysterious event, and weaving a story around it. I was curious about Saddam’s missing WMD’s, so I came up with the idea of Saddam passing nuclear materials to an old Saudi Prince who buried them in the Arabian desert just before the invasion. 
However, over the three years I was writing the book many things occurred that kept forcing me to rewrite the story. I came to the view that everyone wanted to put Iraq behind them, and more recently Osama Bin Laden was killed. In the end, I spent a further six months rewriting the story so that it would not date. 
No Remorse in its final form is the story of the kidnapping of two American teenage girls on holiday in Mexico, and the subsequent search for them by a former special operations soldier Lee McCloud (Mac). I have retained the theme of ‘no remorse’ in terms of achieving retribution for the evil that bad people have done to others. 

Author Kemberlee Shortland chats about Dublin

Today, I'm thrilled to welcome back my wonderful friend, Kemberlee Shortland, author of heartfelt romance set in Ireland. If you enjoy a dramatic setting with deep characters and a moving plot, try Kemberlee's stories. You won't be disappointed!

Today, she chats about the Irish city of Dublin, the setting for her latest release, Rhythm of my Heart. Handing over to Kemberlee...



Hi Cathie! Thanks for asking me to be here today to talk about the setting for my recent book, Rhythm of My Heart. This is part of the Irish Pride series.

This book is set between two primary locations, Dublin City, Ireland, and the mountains of West Cork in an area the locals call the County Bounds . . . because the county boundary joins with County Kerry. It’s the only place in Ireland, BTW, that calls their borders a ‘bound’. Only in Ireland!

Author Nickie Fleming Blog Tour

Today, Nickie Fleming stops off here on her tour promoting her latest release, The Gold Crucifix. I took the opportunity to ask her some questions.

Here goes...


Welcome to my blog, Nickie. I'm delighted to have you on board.


1.) At what point in your life did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
I realized I wanted to be a writer when I was reading books and already at an early age. Often I thought: hey, I can do this too! And as soon as I was old enough to think out stories, I began to note them down. I finished my first full length novel at 16 years of age, and this was the first draft of ‘Maria Gonzalez’. This version already tells about Maria’s adventures in Mexico, but I added the rest of the chapters when I ‘fished up’ the idea and wrote the book that was published a couple of years ago.

Young Adult author J. Lilley visiting My Place

I'm delighted to welcome another Scotland-based author, J. Lilley, author of young adult series, The Shalean Moon.

Over to Jo...



Hi there, my name is J. (call me Jo, I like the sound of that) Lilley. I write Young Adult stories.
I live in Scotland, on the edge of a forest, with my husband and two cats. 

Our children have long gone to make their way in the world, which at times has made for great holidays when we've visited them.

I admit I'm a travel-oholic. Other people cringe at the thought of packing, flying etc.to me, half the fun is in the planning. I make lists, pour over guidebooks and maps, and load my ereader. (Have ereader will travel, I now have space for clothes in my suitcase.) Our kids all did gap years. We are doing gap-weeks. 

My Place:
My stories are set in the Trossachs, the most beautiful, underestimated and little known area of Scotland.

It has wildlife, lochs, glens, mountains, trees, and stunning views, but in a relatively compact area. To say nothing of mysteries, history and now Shalean shape shifters.

Oh, and discerning tourists.

To stand on top of a hill, look into the valley, and hear the silence is amazing. Beautiful and yes spiritual. Many years ago, I stood on top of The Great Wall of China ( yes, sorry bragging) and listened to the silence. It made me understand why people worshiped mountains. The Trossachs in its own way, can give you that perfect feeling of peace and harmony.

Welcoming mystery author Don McNair

Today, I'm hosting romantic mystery author, Don McNair, as part of his Mystery Blog Tour. Trust me, you'll love the excerpts he shares with us! 

So that we can discover more about Don, I've asked him some questions. Here goes...




Welcome to my blog, Don. Please tell us what inspired your first novel?

I’d enjoyed reading about the opening up of our land in the 1800s ever since grade school in about 1950, when I read a book titled America My Home: Then and Now by Harold B. Clifford. I was really hooked later in high school, when I read a novel about a young boy fighting his way through the wilderness in the pioneer days.  Not long ago I remembered those experiences, and decided to write one myself.  The Long Hunter was the result.
I want believability, no matter what I’m writing. While researching The Long Hunter I borrowed every book I could find on the subject—some written in the 1800s—from the Interlibrary Loan program.  I built his story against the real fabric of history, letting the outside world affect his life and decisions. I drove from my home in Alabama to Virginia, where my young 1870s hero was raised, and followed him through the Cumberland Gap when he traveled with hunters who stayed out for many months (thus the book’s name) to find furs to supplement their farming. I lived that story—and relived those two books I’d read earlier—through my research. 

Author Gillian Polack at My Place

Today, I've the pleasure of hosting author and historian, Australian Gillian Polack, who tells us a bit about Canberra and her own workplace.

Handing over to Gillian...


I'm an Australian writer and historian, and my second novel, Ms Cellophane, has just been released. I live in Canberra, and people have been telling me for years, "You can't write a book about a place like Canberra." They have also been saying, "No-one wants to read about women over forty. I regarded this as a challenge and so, of course, I wrote a novel about all these things. 

The place is important to the novel: not just the city of Canberra (which is a wonderful home - I came for a year 20+ years ago and never quite got around to leaving) but also the house that I invented for my characters. For me, the place one lives and works is terribly important.  I couldn't give you pictures of Elizabeth's place, but I can give you pictures of my workspace, where I create all my noels and write all my history.

My Place:
Canberra is terribly suburban, but for me, the inside of houses belies that suburban nature. People's lives are wonderful and complex and change the insides of houses from merely suburban into something fascinating. Most of the action in my novel takes place in a 3 bedroom pretty standard Canberran house, with sliding doors to the garden, and with a lounge room and a kitchen. 

Welcoming romance author Sue Perkins



Today, I welcome author Sue Perkins who chats about her new release, The Sixth Key, as part of her blog tour.


Handing over to Sue...




Thank you Cathie for inviting me to your blog. 

My latest  release is 'The Sixth Key' a fantasy romance suitable for anyone over the age of sixteen. Although I write novels for middle grade, young adult and contemporary romance, fantasy is my favorite genre. 

The world of Sacral is my own creation with magic, castles, horses and magical beasts. The ruling  people are telepaths but my sympathies are with the Mutes. These people have been outcast by the rulers simply because they have no psychic powers. The banishment has been going on for a long time and the Mutes now have many psychics in their midst. Sometimes the powers skip a generation, but also loved ones are not prepared to let their husbands, siblings, parents or children go into exile on their own. The aim of the Mutes is to combine the two peoples to become one again.

When Riley finds the Riddle of the Keys, she realizes if she solves the riddle she can bring the two factions back together.

I hope you enjoy the excerpt below and don't forget to leave a comment to be in to win an ebook of 'The Sixth Key' to be drawn at the end of the blog tour.

Silent Deception - Free 2 and 3 August 2012!

Silent Deception, my Victorian romantic novella, is *FREE* on Amazon for two days only: 2nd & 3rd August 2012!


A romantic, slightly paranormal story with a dash of mystery, set in remote Cornwall in the 19th century, Silent Deception tells of a young heiress who uncovers a dark family secret with the help of a visiting earl. But making this secret public might cost her dearly.


Download your free e-copy of an "enjoyable" historical read now:




Blurb:
Having inherited a family estate she’d never heard of, Minerva Goodridge travels to Cornwall to take charge of her new home. But fatal memories lurk in the shadows of Trekellis Manor. As the locals keep away from the house, Minnie accepts the help of a stranger. Can she trust him?

Gideon Drake, 8th Earl of Rothdale, is on a mission to uncover a family secret linked to Trekellis Manor. But the arrival of Minerva, the new owner, disrupts his investigation. Attracted to the headstrong heiress, he decides to take action - and ends up uncovering more than he expected.

Gideon must weigh up his family’s reputation against Minnie’s, but will the revelations tear them apart?


Praise for Silent Deception:

"very enjoyable romantic novella with more than a hint of mystery"

"Enjoyable and intriguing...Gothic romance with a bit of a mystery"




Nancy Jardine - Take Me Now blog tour

Today, I welcome Nancy Jardine, whose new contemporary romance, Take Me Now, is released this week from The Wild Rose Press. She also has a historical romantic novel out later this month, The Beltane Choice, published through Crooked Cat Publishing. What an exciting time!

To celebrate the release of Take Me Now, Nancy is on a blog tour - starting right here! So, make sure to check out her fabulous prizes below. What a great selection of goodies!

So, to start her tour off in style, I've asked Nancy some questions...


1) Congratulations on your new releases TAKE ME NOW and THE BELTANE CHOICE. What made you become a writer? And why romance?
My being a writer has developed from my primary teaching days when I created material for use in the classroom. Teaching Primary 7 for decades meant I was used to creating material that was quite lengthy, though at that time it was mostly non-fiction writing I was producing. However, I always enjoyed creating the beginnings of fiction stories to use as scaffolding for the kids to develop their own work. It was only after I volunteered to write two very lengthy non-fiction projects for school (both around 100,000words) that I realised I wanted to write fiction for myself. I chose to write romance since it wasn’t at all relevant to my teaching. And to a selfish degree, it was for my own satisfaction!