Welcome author Lin Brooks

Today, I welcome US contemporary fiction author, Lin Brooks. She's stopping by as part of her blog tour. I've asked her a few questions, and her replies have taught me something new. 

a) I learnt about Alabama - it has beaches! (Ignorant European that I am...)
b) There are half marathons happening at Disney World - at night!
c) Her novel, Where the Greener Grass Grows, sounds like a wonderful, warm story about relationships. (Have a peek, fellow Crooked Cat authors...)


So, here goes...



1) Welcome, Lin. What inspired the plot to Where the Greener Grass Grows?

My daughter and I have always been very close. I spent many years as a single mom, and she’s an only child, so we have always looked out for each other. When she started her sophomore year in high school, I began to realize how quickly time was passing and I wondered how I would cope when she left home. I have a good friend who has a daughter the exact same age, and I could see that her “empty nest” experience was going to be different than mine for a number of reasons. I decided to write about it. I saw immediately that relationships—those with our children/mothers, those with our girlfriends, and those with our significant others—shape how we cope with the big things in life, and this was no exception. So this quickly became a book about relationships. That made it more fun to write than just a story about a daughter leaving home.

2) Tell us about life in Alabama! What's it like?

I love it here! I'm actually a Mississippi native, but I went to college here, and then lived here for several years until I went to law school. I stayed in central Mississippi for 15 years, and then had the chance to come back to the Alabama coast when I (finally) married my college beau last year. I'm so glad to be home! The weather is hot, which I love. Cold weather and I don't get along at all. And the beaches are awesome. I'm a beach bum, so having the beach nearby is a little slice of heaven. A lot of Alabama is small towns and wide open spaces, but there are a few bigger cities, too. That’s relative, I suppose, but they are big enough to have plenty to do and everything you need to be comfortable, without being so big that the cost of living is high and traffic is a problem (I’ve driven in D.C. before. One of my goals in life is to never, ever do it again.) I do travel a lot, but I’m always happy to come home.

3) You're a runner. Have you run in any 'big' races?

I guess that depends on how you define 'big.' I've never run the Boston Marathon or anything, but I've run in some pretty cool races. I've run two half marathons at Seaside, Florida, which is just the coolest little place ("The Truman Show" was filmed there). I've also run a half marathon at Disney World. They had music and performers through the whole thing, so they get some pretty serious style points for fun races. I'm running a night half marathon at Disney in November, which I’m really jazzed about, and then a half and my first full marathon at the New Year's Double in Texas on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. So my fall training schedule is pretty full.

4) What genres do you read in your spare time?

I read a mixture of romance, women's fiction, crime drama and horror. I was raised on romance books, but my husband got me started on Stephen King when I was 17, and that love for a good horror story has lasted 25 years. I’m a Mississippian and a lawyer, which means John Grisham is a must (they haven’t passed a law yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time). And I met Lisa Scottoline at a book conference once, and it didn’t take me long to get hooked on her books, either. 




Thank you, Lin. A night marathon at Disney sounds intriguing. And best of luck for the New Year's Double! Now for the blurb and a taster of Where the Greener Grass Grows



Where the Greener Grass Grows
by Lin Brooks

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blurb:
Sending the children off to college is never easy. For Lacey Marchand and Cara Myers, an empty nest is enough to drive them a little crazy -- but sometimes, a little crazy is just what the doctor ordered.

Now that their daughters have left for college, Lacey and Cara have too much time on their hands. With nothing else to do, Cara decides to help single-mom Lacey get a life. And what better way to get a life than a few blind dates?

Lacey, however, can't think of a worse way to spend her weekends. She has her own ideas for curing their empty nest problems -- Cara needs a new career. And a career just happens to be what Lacey understands best.    

For Cara and Lacey, coping with the empty nest means reinventing their lives without losing their sanity. Where the Greener Grass Grows is the story of two mothers learning to live, to laugh and to let go.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

Sunday, August 26, 2010

Empty Nest

Have you ever noticed how quiet a house can be after a teenager leaves it? It’s like all of those decibels that have been screaming through the air for the last eight years have come to a sudden halt. I can hear buzzing in my ears, it’s so quiet. 

Three years ago, I realized it was almost time. When Abby started the tenth grade, I began telling myself it wouldn’t be much longer. Sometimes, I said this with more than a little relief. For instance, what single mother has never muttered under her breath, at least once, “just two more years and I can get in there and fumigate that room”? Of course you have. Admit it.

Well, at least now the room is clean. I had forgotten the child had a floor in there. The mp3 player is quiet and there’s no chattering on the telephone. I’m trying to remember the last time the house has been this quiet. A year ago, it would’ve been bliss. 

Now it isn’t. Remember all of those things you tell yourself you’re going to do whenever the kids leave home? I forgot most of them when she left. The rest were finished within four hours. I’m bored. I know it’s pitiful, but I’m new at this. Ideas would be appreciated.  
Posted by Lacey Gail at 14:52

~~~~~~~~~~~~


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lin Brooks is a lifelong Southern girl who lives in Mobile, Alabama with her family. Lin is a lawyer, runner, mother, home improvement enthusiast and an avid reader with a bucket list that includes visiting Australia, running a marathon and trying every kind of margarita ever made.

Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005I56O5W

Blog:  http://lin-brooks.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default


Hosting Maggie Jaimeson, author of women's fiction

I'm delighted to be part of author Maggie Jaimeson's exciting blog tour. Discover more about her new release, Healing Notes, right here!




Healing Notes
by Maggie Jaimeson


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blurb:

Forgiving yourself is the first step, but helping others forgive may be just too hard. 

Rachel Cullen grew up in Scotland with a fiddle in her hand from the age of four. She couldn't imagine life as anything but a musician. When her husband brought her to America she was immediately embraced by the Celtic and Bluegrass communities. But after her divorce, Rachel's life is a mess. 

A year of trying to prove to herself that she's woman enough for any man, and then a vicious rape while on tour with the band, leaves Rachel reeling. When she meets Noel Kershaw, an English teacher who is poetry in motion, she is definitely attracted. But he has a young child and he's suffering from his own divorce. The last thing Rachel needs in life is more baggage. 

First, Rachel must reconcile who she is, what she wants, and how to get there. Maybe then she'll know how to be a part of the family she's always wanted.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Excerpt:

Claire crawled onto a stool on the other side of the island and smiled.  Neither of them talked for several minutes as they listened to the water in the pot heat.

“When I grow up, I’m going to play with Sweetwater Canyon all the time.” 

“Are you sure you want to hang out with all us old folks?”

“You’re not all old. Well maybe a little old. But Kat isn’t old.”

Rachel smiled. “That’s true. She’s only seventeen.” And going on twenty-five it seemed sometimes.

“Oh, seventeen? That is old.” Claire put a finger to her lips and furrowed her brow. “How old do I have to be to play in the band all the time?”

“Probably at least eighteen.”

“But, you just said Kat—”

“Kat is different, because her mother plays in the band and can watch her all the time.”

“Well, you can watch me all the time. You can be my mother.”

Rachel gulped.

“Well, can’t you?”

“Can’t she what?” Noel walked in the room and lifted Claire off the chair in a big hug, swinging her around the room. “Can’t she what? She can do anything she wants.”

“See,” Claire leaned forward and looked at Rachel over Noel’s shoulder. “See, even Daddy thinks you can be my mother.”

“Whoa.” Noel set Claire back on the stool. “I’m not sure what I walked in on here.” He sent an accusing glance to Rachel. “You already have a mother, Claire.”

“I know. Not my real mother. My second mother. You know, like my friend, Megan. Her mommy and daddy got divorced and her daddy married a new mommy. So, Megan has two mommies now.  See?  Rachel can be my second mommy. Okay?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Maggie Jaimeson writes romantic women’s fiction and romantic suspense with a near future twist. She describes herself as a wife, a step-mother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher and an IT administrator. By day she is “geek girl” – helping colleges to keep up with 21st century technology and provide distance learning options for students in rural areas. By night Maggie turns her thoughts to worlds she can control – worlds where bad guys get their comeuppance, women triumph over tragedy, and love can conquer all.

HEALING NOTES is the second book in the Sweetwater Canyon Series of four books.  The final two books will be available in 2013.

Website:  http://maggiejaimeson.com
Blog:  http://maggiemeandering.blogspot.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maggie-Jaimeson/118916694787820
Twitter: @maggiejaimeson



Welcome to Blythe Gifford, Historical Romance Author

Today, I welcome the lovely Blythe Gifford, a best selling romance author with Harlequin Historicals. A long time fan of Blythe's excellent historicals, I can't wait to get my paws on her upcoming Scottish trilogy.

Her novels are full of adventure, sizzling tension and meticulously researched details. A must read for any fan of historical romance.

Over to Blythe...

Blythe Gifford introduces The Brunson Clan in 
RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR



Cathie and I share several things besides a Sagittarian birth sign, notably, an interest in Scottish and English medieval and Tudor history and a passion for a story slightly off the beaten path.  
That might well describe my new series, The Brunson Clan, launching with RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR, a November release from Harlequin Historical, in both the US and the UK.
The book is the first of three about the Brunson Clan, a family of Reivers on the Scottish Borders during the early Tudor era.  Stubborn and strong, the Brunsons are the most feared family on the turbulent Scottish Borders:  The family that will kneel to no one!

Here’s a glimpse of the story, along with an excerpt:
US Cover
WORD IN THE ROYAL COURT HAS SPREAD THAT THE WILD SCOTTISH BORDERS ARE TOO UNRULY. UPON THE KING'S COMMAND, JOHN BRUNSON MUST RETURN HOME...

Once part of a powerful border clan, John has not set sight on the Brunson stone tower in years. With failure never an option, he must persuade his family to honour the King’s call for peace.

To succeed, John knows winning over the daughter of an allied family, Cate Gilnock, holds the key. But this intriguing beauty is beyond the powers of flattery and seduction. Instead, the painful vulnerability hidden behind her spirited eyes calls out to John as he is inexorably drawn back into the warrior Brunson clan… 

The series will continue with CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD, January 2013, and TAKEN BY THE BORDER REBEL, March 2013.  

In an excerpt from Chapter One of RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR.  John has come across Cate, practicing her sword fighting against her own shadow.  He thinks to play with her, easily besting her sword with his dagger, but the woman proves more capable than he imagined…

Excerpt:
He jumped just in time to escape a touch.  Now was not the time for distractions.  He had expected a playful joust.  Instead, he faced a warrior.
He swung high, but she held up her sword, turned sideways, to block his stroke.  A clever move, but lifting the two-handed sword had strained her strength and when she lowered it, her arms shook.
Seizing on her weakness, he attacked and they crossed blades again.  Prepared now, he leveraged his strength against her sword.  Though she kept her grip, he pushed the blade away, coming close enough to feel her chest rise and fall, nearly touching his.  
Close enough that his mind wandered, careless of the blades, thinking that under her tunic and vest, she had breasts.  Now he could see her face, the angles of it, sharp and cleanly sculpted as her sword.  Yet thick lashes edged her brown eyes, disguising some of the hatred there.  
“Surrender now?”
Panting, she shook her head.  Yet her lips parted, tempting him to take them.  She was, after all, a woman.  A kiss would be mightier than a sword.
He pushed her sword arm down, pulled her to him, and took her lips.
She yielded for a breath, no more.  
But it was long enough for him to lose his thoughts, to forget she held a sword and remember only that she was a woman, breasts soft against his chest, smelling of heather…
In a flash, she turned stiff as a sword and leaned away, though her lips did not leave his, so he thought she only teased.
When he felt the point of a dirk at his throat, he knew she did not.  
“Let me go,” she said, her lips still close that they moved over his. “Or you’ll be bleeding and I’ll leave you to it, I swear.”
He eased his arms from her back and she pushed him away, wiped her mouth, and spat into the dirt.  
He touched the scratch she’d left on his neck, grateful she had not drawn blood.  
Her eyes, which he had thought to turn soft with pleasure, narrowed, hard with fury.
“It’s a Brunson you’re facing,” he said, trying a smile.  “Not a Storwick.”
She raised both sword and dirk, the larger wobbling in her grip.  “It’s a man I’m facing who thinks what I want is of no consequence if it interferes with his privileges and pleasures.”  
Had he imagined the echo of the bedchamber in her voice?  No more.
He raised his eyebrows, opened his arms and made a slight bow.  “A thousand pardons.”  Words as insincere as the feelings behind them.
She frowned.  “You are a stranger here, so you know no better.  And because you are a Brunson, I’ll let you keep your head, but I’ll warn you just once.  You will not do that again.  Ever.”  
She lowered her sword, slowly.
You are a strangerShe was the Brunson, besting him with a sword, displacing him at the family table.  His temper rose.  “And what if I do?”
The blade rose, this time, not pointed at his throat, but between his legs.  “If you do, you won’t have to worry about bedding a woman ever again.”
He swallowed, gingerly, his body on fire.  Only because she had challenged him.  Nothing more.  No man could desire such a woman.  
“Then have no worries on that score, Catie Gilnock,” he said, flush with anger.  “When next I bed a woman, it most certainly will not be you.”

Author Links:
Photo credits.  Cover used with permission.  Author photo by Jennifer Girard.  
UK Cover

Discover FEAR: An Interview with indie author Brandon Swarrow

I'm thrilled (as in bone-chilling 'thriller' - you see, it's to do with FEAR!) to host Brandon Swarrow, one of the 60 wonderful horror fiction authors who are part of the FEAR Halloween charity anthology published by Crooked Cat. Just in time...

FEAR: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror is available in paperback and electronic formats in two volumes, and features creepy, spooky, and horribly terrifying short stories. ~hides~




As the FEAR Blog Tour is well under way, Brandon tells us a little bit about his story, Disturbance of the Natural Pecking Order, published in Volume 1. See what he has to say... and make sure to check out the story!


1.  Without going all spoilery on us, can you tell us a little about your short story?


Disturbance of the Natural Pecking Order is the story of an evolutionary uber-bully preying on a new victim.


2.  What was the inspiration behind this story?

Public schools continue to spend countless hours campaigning to put an end to all bullying (and cyber bullying).  I believe this may actually be harmful over time as individuals do not learn the necessary coping mechanisms to deal with adversities in life.  Thus, society just pumps out timid weakling after weakling, while the predators who are consistently denied their quarry get more creative.


3.  How did you become involved in the FEAR anthology?

I subscribed to duotrope weekly and Crooked Cat Publishing was advertising for horror submissions.


4.  Describe your protagonist in three words.

Upbeat –Toilet – Seat


5.  What is your favourite part of the writing process?

I love the challenge that exists in trying to create something that has not been done.



6.  Who is your favourite author? And why?

Chuck Palahniuk, he proved that there is a place for innovation and creative freedom in literature.



7.  Did anyone ever tell you not to quit your day job? If so, is there a special message you'd like to send them now that you're a published author?

No message for the haters…yet.  Perhaps when The ThrillPlex Theater is the number one movie in the world I will address them.



8.  If you could have dinner with any one of your characters who would it be? And what on earth would you say?

“Hey Hugo Brody,” from the novel Hugo Read This! “Keep doing what you’re doing. Your sinful behaviour is just a joy for all of us to watch.”  



9.  If you could choose just one book to leave for future generations, what would it be?

The Catcher in the Rye – There is just something about that book. 


10.  Is FEAR your writing debut? If not, can you tell us a little about your previous work? What can we expect from you in the future? 

I’ve self-published three short fiction novels. All I can say about them really is they are very much different.  I’ve also had some other flash fiction published through online magazines.  One in particular was titled Toy Stormy, but the publisher feared the almighty Disney machine so much that they made me change the title to Toy Stormy and the Forbidden Closet.

I am currently working on a book of humorous short stories, though I’m finding out exactly how difficult it is to WRITE funny. 


11.  And finally, the Apocalypse is here. The world has been overrun with Zombies or Vampires or some other freakish thing that wants to chow down on humanity. Before the human race is completely eradicated you get to save two literary legends (don't ask me why you can only save bookish people, I don't make the rules) who do you save?   

Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne – I guess I’d have to bring them back first, but hey this is literature…there are no rules.


Brandon Swarrow Bio:


Brandon Swarrow is a high school English teacher who attempts to create works that provoke some type of profound thinking. In addition to a few poems, he has published several short stories via online magazines.


He is also now the creator of three different/deranged fiction novels; The Barn, Hugo Read This! and most recently The ThrillPlex Theater. Brandon currently resides near Pittsburgh, PA with his wife Michelle and two children.


Websitehttp://authorbrandonswarrow.webs.com/


Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/hugo.brody?ref=tn_tnmn



Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle e-copy of FEAR Volume 1 or 2, 
or a $50 AUD Amazon gift voucher. 
Open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


FEAR: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror is now available on Amazon UK and Amazon US, and in a range of electronic formats on Crooked Cat Books!




Be very afraid...

Bad Moon Rising - fast-paced, tense, sensational


I'm delighted to spotlight a brilliant, gripping thriller today: 

Bad Moon Rising by the talented Frances di Plino 


Because from today, Bad Moon Rising will be available in paperback! You know what that means? No excuses!

One more soul is safe.

Released earlier this year, the highly acclaimed story made it to the semi-finals of The Kindle Book Review 2012, it received raving reviews and rose high up the Amazon Kindle charts. New York Times bestselling author, Amanda Hodgkinson, called it, "Tense, fast paced and gripping. A brilliant debut.", whilst others have remarked on Frances di Plino's outstanding debut.


But just who is Frances?


Frances di Plino is the pseudonym of columnist, editor, non-fiction author, short story writer, poet and writing tutor, Lorraine Mace. Writing as Frances di Plino gives her the opportunity to allow the dark side of her personality to surface and take control. She is currently working on Someday Never Comes, the next in the Paolo Storey series following the highly acclaimed Bad Moon Rising.


*** SEMI-FINALIST in the KINDLE BOOK REVIEW 2012 contest ***



Blurb:


One more soul is safe.

Brought up believing sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victims’ souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.

Detective Inspector Paolo Storey is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.





So, for you to get a taste of things, here's a bone-chilling snippet. 


Excerpt:

He sang softly as he cruised. Friday nights in this part of town never changed, thank God. It made his work easier. The whores plied their trade in streets where no respectable people came; only those who used their services knew where to find them. As he edged the car around into Beacon Street for the fifth time he finally saw the whore he’d been searching for. She was leaning against the wall, eyes closed as if in prayer. He hoped she prayed. If she did God might save her. Almost as if she knew he was there, she opened her eyes and looked over towards the car. She was perfect for his needs. Almost the image of the girl in his precious photograph. If God approved of his choice, he’d make sure that she’d never turn into the hag that girl became.
He slowed the car. It crawled forward a few yards and then stopped. He touched the button to lower the window on the passenger side. She stood up straight and smiled, a look of interrogation on her face. Why did they all look like that, as if they really wanted to get in the car and open their legs? His heart pounded and his hands felt slippery on the steering wheel. He could barely swallow. It was always like this when he came to collect one of God’s chosen.
If she turned and walked away that would mean God didn’t want him to take her. It’s up to you, Lord. She moved towards him, and he waited, shivering with anticipation. If she got in, then God had spoken and he would do His work. She reached the car and leaned in through the open window. He almost gagged as a cloying sweet scent filled his nostrils. Forcing himself to smile back at her, he nodded in the direction of the dashboard where a wad of twenty pound notes were resting on the leather in front of the steering wheel.
“Fancy a drive?”
She nodded and opened the door, slipping into the passenger side of the car.
“Like car,” she said.
He didn’t answer as he eased the vehicle forward and drove away. He didn’t need to make conversation.



Want to know what happens next? Here's where you can find it...

Buy Links:


Halloween Newsletter from Crooked Cat Publishing

My publisher, Crooked Cat, have just issued their first newsletter. ~drum roll~

The theme is...

Halloween

Oooohhhh...

And I'm featured in it with an article. :-) Turnip Lanterns and Apple Dookin is about historic traditions in Scotland.

Browse articles, features and interviews with fellow authors Nancy Jardine, Tom Gillespie, Frances di Plino, Michela O'Brien, Ailsa Abraham, Kim Walker, Sarah Louise Smith and of course, the multi-talented David Robinson who put the feature together. He shares an excerpt from A Halloween Homicide, the latest in his series of cosy murder mysteries.

So check it out now!

Crooked Cat Halloween Newsletter




Chatting about Historical Tidbits


I'm over on the Inkslingers blog today, revealing my favourite bits of research. Come on and join us! We don't bite!


Researching Historical Tidbits


See you there! :-)



Spotlight on Kristina Knight

Today, I welcome fellow romance author and 'Inkslinger', Kristina Knight, who shows off her release, The Saint's Devilish Deal. Love the title!

Over to Kristina...

Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police - no, she wasn't a trouble-maker, she was a journalist. When the opportunity came to write what she wanted - business and family/parenting articles - and to focus more energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it.


And she's never looked back. Now she writes articles for magazines and such by day and writes romance novels with spice by night. And any toddler-free, five minute break she has. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and 4 year old daughter. Happily ever after.


Blurb: 
Esmerelda Quinn has been looking for a place to belong since her parents were killed in a car crash when she was young. The closest thing to home has always been Aunt Constance's villa in Puerto Vallarta, so after a string of dead-end hotellier jobs, she's coming home to run the villa.
Santiago Cruz has called the villa home for as long as he can remember. In between surfing events, Constance has always had a room for him. Color him surprised when Constance decides to retire - and leaves a joint interest in the villa to both Santiago and Esme.
Esme isn't thrilled to share ownership of the villa with the the youngest Cruz brother - especially when she learns Santiago's brother has been after the villa for years. But Santiago has grown up while she's been away at school and soon she finds herself falling for the rich boy down the hall.


Excerpt: 
“You forget yourself, Esmerelda. You’re talking about making this simple for the staff, that doesn’t mean I need to come to you for every new guest registration or idea I have. Besides, we need this campaign.” Santiago waved his hand. “We need more guests of a certain means to make the villa stand out. Families are great, but they won’t make Casa Constance a go-to destination. These people will. So, we use our new guests as features in a new campaign for the high-end travel magazines. A few shots in the tabloids wouldn’t hurt, either.”
“You weren’t even going to discuss this with me?”
“I’m telling you now. While we’re on the subject—” he tossed a few magazines from his desktop onto her lap “—what do you see in these pictures?”
Esme sent him a killing glance and then flipped through the pages. “Boring. Bland. Not home.”
“Exactly. This isn’t a home, or it shouldn’t be a home first. If you want Casa Constance to succeed you need to treat it like a business. So, make-over, what do you like?”
She tossed the magazines back onto the desktop. “Our guests love the color and textures of Old Mexico. They say so all the time.”
“Your guests haven’t been in residence, at least not actively, in more than a year. We aren’t appealing to anyone right now and we need to. So, makeover starts this afternoon and your new training begins in the morning.”
“I know what I need to know about running a vacation resort.”
“You need to experience a vacation to sell it. We need day-trips, we need amenities. I’ll bet you’ve never gone para-sailing or sky diving, much less enjoyed a couple’s massage.” Her cheeks pinked at the last suggestion and Santiago smiled. “Celebrities visiting Casa, playing on our private beach, being featured in an advertising campaign—with a few pictures leaked to the tabloids to get the word out even sooner. Casa needs this.”
Esme took a few breaths and then settled back into her chair. “I can’t afford to pay the salary of a New York advertising crew. Seriously, Santiago, you have to cancel.”
“My three months, remember? It won’t cost you a thing. The photographer owes me a favor. The only cost will be the campaign copy, which will be negligible. I do know what I’m doing, Esmerelda.”
“Okay, mail.” Esme shook her head as if clearing thoughts of the upcoming ad campaign from her head. “Marquez usually separates bills from letters—”
“As the mail will be delivered to the front desk, I’m happy to see to it. And let’s cut to the chase.” He leaned back in the chair and clasped his hands behind his head. “I don’t want to be tied down to a vacation villa for the rest of my life. But if you really want this, there is something you have to do for me. First.”
Esme swallowed, crossed and re-crossed her legs before clasping her hands in her lap. “What do you want? A payoff? You’ve seen the books, you know there isn’t much money. But if it’s money you want, I’ll agree to your price. I just need time to come up with the capital.”
She really didn’t know him at all. He shouldn’t be surprised, but he was. Surprised and a bit disappointed. “I need your money like I need another surfing championship,” he said, sitting up straight. “No, what I want from you is a bit more. . . ephemeral. I want your time. For three hours each day, you belong to me. No villa work. No guest handholding.” He walked around the desk to rest his hip against one corner. “No conferences with staff. No following the maids on their routine cleanings and no visits to the kitchen to give Gloriana instructions. For three hours each day, your time is my time.”
“You can’t be serious. That. . . that’s just. . .” She trailed off when his index finger traced the line of her jaw. He lowered his voice.
“No work. No phones. No villa. You do what I say, what I want.”

Author Link:
Buy Links:


Historical Research whilst Tracing your Roots


I've recently read a fabulous little guide book about how to trace your ancestors. As someone with mixed bloodlines, with my distant ancestors hailing from all over Europe and North America, I've always been intrigued. So, when editor and family researcher, Maureen Vincent-Northam, published Trace Your Roots, I had to grab a copy.

I know my German side hails from French Huguenot stock. Blue blooded French nobility. Nice! And luckily for me, I have a very inquisitive American aunt who has managed to track that side back to Sweden, Scotland, Ireland - and England, to the court of Edward I. I can't wait to see that family tree!

The little gem of a book even helped with background research for Silent Deception, my romantic gothic novella. I reveal what exactly on Maureen's fab blog, Trace Your Roots!

Come on over!


FEAR Charity Anthology has arrived! Be very afraid!

No worries, I haven't switched genres. ~shudders~ I'm only promoting a new anthology for a good cause:


FEAR: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror

I can't watch Horror movies, and usually don't even read anything scarier than a psychological drama (my recent faves being Frances di Plino's Bad Moon Rising and Tom Gillespie's Painting by Numbers). But for FEAR, I'll make an exception.

Why?

Because FEAR is for charity!

The anthology, released by Crooked Cat Publishing, comes in two volumes, so readers get sixty (that's 60!) stories to terrify them. And neither the publisher, nor the many wonderful authors, get a penny. Of course, Amazon take their share, but all the rest goes to two worthy causes.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
An international, independent humanitarian organisation providing medical support and aid in the most troubled and poorest countries on the planet.

Barnardo's
Looking after the welfare of children in the UK, Barnardo's is a long established charity looking for support.


With forewords by bestselling authors, Peter James and Sherri Browning Erwin, FEAR has received wonderful support.


So don't hesitate! Grab your copy of FEAR – and prepare to hide behind the sofa!

I'm there already...


FEAR is now available for Kindle or in paperback on Amazon UK and Amazon Worldwide
and in a range of electronic formats at Crooked Cat Books!