Miriam Drori - Neither Here Nor There - Release Tour

Today, I welcome a relatively new Crooked Cat author: Miriam Drori!

Miriam, originally from England, now lives in Jerusalem. Her romantic novel, Neither Here Nor There, is now available.

Over to Miriam...

Background to the Novel

There have always been different types of Jews – some more observant and others less observant. 


Even in the time of Jesus there were the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Today, there are several branches of Judaism ranging from one extreme to the other. The most observant belong to the haredi community (and within the haredi community there are various sects). That’s the one whose menfolk wear black hats and black suits with tassels hanging out. There are others who wear long cloaks that are either black or striped black and white. The women always keep their arms and legs covered, and married women cover their hair. In Israel, they live in certain neighbourhoods and a large number of them live in parts of Jerusalem. The segregation works both ways. They want to have roads closed on the Sabbath and holidays. They want to see people dressed as they are in their neighbourhoods.

This is the community into which Esty, the heroine of Neither Here Nor There, was born. This is where she was brought up to be a devout woman. And this is where her family and the wider community expect her to live for the rest of her life. Where she will marry a man introduced to her by a matchmaker. Where she will live in a small, two-bedroomed flat. And where she will give birth to a large number of children. Or so they believe.

Mark, on the other hand, the hero of the story, grew up in a much more liberal family in London. He is coming to terms with living in a new country and speaking a new language and doesn’t expect to have any connection with the haredi community.

While generally maintaining the light tone of a traditional romance, this novel touches on several complex issues: arranged marriage, escaping from a closed community, extremism, life-changing decisions and emigration. I’ll be returning to those issues as I hop around the blogosphere.

Blurb

Love in an exotic setting.

Esty’s life was laid out for her from birth. She would marry one of a handful of young men suggested to her and settle down to raise a large family in a tiny space within the closed community of her parents, near to and yet far from the modern world.

But Esty has decided to risk all by escaping while she still can. Will she make it to the other side?

Mark, who is struggling with his own life changes, hopes that Esty will find a way through her troubles. He is fast falling in love with her.

Separately and together, in Jerusalem and London, Esty and Mark need to overcome many obstacles in their endeavour to achieve their dream.

So much more than just a romance. A life.

Bio

Miriam Drori was born and brought up in London, and now lives in Jerusalem where she single-handedly demonstrates female superiority against three males, now that her daughter has left home.

Following careers as a computer programmer and a technical writer, Miriam has been writing for the past ten years and has had short stories published online and in anthologies. Neither Here Nor There is her first published novel.

Miriam began writing in order to raise awareness of social anxiety. Since then the scope of her writing has widened, but she hasn’t lost sight of her original goal.

Links


Neither Here Nor There is available from:

And other places too...



Secret Love by Christine Warner - Release Day Blast

Today, I'm introducing another author friend to you: meet the lovely Christine Warner!


I'm delighted to welcome her on the release day of her Sweet Nostalgic novella, Secret Love. Obviously, I'm wishing her a hugely successful launch day! Here goes...


Blurb:

Lizzie Tarleton has always done things her own way—including the time at the tender age 
of thirteen when she confessed to her brother’s best friend she loved him. But now she’s a new teacher at the local high school, and independent enough to know that you can’t force love. She’ll find love when the time is right—even though her parents are adamant the time is now. The only downfall to her idyllic life is the fact that her childhood crush—who broke her heart—is now her boss. If only she could stop daydreaming about him.

Wayne Whitmore grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and worked hard to get where he’s at in life. Even though he enjoys being principal at the small town high school, he dreams of coaching baseball. When his best friend asks him to watch over his little sister at her new job at Wayne’s school, he agrees. What he doesn’t count on is how she’s grown from the pig tailed kid who told him she loved him, to the woman who breaks his concentration with her beauty and smile. Unable to get over his fascination, and afraid he’ll ruin his friend’s trust, Wayne applies for his dream job—one that will take him far away.

One night while decorating the school gymnasium for an upcoming sock hop, Lizzie and Wayne find themselves alone. They share a kiss and Lizzie realizes her childhood crush for Wayne has never died. Wayne decides he doesn’t want to let Lizzie get away.

Can they come to terms with their secret love and then overcome the other secrets they are hiding in order to get what they each want? Or is their timing for love still off?

~~~

Excerpt:

She blinked away the heat of tears forming at the back of her eyes. Their conversation had grown too serious. She needed to lighten things up a bit. “Remember when we used to play ‘What if?’”
He laughed. “What if Lizzie wore a dress?”
“Either she was going to church, or her mom was having a ladies’ social.” Lizzie giggled. “Ricky hated that game.”
“He’d get so mad when you’d start it.” He made the final cut on a small snowflake and added it to the pile before him.
“What if Wayne couldn’t throw his famous curve ball?”
“The school trophy case would be one trophy short. What if Lizzie wasn’t teaching here?”
She pouted. “She’d be sad. I have no idea what I’d be doing if I hadn’t found a job here. What does Lizzie have to do to show Wayne she thanks him?” She winked, enjoying their fun.
He cleared his throat. “What if Wayne said Lizzie owed him a kiss?”
Her belly trembled. What if?
“What if he stole one?” His voice lowered and he leaned in.
“Why don’t you find out?” she whispered.
~~~

About Christine Warner:

Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her husband, three children, one laptop and a much loved assortment of furry friends.
Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmitic.  A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities.  She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines.
A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on facebook, twitter and her website at www.christine-warner.com.
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Links & Info:
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Click on the banner to visit the other fabulous blogs where Christine is appearing today! 



Promised to the Highlander by Kate Robbins - New Release Tour

Today, I'm absolutely delighted to welcome back the lovely Kate Robbins. A talented author of Highlander romance, Kate is currently celebrating the release of Promised to the Highlander, her 2nd novel published by Tirgearr Publishing. I'm reading it at the moment and love it! :-)

I had the pleasure of meeting Kate (or rather Debbie, her real-life alter ego) when she visited Edinburgh last year, and we had a blast! I must make my way over to her in Newfoundland one day...

So, folks, without further ado, please check out her novels and dive into 14th century Scotland. You won't regret it!

~~~

Blurb:


Nessia Stephenson's world was safe until a threat from a neighbouring clan forces her to accept a betrothal to a man whose family can offer her the protection she needs. The real threat lies in her intense attraction to the man who arranged the match—the clan's chief and her intended’s brother, Fergus MacKay.
When powerful warlord Fergus MacKay arranges a marriage for his younger brother, William, he has no idea the price will be his own heart. Fergus is captivated by the wildly beautiful Nessia, a woman he can never have.
When the feud between the MacKay and Sutherland clans escalates, Nessia, William, and Fergus all must make sacrifices for their future. Longing and loss, honour and duty. How can love triumph under such desperate circumstances?
~~~

Excerpt:

William paced while Fergus leaned back in his chair with his long legs stretched out and his arms crossed over his chest. Stephenson was late, not by much, but enough to make William fidget and Fergus take notice. Their three younger siblings, Freya who was in her sixteenth year, John who was fourteen, and eleven-year-old Stephen, waited as well, all in various states of impatience.
The great hall was large and welcoming with dark wooden beams framing the ceiling and walls. Fergus had counted the eighteen beams along the length of the room about a hundred times. William had worn a permanent path on the wide plank floor in front of the red sandstone hearth beneath the many MacKay hunting trophies. Young John sighed again.
“You know, for a man who isn’t eager to meet his future wife, you’ve got quite a set of nerves there lad,” Fergus said to William.
William straightened his linen shirt and smoothed his tunic as he glared at Fergus. Yet, the comment was absorbed and William ceased his pacing to sit on a chair near the fire. Fergus watched his brother adjust his belt again. The young man wore his usual dress, but had taken greater pains today to perfect his appearance. Fergus glanced down at his linen shirt and leather sleeveless tunic. William’s long hair was tied at his nape while Fergus’s was left hanging loose. Fergus recalled having to take extra pains upon his betrothal. Thankfully, those days had passed and he needn’t overly worry anymore. A young lass would surely find William’s neat, respectable appearance appealing. He hoped so, but before he could dwell on it further a servant entered, announcing the arrival of Thomas Stephenson, his daughter Nessia and several of their clansmen.
William sprang to his feet and crossed the floor in a few quick strides to greet them. He continued to fidget as Fergus sauntered up from behind.
“Thomas! Welcome. We thought we’d have to send out a search party soon.” Fergus led the stout man into the great hall.
“Aye, the road was a bit rough with a wagon in tow.”The man’s brow was streaked with sweat and he looked weary from his travels.
“We’ve had a lot of rains this harvest, there’s no doubting that.” In truth he would have gone searching himself had another hour passed. Earlier that day he’d heard more rumours about Ronan Sutherland. Apparently, the lad had agreed to his father’s suggestion and would commence his campaign in the coming days.
Fergus sensed William stiffen beside him as Thomas began the introductions.
“Fergus, William, this is my brother Neville and these three are my sons, Colin, Robert, and Camden my youngest. And this is my daughter, Nessia.”
Fergus acknowledged each man in turn. When the introduction came to the girl and his gaze fell on her, his breath caught in his throat. With black hair and bright blue eyes, she stood proudly before him with her chin lifted and all the regal confidence of a noblewoman. She displayed no fear or reservation at all, something which was unusual in most men he met, but was more so in a woman. The gentler sex usually cowered before him—not this lass.
Fergus stared at her, his heart drumming hard inside his chest. His guts clenched as if he’d been punched. He had to force himself from moving toward her to touch her hair, which looked like spun silk, for surely it could not be real.
Fergus remembered his brother then, and tore his gaze from her to find William’s eyes wide and his jaw slacked. An unexpected pang ran through him. When he
turned back it was to find her still staring at him, seemingly unabashed for staring openly at a man. A bold one, then. Fergus drew his brows together. What did she want?
Ebook version available at these links. (Go get it, says Cathie)
~~~
Author Bio:
Kate Robbins writes historical romance novels out of pure escapism and a love for all things Scottish, not to mention a life-long enjoyment of reading romance.
Kate loves the research process and delving into secondary sources in order to blend authentic historical fact into her stories. She has travelled to Scotland twice and visited the sites described in her Highland Chiefs series.
Her Highland Chiefs series is set in the early fifteenth century during the reign of James Stewart, first of his name.
Kate is the pen name of Debbie Robbins who lives in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada with her man-beast and two man-cubs.