A Shout Out for author Daisy James – Cover Reveal for her latest book Sunshine After the Rain now available for pre-order

SunshineAfterTheRain_3.6 (1)

The new delightfully uplifting beach read from Daisy James. Perfect for fans of Mandy Baggot, Christie Barlow and Zara Stoneley.

A summer that changes everything…

Frazzled workaholic Evie Johnson has finally had enough! When she’s blamed for a publicity disaster at the art gallery she loves, she decides to flee the bright lights of London for the sun-drenched shores of Corfu and turn her life upside-down.

Under the shade of the olive trees, she picks up her dusty paintbrushes and begins to chase the dreams she had put aside for so long. But she never expected to bump into drop-dead-gorgeous Sam Bradbury – and certainly not whilst wrapped only in a towel!

A summer fling is the last thing Evie wanted but a few stolen kisses under the stars might just begin to change her mind…

Link: http://amzn.eu/bPjcbs8

 

ABOUT DAISY JAMES

Daisy JamesDaisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. Her husband and young son were willing samplers of her baking creations which were triple-tested for her debut novel, The Runaway Bridesmaid. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

Daisy would love to hear from readers via her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter @daisyjamesbooks, especially if they have given any of the recipes in her book a whirl… photos are very welcome.

 

 

New from Choc Lit: WHERE RAINBOWS END by AnneMarie Brear – promo and review 24th May, 2017

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Can she hold on to her dreams …?
It’s 1850 and the Noble family have travelled to the other side of the world to start a new life after scandal drove them from their native England. Pippa Noble is determined to reclaim their honour by making her father’s plan for an outback farm reality, although her ambition is frowned upon by a society that has very set ideas about a woman’s place …
Pippa learns the hard way about the unforgiving nature of the bush, sometimes with devastating consequences. And when unfortunate circumstance leads to Pippa tending the farm alone, it is the friendship of neighbouring estate owner Gil Ashford-Smith that helps her through.
Then an unexpected visitor from England arrives, putting Pippa’s dreams in jeopardy. But she refuses to let go. She will hold onto her family’s land, even if it means losing everything else …

 BUY LINKS:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071P7KBH6/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/where-rainbows-end-2

Apple iBooks: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/gb/book/where-rainbows-end/id1235737422?mt=11&at=11lNBs

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/AnneMarie_Brear_Where_Rainbows_End?id=25ckDwAAQBAJ

Nook Book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/where-rainbows-end-annemarie-brear/1126443898?ean=2940157427719

MY REVIEW

From the first page I was completely drawn into this story of the Noble family. It’s 1850 and they have arrived in Australia to begin a new life. Gerald Noble is a likeable man; he dotes on his twin daughters Philippa and Hilary and is extremely tolerant of his difficult wife Esther who has fought against coming here to live. However, he’s had no option. Losing the family’s fortune due to bad investments and gambling this is his last chance to turn things around. Arriving with a loan from his cousin, he intends to purchase land and open a profitable stud.
Philippa and Hilary may be twins but their personalities are totally different. While Hilary is calm and quiet, Philippa is fearless and ambitious. She is also keen to begin her new life away from the heartbreak and rejection dealt her by a man she really loved. She persuades their father to let her accompany him on his journey to see their land for the first time. As he employs a manager (Rob Robson) to oversee his new workforce and they begin the construction of the stud he is called back to Sydney. Philippa asks to remain insisting someone from the family needs to be there. Reluctantly Gerald agrees. With her father gone she takes charge, embracing her new life with enthusiasm. Her good head for business coupled with common sense become extremely useful as she faces some challenging situations during the construction of the stud and the family home.
This is a lovely read full of great characters.  The Australian outback is a wonderful backdrop for the story. It’s described in such a way that it enhances rather than intrudes into the action going on. Philippa (Pippa) is a worthy heroine. She’s tough, confident and single-minded – sometimes a little bossy – and the author puts her through an awful lot of challenges (both mental and physical) before we reach the end of the book.

Gil Ashford-Smith, the son of a neighbouring family, who Pippa meets and becomes close friends with is the quintessential hero. Desperately in love with Pippa he realises all too soon that making a success of her family’s business leaves no room for romance in her life. However, Philippa eventually discovers the path she has chosen, while making her wealthy, won’t bring her love or happiness.  But has she left it too late to find those things with Gil?

A fabulous romantic saga. I absolutely loved it!

gold-star

I would like to thank Choc Lit for an AVC copy in exchange for an honest review.

615xD2waBFL._UX250_ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Australian born AnneMarie Brear writes historical novels and modern romances and sometimes the odd short story, too. Her passions, apart from writing, are travelling, reading, researching, roaming historical sites and gardening. She is currently living in England.

AnneMarie Brear on the web:

http://www.annemariebrear.com
http://annemariebrear.blogspot.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/annemariebrear
Twitter @annemariebrear.

It’s Monday so it must be writing time…

 

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Having just got back from a really relaxing break I’m about to resume work on my current WIP The Boys of Summer.  For me this is always the hardest moment.  Part of me is still back in Norfolk, locked into a pleasant daily regime where lunch and dinner are the only two defined moments in the day.  Everything else we did was up for grabs, decided either the night before or over breakfast.  Now, back home, once again daily routine holds sway and part of that routine is writing.  Reconnecting with your characters after an absence is sometimes difficult, although having said that, they still managed to intrude into my thoughts even when I was miles from home, having my chill out week.

My first job over the weekend (besides tackling the inevitable overflowing laundry Ironingbasket) was to set up three promos, read and review one book and deal with the e-mails I’d not been able to respond to on my iPad.  Electronic life is relentless. Your plan is to get away from it all but you have to stay connected in order to minimise the time you’ll have to spend responding to things when you get back.  So it was a daily trawl, either deleting or starring for attention on my return.

I do actually have moments when I think ‘what the hell’ and abandon all thoughts of being organised even though it’s completely against my nature.  I am and always have been a creature of to ‘do lists’ and diaries. In fact one job I had earned me the title ‘Miss Organisation’.  True to form, therefore, this weekend I deliberately concentrated on the distracting stuff, (including a pile of ironing – my least favourite domestic chore), wanting to get all of that out of the way so I could give all my full concentration to writing today, Monday. And now, here I am, thinking about the next scene as I try to round up my characters, who like naughty children, seem to be enjoying the game of hide and seek as I attempt to get them all together again.

When I worked on the storyline for The Boys of Summer I found it fell into two clear sections. Determined to keep to my deadline I burnt the midnight oil to complete part one before I left for my holiday.  Achieving this resulted in a huge sigh of relief and a well deserved large pre-holiday glass of wine.  I’d left central character Kat Trevelyan  en route to Italy. Leaving a painful past behind her she was about to begin a new job working for a friend of her father’s.   A year has gone by and I’m bringing her back to her home in Cornwall and the man who broke her heart.  Watch this space…

 

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

The South Devon Duo…available on Amazon in e-book or paperback

Summer Moved On  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0139IXHZE

Watercolours in the Rain https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LX4GRE5

 

COVER REVEAL FOR SUZY TURNER’S LATEST CHICK LIT NOVEL – APHRODITE’S CLOSET – AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD ON AMAZON.COM and AMAZON.CO.UK

Aphrodite's Closet Final

Aphrodite’s Closet

Agatha Trout didn’t even know she had a Great Aunt Petunia, so imagine her surprise when she finds Petunia left her a corner shop in her will. But it’s not just any old corner shop—it’s a corner shop that needs something unique, something the town of Frambleberry has never seen before. Influenced by her confident best friend, Coco, Agatha is soon convinced that there’s only one way to go: an adults-only sex shop.
While some of the townspeople are clutching their pearls in horror, others are open to the new experiences this shop offers. But not everyone in Frambleberry is convinced. Will the women soldier on in the face of violent threats or will their fears get the best of them—and their new venture—before it even gets off the ground?

BUY LINKS:

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2qJYIyB
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2pYZK7a

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Suzy TurnerBorn in England and raised in Portugal, Suzy lives with her childhood sweetheart Michael, two crazy dogs and a cat.
Shortly after completing her studies, Suzy worked as a trainee journalist for a local newspaper. Her love of writing developed and a few years later she took the job of assistant editor for the region’s largest English language publisher before becoming editor of a monthly lifestyle magazine. Early in 2010 however, Suzy became a full time author. She has since written several books: Raven, December Moon, The Lost Soul (The Raven Saga), Daisy Madigan’s Paradise, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, The Temporal Stone, Looking for Lucy Jo, We Stand Against Evil (The Morgan Sisters), Forever Fredless, And Then There Was You, Stormy Summer and her latest, Aphrodite’s Closet.
In 2015 she launched her popular 40+ lifestyle blog which continues to go from strength to strength, while just over a year later, she trained to become a yoga instructor. Suzy continues to write, blog and teach yoga in one of Portugal’s loveliest settings – the Algarve.

SUZY’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Lifestyle Blog: http://www.suzyturner.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/suzyturner
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/suzyturnerbooks
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/suzy_turner
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/suzyturnerbooks
Book Blog: http://www.fictiondreams.com

SPOTLIGHT ON KRISTIN ANDERSON AND HER NOVEL THE THINGS WE SAID IN VENICE…

A gondola, Venice, Italy

Book Title: The Things We Said in Venice
Author: Kristin Anderson

Solid and dependable, high school counselor Sarah Turner knows all about helping others get their lives on track. But when her own life spirals drastically off course due to a fast-track divorce, she surprises everyone. She leaves her job and home in Bend, Oregon and heads to Europe for a six-week solo adventure. Amsterdam is her final destination where she plans to enter a controversial program that could change her life.

From the temples of Angkor Wat to the ruins of Machu Picchu, renowned Dutch travel writer Fokke van der Veld has seen it all. After a major betrayal, there’s one thing he’s not interested in seeing again: women. That’s why the guys-only trip to the Italian Dolomites with his old fraternity brothers is just what he needs. Sort of. If they weren’t teasing him and getting him drunk.

When a series of unexpected events in Italy throw Fokke and Sarah together, the sparks are undeniable, but so is the fear that keeps them apart. Will these two independent travelers open themselves up to a chance of love, or catch a fast train to safety?
This romantic comedy is a story of self-discovery and love that travels through regions of Italy, Argentina and The Netherlands.

 

A TASTER

CHAPTER ONE
Sarah

While the locals shuffle carefully over the snow-slicked sidewalks, Sarah runs like a mad woman toward the Belluno station. I will not miss this one, she chants in time to the distant, yet steady clickety-clack of the train’s metal wheels gliding over tracks. She picks up her pace, the icy air burning her nostrils, the straps of her pack chafing her shoulders despite her thick winter layers.
She cuts through the abandoned village park, her laborious movements at odds with the utter stillness as Belluno train station finally pops into view. As she slows her pace, her body relays physical complaints to her mind: the surprising weight of her backpack cutting into her shoulders, the ache of ice-cold air in her lungs, the burning sensation of snowflakes on her cheeks.
When she comes to a standstill, a rush of heat explodes through her body. Moments later, perspiration builds beneath her thick winter layers, cooling her down. Damp curls form a blanket of cold around her neck. She shakes her head involuntarily as the first shiver crawls up her spine.
As means of distraction, Sarah people watches, though the pickings are slim—a thickly built woman holding the hand of a stout, large-eared boy, presumably her son, and an older, clean-shaven man in military uniform. All three sport dry hair.
By the time the train pulls into the station and Sarah hears the familiar hiss of the doors opening, her teeth are chattering. She finds a free place in the third railcar and finally unstraps the cumbersome backpack, setting it in the seat beside her. The whistle sounds and the train is about to take off, but it doesn’t. There is some sort of commotion. The doors open and close again. She can hear two men talking, perhaps the conductor and a male passenger. Although she can’t make out the words, one voice is laced with tension and a bit too loud. The other voice, which she assumes belongs to the conductor, remains calm.
Back home, she would need to know why the doors had to open once more and what these men are discussing. But in the past four weeks of free-wheeling through western Europe on her own, she has adjusted her way of responding to things beyond her control. She has learned to let go. It is so different from how she acts at home that she has given her newfound skill a name: European Style Detachment.
Her feet and hands begin to return to body temperature as the train finally leaves the station. She leans into her large backpack and closes her eyes. She feels a slight pulsing in her subconscious, like an alarm clock going off in the neighboring hotel room; something you hear, but can choose to ignore. Except that she can’t. Something’s not right. It could be that slightly angry conversation she overheard, or it could be that the bag she is leaning into doesn’t smell like her bag. It has the faint scent of cinnamon and musk tinged with sweat; the scent of a man.
Sarah straightens in her seat, scrutinizing the travel backpack as one might scrutinize a naked stranger you have unwittingly brought into your bed—curiosity tempered with fear. It is black like hers. It has the white North Face logo of her bag and the same rainbow strap she put on it to differentiate her black bag from all the other black bags of the world. But isn’t the strap in a different place? And come to think of it, it felt heavier than her bag when she was sprinting to the train station.
Maybe it smells so manly from being in the pile of luggage where she stashed it while she grabbed a brioche at the café. Or, it could have been shuffled around in the compartment beneath the shuttle bus from Cortina to Belluno; cologne from a man’s bag spilling on hers.
I’m being ridiculous, she tells herself. But she unbuckles the exterior straps anyway and peers into the top compartment.
“Oh my God!” Sarah exclaims as she shuffles through the doppelganger of her bag. Several passengers turn toward her momentarily and then look away, exemplifying European Style Detachment. At the top of the backpack is a photography magazine written in what she thinks must be German. She pushes aside the magazine, revealing an impressive stash of Cote d’Or chocolate bars in their distinctive red and gold cardboard wrappers, cloth handkerchiefs in a Ziploc bag, a leather-bound journal, water, men’s plaid underwear size XL, slacks, long sleeve shirts, pants and thick woolen socks. On the inside tag of the top compartment is a name written in black permanent marker: Fokke van der Veld. She stops her search and pushes the bag away in shock. How the hell did this happen?
It has stopped snowing outside and sun reflects off the whitened fields, punching into the window. Sarah reaches automatically into the side pocket for her sunglasses, but of course they’re not there. Her mother is in a thick pea coat, wearing Sarah’s missing sunglasses and deathly blue lipstick that promises to make her forthcoming tirade all the graver:
What are you going to do now Sarah? You should have taken your time in Cortina d’Ampezzo to make sure you had your own bag! Your passport, your money, your iPad. Everything is in that bag! You could be mistaken for a terrorist and thrown in prison for traveling without identification.
The locals say Cortina, not Cortina d’Ampezzo, Sarah counters. As a school counselor, she is well aware it’s abnormal to be seeing visions of her mother in her head, not to mention silently conversing with her. But as usual, mom’s got a point. Sarah thinks about Italian corruption, envisions a musty 17th century prison cell with a mangy rat family in one corner and instruments of torture in the other. She stands suddenly, wanting to take action; wanting her mom to shut up. She has thirty euros in her jacket pocket along with the train ticket and the address of the hotel in Treviso where she will be staying. That’s at least something. But how on earth is she going to get her bag back? And who the hell is Fokke van der Veld?
Buy Links:
United States https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XKDNFTM
United Kingdom https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XKDNFTM
Germany https://www.amazon.de/dp/B06XKDNFTM

ABOUT KRISTIN

Kristin Anderson 2016 Kristin Anderson is a lover of nature, culture, literature, arts, environmental activism, storytelling and romance. Raised by her librarian-mother and photographer-father in the rural Santa Ynez Valley in California, she developed a love of storytelling in her formative years. Her degree in English Literature led to a career of writing for others. It wasn’t until she moved to The Netherlands with her husband and their son, that she was able to pursue a life long dream of writing fiction. Green, published in 2013, is her debut novel. Kristin’s second novel The Things We Said in Venice was released in March, 2017 with the first scheduled book signing on May 20, 2017 in The Hague.

Kristin’s social media links:

Author Website https://authorkristinanderson.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristinAnderson/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorKristin
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authorkristinanderson/

Tuesday Talk welcomes author Amanda James to talk about her latest book Behind the Lie, celebrity dinner guests and what’s next on her writing agenda…

13413162_10209721378542122_7100989314098346567_nGood morning Mandy and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Morning, Jo! It is great to be here with you today  Okay, I am 32, I live in Cornwall, I am a writer, I used to be a teacher, and Behind the Lie is my latest book. It is a suspense drama… One of those statements is false. I bet you can guess which one?

How did your writing journey begin?

I have always written. Well not always, a new born baby can’t write…but I have been writing since I was very young. Sometimes it would be poems, songs and often short stories. I never thought that one day I’d be published though. But about fifteen years ago I started writing seriously – novels mostly. They got nowhere because I didn’t really know how to write! I had great ideas and plots, but the telling left much to the imagination. I read about writing, read lots of novels and practiced, and I eventually got a short story published in 2010. The rest is history as they say.

Time slip, mystery, suspense and now psychological thriller, your books have been quite varied. Is there any other genre that appeals to you?

Not at the moment. I don’t think I fancy horror; I would frighten myself too much. And yes I have written in many genres, because I just go with the story in my head. The time travel and suspense always have a relationship in there if not a love story. So I guess that’s what unites them all – that and a sense of adventure. I like writing books that have adventure, excitement and intrigue in them.

Your latest book Behind the Lie is a psychological thriller. What was the inspiration behind it?

I’m not sure it is a thriller in the accepted sense though my publisher has billed it as such. I think it’s more of a suspense drama, because there isn’t the huge twist…or is there? Sorry, I must stop teasing. It’s more about following the journey of Holly the main character as she searches for the unthinkable truth…but will she find it? And will the truth be more than she can handle?
The inspiration? Well, one day I was walking on the beach as I often do and looked up at a beach house. It was the kind of house that I tend to drool over from time to time, as although I can see the ocean from where I live, it is five-miles distant! My imagination began to make up the person that lived in the house, and Holly West, my main character waved at me from the window. Well, she didn’t really, but you know what I mean…. Also the lonely rugged coast helped me to visualise Holly and all her problems and I knew I needed to help her solve them. I am also in love with the sea. My dream from being very small was to move to Cornwall particularly the north coast and I am overjoyed to have realised it. Just the sight and smell of the sea lifts my spirits and inspires me.

What destination is at the top of your bucket list and why?

I am currently thinking of India. There have been so many great documentaries and dramas on TV lately about it and it looks wonderful. Yet I’m not sure that I could cope swanning about being a tourist while there is abject poverty and death just beyond the air-conditioned hotel rooms. But then again, tourism will feed into the economy won’t it? I don’t know… we’ll see.

What’s next for you? Are you currently working on a new WIP? If so are you able to tell us anything about it?

Yes, it is another suspense set in Cornwall. It’s about a young woman looking for her birth mother. When she finds her, she wishes that she hadn’t.

And lastly, if you were planning a dinner party which to include four celebrities who would you choose and why?

Oh that’s tricky! Okay – Adele as we are going to see her in June, Paul Simon as I think he is a legend and the best living poet we have, JK Rowling because I think she is a great role model for youngsters who are interested in writing, and Sally Wainwright so I can pick her brains about writing! She has written Happy Valley, Last Tango and Scott and Bailey to name but a few smash hit dramas.

More about Amanda James

Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.

Amanda has written many short stories and has five novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.

Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the beautiful coastline near her home. Three of her novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and Behind the Lie – April 2017 pub – HQUK ( HarperCollins)

Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Amanda’s Social Media Links:

Author links – Amanda’s blog – http://mandykjameswrites.blogspot.com/

Twitter – @akjames61

Facebook mandy.james.33

BEHIND THE LIE

 

An Unthinkable Lie (1)

Holly West has turned her life around. She’s found a successful and loving husband in Simon and is expecting twins. She is definitely a woman who has taken back control of her future.
Until she gives birth, only for one twin to survive. Holly can’t let it go.
Holly’s world is in a tailspin and suddenly she can’t trust herself or anyone else. No one believes her, not her husband or her best friend. Because she thinks she knows the truth…her son is still alive and she won’t stop until she finds him.

Buy Links – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behind-Lie-Amanda-James-ebook/dp/B06XKCP4L6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

BOOK REVIEW: BEHIND THE LIE BY AMANDA JAMES

An Unthinkable Lie (1)

Holly West has turned her life around. She’s found a successful and loving husband in Simon and is expecting twins. She is definitely a woman who has taken back control of her future.
Until she gives birth, only for one twin to survive. Holly can’t let it go.
Holly’s world is in a tailspin and suddenly she can’t trust herself or anyone else. No one believes her, not her husband or her best friend. Because she thinks she knows the truth…her son is still alive and she won’t stop until she finds him.

Buy Links – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behind-Lie-Amanda-James-ebook/dp/B06XKCP4L6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

MY REVIEW

I have to say this book hooked me from the very first page where Holly West is in a private clinic giving birth. She has been expecting twins – a boy and a girl – but there are complications and her son doesn’t survive. However something keeps niggling at Holly. She simply can’t accept that baby Ruan has died.  Both her husband Simon and best friend Demi try to convince her that he didn’t make it.  But Holly can’t let go. Is she going mad? Is this a form of post natal depression?  Could her drug dependency from her modelling days in some ways have affected her pregnancy?  Dizzy from all these ‘what ifs’, the arrival of a letter changes everything and sets her on a journey to discover exactly what happened to her son.

This was a compelling read.  The plot is quite complex and cleverly put together. It’s a  story that pulls you in and takes you over as piece by piece Holly and her former boyfriend Joran work together and begin to uncover the truth. Amanda James has certainly created a great cast of characters too; some you will love others you’ll hate with a passion.  All  in all great edge of your seat read…

4-stars

It’s publication day for Ellie Darkins’ new Harlequin Romance novel Falling for the Rebel Princess…

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ABOUT THE BOOK

From princess to rock-star royalty!

Self-proclaimed “black sheep” Princess Charlie of Afland has worked long and hard to be taken seriously in the music industry, managing to keep her royal obligations, and her secret heartbreak, under the radar. Until one night in Vegas changes everything…

Rock star Joe Kavanagh gets more from his Vegas gig than he’d bargained for…a princess bride and a PR story to die for! As the initial attraction, which led them down the aisle, turns into something deeper, keeping their marriage strictly business proves increasingly difficult…

Buy Links:
https://www.amazon.com/Falling-Rebel-Princess-Harlequin-Romance/dp/037374434X
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MXKLN5T

 

MY REVIEW

Charlie has escaped from her life as part of Afland’s royal family to pursue an independent career.  She is now a successful music executive. She is sent to Las Vegas to persuade Joe Kavanagh and his band to sign for the label she works for. However things don’t quite go to plan when she wakes up next to Joe with a gold wedding band on her finger.

Neither of them can really work out why it happened.  They do know that a large amount of alcohol and post gig party atmosphere was involved.  As they both come to terms with what has happened, they agree to run with the situation for a while and use it as a PR opportunity both for her company and his band.  At some point in the future they agree they will need to end it.  Both are aware that they have a strong physical attraction to one another. But committing to a lifetime together needs far more than that.

As the two begin to spend their first days as man and wife, little niggles of doubt begin to creep in about that fateful night in the wedding chapel. Charlie wonders whether Joe has manipulated the situation to gain exposure for his band while he wonders at first if she is pregnant and looking for an easy target to marry.  Or whether, like the girl who broke his heart many years ago, she’s simply using him to get back at her family.

The story see saws between Charlie and Joe’s viewpoints.  As they settle into their fake marriage both begin to realise there is something far deeper going on between them.  But is it strong enough to override the other doubts and fears and bring them together?

An enjoyable and well written romantic read.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author photo 6

Ellie Darkins spent her formative years devouring romance novels, and after completing her English degree she decided to make a living from her love of books. As a writer and editor her work now entails dreaming up romantic proposals, hot dates with alpha males and trips to the past with dashing heroes. When she’s not working she can usually be found at her local library or out for a run.

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/EllieDarkins/
https://twitter.com/elliedarkins
https://www.instagram.com/ellie_darkins/
https://uk.pinterest.com/elliedarkins/

It’s publication day for Girl in Red Velvet by Margaret James…

9781781893357

Will loving two men tear your heart apart?

It’s the 1960s and Lily Denham is about to begin her studies at Oxford University.
On her first day she meets Harry Gale and Max Farley, two fellow undergraduates who are both full of mischievous charm. The three of them become firm great friends and enjoy exploring everything Oxford has to offer, from riotous parties to punting up the river on sunny afternoons.
However, something threatens to disrupt the fun, because Lily soon realises she’s falling for both of her new-found friends, men who might offer her two very different futures – but who will she pick? Harry is generous and kind, reliable and trustworthy. Max embodies the spirit of the sixties; adventurous and rebellious, but possibly a little bit dangerous as well.
As university ends and Lily struggles to make her mark on the vibrant fashion scene, she must make a decision. But she soon becomes aware that the wrong decision could have devastating consequences for her own future and for Max’s and Harry’s futures, too…

Girl in Red Velvet is book 6 in the Charton Minster Series (The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, The Wedding Diary & Magic Sometimes Happens).

BUY LINKS:

Kindle: http://hyperurl.co/jxo5eb

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/girl-in-red-velvet

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Margaret_James_Girl_in_Red_Velvet?id=Eiu6DgAAQBAJ&hl=en

B&N Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1126272291?ean=2940157251192

iBooks: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/gb/book/girl-in-red-velvet/id1224665973?mt=11&at=11lNBs (problem with link this morning)

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34948288-girl-in-red-velvet

MY REVIEW

I was lucky enough to be asked to read and review an ARC of Girl in Red Velvet, Margaret James’ new novel for Choc Lit.

Meeting Harry Gale and Max Farley on her first day in Oxford Lily Denham – christened Red Queen by Max because of the dress she is wearing – soon becomes close friends and drinking buddies with them.  Although similar in height and colouring, the two are poles apart when it comes to personality. While Harry takes his studying seriously, Max always needs to test boundaries and live on the edge.  His womanising and outrageous pranks soon make Lily  realise that although she is attracted to him more than Henry, he would be the worst mistake she could make.  Yes, life with Harry seems a far more stable option.  But in choosing stable, is she selling herself short?  Her personal tutor Minnie Rushman certainly thinks so.

Max loves Lily but never seems to be able to put his feelings into words. When he discovers she has slept with Harry, he knows he can no longer stay and leaves Oxford. Abandoning his degree and finds a new career as a travel writer visiting extreme locations and often putting his life in danger (a sort of nineteen sixties Bear Grylls).  Harry and Lily successfully complete their degrees with Harry joining the civil service and Lily deciding on a career in fashion – using her clever dressmaking skills to become as she puts it ‘the new Biba’.  Living with Harry and concentrating on her career she feels settled, despite Max’s occasional ‘between travel project’ visits which tend to resurrect old feelings. But then a trip to India to source material for a new collection changes everything…

This is a wonderful story, covering three decades and charting Lily, Harry and Max’s lives and the changes that occur because of the choices they make along the way.  The writing flows well and I loved the way the three characters interacted. I have to admit to having soft spot for Max. In the beginning you see him as someone constantly challenging authority and doing the most outrageous things.  Then as the story progresses we learn the reason for his behaviour is deeply rooted in his unhappy childhood. Yes, I’m always drawn to vulnerable  heroes.

For me it’s the sign of a good read when you actually care what happens to the characters you are reading about.  I desperately hoped for a happy ending for all three.  Did that happen?  Well you’ll need to read the book for yourself and find out I’m afraid….and please do because it’s a great read.

A well-deserved five stars

gold-star

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author-pic-e1382741922267-150x148Margaret James was born and brought up in Hereford and now lives in Devon. She studied English at London University, and has written many short stories, articles and serials for magazines. She is the author of sixteen published novels.
Her debut novel for Choc Lit, The Silver Locket, received a glowing review from the Daily Mail and reached the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in November 2010 and in the same year a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles. The Golden Chain also hit the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in May 2011.
Margaret is a long standing contributor to Writing Magazine for which she writes the Fiction Focus column and an author interview for each issue. She’s also a creative writing tutor for the London School of Journalism.
Margaret loves hearing from her readers, and can be found on both Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday Talk catches up with lawyer-turned-novelist Caroline England whose debut novel Beneath the Skin will be published this October…

_DSC5966Good morning Caroline and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Hi, I’m a former divorce and professional indemnity lawyer who lives in South Manchester. I came over the border from Sheffield to study law at Manchester uni and stayed. I have three gorgeous daughters and three greedy cats but only one husband!

How did your writing journey begin?

I had always thought it a romantic notion to write a novel, but never thought I’d actually do it! I finally put pen to paper about ten years ago. I wrote very basic drafts of three or four novels, then decided short stories and poems were a lot less effort! Many of them were published in literary magazines and anthologies. A few years later, I came back to Beneath the Skin.

Who are your favourite authors? Have any of them influenced your writing?

My holiday reading is mostly crime – anyone from Ian Rankin to Jo Nesbo, and some contemporary – Mary Wesley back in the day, Kate Atkinson and Maggie O’Farrell. When Kate Atkinson combined contemporary and crime in her Jackson Brodie novels I was ecstatic! Though my novels are not crime fiction per se, I think my writing has been influenced by the blend of those genres too, so I write about contemporary lives but with intrigue, dark edges and secrets. And, of course, love.
Roald Dahl has been another big influence. I never read his children’s books, but I adored his short stories when I was a teenager. My copy of Switch Bitch did the rounds at school but was eventually confiscated. I think my love of the twist and my need to surprise readers comes from there.

Your debut novel, Beneath the Skin, is due to be published in October, can you tell us something about it?

Good or bad, I do love all my characters! They first made an appearance in a short story called The Dinner Circle and the novel grew from there, mostly when I was musing in the bath! Each character has their private fears, weaknesses and demons hiding beneath the skin…
I have always struggled to describe the mix of different genres in the novel, but I’m delighted the label ‘domestic noir’ sums it up in two words!
Sarah Jasmon, the author of The Summer of Secrets reviewed Beneath the Skin and said: ‘Four couples with interlocking histories; eight individuals, all with secrets that are ready to explode. Set in the lush heartland of the Cheshire countryside, this is a tautly elegant psychological thriller, razor-sharp and utterly believable. I loved it.’
Thank you, Sarah Jasmon, I couldn’t have put it better myself!

Are you a beach or city girl? Name your favourite destination and why you love it so much.

A city with a beach would be my preference (culture, mooching and relaxation) though last year’s holiday to Mexico would be hard to beat – a white sandy beach and turquoise sea, swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing, cocktails on demand…

If you hadn’t decided on a legal career, is there another profession that would have interested you?

When I left the law I became a volunteer mediator. It was very rewarding work, and though those participating had complete confidentiality, it was brilliant insight to the human psyche – misunderstandings, emotions, fears, viewpoints, identity and versions of truth! Just the sort of things I find fascinating and explore in my writing.

And lastly, you’ve been invited onto I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. If you could choose four of your companion contestants, who would they be and why?

This is a tough question! I’m hopeless at coming up with quick-fire answers to what I want for my birthday or for dinner, let alone being abandoned in Australia! But I’ll give it a go…
Kate Atkinson, not only because I admire her writing so much, but to find out how exciting it must have been to have Jason Isaacs, perfectly cast, as Jackson Brodie!
Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes (I’ll count them as one) because they were both so hugely talented (and to thrash out what really happened in their tempestuous relationship).
Steve Coogan because he’s witty, funny and creative. And he’s a great impressionist. And comes from Manchester!
James Keziah Delaney, the character Tom Hardy played in Taboo. He’s an incestuous brutal monster, but he’s a compelling, vulnerable and damaged human being too! It would be fascinating to peel back the layers of his past and I don’t think he’d have a problem with the challenges and bugs! Tom Hardy would have to come too, obviously. He’s such a fabulous and versatile actor, he’d be very welcome to play any, or indeed, all the characters in Beneath the Skin!

 

CATCH UP WITH CAROLINE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website: carolineenglandauthor.simplesite.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caroline.england.75
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/Caroline-England-Author-383973665305943/
Twitter: Caroline England @CazEngland
LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/caroline-england/64/880/358
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5771366.Caroline_England

About Caroline England

Born a Yorkshire lass, Caroline studied Law at Manchester university and stayed over the border. Caroline practised family and professional indemnity law. She became a partner in a firm of Solicitors and instigated her jottings when she deserted the law to bring up her three lovely daughters. Caroline has had short stories and poems published in a wide variety of literary magazines and anthologies.

Beneath the Skin

167400-FCT
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beneath-Skin-Caroline-England/dp/0008237522/ref=la_B009UQC1YS_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492550397&sr=1-1

SYNOPSIS

The lies start small. They always do.
Antonia. It’s been her name for many years. But sometimes, like tonight, she forgets.
Antonia has a secret. A secret so dark and so deep that she can barely admit it to herself. Instead, she treats herself to Friday night sessions of self-harm while her husband David is at the pub and her best friend Sophie is drinking too much wine a few doors down.
Nobody close to her knows the truth about what she saw all those years ago. No one, that is, except her mother. But Candy is in a care home now, her mind too confused to remember the truth. Antonia is safe. Isn’t she?