This week Life Playlists catches up with writer Kit Domino and here are her five choices…

Thank you, Jo, for inviting me to take part in this fabulous blog. Music, as well as books, has always played a major part in my life: from growing up with German folk songs and classical music to marrying a part-time DJ. From Saturday mornings listening to Children’s Favourites and Sunday lunch over Family Favourites on the radio and teenage years those of the 1960s and 70s, to right up to this very day. Thus love, life, family and memories are sealed by music – the happy and the sad. So, where to begin? A German song or the first 45 single I bought (Adam Faith)? The Beach Boys, Moody Blues, The Faces, or Keith Relf’s Renaissance? …The list is endless.

For my first choice, I’ve picked music from the late 1960s. What an era it that was with so many fantastic songs and bands out there. Living in London and having a music-mad boyfriend who became a part-time DJ, I was spoilt with shows, nightclubs and concerts and discos a constant happening. One big favourite was Fleetwood Mac. I’ve chosen the instrumental Albatross because it bringing back happy memories of warm summer days and sultry nights, of being allowed to stay out all night for the first time to attend a midnight concert at the Lyceum Ballroom, London where Fleetwood Mac, among many others were playing that night.

 

It was also back in the 1960s I came across folk singer Ralph McTell, a prolific and gifted songwriter whose style invites you into a unique world, weaving narrative that tugs on your heart, songs and music that are significant, poignant and sometimes amusing. It’s impossible for me to pick a favourite but this one, Let Me Down Easy, holds particular meaning from when my first marriage broke apart. However, Ralph’s music and songs have always been there for me, and always will be.

 

When I moved to Gloucestershire in the mid 1970s, I thought I would lose the concerts I habitually frequented in London. Thankfully, I was wrong. Bristol has two fantastic concert venues, the Colston Hall and the Hippodrome, and I was fortunate to attend both many times to see and hear Ralph McTell, Status Quo, Queen, Stevie Millar Band, Rod Stewart and the Faces, Mike Harding, Inspirational Choir and many, many more. It was at this time I also met (at a dance) the man who is my husband now for 40+ years, and no play list would be complete without “Our Song”. For us, it’s Just the Way You Are by Barry White. I was never a great fan of Barry’s but this song says it all. It has to be his version, mind. The original and other covers don’t do it for us.

 

The 1970s and beyond has been filled with wonderful singers, bands and music. George Michael, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd, the Eagles, ELO, Stevie Wonder, Abba and so much more. Amongst all of these the passion for classical music held strong, with many a summer evening enjoying what became a family tradition of open-air classical picnic concerts. Milton Keyes Bowl provided a regular location for music, song and fireworks. From Duxford airfield to the majestic grounds of Berkeley Castle, we much preferred listening to the Three Tenors than the Three Degrees. One piece in particular was a firm favourite of my family, one which we also played at my father’s funeral: the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni. From its melancholy start to the heart-tugging end, it took many years before I was able to listen to this again without the tears welling. But time heals.

 

Throughout all of the music world there is but one singer who can make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. He came to the fore about 20 years ago with a voice often described as “The voice of an angel” and “If God could sing, he would sound like this.” Who? The one and only Andrea Bocelli, of course. His songs helped me through long convalescence when I was first struck down with a now life-long medical condition. His songs also bring back wonderful memories of holidays shared with my mother and two beloved sisters, of lying on sun-drenched Greek beaches with the beach bars close by playing his CDs. Utter bliss. Again, it difficult to choose which song from the many. Bocelli often duets with other singers, ie Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman, John Miles, his wife and even his son, but last year he duetted with another of my favourites: Ed Sheeran. A double whammy! Thus for my last shout I have included Perfect Symphony. Oh my, those hairs are on end again.

Music, in particular, classical music, is at the heart of Kit Domino’s forthcoming novel: White Stones, a haunting story of love and music transcending the barriers of time, featuring a relatively unknown real-life composer and one of his works rarely heard in the UK. In no way a frightening read, this novel may change your mind about the supernatural and how the world around us works.

White Stones Cover-72dpi-1500x2000

Due for release on 1 June 2019, it is available for pre-order on Amazon as an ebook, and will be available in paperback shortly thereafter.

Excerpt from White Stones

Disjointed notes faded in and out. Gone one moment, there the next – faint strands of music drifting up from downstairs. Cursing herself for having left the radio on, Penny Cornwall tossed down her book, threw back the duvet and reached for her dressing gown draped across the bottom of the bed.
On opening the bedroom door, the music became a fraction louder. Chords rose and fell, but the bars were incomplete, vague fragments of sound that lacked coherence. Head tilted, she listened for a moment before groping the wall for the light switch. The narrow stairwell flooded with harsh cold light.
As she reached the last few treads, one foot poised in mid-air, the music ceased. Her heart and mood lifted. He’s back!
“Harry! I didn’t expect you home yet. Why didn’t you ring? I’d have waited up.” She hurried down the remaining stairs. “Harry?”
No answer came. The only sound was the steady ticking of the grandfather clock by the front door.
“Harry? Harry, is that you?”
Skin prickling with fear, all thoughts transformed into the shape of someone lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on her. Shivering against the cold sweat now trickling down her back, a vision played out in her mind. Of Alex, her estranged husband, creeping about in the darkness. Hiding. Waiting. Ready to pounce. Choosing this night, knowing she was alone, to break in and drag her back to London. Punishment for running out on him.
“Alex? Alex, is that you? Don’t do this to me!”
The solid oak front door shook in its frame, straining against a force trying to wrench it open. Her eyes flew first to the top bolt, then to the bottom one. Both were firmly shot.
If it isn’t Harry or Alex, then who the hell is it?
“I know you’re there, I’ve got a gun!”

Biography

Kit Domino (2)Kit Domino’s childhood was spent in West London alongside the banks of the River Thames, with Richmond, Kew and Osterley parks as her extended playgrounds. Living in South Gloucestershire, and now retired, she spends much of her time writing and reading, and travelling, especially to the Greek Islands which inspire much of her work. She writes in several genres including sagas, timeslip and mystery/paranormal. In 2004 she was shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize with her 1950s London story Every Step of the Way.

As well as a keen gardener, Kit is a keen cook and food blogger as well as being an international selling acrylic artist and tutor.

White Stones: https://amzn.to/2W8adMH
Every Step of the Way: https://amzn.to/2u8lOlj
Website: https://kitdomino.wordpress.com
Kit’s Kitchen: https://kitdominoshowcase.wordpress.com
Kit Domino Art: https://kitdominoart.wordpress.com/
You will also find Kit on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

It’s 23rd April and publication day for Kathryn Freeman’s Crikey a Bodyguard

CRIKEY A BODYGUARD

Fabulous new book from the best selling author of Oh Crumbs and Too Damn Nice. Highly recommended.

She’s got the brains, he’s got the muscle …
When Kelly Bridge’s parents insist on employing a bodyguard for her protection, she’s not happy. Okay, so maybe not every woman is on the cusp of developing a vaccine against a potential biological terrorist attack – but crikey, it’s not like she’s a celebrity!

Ben Jacobs flunked spectacularly out of school, so he knows his new client Dr Kelly Bridge spells trouble for him. But on a conference trip to Rome he finds things are worse than he thought. Not only is he falling for the brilliant scientist, he’s also become horribly aware she’s in grave danger. As they go on the run, dodging bullets and kidnappers, can he resist his feelings and keep her safe?

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crikey-Bodyguard-Choc-Lit-heart-warming-ebook/dp/B07P43K6RH/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Crikey-Bodyguard-Choc-Lit-heart-warming-ebook/dp/B07P43K6RH/

Apple: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/gb/book/crikey-a-bodyguard/id1454236476?mt=11&at=11lNBs

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/crikey-a-bodyguard-choc-lit

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kathryn_Freeman_Crikey_a_Bodyguard_Choc_Lit?id=lPKNDwAAQBAJ

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130706561?ean=2940161201749

Website: https://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/crikey-a-bodyguard/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44285008-crikey-a-bodyguard-choc-lit

Other books by Kathryn Freeman:
Oh Crumbs, A Little Christmas Charm, A Little Christmas Faith, Too Damn Nice, Before You, A Second Christmas Wish, Search for the Truth, Too Charming, Do Opposites Attract?

 

ABOUT KATHRYN

5707-2Kathryn started her working life as a retail pharmacist but soon realised trying to decipher doctors’ handwriting wasn’t for her. Next she joined the pharmaceutical industry where she spent twenty happy years working in medical communications, doing a lot of writing – about medicines. What she really wanted to write about though, was romance.

In 2011, backed by her family, she left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…

She lives with two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in her life is all in her head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.

She can be found at: http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

LIFE PLAYLISTS: This week it’s reader and blogger Kerry Robinson’s turn to make those five special choices…

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I’m Kerry Robinson and I blog over at Herding Cats. I am a wife, mother of two, a primary school teacher and an avid reader. When I’m not reading, working or doing family things, I can be found rehearsing with a local theatre group or enjoying a glass of wine in-front of the TV. I’m delighted to be joining Life Tracks today as I’ve loved music since I was very young and many of my memories are tied up in song.

 

 

You can find me at:
Blog – https://likeherdingcatsblog.wordpress.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/cats_herding
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/blogblogbloggingalong
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/herding_cats_bookstagram/

1. Mrs Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel

On our wedding day we had decided not to bother with a first dance and didn’t really have ‘a song’ but my husband surprised me with this one and although the content of the song isn’t very romantic – it was such a fun song to have and a lovely surprise.

2. Stevie Nicks – Edge of Seventeen

This song is just immense. Stevie has such a beautiful voice and this is an epic song. I love this one because until about three years ago I was scared to sing in front of people. I mean really scared – couldn’t even sing a jingle if friends asked me how it went. I was convinced that I couldn’t sing, and my husband disagreed, so we made a bet and I took singing lessons. On my first lesson I told my coach that I’d love to sing this song, but I knew it was well out of my ability. Several months later and I was singing it. I’m no Stevie but I did it. Now I belt it out whenever I hear it.

3. Van Halen – Little Dreamer

Both my husband and I are huge Van Halen fans and listened to them all the time. This song in particular reminds me of when we moved to Hertfordshire. It was such a big move for the two of us as we were only in our early 20s. Chris had a university placement year and I was going to start my first teaching job. We listened to Van Halen – by Van Halen for the drive down there.

4. Paloma Faith – Make Your Own Kind of Music

In August we met and adopted our daughter. She is a huge music fan and has a fantastic voice at such a young age. One of the songs we used to play in the car during our first meets was this one and as well as being a beautiful song, it will always remind me of those first days we spent together.

5. Middle of the Road – Chirpy Cheep

This seems like a completely random choice and this song drives me insane but it has such a special meaning that I couldn’t leave it out. It’s a song my mother always used to sing (badly and out of tune) when I was a small child so I grew up knowing it but when my son was a toddler it was the only song that would get him to settle down and go to sleep. He called it Sherpy Sheep. Despite listening to it umpteen times a day, it will always make me smile and remind me of him.

 

IT’S THURSDAY 18TH APRIL AND PUBLICATION DAY FOR DEBUT SAGA AUTHOR MOLLIE WALTON’S DAUGHTER’S OF IRONBRIDGE

DAUGHTERS OF IRONBRIDGE

Perfect for fans of Maggie Hope and Katie Flynn – the first in a heartwarming new series set against an ironworks in 1830s Shropshire, by debut saga author Mollie Walton.

Anny Woodvine’s family has worked at the ironworks for as long as she can remember. The brightest child in her road and the first in her family to learn to read, Anny has big dreams. So, when she is asked to run messages for the King family, she grabs the opportunity with both hands.

Margaret King is surrounded by privilege and wealth. But behind closed doors, nothing is what it seems. When Anny arrives, Margaret finds her first ally and friend. Together they plan to change their lives.

But as disaster looms over the ironworks, Margaret and Anny find themselves surrounded by secrets and betrayal. Can they hold true to each other and overcome their fate? Or are they destined to repeat the mistakes of the past?

‘Feisty female characters, an atmospheric setting and a spell-binding storyline make this a phenomenal read’ – Cathy Bramley

The Daughters of Ironbridge has that compulsive, page-turning quality, irresistible characters the reader gets hugely invested in, and Walton has created a brilliantly alive, vivid and breathing world in Ironbridge’ – Louisa Treger

mollie waltonMollie Walton is the saga pen-name for historical novelist Rebecca Mascull. Visit her websites for more information: https://molliewalton.co.uk/ & https://rebeccamascull.co.uk/

She has always been fascinated by history and on a trip to Shropshire, while gazing down from the iron bridge, found the inspiration for what has become her debut saga novel, part of a trilogy titled THE IRONBRIDGE SAGA, published by Bonnier Zaffre. She is currently hard at work on the three books, with the first novel due for release in April 2019, set in the dangerous world of the iron industry: THE DAUGHTERS OF IRONBRIDGE.

Under the pen-name Rebecca Mascull, she is the author of three historical novels.
Her first novel THE VISITORS (2014) tells the story of Adeliza Golding, a deaf-blind child living on her father’s hop farm in Victorian Kent. Her second novel SONG OF THE SEA MAID (2015) is set in the C18th and concerns an orphan girl who becomes a scientist and makes a remarkable discovery. Her third novel, THE WILD AIR (2017) is about a shy Edwardian girl who learns to fly and becomes a celebrated aviatrix but the shadow of war is looming. All are published by Hodder & Stoughton.

She has also recently completed the final chapters of her friend and fellow novelist Vanessa Lafaye’s final work, a novella called MISS MARLEY, a prequel to Dickens’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL. This novella will be published in November 2018 by HarperCollins.

Visit her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MollieWaltonbooks/

Her agent is Laura Macdougall at United Agents.
http://www.unitedagents.co.uk/rebecca-mascull

Rebecca has previously worked in education, has a Masters in Writing and lives by the sea in the east of England.

IT’S PUBLICATION DAY FOR DAUGHTER OF THE HOUSE (CORNISH TALES BOOK 4) by VICTORIA CORNWALL

DAUGHTER OF THE HOUSE PIC

Evelyn Pendragon is spirited but lonely, and largely ignored by her parents whose attentions are taken up with her brother, Nicholas: the expected heir to the family’s Cornish estate and the one who will carry on the Pendragon name.
Stifled by her aristocratic existence, Evelyn finds companionship in an unlikely place when she befriends Drake Vennor, an apprentice gardener on the estate.
But When Evelyn’s life is thrown into turmoil by a tragedy, she realises just how much she has come to rely on Drake. Will family expectations and the burden of the Pendragon name mean she must turn her back on him when she needs him the most?

BUY LINKS

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

61O6t8BvhEL._UX250_Victoria Cornwall grew up on a farm in Cornwall and can trace her Cornish roots as far back as the 18th century. It is this background and heritage which is the inspiration for her Cornish based novels.

Following a fulfilling twenty-five year career as a nurse, a change in profession finally allowed her the time to write. She initially self-published two novels, Old Sins Long Shadows and The Gossamer Trail under the name B.D.Hawkey. In 2016, award winning publisher, Choc Lit, acquired both books as part of a four book deal. Old Sins Long Shadows is now published under the new title, The Captain’s Daughter, and The Gossamer Trail is now titled, The Daughter of River Valley.

Victoria is married and has two grown up children. She likes to read and write historical fiction with a strong background story, but at its heart is the unmistakable emotion, even pain, of loving someone.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

 

TODAY LIFE PLAYLISTS CATCHES UP WITH WRITER JUNE KEARNS FOR HER FIVE SPECIAL CHOICES…

Thank you Jo, for this lovely invitation.
(So tough though, making the choices!)
When I was six, we went to live in a tiny Victorian railway terrace, with gas lighting (these be ancient times!) and one dark, dripping, cobwebby outside loo, half-way down the garden.
Ooh, the absolute horror of racing out and back in your Winceyette nightie in the dark, before the baddies lurking out there could leap out and grab you!
That was when I started to love the Westerns on our tiny black-and-white TV – that contrast of big sky and open, empty land, stretching out to the horizon. (It probably spawned the idea for my first book, too!)
Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell still sums up that wide-plains feeling for me.

At eighteen, I started my two-year photographic course in London.The girls I flat-shared with had just spent the summer in America and brought back two LPs by someone I’d never heard of before. To my ignorant ears, his voice sounded a bit like a dog with it’s back leg caught in barbed wire.
(Me:‘Ha, that’ll never catch on!!’)
It was my first introduction to Bob Dylan and later, ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’

In my twenties, a boyfriend from home introduced me to jazz and Ronnie Scott’s club in London. The atmosphere was always electric and over the years, I saw some wonderful musicians play there.
Telephone Song from Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto brings back the absolute thrill of those early visits.

When our eldest son graduated, he decided to go to San Francisco for further study. The other side of the world! I couldn’t imagine when we’d next be able to see him. Those introductory strains of Tony Bennett and I Left My Heart in San Francisco, always made me boo-hoo, (and sometimes still do!)

During the fabulous 1960s, I worked in London – a time when absolutely anything seemed possible! The style and fashion, the music and buzz of that time all feature in my new WIP.
Aretha Franklin’s – Say A Little Prayer sums up the joy of it all for me.
(I met someone recently who’d saved every single one of the clothes she’d ever bought from Biba! Why didn’t I do that?!)

 

Biography
An only child, June Kearns was always a daydreamer who spent a lot of time staring into 0CD5AE44-22D4-4C79-9DD5-3FCBCD256025space and making things up.
She was brought up by women – grandma, mother, aunts – and it was their influence that made her want to write.
June started seriously after leaving teaching, and winning a national magazine competition for the first chapter of an historical novel.
A founder member of the indie publishing group, The New Romantics Press, she’s published two novels – An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy and The 20’s Girl – and currently, in a warm corner next to the airing cupboard, is working on a third, set in 1960’s London.
A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, she lives in Leicestershire, with husband and family.

Website: http://www.junekearns.com
Twitter: @june_kearns
Instagram: junekearns
Facebook: June Kearns

 

An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy http://viewbook.at/B009XRRU2M

The Twenties Girl http://viewbook.at/20sgirlkindle

It’s publication day for Kim Nash’s Debut Novel Amazing Grace…

9781912973064

AMAZING GRACE

by Kim Nash

She’s taking her life back, one step at a time…

Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted.

Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary – and her perfect life fell apart.

Now she’s a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks.

Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves.

So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness?

A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.

Buy links:

AMZ: https://amzn.to/2MIAM7k
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2GeKm0D
Apple: https://apple.co/2MMvJD2

About the author

50777189_2415175988557120_8271694763955060736_nKim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at http://www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.

Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.

When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.

Amazing Grace is her debut novel with Hera Books and will be out on 10th April 2019

Connect with Kim on Social Media here:
Twitter: (@KimTheBookworm) https://twitter.com/KimTheBookworm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimTheBookWorm/
Instagram: @Kim_the_bookworm