Friday, 24 May 2019

New Release Spotlight, Excerpt and Guest Post: The Dark Bones by Loreth Anne White



Title: The Dark Bones
Author: Loreth Anne White
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance


When Detective Rebecca North left her rural hometown, she vowed never to return. Her father’s apparent suicide has changed that. The official report is that retired cop Noah North shot himself, knocked over a lantern, and set his isolated cabin ablaze. But Rebecca cannot believe he killed himself.

To prove it, she needs the help of Ash Haugen, the man she left behind. But Rebecca and Ash share more than broken hearts. Something darker lies between them, and the investigation is stirring it back to life. Clues lead them to the home of Olivia West and her deeply troubled twelve-year-old daughter, Tori. The child knows more about the murder than anyone can imagine, but she’s too terrified to say a word.

And as a cold-blooded killer resurfaces from the past, Rebecca and Ash begin to fear that their own secrets may be even harder to survive.


Hunting For Betrayal with Author Loreth Anne White

My newest novel, THE DARK BONES, is about a cop, Rebecca North, who learns that her father—a retired police officer—has killed himself. She can’t believe it. But in order to prove it was murder she must return to her small, rural home town and face a lot of dark things she’s been running from including the man she left behind long ago, and a cold case thought long buried.

At the core, THE DARK BONES examines the lies people tell each other and themselves—the false narratives they construct in order to hide mistakes, or bad deeds, or hurtful truths, or realities that shame and burden them. And as Rebecca North, my detective, digs deep to find the truth of what really happened to her dad, she begins to crack open a carapace of old lies that wraps around a cold case—a  heinous deed that occurred in her small community twenty years in the past, a crime from which people are still hiding.

Rebecca fast learns that the secrets she is beginning to unearth are secrets people will still kill to keep. However, opening up this vault of lies and betrayals in the small town also reveals to Rebecca truths about herself, and about the man she once loved, Ash Haugen. A man who betrayed her. And in confronting those betrayals and old lies, and the reasons that underpinned them, Rebecca and Ash can finally heal, and open themselves to a love that was always meant to be. At the heart THE DARK BONES is also about second chances, and getting that opportunity to try and set right the collateral damages around betrayal.

Although THE DARK BONES stands alone, it also revisits the setting and some of the characters from an earlier book, A DARK LURE. Those earlier characters were left with a hard road to travel toward their happy end, and as some of them play a key role

in Rebecca and Ash’s story, we see them also confronting outfalls around betrayal, and getting chance to continue their journey towards a good life.


The Dark Bones Excerpt


Rebecca felt warmth. She was enveloped by it. She heard the crackle and pop of dry logs burning and, in the distance, dogs barking. The smell of … fire—

Her eyes shot open, her heart thumping.

He sat there. Ash. In a chair by the fire, watching her with his ice-blue eyes. She was in his living room, and the lighting had been dimmed. The flickering glow of the flames in the hearth behind him cast his rugged features into sharp relief. The scar down the side of his face looked harsh. An old brown dog with a white muzzle slept on a rug in front of the hearth.

Rebecca’s brain slotted puzzle pieces into place as she struggled through a mental haze to backtrack and figure out how she’d gotten here: The lights following her. The razed cabin and the clues that someone had been inside the shed and maybe fled the scene. Ash shooting at her. No gas in her truck. Fear of dying. Coming here to Haugen Ranch. Shucking her dad’s gear in Ash’s mudroom. Him helping her into the living room of his old family home—a great big log house built by his grandfather. Seating her on the sofa.

She sat up slowly, trying to pull her brain into sharper focus. A down duvet was wrapped around her, a heated blanket beneath that. The duvet smelled of fresh laundry. Yes, she recalled, the fire had already been going in the hearth when he’d brought her in—she’d noticed that. Next had come hot tea with honey, warm clothes handed to her—fleece, oversize. More tea.

He’d told her not to talk. Discussion could wait.

She met his eyes now and felt a visceral connection across the darkened room. This was her first proper look at him after all these years.

Her teen lover had aged. As she had. But he’d matured in a way she found attractive. He was neither sweet nor handsome. Rugged rather. A brooding look. Sun bronzed and weathered. Her attention returned to his scar. So prominent, cutting down the left side of his face from eye to jaw. He could have had plastic surgery over the past decades, but clearly hadn’t. Her memory slipped back to the day she’d tried to patch him up with the help of a small medical kit and knowledge she’d gleaned during her part-time job as a veterinary assistant.

He lied…

Her attention shifted to his hands. His knuckles were scarred.

What were you protecting him from that day?

She recalled the blood she’d seen on those ragged and bruised knuckles that day. Why had she not told her father she didn’t know for certain he’d fallen off his horse and been dragged across sharp terrain?

Why had she not questioned more firmly, at age sixteen, Ash’s refusal to go to the ER facility on that particular day? What deep psychology had driven her to possibly blind herself to search for a darker truth?

In that tempestuous, hormone-filled year she was sixteen, had she conveniently compartmentalized something that had created cognitive dissonance, because she’d just recently started sleeping with Ash, and needed to believe him? Needed to trust him again?

How had her actions that day shaped this present? Could it—she—have possibly played a role in her father’s death?

And why, oh dear God why, did Ash still make her feel things? This—this—was why she’d stayed away. He held an animal kind of magnetism over her. She felt it now, her gaze locked with his arctic eyes. Her attraction had blinded her to the fact he was not good for her. He was a liar.

She cleared her throat. “What time is it?”

“Almost midnight. You going to be okay? Do I need to drive you to Clinton?”

From his ranch it would take almost an hour, in the dark, on bad roads. And the ER would be closed. They’d have to call 911 for emergency to open up with an on-call physician. It reminded Rebecca that out here, one looked after one’s own.

“I … I must have passed out.”

A half smile. “Slept like a baby. You must have been tired.”

A desire to tell him all rose in Rebecca: How rough her journey home had been with the storms. How seeing her father’s body had gutted her. How exhausted she felt, emotionally. But she held back as her mind sharpened and the immediacy of why she was here, with him, in this house, was pulled into clear focus.

“What made you return to my father’s place when you did, Ash? How did you come to find me?”

“I go up to the Broken Bar mesa sometimes. The view of the valley on a clear, cold night is surreal.” A pause. “I needed to think.” After seeing you. The unspoken words seemed to simmer between them. “Someplace above it all. Then as the moon rose, I caught light glinting off metal where your father’s place was. I thought it might be a vehicle, so I went to check before heading home.” He paused. “You could have died out there.”

Rebecca swallowed as this fact sank like a stone through her gut.

“Have you been sitting there watching me like that all night?”

“You worried me,” he said. Then, very quietly, he added, “And I like to look at you.” He paused. “It’s been so long.”
***


Loreth Anne White is an internationally bestselling author of thrillers, mysteries, and romantic suspense. A three-time RITA finalist, she is also the 2017 Overall Daphne du Maurier Award winner, and she has won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Romantic Crown for Best Romantic Suspense and Best Book Overall, in addition to being a Booksellers’ Best finalist and a multiple CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award winner. A former journalist and newspaper editor who has worked in both South Africa and Canada, she now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family. Visit her at www.lorethannewhite.com.





Thursday, 23 May 2019

Spotlight and Giveaway: Tuscan Enchantment by Kate Zarrelli



Tuscan Enchantment by Kate Zarrelli

This was no cold marble—this was a man! Antonia goes to Tuscany to rebuild her life. The last thing she wants to do is fall in love, least of all with rich, arrogant, aristocratic Lorenzo.
Librarian Antonia Gray has fled England for northern Tuscany after an unhappy love affair to work on the archive of a 17th century Italian explorer, a member of a centuries-old aristocratic family. There she meets his descendent, Lorenzo Quattromani, rich, arrogant, handsome—and engaged to the beautiful and ruthless Giselle. The last thing Antonia wants is to fall in love, least of all with someone so dangerous. His engagement, though, is not what it seems, and Lorenzo breaks down Antonia’s resistance. But Giselle has other ideas.
Kate Zarrelli is the romance and erotica pen-name of Katherine Mezzacappa. Kate is Irish but now lives in Carrara in Northern Tuscany, between the Apuan Alps and the Tyrrhenian Sea, with her Italian husband and two teenage sons. She writes historical, erotic, feel-good and paranormal fiction, set all over Europe, and in her spare time volunteers with a used book charity of which she is a founder member. You can follow her on Facebook at Kate Zarrelli books or on Twitter @katmezzacappa.

Giveaway to Win a Little Carrara Marble Heart Pendant (Open Internationally)
  • Can be engraved with winner’s initials
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

New Release Spotlight & Guest Post: Pink Ice Creams by Jo Woolaston



Pink Ice Creams by Jo Woolaston
Intent on fixing her broken marriage and the alcohol-fuelled catastrophe that is her life, Kay Harris arrives at her grim and grey holiday let, ready to lay to rest the tragedy that has governed her entire adulthood – the disappearance of her little brother, Adam.

But the road to recovery is pitted with the pot-holes of her own poor choices, and it isn’t long before Kay is forced to accept that maybe she doesn’t deserve the retribution she seeks. Will the intervention of strangers help her find the answers she needs to move on from her past, or will she always be stuck on the hard shoulder with no clear view ahead and a glove box full of empties?

Pink Ice Creams is a tale of loss, self-destruction, and clinging on to the scraps of the long-lost when everyone else has given up hope.


To swear or not to swear?

That’s the effing question.
It wasn’t until I needed to find a number of substantially sized extracts from my novel that would sit on somebody else’s blog that I suddenly felt a responsibility for what I had written. Pink Ice Creams is a bit sweary, and yes that might alienate some readers, but they’re just words –aren’t they? Nobody is actually going to be offended, surely. This is literature, this is reported speech, this is life. Yet, not knowing personally the person behind each blog and their own audience I wondered if my (or more accurately – if my characters’) choice of words would be censored? I hope not, and I am yet to find out if my i o u’s get replaced with * # …’s whilst in another’s care but I feel I need to say something about it. But what. Sorry? Nah, because I’m not. Suck it up? No, not that either. Just… don’t be such a Melonhead.
I love swear words. I love the staccato of the vehemently spat out sounds, I love the way the words pop out of the page and poke you in the eye, I love their comedy value and their history, and considering that I um and ah over nearly every word I drop onto the page I feel I know when it’s right, when it fits, and that no other word in that moment will do the f*ck#ng job! If you don’t feel the same way, then I guess I’m not the writer for you, but I sincerely hope that you don’t let a silly thing like a string of letters in a certain formation get in the way of a bloody good read. It’s not about the language, it’s about painting a picture. You wouldn’t replace scarlet with grey, or marker pen with crayon just to avoid upset, because then the essence of the picture and its message will be lost.
And I want you to feel uncomfortable at times, the subject matter demands it – a long missing almost forgotten child, a woman dragging herself through a pained life – these are not easy subjects and the language is chosen carefully to reflect the world in which Kay lives. She invites you to dislike her, to dismiss her, to find her company unpalatable – this is everything she expects of you and if you play along you fit perfectly into the mould of most who surround her and give her the excuse she needs to continue her wretched downfall. Your judgment becomes part of her destruction, her collapse. She has pulled you in and turned you into Melonhead – the little miss perfect she meets working at the caravan park who dismisses Kay as nothing more than a skank and a waste of space. If she endeavoured to get to know the drunken wreck in front of her instead, she could be instrumental in turning her fortunes around, setting her on the path to salvation. Wouldn’t that be kinder?
Use of (in)appropriate language stabilises a reader – you know where you are. This isn’t a cozy romance on the Norfolk Broads, this isn’t a light read under a sun-dappled canopy – Pink Ice Creams is spat out staccato, it is comedy and history, it is a character popping out of the page and poking you in the eye, challenging you to adjust your lens, your perspectives, and your boundaries, and that will be a far more interesting journey for a reader than being a judgemental Melonhead, I swear.



Jo Woolaston lives in Leicestershire, England with her extreme noise-making husband and two lovely sons. She tries to avoid housework and getting a ‘proper job’ by just writing stuff instead - silly verse, screenplays, shopping lists...
This sometimes works in her favour (she did well in her MA in TV Scriptwriting, gaining a Best Student award in Media and Journalism – and has had a few plays produced - that kind of thing) but mostly it just results in chronic insomnia and desperate tears of frustration. Pink Ice Creams is her first novel, she hopes you liked it.

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads


Tuesday, 21 May 2019

New Release Spotlight & Review: Bloom Where You're Planted by Lasairiona E. McMaster



Bloom where you are planted (Life the Expat way) by Lasairiona E. McMaster

Are you contemplating a move abroad?
Don’t panic!
From culture shock to capable, from language barriers to lifelong friends, and from foreign land to the familiar. Being hurled into life in a strange new place can be daunting and overwhelming, but it can also be exciting and enjoyable.
Rich with tips on how to expat like a boss, Lasairiona McMaster’s “Bloom where you are planted”, takes you on a journey from packing up her life in Northern Ireland to jumping in at the deep-end as an expat in two countries.
An experienced expat from a decade of living abroad, her honest and uncensored tales of what to expect when you’re expatriating, are as funny as they are poignant, and as practical as they are heartfelt. If you’ve lived abroad, or you’re considering the move from local to expat. If you’re looking to rediscover yourself, or simply wondering how on earth to help your children develop into adaptable, resilient, and well-rounded people, this book has something for you.

Amazon UK      Amazon US 

Wanting a change of scenery and dream about living in another country? This book is a useful tool and source of practical information especially if the US and India are on your radar.

I picked up this book purely because I'm a foreign implant in the country where I now live. The author's experiences differ to mine due to
our geographical locations, however, wherever you are, there will always be common occurring matters to address, therefore her insightful knowledge should be of interest for anyone thinking of upping sticks and flitting overseas either temporarily or permanently.

'If I knew then what I know now' resonates with me when I look back on the time I move across the sea to a new life and a whole new culture to get used to. Gaining as much information as possible
about your chosen place to reside, of course, makes sense. Yet, there will still be issues cropping up which you are unprepared for even if you're the most researched and informed person. Helpfully, this book covers lots of practical advice matched to likely scenarios. They may not be specific to where you are heading, but highlights situations you may encounter anywhere and with advice on how to tackle them.

More than a fact book, Bloom Where You're Planted is full of the author's own anecdotes and wisdom giving a first-hand account of how she and her loved ones navigated there way through red-tape and hiccups along their ex-pat journey.

Overall, not everyone's journey to a new life will be the same, but there will always be a common set of 'need to know' advice wherever you land and this book is concise and thorough and should cover any incident you encounter. 

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did - with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself 'home', with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.


Cover Reveal: Singles, Set and Match by Elaine Spires




Singles, Set and Match by Elaine Spires

The fifth and final book in the Singles’ Series takes us to the Mediterranean island of Ibiza then back to the Caribbean island of Antigua, where it all began.

After making a hard decision two years earlier Eve Mitchell has moved on with the hand that life has dealt her and she finds herself on the White Island working a tennis holiday. While it isn’t a job she would have chosen, in her typical pragmatic way Eve gets on with it, working hard to ensure that her diverse group of singles, with their hopes, expectations character flaws and baggage, have the best time possible. And as she binds together tennis sessions, social gatherings, meals and trips Eve hears some tragic personal news that brings her to another crossroads in her life. Will she and the love of her life Melv finally make a life together and live happily ever after?


Publication Date – 1st July 2019
Amazon UK      Amazon US 


Elaine Spires is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter and actress. Extensive travelling and a background in education and tourism perfected Elaine's keen eye for the quirky characteristics of people, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with the readers of her novels. Elaine has written two books of short stories, two novellas and seven novels, four of which form the Singles Series - Singles’ Holiday, Singles and Spice, Single All The Way and Singles At Sea. Her latest book, Singles, Set and Match is the fifth and final book in the series. Her play Stanley Grimshaw Has Left The Building is being staged at the Bridewell Theatre, London in May 2019. Her short film Only the Lonely, co-written with Veronique Christie and featuring Anna Calder Marshall is currently being in shown in film festivals worldwide and she is currently working on a full length feature film script. Only the Lonely won the Groucho Club Short Film Festival 2019!  Elaine recently returned to UK after living in Antigua W.I. She lives in East London.


Twitter: @ElaineSWriter
Instagram: elainespiresauthor


Monday, 20 May 2019

New Release Spotlight: Rough and Deadly by Paula Williams



Rough And Deadly by Paula Williams

Everyone knows Abe Compton’s Headbender cider is as rough as a cider can get. But is it deadly?
When self-styled ‘lady of the manor’, Margot Duckett-Trimble, announces she wouldn’t be seen dead drinking the stuff, who could have foreseen that, only a few days later, she’d be found, face down, in a vat of it?
Kat Latcham’s no stranger to murder. Indeed, the once ‘sleepy’ Somerset village of Much Winchmoor is fast gaining a reputation as the murder capital of the West Country and is ‘as sleepy as a kid on Christmas Eve’ when it’s discovered there’s a murderer running loose in the community again.
Kat has known Abe all her life, and she is sure that, although he had motive, he didn’t kill Margot. But as she investigates, the murderer strikes again. And the closer Kat gets to finding out who the real killer is, the closer to danger she becomes.
This second Much Winchmoor mystery is once again spiked with humour and sprinkled with romance – plus a cast of colourful characters, including a manic little dog called Prescott whose bite is definitely worse than his bark.

https://mybook.to/roughanddeadly

Paula Williams is living her dream. She’s written all her life – her earliest efforts involved blackmailing her unfortunate younger brothers into appearing in her plays and pageants. But it’s only in recent years that she discovered to her surprise that people with better judgement than her brothers actually liked what she wrote and were prepared to pay her for it.
Now, she writes every day in a lovely, book-lined study in her home in Somerset, where she lives with her husband and a handsome but not always obedient rescue Dalmatian called Duke. She started out writing fiction for women’s magazines (and still does) but has recently branched out into longer fiction. She also writes a monthly column, Ideas Store, for the writers’ magazines, Writers’ Forum.
But, as with the best of dreams, she worries that one day she’s going to wake up and find she still has to bully her brothers into reading ‘the play what she wrote’.