Tuesday, 22 October 2019

New Release Spotlight: Anything For Love by Gracie Bond

Anything For Love by Gracie Bond

Leah Jensen, Yorkshire lass born and bred, needs money and she’ll do anything - yes, anything - to get it. Her Grandad Thomas is in pain and the cost of an operation on his bad knee is way beyond the family’s means. Leah tries everything to earn the fee – but in the end, and like so many before her, she turns to the world’s oldest profession.
Madam Butterfly’s exclusive escort agency in London is a different world to where Leah comes from. In Whitby, the sea air is sweet, and legends of Dracula jostle with jet-mining and whaling history; it’s a place where dog lovers meet and tourists come to marvel at the views.
Leah may be out of her comfort zone, but one daring, brief encounter will bring many surprises in this memorable romantic comedy full of pithy Yorkshire humour.

Amazon UK      Amazon US 

Gracie Bond loves a good romantic comedy, either to read or to watch on Netflix. Her favourite go-to novel is (Pride and Prejudice)- and she’s always happy to watch ( Bridget Jones) any time of the day. Among Gracie’s interests are Newfoundland dogs, horses, and handsome Yorkshire men. Her idea of fun would be to ride a spirited horse along a Northumberland beach, followed by a pack of her favourite dogs.
Gracie lives in Yorkshire with her partner John and she has close connections with Whitby, the setting for this novel.

Monday, 21 October 2019

New Release Spotlight & Review: Christmas At Pennington's by Rachel Brimble

Christmas At Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble

Gripping drama as Pennington's department store prepares for a glittering Christmas in 1911, but a killer stalks the women of Bath.
Christmas sees Pennington's at its most glorious, thronged with shoppers, its grand staircase and balcony adorned with holly, mistletoe, tinsel and lights. It should be the happiest time, but dramas are seething beneath the surface.
For Cornelia Culford, in charge of jewellery, a divorce hearing looms, where she could lose custody of her young sons to her overbearing and unfaithful husband.
For Stephen Gower, being head of security at Pennington's is the perfect refuge from a tragic past at Scotland Yard. But soon the past will call him back, as Joseph Carter and Elizabeth Pennington beg him to help solve the murder of Joseph's first wife, now that it seems as if the killer has struck again.
For Joseph and Elizabeth, their marriage depends on exorcising the past. But can it ever be laid to rest?
Amazon UK      Amazon US 

This is the third book in the Pennington's series. I read this as a standalone novel, although I've previously enjoyed The Mistress of Pennington's, the first instalment in this series.

In the midst of a divorce from her abusive, cheating husband, Cornelia Culford is she's trying to rebuild a life for herself and sons by working in the jewellery department at Pennington's
in Bath. There she meets Stephen Gower, head of security and another new employee who is also trying to forget about events from the past.

This novel has it all, romance, history and mystery all wrapped up in a fascinating narrative. Ms Brimble continues to enlighten me about this momentous time in history with well-researched details within well-written and thoughtful story-lines. The simplicity of a department store backdrop is perfect for the different plot threads; some new whilst others are a continuation from previous books in the series. The latter doesn't require previous knowledge but will tempt to want to find out more about these equally charming characters, specifically Joseph Carter and Elizabeth Pennington.

The time-line is the lead up to Christmas, 1911 and I love all the descriptions of the festive decorations used at this time making it easy to visualise how it all looked
in reality. Despite this, the narrative focuses on the everyday events and happenings of the character's which just happen to occur at this time of year. I liked this aspect because this novel can be read at any time of the year, not just at Christmas.

One thing is
now certain, I want to read book two, A Rebel at Pennington's to learn more about Esther and Lawrence Culford. Also, with many references within the narrative relating to something significant in 1912, I'm expecting another intriguing instalment, soon...I hope.

***arc generously received courtesy of the publisher Aria via Rachel's Random Resources***

Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath, England. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.
In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018, A Rebel At Pennington’s February 2019 and Christmas At Pennington’s September 2019.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America and has thousands of social media followers all over the world. To sign up for her quarterly and new release newsletter, click here to go to her website: https://rachelbrimble.com/
Amazon Author Page:

Giveaway to Win a £15 Amazon Gift Card (UK Only)
*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.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

New Release Spotlight: Hallowed Ground by Paul Twivy

Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles by Paul Twivy

This magical story is inspired by the most haunting and least explored country in the world - Namibia - with its foggy Skeleton Coast, buried goldmines, shocking secrets and awe-inspiring sand dunes.
Spread across the face of its deserts are hundreds of miles of ‘fairy circles’ : vast enough to be seen from space. They grow and die with the same lifespan as humans, yet no-one has been able to explain why or how they appear.
Then one day, three teenagers and their families arrive from different parts of the globe. Helped by bushmen, the buried possessions of a Victorian explorer, and a golden leopard, they solve the mystery of the African Circles. What will be discovered beneath the hallowed ground? And how will it change the future of the planet above it?

This is the Prologue of the book which takes place almost 190 years before the present-day setting of the main story.


Ray County, Missouri, The United States of America
13th November, 1833

The rain of the preceding days had cleared, giving way to a beautifully clear air that you could drink like water. It had been hours since the three-day-old moon had sunk below the horizon.
Alice woke up from the brightness inside the tent and called out in alarm.
‘Father, don’t keep stirring the fire. You’ll set the tent on fire!’
‘I haven’t touched the fire,’ he replied. ‘The embers are dying. You need to come out here. You’ll never see the like of this again.’
At the sound of his voice, high-pitched and trembling, stretched between excitement and fear, the whole family woke and left the tent.
Beth Wall exclaimed on behalf of her young family who were struck dumb.
‘My God, the whole heavens are on fire. Is it the end of the world, Edward?’ she asked as Alice and her brothers clung to her nightshirt from fear, sucking in the warm scent of her body for comfort.
It should have been the darkest hours before dawn, but the whole sky was ablaze with meteors. They were falling like a rain of fire, twenty or thirty of them ablaze every second. The tracks of light remained visible for several seconds. It was if their eyes were a camera set to a very slow shutter speed. The falling stars seemed to radiate from the North-east but the sheer number of them confused every sense. The brighter ones left a trail of sparks like sky rockets.
‘Fireworks!’ the youngest one cried.
Around the family, camped on the banks of the Missouri river, arose several hundred people as if a graveyard had just disgorged its dead. They were Mormon refugees sleeping out in the open. Many fell to their knees and started to pray.
Occasionally, a particularly bright fireball would explode as it neared the Earth, with a sound that echoed half-way round the planet.
‘It’s as if every star has cut free from its mooring,’ Edward cried.
The plantations were lit up for miles around. The white farmers could be seen calling all their slaves together, many of whom fell on their knees praying, arms held aloft, convinced it was Judgement Day. The owners ran around those whom they had enslaved, begging forgiveness and freeing them. Some were telling them, for the first time, who their mothers and fathers were, who they’d been sold to and where they now lived. This brought brief tears of comfort to their black, upturned faces, followed by the agony that, now, they might never live to be reunited.
Everywhere, people were screaming and praying.
‘There can be no atheists on a night like this,’ Beth said. ‘Some of these stars as big as Venus!’
‘I’ve seen two as big as the moon,’ their eldest observed.
‘You see those that just skim the horizon?’ Beth asked Alice. ‘They call those “Earth-grazers”.’
Edward raked up the fire and found more logs. The family lay down next to it, holding each other tight. They watched until the rising sun eclipsed the fire-storm. From the southern states to Niagara Falls and the frozen wastes of Canada; from the land-locked plains of the mid-West to boats adrift on the icy Atlantic, people finally fell asleep at the touch of a new dawn on their skin.

Namibia, 1838, five years later

Captain Alexander dropped the flaming torch, sending light scurrying downwards and plunging the cave into darkness.
What he had seen remained imprinted on his retinas. It raced through his neurones like a train threatening to come off the tracks.
Was he hallucinating? Or had he really seen something that would change the way the human race looked at itself?
He sank slowly to his knees and felt around the cave floor for the torch. Its coarse hessian tip was unmistakeable on his finger-tips, as was the reek of kerosene as he raised it close to his face.
He struggled to remember where he’d put the matches. Then he remembered the feel of them at the bottom of his canvas bag.
His fingers trembled as he tried to strike one. The first match sent sparks shooting down his legs in a brief explosion. The cave lit up momentarily.
The second match was steadier and he lifted the flame to his torch which hissed and spluttered back to life.
There they were: fifteen or more, almost organic in shape, laid out in niches along the cave.
Then his eyes rose upwards again. There were four paintings on the ceiling. He propped the torch up and tried to sketch them in a notebook, but his hands couldn’t stop shaking and he was forced to stop.
If only the Herero men hadn’t abandoned him, their superstitions blazing in their eyes, their priest unconscious on the floor. Then he would have had witnesses, help and comfort, and not been left feeling like a madman, utterly alone.
Mind you, they had been right to be afraid. The knowledge was too much to bear.
The Royal Geographical Society, which had funded his mission, would blacklist him. The Church and the Army would call him a traitor. He would be an outcast.
He left the tomb and brought back a platoon the next day to hide the entrance from the world. No-one was ready for this. Perhaps in a hundred or so years they might be…

Amazon UK      Amazon Com 

Paul Twivy studied English at Oxford University and became one of the most famous British admen. He has written comedy and drama for the stage and radio. He edited the bestseller Change the World for a Fiver. He is married with five children. He was inspired to write Hallowed Ground by his first-hand experiences of the extraordinary landscapes and culture of Namibia.

Friday, 18 October 2019

New Release Spotlight with Excerpt: Enamored by J.S. Scott

Title: Enamored
Author: J.S. Scott
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Publisher: Montlake 


Like his brothers and sisters, Seth Sinclair went from blue-collar to billionaire overnight, and he’s decided to invest in what he knows best: construction. There’s only one thing in his way—the endangered birds nesting on a piece of prime beachfront real estate. And fighting for the birds is Riley Montgomery, a stubborn, pain-in-the-ass, drop-dead-gorgeous environmental lawyer. The worst part? Seth will do anything to keep her around—even if it means hiring her to be his fake girlfriend.

With a cause to fight for, Riley agrees to Seth’s scheme. If she keeps the superficial women away from Seth, then he’ll leave the wildlife sanctuary alone. But pretending to be his girlfriend comes with ground rules: No ass grabbing. And absolutely no sex. Ever. The problem? The sexual tension sizzles when they’re together.

Seth isn’t so keen on Riley’s rules, but he’ll keep his word, at least until she decides otherwise. But bringing Riley into his circle has brought her past back to haunt her in ways that neither of them expected. Now it’s less about broken rules and more about broken hearts, and Seth will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he loves.

Enamored by J.S. Scott

“You said you’d trade for my services,” I prompted. “But I don’t have much to offer to a man like you.” 

He studied me for a moment, which made me uncomfortable. 

I didn’t want anyone to know me better. 

A man like Seth would never understand me. 

“You have a hell of a lot to offer any guy,” he considered. 

“Not exactly true,” I disagreed. “I was engaged once, but I was never enough for Nolan Easton,” I muttered, instantly wishing the name hadn’t left my mouth. 

For some odd reason, Seth was easy to talk to, but I needed to guard my words better. 

He whistled softly. “Nolan Easton? Head of Easton Investment Firms? The very wealthy Nolan Easton?” 

“Yes,” I said tightly. 

“Even so, I can’t believe he dumped you,” Seth answered. 

“He didn’t,” I admitted. “I finally broke it off. He didn’t know how to keep it in his pants, and I didn’t want to spend my entire life being who he wanted me to be.” I coughed nervously. “Now can we get back to the business at hand?” 

“Not yet,” he insisted. “I’m still trying to get why any guy would want to change a single thing about you. Not that I exactly love your line of work right now, but you’re passionate about it. You’re beautiful. You’re smart. You seem to know exactly what you want. Considering our circumstances, I can’t say I’ve seen your sense of humor, but I’m assuming you have one of those, too. What the hell else did he want?” 

I ignored his question. “I have three older brothers,” I shared. “I have to have a sense of humor or they’d drive me crazy.” 

He rested his arms on the table and leaned forward. “You didn’t answer my question, Riley. What else did he want?” His voice was low and persuasive. 

“It’s not important. My engagement has been over for a while, and I’m happy. I finally found my own home here in Citrus Beach, and I’m pretty content with being alone. It’s a lot nicer here than San Diego. Quieter.” 

It was a hell of a lot better than being with a man who made me feel like I was less than nothing. 

“When exactly did you move here? And where are you living now?” 

“Almost two years ago,” I ground out, growing impatient to get back to business. It wasn’t wise to dump a lot about my personal life to a defendant—no matter how good a listener he might be. “I had a condo, but I recently purchased your sister’s cottage. I’ve settled there now. She and Eli have the bigger home next door, so I already knew I’d have good neighbors.” 

“I’m right down the beach from there,” Seth said, sounding surprised. “I’ve never seen you.” 

“Like I said. It’s recent. I just moved in.” 

I was squirming in my chair. I didn’t care for the feeling of being interrogated. I was usually the one asking the questions. 

He shot me a playful grin that made my heart trip. “Welcome to the neighborhood,” he said jokingly. 

“Thanks,” I said uncomfortably. “Now tell me what you want from me to leave that piece of property alone.” 

He took his time answering, and the silence seemed to stretch out forever. 

I gulped down the last of my tea while I waited for him to answer. 

Was he playing with me? 

Or did he actually have some kind of proposition? 

Probably the former—since I really didn’t have much to offer him in the way of services. I could guarantee that Eli Stone had set Seth up with his gaggle of business attorneys. Why in the hell would he need an environmental attorney? 

“If you’re playing with me, this encounter ends right now,” I said tersely. 

“I’m not,” he said emphatically. “I’m just wondering how to explain what I want.” 

“If it’s acceptable, I’ll write up the contract today,” I offered. 

“It’s not exactly the contract I’m thinking about,” he said thoughtfully. 

God, I was jittery, and I wasn’t used to feeling that way. I was pretty certain that it wasn’t the extra-large chai I’d just consumed, either. 

It was him

Maybe it was the way he studied me. 

Or the way his steely gray eyes never left my face. 

I couldn’t read him, and that completely pissed me off. As an attorney, I’d gotten very good at judging exactly where a defendant’s mind might be, and what their motives were. 

“Just name your terms,” I said irritably. “I’ll work out the details.” 

I forced myself to meet his eyes in what I thought would be a battle of wills, and then was sorry that I had even glanced his direction. 

My breath hitched as I fell into a stormy gaze that wouldn’t let me go. 

I was stunned at the possessive way he eyed me. 

I was confused about the emotions I saw there. 

And I was mesmerized by the carnal desire that flared up in his steely irises like a bolt of lightning as he held me still with a single look, unable to rip myself away from his fixed stare that was holding me in place. 

I knew I was blushing like a damn teenage girl with her first major crush. My brain was begging my body not to react, but my stupid body wasn’t listening. 

His voice was hoarse and beguiling when he finally said, “I need a woman, Riley. And that woman has to be you.”

J.S. “Jan” Scott is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous contemporary and paranormal romances, including the Sinclairs and the Accidental Billionaires series. She’s an avid reader of all types of books and literature, but romance has always been her genre of choice—so she writes what she loves to read: stories that are almost always steamy, generally feature an alpha male, and have a happily ever after, because she just can’t seem to write them any other way! Jan loves to connect with readers. Visit her website at www.authorjsscott.com.

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