Saturday, 1 October 2022

New Publication Spotlight and Review: SECRETS OF THE COTTAGE BY THE SEA by Rebecca Alexander



Secrets of the Cottage by the Sea: An absolutely gorgeous and emotional page-turner

As Ellie stood on the boat, watching the small island come into view, she wondered what awaited her on shore. What secrets would she uncover in this place?
When 
Ellie Roberts inherits a cottage on a remote Scilly Isle, she’s shocked. She’s never heard of the previous owner, Patience Ellis, so why did she leave Ellie her legacy?
Overwhelmed with unanswered questions, Ellie travels to the isolated island. Windswept from the boat, salt spray still on her skin, she searches for Patience’s whitewashed cottage, hidden behind overgrown ivy. But when she steps inside, the house feels strangely familiar, and she has a memory of laughing as a child with her beloved mother in the window seat overlooking the sea… The mother she lost when she was only a child.
Determined to find out more, Ellie meets enigmatic local 
Branok Shore. While at first he seems uninterested, he believes he can help. Charmed by his green eyes, and curious about his past on the island, he and Ellie grow closer, but Ellie knows she needs to understand her own story before she can embrace the future. And when Branok prises open Patience’s dresser, filled with letters from the Second World War, Ellie discovers the shocking secret Patience was forced to hide – and the truth that will change her own life forever.
The letters tell the story of a brutal storm on a dark night in the depths of war, and of an injured soldier who begged Patience for help, and asked her to make an impossible choice…
But the letters don’t hold the answers Ellie so desperately needs. Why did Patience leave her home to her? And how can Ellie have memories of the cottage, when she’s never been there before? 
When Ellie finally uncovers the truth, will she be strong enough to put the fragments of her life back together?
An absolutely heartbreaking and unforgettable read, perfect for fans of gripping family dramas, and for those who enjoy the novels of Debbie Macomber, Fiona Valpy and Nancy Thayer.

A heartfelt dual timeline romance, set on a remote Scilly isle.

When Elowen "Ellie" Roberts learns she is the beneficiary of a will, she's stunned to find out she has to live in a remote cottage for one year before she can inherit it. Despite objections from her father, along with her own reservations, she's determined to meet the terms of the will. During her time at the property, she uncovers secrets from the past and discovers her connection with Patience Ellis, the woman to who the cottage belonged.

Patience Ellis was a force to be reckoned with and a woman determined to live her life as she saw fit. She made mistakes, yet managed to find workable solutions to her problems. She was a risk taker but somehow juggled her life on the remote island she called home.

Set in the present and beginning during WWII, the narrative tells the fascinating story of how these women are connected. It reveals secrets and family deceit but also, the overwhelming pull the island has on them. The historical aspects are both intriguing and heart-wrenching, as we learn about young Patience's "Patsy's" life and the impact the war had on herself and her family. Eighty years later, Ellie realises the rundown cottage is more than a renovation project.

The author is new to me and I'm impressed by how smooth the narrative is as it alternates between the past and the present. The descriptions of the island and the life there conjure up images of how life exists both then and now. It creates both heartbreaking emotions yet is also injected with humour. A true reflection of how life is, with its ups and downs. Ellie and Patsy are endearing characters, surrounded by an equally warm, and friendly cast and community. Collectively, they create a delightful page-turner, set against a stunning backdrop.

Overall, this novel comes highly recommended.

***arc received courtesy of Bookouture via NetGalley***



Rebecca Alexander was born in Malta and grew up on the south coast of England, becoming a psychologist. She escaped parenting six children to study writing in 2011, and the 
Secrets series of novels was published in 2013. A Baby’s Bones and sequel followed. Rebecca lives in a haunted 300-year-old cottage in Devon where she grows fruit, paints, and bakes. She reads and writes all sorts of genres, from women’s fiction to fantasy to crime. She is married with four chickens, two grandchildren and a cat. 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rebalexander

Email sign up: https://www.bookouture.com/rebecca-alexander/





Thursday, 7 July 2022

Excerpt Reveal: The Boss Project by Vi Keeland




Title: The Boss Project
Author: Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 11, 2022


Excited about Vi Keeland’s upcoming release, 
The Boss Project? 
Check out this SNEAK PEEK and meet Merrick and Evie!


Merrick

“Mr. Crawford?” My assistant, Andrea, poked her head into my office while I was eating lunch with Will. “Sorry to interrupt, but HR asked me to find out if you might have time to talk with one of the candidates for the in-house therapist position?”

I shook my head. “I don’t need to talk to the applicants. I already gave my input to Joan. HR is holding second-round interviews and will let me know what they think when they’re done.”

“Apparently one of the candidates asked if she could have a minute with you after her appointment with HR. But her meeting is starting now, and I know you don’t like anything on your schedule during trading hours.”

“Which candidate?”

“Evie Vaughn.”

I leaned back in my chair with a chuckle. “Sure. Why not?”

She nodded. “I’ll let her know.”

Will lifted his chin after Andrea shut the door. “What was that little grin about?”

“One of the candidates for the stress therapist job is interesting, to say the least.”

“In what way?”

“Her first-interview appointment wasn’t until five one day last week, so when the market closed, I ran downstairs to Paloma to pick up a suit I’d bought and had tailored. After I left the store, I thought I’d forgotten my cell phone in the fitting room, so I went back to check. When I opened the door, I walked in on a woman.”

“I hate those places that have one fitting room for both men and women.”

“Actually, this place has separate ones. The woman was just in the men’s room. But that’s not the best part. When I walked in, she was half undressed…and smelling her armpit.”

Will’s brows shot up. “Come again?”

“You heard me right. Anyway, a few minutes later, my five o’clock appointment walks in, and it’s her. The woman from the fitting room.”

“The pit sniffer? Get the hell out of here. What did you do?”

“Nothing. I played it off like I didn’t recognize her, though she definitely recognized me. I could see her squirming.”

“Shit like this only happens to you, my friend. So what went down? How did the interview go?”

“She was the least-qualified candidate. I don’t even know how her resumé made it into the group that got called for interviews.”

“Yet she’s back here today for a second interview?”

“She is, indeed.”

Will shook his head. “What am I missing?”

“When I got home that night, I started thinking about how the board is shoving this position down my throat. They mandated that I hire someone, not that the person be competent.”

Will smiled. “Genius.”

I shook my head. “I need my people to be focused and ruthless while they’re here—not getting in touch with their emotions.”

“I hear you.”

As we finished lunch, Andrea returned and knocked. Evie Vaughn stood right behind her. Her wavy blond hair was up today, and she wore a simple black skirt and jacket with a red blouse underneath, giving her the sexy-librarian look every male fantasizes about at least once in his life. I tried to ignore the stir seeing her caused in me and forced my gaze down.

Andrea peeked her head in the door. “Do you need more time?”

I looked at Will. “We need to discuss anything else?”

He shook his head. “Not that I can think of. I’ll get the Endicott buy order placed as soon as it hits forty a share.”

“Good.” I turned my attention to Andrea. “Please show Ms. Vaughn in.”

Will left, tossing me a smirk over his shoulder as he passed Evie.

When the door shut, she took a few steps forward, then hesitated. “Thank you for seeing me.”

I nodded and gestured to the guest chairs on the other side of my desk. “Have a seat.”

“Your assistant mentioned you don’t usually take appointments while the market is open.”

“I don’t.” Leaning back, I tented my fingers. “What can I do for you, Ms. Vaughn?”

“It’s Evie, please. And…well, I was hoping you could clear something up for me.”

“What would that be?”

“Why am I here? For a second interview, I mean. You made it pretty clear during the first one that you didn’t think I had the right experience for the position, and I didn’t exactly make a winning first impression in that fitting room. So…why am I here again?”

I folded my arms across my chest and deliberated how to answer. The politically correct and professional response would’ve been to say I’d reconsidered based on how she’d handled herself during the interview. But I’d never been accused of being politically correct or professional.

“Are you sure you want the real answer? Sometimes it’s better not to know and just accept the outcome.”

She folded her arms across her chest, mimicking my posture. “Maybe, but I’d like to know anyway.”

I liked her spunk. It was a challenge to keep myself from smiling. “You were invited back because you are the least qualified of all of the people we interviewed.”

Her face fell, and I felt a tinge of guilt, even though she’d said she wanted the truth.

“Why would you do that?”

“Because hiring an in-house stress coach wasn’t my idea. My board of directors is forcing my hand.”

“Is it a problem because it wasn’t your idea?”

“I employ a hundred-and-twenty-five people whose jobs are to give me ideas.” I shook my head. “No, I don’t have an authority issue, Ms. Vaughn.”

She pursed her lips. “Doctor—it’s Doctor Vaughn. I prefer to be called Evie, but if you insist on using formal etiquette, you might as well use my proper title. I hold a PhD in clinical psychology.”

I couldn’t hold back the smile that time. I nodded. “Fine. No, I don’t have authority issues, Doctor Vaughn.”

“So you’re against the position, in general, and you wanted to hire the worst person to prove a point?”

I nodded once. “You could say that.”

“Are you against therapy?”

“I believe some people can benefit from therapy.”

“Some people? But not your employees? Do you believe your employees don’t have any stress in the workplace?”

“This is Wall Street, Ms.—Doctor Vaughn. If it weren’t a stressful job, my average trader wouldn’t earn seven figures. I just prefer my people to be focused while they’re here in the office.”

“Did you ever consider that you might be looking at things backward? Taking an hour out of the day to speak to someone isn’t what’s interrupting a stressed-out person’s focus. They’re already not focused because of their stress level. Therapy could help center someone so they can concentrate better.”

“Noted that there’s more than one way to look at things.” I studied her for a moment. “Is there anything else you wanted to ask? Or have we reached the point in the discussion where you tell me you hope we never see each other again?”

She smiled shyly. “I’m sorry about that. It wasn’t an appropriate thing to say.”

I shrugged. “It’s fine. Believe it or not, I’ve been accused of being inappropriate a time or two myself.”
She laughed as she stood. “Gee, I never would have guessed that from the man who sniffed me during my interview.” Evie held out her hand. “Thank you for your time. And your honesty.”


★★★ 

Excited? We are too!

RELEASING JULY 11th!





Please note: There will not be an Amazon ebook pre-order, but it will be available on Amazon on release day.


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Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles are currently translated in twenty-seven languages and have appeared on bestseller lists in the US, Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria and Hungary. Three of her short stories have been turned into films by Passionflix, and two of her books are currently optioned for movies. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.