Saturday, 30 June 2018

Spotlight: Cajun Persuasion by Sandra Hill

Cajun Persuasion by Sandra Hill
Series Cajun Series
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date November 28, 2017

Return to New York Times bestseller Sandra Hill’s Cajun country, where the Louisiana bayou is steamier than ever…

Alaskan pilot Aaron LeDeux came to Louisiana with his brother to discover his Cajun roots. But any hopes he had of returning home are extinguished when he agrees to help a crew of street monks and nuns rescue trafficked girls from strip clubs, pimps, and other horrors. For the work has become his new calling.

With her harrowing past, Fleur Gaudet only feels safe at the nunnery. But when she’s ordered out into the real world to decide where she truly belongs, Fleur goes to live with the LaDeux family. Suddenly, she’s in regular clothes, thinking irregular thoughts about Aaron. With his whiskey-colored eyes and fierce bravery, Aaron is like her own personal Cajun cowboy, re-introducing her to...everything.    As the dangerous missions brings them closer, Fleur must decide if she’ll continue her path—or if she’ll have a new future with the man she’s losing her heart to.

(One year ago)
A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do . . .
Fleur Gaudet, whose name tag read Doris Jones,
stood in the dressing room of the Silver Stud Club in New Orleans, using a long-handled dustpan and broom to sweep along the edges of the tiled floor, all the while keeping an alert eye on her surroundings. Al- though she wore a blonde wig to hide her identity and a rather demure black nylon uniform with a white apron, as befitted her new job on the club’s cleaning staff, unlike the scantily clad women around her, she was still outside her comfort zone. Way outside!
She decided to offer up the discomfort as a penance for past—and future—sins. Mortifying the flesh, so to speak. Like that self-flagellating albino monk in The Da Vinci Code. You had to be Catholic to understand the logic of suffering in silence and offering it up as a heavenly gift.
But then, Fleur was a nun!
An honest-to-God, hope-and-pray nun. Like Mother Teresa.
Well, not really like that holier-than-holy nun, bless her heart, who had lived, by choice, in abject poverty in Calcutta. In the old days, Mother Teresa would probably have worked in a leper colony.
On the other hand, a strip club was somewhat like a leper colony, wasn’t it?
Truth to tell, Fleur wasn’t really a nun yet. More like a nun-in-training, with the Sisters of Magdalene religious order. The Magdas had originated in Spain, but expanded into satellite convents throughout the world. Like the one in Mexico, with which she was affiliated, that had in recent years joined forces with the rogue order, St. Jude’s Street Apostles, in Dallas. Their mission: to rescue girls kidnapped into the sex trade. Which was why she and some of her partners were in this sleazy club tonight.
There were other females in the dressing room, but mostly they kept to themselves as they lounged or touched up make-up. None of them were the young, frightened teens they hoped to rescue, though. Not that they were old, exactly. In fact, Peaches Galore, the girl in front of her, was no more than twenty-two years old, wearing a sheer black bustier and a G-string and heels high enough to give a person a nosebleed.
Peaches was on her cell phone, presumably talking to one of her three children, all under the age of eight, that she’d told Fleur about a short time ago. “No, you cannot make a frozen pizza, Henry. You know the stove is off-limits. The microwave, too. Did Jimmy say his prayers before you put him to bed? He skipped Auntie Priss?” Peaches laughed, and murmured something under her breath about how she would skip the old bat, too. “Did you change Elisa Mae’s diaper? I don’t care if it stinks, do as you’re told. I know, sweetie. I’m sorry I yelled. Be a good boy, and tomorrow we’ll go to the park with your remote control airplane.”
It was sad, really. But the Magdas couldn’t rescue everyone. And not everyone working in this club wanted or needed rescuing.
Just then, the door flew open as a group of strippers, waitresses, lap dancers, and bar maids trooped in, laugh- ing, cursing, talking, many of them pulling five-, ten-, and twenty-dollar bills from their G-strings or thigh- high fishnet stockings. The pounding beat of that old Mötley Crüe song “Girls, Girls, Girls” could be heard through the open door, coming from the DJ station.
Also, through the open doorway, she could see the raised circular stage with its spokes leading out into the crowd, up close and personal. At any one time, a dozen girls were dancing. Another dozen would be doing lap dances in semi-private alcoves.
A regular meat factory! Ironically, that’s just what this former warehouse had been . . . a huge meat packing plant.
And none of these activities included those upstairs, which was why Fleur and her “posse” of nuns were here tonight with the Rogues.
Gentlemen, let’s give a warm—no, hot—welcome to the next round of ladies,” the DJ yelled out. The door hadn’t closed tightly. “Chocolate Cream. Bubble Icious. Fanny Bigguns. Ms. Demeanor. Moana Bigona.”
Yep, this was a high-class place, all right.
Fleur rolled her eyes as the air compressor door finally swooshed shut, muting the club noise. Just then, she noticed one of her religious cohorts, Sister Carlotta, leaning her forehead against the wall, muttering something. Lottie was working as a waitress, not a topless one in the bar, but a regularly dressed one in the coffee shop. Her uniform was similar to Fleur’s, except shorter, and she wore the proverbial high heels. She wore a wig, too, but hers was black and cut into a straight bob. Attractive, actually.
Fleur went up to her and whispered, “Lottie, are you all right?”
Lottie nodded, then turned to face her. “I was praying. This place just gets to me. How disgusting! And sad!”
I know what you mean.”
Carlotta waved the ten-dollar bill in front of Fleur and said, “A man stuck this in my blouse, then had the nerve to ask if I had five dollars in change. This place feels like hell.”
Or a leper colony. Fleur barely stifled a laugh. Car- lotta wasn’t that old—about twenty-five—but she’d been in a conventional Spanish convent since she was thirteen. The philosopher John Milton’s “cloistered virtue” personified.
Carlotta, like many other humble nuns who cherished the insular life of prayer and meditation inside the walls of an abbey, was a victim of the upheaval in all the flagging religious orders, male and female, throughout the world. The old ways no longer worked.

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Sandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than ten years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories.

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Friday, 29 June 2018

Release Day Spotlight & Review: The Letter-Kitty's Story by Eliza J. Scott

The Letter – Kitty’s Story

Thirty-four-year-old Kitty Bennett is trapped in a loveless marriage to criminal barrister, Dan, who’s gradually isolated her from her family and friends. Until the day she (literally) bumps into her first love, the handsome and easy-going Ollie Cartwright – someone she’s done her best to avoid for as long as she can remember. Looking into Ollie’s eyes awakens feelings for him she thought she’d buried deep years ago, and he clearly feels the spark, too. As she walks away, Kitty can’t help but wonder what might have been…

Dan senses that his marriage is on shaky ground and knows he needs to win his wife round. He turns on the charm, skilfully using their two children, Lucas and Lily, as bargaining tools. But Kitty’s older brother, Jimby, and her childhood best-friends, Molly and Violet, have decided enough is enough. For years they’ve had to watch from afar as Kitty’s been browbeaten into an unrecognisable version of herself. They vow to make her see Dan for what he really is, but their attempts are no match for his finely-honed courtroom skills and, against her better judgement, Kitty agrees to give her husband one last chance. But, all-too-soon, a series of heart-breaking events and a shocking secret throw her life into turmoil…
Will she stand by Dan, or will Kitty be brave enough to take the leap and follow her heart to Ollie?

Life is anything but peaceful in the chocolate-box pretty village of Lytell Stangdale, where life unravels, and hearts are broken. Full of heart-warming moments, this book with have you crying
tears of joy, laughter and sadness.

Amazon UK     Amazon US      Amazon DE 

With a verbally abusive, philandering husband, Kitty has put up with Dan Bennett, the father of her children for their sake; to keep the family together. After years of putting up with his intimidating and controlling behaviour and with the encouragement of those closest to her, she begins to stand up for herself and in doing so realises she still has feelings for someone which have been locked away for too long...until now.

Single father, Ollie Cartwright has always loved Kitty Fairfax and regretted not fighting for her when barrister Dan Bennett sank his possessive claws into the woman he loved. Now, he's determined to win her back as the old Kitty regains her strength and confidence to re-build her life after her husband leaves. Will there be a 'happy ever after' for them after all these years or is it too late?

First things first...I love that not only is this novel written in British English, it's full of Yorkshire references and dialect I'm familiar with. For me, reading The Letter-Kitty's Story brought me back to my roots with the language I grew up speaking and hearing. Therefore I was instantly captivated by not only the mostly likeable ensemble characters but by the wonderful backdrop of the North Yorkshire Moors and York itself; areas I'm familiar with.

With the laugh out loud humour, Ms Scott kept me highly entertained as Kitty finally finds the courage to walk away from her toxic marriage. With more shocking revelations exposed, the light-hearted narrative still manages to deal with the seriousness of other social issues exposed in a timely manner. With entertaining banter flying between the characters, many of the secondary ones are exaggerated caricatures, yet this only adds to their overall charm. There's a lot happening in and around the chocolate box pretty Lytell Stangdale and sometimes I felt too many secondary plot threads were introduced which didn't add anything significant to the overall narrative. I kept up with them all but felt some could be used in future books.

To sum up, a delightful début novel. I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I began reading this story which far exceeds my expectation. I've read similar small town/community series based mostly in the US. So, for me, this first book in the "Life on the Moors" series is a welcome breath of fresh air because I can easily relate to the wonderful cast of characters. So whether you are curled up beside a warm fire drinking Kitty's favourite hot chocolate or basking in the sunshine with her other favourite; a glass of Prosecco. The Letter-Kitty's Story is the perfect novel for any time of the year.

***arc received courtesy of the publisher***
Author Bio – I live in a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with my husband, two daughters and two black Labradors. When I’m not writing, I can usually be found with my nose in a book/glued to my Kindle, or in my garden. I also enjoy bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off with a visit to a teashop where I can indulge in another two of my favourite things: tea and cake.
Blog: Eliza J Scott -
Twitter: Eliza J Scott – @ElizaJScott1
Instagram: Eliza J Scott - @elizajscott
Facebook: Eliza J Scott - @elizajscottauthor

Giveaway – Win a PB copy of The Lettter – Kitty’s Story, Chocolate and Neom Hand Cream (Open Internationally)
*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Release Day Spotlight: Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay by Bella Osborne

Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay
Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.
With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

Amazon      KOBO 

‘Daisy, love. You made it,’ said Aunt Coral, enveloping Daisy in a tight hug. It had been a long time since anyone had embraced her like that. Daisy had forgotten there was no escape from Aunt Coral’s hugs.
‘Let me look at you.’ Aunt Coral held Daisy at arm’s length. Daisy shook out her mop of caramel-blonde hair, which had been cocooned in the helmet for the last four hours.
Tears welled in Aunt Coral’s eyes. ‘Oh, Daisy, you have grown into a beautiful young woman.’ She bit her lip. ‘And you look so like your mother.’
At the mention of her mother Daisy felt the sorrow settle on her afresh. Even after all these years it still hurt like it had happened yesterday. The sense of loss was exactly the same, as was the empty sensation clutching at her gut. Ottercombe Bay held only sadness and bad memories for Daisy.
Despite this, Daisy forced a smile because she knew this was the required response and Aunt Coral beamed back at her. ‘It’s good to see you. Come in and I’ll get the kettle on,’ she said, ushering Daisy inside. As Daisy reached for the door handle a strangled screech of a bark made her flinch. Further frantic barking accompanied the arrival of a small black dog now pogoing up and down on the other side.
‘Oh, Bugsy Malone shush now,’ said Aunt Coral, bustling past Daisy. She tugged open the door and the small black dog shot out and started to nip at Daisy’s boots, making her jump back. ‘Now, now,’ said her aunt, scooping up the protesting canine who continued to bark at Daisy.
‘What is it?’ said Daisy, recoiling from the snarling bundle that was trying to escape from her aunt’s clutches. Daisy didn’t know much about animals; she didn’t have anything against them and some seemed quite cute, but her nomadic lifestyle meant there had never been an opportunity for pets.

Aunt Coral chuckled. ‘He’s a pug,’ she said, leading the way into the cottage. Bugsy continued his vocal assault. Daisy followed at what she hoped was a safe distance.
Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. She’s now written four romantic comedies and been shortlisted twice for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year.
Bella's stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you.
She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s dog. When not writing she’s usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

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Giveaway – Win signed copies of It Started At Sunset Cottage and A Family Holiday (Open Internationally)
*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Release Day Spotlight: Anything for Love by Melissa Foster

Click on the above link to follow the blog tour.

Anything for Love
The Bradens and Montgomerys
(Pleasant Hill – Oak Falls) – Book 2
By: Melissa Foster
Releasing June 27th, 2018
World Literary Press
Anything for Love

The Series

After Charlotte Sterling loses her last family member, she moves to Sterling House, her family’s Colorado mountain inn, to live a solitary life. As an erotic romance writer, her days and nights are filled with passion and intrigue—even if only fictional. She loves her busy, quiet lifestyle, and she learned early on that real men can’t live up to the fictional heroes she creates—until ruggedly handsome Beau Braden arrives to do some work at the inn and, for the first time in forever, she’s intrigued by a real man.
Beau lost his first love years ago, and he’s never let go of his guilt over her death. As he nears the anniversary of his loss, he is on the cusp of becoming the star of a home-renovation reality show. Escaping the painful memories of his past to work at the defunct old inn is just the promise of solitude he needs to clear his head before diving in to the all-too-public career. But he didn’t count on being attracted to the whimsical, adorably sexy innkeeper.
Neither Charlotte nor Beau is looking for an attachment or a fling. But the more they learn about each other, the closer they become. Romantic evenings lead to intimate conversations, and neither can deny their deep connection or the passion it sparks. They’ve never fully healed on their own, but together maybe anything is possible.
**The Bradens at Pleasant Hill and the Montgomerys have become one magnificent series! In book three, Trails of Love, the Montgomerys and the Bradens are going to be deeply intertwined. For that reason, I have combined the series to make it easier for readers to keep track of characters, weddings, babies, etc. What this means is that after the first two books (Embracing Her Heart and Anything for Love) you will see both worlds in most of the books. Some stories might weigh more heavily in one location than the other, but they are all going to cross over. In book one, Embracing Her Heart you will met the Montgomerys, and in book two, Anything for Love, you will meet the Bradens. I hope you love them all as much as I do!


Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

New Release Spotlight: One Summer Weekend by Juliet Archer

One summer weekend can change everything …

Alicia Marlowe’s life as an executive coach is well under control – until she meets her new client, Jack Smith. Jack’s reputation precedes him and Alicia knows immediately that he spells trouble. Not least because he reminds her of someone else – a man who broke her heart and made her resolve never to lower her guard again.

Taking Jack on as a client is a risk, but one that Alicia decides to take for the good of her career. As long as she keeps him in his place, she might just make it through unscathed. But Jack has other ideas – including a ‘business’ trip to the Lake District. One summer weekend with him is all it takes to put Alicia’s carefully organised world in a spin …

 Amazon UK     Amazon US     Amazon DE

Juliet Archer writes award-winning romantic comedy for Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction. She has been known to spend many happy hours matching irresistible heroes with their equally irresistible chocolate counterparts – watch out for the dark nutty ones!

Her debut novel, The Importance of Being Emma, won the Big Red Read Book of the Year 2011 Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. Her second novel, Persuade Me, was shortlisted for the 2011 Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read Award.

Juliet’s third book, One Summer Weekend, is out in June 2018. You can also read her short stories: Incense & Insensibility in the Choc Lit Love Match anthology, and Love Rules in Choc Lit’s Kisses & Cupcakes anthology.

Juliet was born and bred in North-East England and now lives in Hertfordshire. She gives talks all over the UK and in the USA about the classic authors who inspire her work. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Jane Austen Society. Her non-writing career has spanned IT, acquisitions analysis, copy editing, marketing and project management, providing plenty of first-hand research for her novels.

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Giveaway – Win PB Copies of The Importance of Being Emma and Persuade Me (Open Internationally)
*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.