Friday, 31 May 2019

New Release Spotlight & Review: Edie Browne's Cottage by the Sea by Jane Linfoot

Edie Browne’s Cottage by the Sea by Jane Linfoot

Those who don’t jump will never fly…
Hurtling through the sky was supposed to be Edie Browne’s flight of independence. But when she falls head over champagne bucket while celebrating her successful landing, her life is changed in an instant.

But starting over has its benefits, and as Edie relearns the basics under the watchful eye of her Aunty Josie and an entire Cornish village of new friends and neighbours, she finds love and joy she never could have imagined in the unlikeliest of places… 
Come home to St Aidan and Periwinkle Cottage for a romance full of love, laughter and friends for life!

Attempting something daring, means anything is possible, right? After a work, promotion leads to the break-up of her relationship with Marcus, Edie Browne kick-started her life by doing a skydive. Unfortunately, a short time later she has a stroke. After recovering at her parents home it's time to regain her strength and independence. So she goes to stay with her Aunty Josie at Periwinkle Cottage. On arrival, she realises she's not the only one who needs a helping hand to improve their quality of life. It also becomes clear, she's caught someone eye at a time when her priorities lie elsewhere.

The narrative flows, as we follow Edie's journey to getting her health back on track. Life is different from when she lived with Marcus but she's in St. Aidan's to regain her strength before going back to her career. We encounter delightful characters who play an active part in supporting the heroine and her physical challenges but many of the town folk also have struggles too. She came to the small coastal town to quietly recuperation, however, she soon becomes a reluctant member of the community. Peace and quiet don't exist as there's always someone around to talk to and plenty going on. The distractions are a tonic rather than a curse!

I especially liked how each chapter notes Edie's progress on her road to recovery, whether it's a new skill she's re-learned, recovered memory or even worse, an embarrassing mishap. While it's lovely to see how Barney worms his way into Edie's affection, it is her relationship with Cam which really pulls at the heartstrings.

This is my first Jane Linfoot novel and won't be my last. The narrative style is heart-warming, uplifting with added humour. The author pulls the absorbing story together with likeable, friendly characters against a lovely Cornish backdrop. It creates a feel-good atmosphere and a relatable place to identify with and most importantly, a happily ever after.

***arc generously received courtesy of HarperImpulse via NetGalley*** 

Jane Linfoot is a best selling author, who lives in a muddy cottage, up a steep hill in Derbyshire, with her family, their pets, and an an astonishing number of spiders. Although she loves seeing cow noses over the garden wall, she’s happy she can walk to a supermarket.
Jane grew up in North Yorkshire where she spent a lot of her childhood avoiding horizontal gales blowing off the sea, and wrote her first book by accident, while working as an architect, and renovating country houses. While she loves to write feelgood books that let readers escape, she’s always surprised to hear her stories make people laugh, admits to (occasionally) crying as she writes, and credits her characters for creating their own story lines.

Jane’s garden would be less brambly if she wasn’t on Facebook and Twitter so often. On days when she wants to be really scared, she rides a tandem.

Her latest books include a series of stand alone novels, based around a seaside wedding shop in Cornwall. Cupcakes and Confetti – The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea, Sequins and Snowflakes – Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop, and Bunting and Bouquets – Summer at the Little Wedding Shop, and most recently, The Little Cornish Kitchen. These are all published by Harper Impulse, an imprint of Harper Collins.

Follow Jane on Twitter @janelinfoot, or find her on her Author Page Facebook or her Personal Page Facebook. She’s also on Instagram, and has lots of Pinterest boards relating to her novels.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

New Release Spotlight and Exclusive Excerpt: Beltane Bliss by Lilliana Rose

Beltane Bliss (Pagan Pleasures Book 1) by Lilliana Rose

Edi Court is training to be a modern-day white witch, her unique ability is healing. Emotionally wounded from her ex, Anto, she has run away from the covenant with a need to heal herself. Following her psychic ability, she finds herself south, along the coast from Melbourne Australia, where she decides to set up her own healing shop, Crystal Sands. 

Voltaire is a down to earth guy, a plumber by trade, he believes only what he sees in the physical world. The loss of his mom and sister to breast cancer and his ex, who stole his money and left him with a debt to work off, has caused him to close his heart. 

Can Edi stop herself from rescuing another man and landing in deep water? Or with the Beltane energies thick in the air, can this be the start of a new relationship between two wounded souls? 

Volt must become a believer in the Magiks and allow his heart to heal. And Edi must learn to trust herself again. 

Will a non-believer and a believer find love over Beltane?

Amazon US      Amazon UK 

Volt is about to help Edi paint the walls in the shop she’s hired out. He doesn’t know her well but there’s a clear attraction to her, even though she believes in things which he’s shut his heart from.

His inner handyman took over and he noticed the flooring was new. “You got something to protect the floor? You should’ve painted first.”
“I know, but the flooring people could only do the job yesterday, and today luckily, I’ve got you to help. In the other bag. I can’t get the paint tin open.”
“You think you’re lucky to have me.” He winked.
“I do. Now help me get this lid off.”
He stepped closer. There was something he wanted to take off, her clothes. He could feel the heat intensify in him. She looked him squarely in the eyes. A little defiance there, a challenge perhaps, and fuck he loved it. It took all his self-control not to slip his hands around her waist and pull her to him.
“Good to know you’re not taking advantage of me.” He kept looking into her eyes, they were blue and seemed to hold more than a lifetime in them, a shadow of hurt there too for someone so youthful. But there was also heat and lust reflecting back at him. “Though, I might be all right if you were.”
Her pupils dilated at his comment. Her body betraying a more profound need.
“Well, I might just do that if you hang around long enough.”
His breath caught. She took his banter and gave it back, and it was making his body stir. He quite liked that trait of hers. “Then I’m never leaving.”
“Not even if I keep burning incense?”
“Nope, that’s not going to send me away. Besides, you’re trying to get rid of bad energy, right? And I’m not bad. Unless you want me to be.”
“Oh…” She breathed out. Edi’s face flushed as he stood there facing her. He was so close he could reach out and touch her. It was as if sparks were flying between them. It felt damn good and he wanted more. And for it not to stop any time soon.
Locked looking into her eyes, he felt himself leaning forward. Volt wanted to taste her, feel her, just a little. A bit of an entrĂ©e to see if he wanted more, though he already knew he wanted all of her. It was as if they were already melding together somehow. Volt couldn’t explain it. He didn’t care. The desires controlled him and he responded. Moving closer to touch her lips with his own, he could feel her reaching toward him. Then her breath on his lips.

Lilliana is an Amazon Bestselling author, who writes romance in the subgenres of contemporary, paranormal, steampunk, and rural. She enjoys helping characters overcome problems, or issues, and the misunderstandings that often plague relationships, to help them fall in love. Whether it city heels being replaced with country work boots, or some magic beyond this world, or cogs and gears and corsets, each story shows how love can prevail.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Spotlight & Review: Children in Chains by Lorraine Mace

Children in Chains by Lorraine Mace

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is determined to shut down the syndicate flooding Bradchester’s streets with young prostitutes.
When a child is murdered, Paolo becomes aware of a sinister network of abusers spread across Europe, and spanning all levels of society. But Joey, the shadowy leader of the gang, always seems to be one step ahead in the chase.
Has Paolo come up against a criminal he cannot defeat?

Amazon UK      Amazon US 

This second book in the Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling series is standalone.

With the murder of a child linked to a child prostitution ring, determined DI Sterling wants to seek justice for the young victim. However, his investigations find the links are international, spread far beyond Bradchester making him wonder if there's a remote chance of shutting down the network of abusers?

A step away from what I normally read, this novel has an intriguing, dark narrative and definitely not for the faint-hearted. I confess to feeling a little apprehensive about my own ability to cope with the harrowing narrative. Thankfully, I managed but it wasn't an easy read. The scenario is sobering, thought-provoking and difficult to read sometimes due to shocking details which emerge. So, when the case is finally wrapped up, it's a relief.

A side plot about Paolo's life away from work is one aspect where I do wonder about what happened earlier in his life, leading me to wonder if I should have read book one first. The thought is borne out of my own curiosity rather than thinking this novel is missing something, which it isn't. The author does a fine job of including the relevant back story so readers won't feel they are missing important facts.

The author's writing style focuses on keeping the narrative flowing and the details always relevant to keep the reader invested within the plot. The theme is dark and disturbing yet she manages to deal with the subject matter in a respectful way. Structured like crime stories for the small and big screen, there's a twist near the end which I didn't foresee but greatly appreciated.

Overall, fans of crime thrillers will enjoy this novel and will want to pick up others in the series too. I know I'm motivated to read more about DI Sterling.

***review copy received courtesy of the publisher Accent Press*** 

When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers' Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of THE WRITER'S ABC CHECKLIST (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel VLAD THE INHALER - HERO IN THE MAKING, and NOTES FROM THE MARGIN, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Release Day Spotlight & Review: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Stiletto and Oxford series, the first in a sizzling new series following the unlikely friendship of three Upper East Side women as they struggle to achieve their dreams and find true love and happiness in the city that never sleeps. 

For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.

The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…

Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.

As my number one go-to author, any novel by Lauren Layne is a must read for me and this, I'm happy to say is exceptional. 

Naomi Powell is a self-made businesswoman and CEO of one of the biggest jewellery businesses in the country. Yet despite her success and wealth, she's shunned amongst the affluent residents of the Upper East Side of Manhattan. When fate brings an invitation and a chance to live in a building where she spent time as a child, she grasps the chance to attend the interview. Surprisingly, she's accepted and it doesn't take long to come face to face with her childhood nemesis. Only he's now grown-up, handsome, charming and can't remember the girl he once tormented. 

Oliver Cunningham was born into an affluent family and as an adult is rich and successful in his own right. To the outside world, he's every woman's dream but little do they know the secret he holds and the sacrifice he's making. When a new, young neighbour moves into his building, he's instantly attracted to her. Only, she's not very friendly. Can he change her mind and more importantly, will she run a mile when his secret is exposed? 

I love the unique and imaginative way we are introduced to Naomi and the two women who become significant in her life. It's tragic but hilarious how these women became acquainted due to a link none of them knew about before their chance meeting in Central Park. The result captures the essence of friendship as they turn a bad situation into a positive one. As I've come to expect from this author, these women work and help each other find 'the one' as they bond over similar experiences against the glamorous Manhattan skyline. 

Whilst retaining all the elements I love about Ms Layne's writing, this novel has a more grown-up feel to it. Besides the slow burn romance brewing between the protagonists, there's a powerful message about the realities faced by many people with ageing parents who need extra care due to health issues. It's a tricky topic and the author manages to balance this and evolving romance perfectly. Even injecting humour into an otherwise challenging situation for the protagonists. It highlights how circumstances can alter a person's life, resulting in selfless sacrifices and the need for compromise to fulfil basic requirements. It's a sobering dilemma for two people with far too many differences between them and yet Naomi and Oliver find their way eventually. 

To sum up, I'm hooked on this Central Park Pact series and can't wait to find out the fate of Claire and Audrey and read about their journeys to a happily ever after. 

Lastly, I'm very much a reader who is more drawn to the blurb than a book cover when deciding what to read, however, this cover is perfect for Passion on Park Avenue makes my heart sing and the kind I love to see on my own it! 

***arc generously received courtesy of Gallery Books via NetGalley***

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Amazon DE     Amazon FR

Monday, 27 May 2019

Spotlight: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

If you leave your newborn child because you have unstoppable thoughts of harming her, are you a good mother or a terrible one? This dilemma is at the heart of Barbara Claypole White’s novel, a wrenching story of how one woman’s OCD has a ripple effect on those around her—including the people she tried hardest to protect. This is an eye-opening and realistic exploration of mental illness—a topic that greatly deserves to be front and center.”—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things
Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.
But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?
To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

Amazon UK       Amazon US 

Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White has created her own idiosyncratic niche in mainstream fiction: hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina, where she lives with her family. Her novels include:
The Unfinished Garden, Mira Books, 2012, winner of the Golden Quill for Best First Book 2013; The In-Between Hour, Mira Books, 2014, chosen by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as an Okra Pick; The Perfect Son, Lake Union, 2015, Goodreads Choice Awards Semi-finalist for Best Fiction; Echoes of Family, Lake Union, 2016, WFWA 2017 Star Award Finalist; The Promise Between Us, Lake Union, 2018. (View the book trailer here:
Barbara is also an OCD advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity.
To watch Barbara’s 2018 interview with Linda Hurtado on Fox 13, click here:
For more information on Barbara, please visit 

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