Noteworthy Book Releases

#BlogTour #Excerpt Summer of Love by Caro Fraser @carofraser @aria_fiction

Synopsis:

The dark days of the war are over, but the family secrets they held are only just dawning.

  In the hot summer of 1949, a group of family and friends gather at Harry Denholm’s country house in Kent. Meg and Dan Ranscombe, emerging from a scandal of their own making; Dan’s godmother, Sonia; and her two young girls, Laura and Avril, only one of whom is Sonia’s biological daughter. Amongst the heat, memories, and infatuations, a secret is revealed to Meg’s son, Max, and soon a terrible tragedy unfolds that will have consequences for them all. Afterwards, Avril, Laura and Max must come of age in a society still reeling from the war, haunted by the choices of that fateful summer. Cold, entitled Avril will go to any lengths to take what is hers. Beautiful, naive Laura finds refuge and love in the London jazz clubs, but Max, with wealth and unrequited love, has the capacity to undo it all.

 

Excerpt:

1949

The air was full of the fresh, damp scents of early spring as Meg and Dan Ranscombe turned off the road and walked up the narrow path that led to the back of Woodbourne House. They made a handsome couple – Meg, in her early thirties, was vividly pretty, with dark eyes and chestnut hair curling to her shoulders; Dan, a few years older, was by contrast fair-haired and blue-eyed, his clean-cut features marked by a faint arrogance, a remnant of youthful vanity. They walked in thoughtful silence. It was four years since they had last been to Woodbourne House, the home of Sonia Haddon, Meg’s aunt and Dan’s godmother.

‘I’m glad we took the train instead of driving,’ said Dan, breaking the quiet. ‘I have fond memories of this walk.’

They paused by a big, whitewashed stone barn standing at the foot of a sloping apple orchard.

‘Uncle Henry’s studio,’ murmured Meg. ‘I remember that summer, having to traipse down every morning with barley water and biscuits for him while he was painting.’

Sonia’s husband, Henry Haddon, had been an acclaimed artist in his day, and in pre-war times to have one’s portrait painted by him had had considerable cachet. In Britain’s post-war modernist world, his name had fallen out of fashion.

Dan stood gazing at the barn, lost in his own memories: that final day of the house partytwelve years ago, when he had come down to the studio to say farewell to his host. Finding Henry Haddon, his trousers round his ankles, locked in an embrace with Madeleine, the nanny, against the wall of the studio had been absurd and shocking enough, but what had then transpired had been even worse. He could remember still the sound of the ladder crashing to the floor, and the sight of five-year-old Avril peeping over the edge of the hayloft. Presumably the shock of seeing his daughter had brought on Haddon’s heart attack. That, and unwonted sexual exertions. The moments afterwards were confused in his memory, although he recalled setting the ladder aright so that Avril could get down, then sending her running up to the house to get someone to fetch a doctor, while he uselessly attempted to revive Haddon. Madeleine, unsurprisingly, had made herself scarce. And the painting – he remembered that. A portrait of Madeleine in her yellow sundress, seated on a wicker chair, head half-turned as though listening to notes of unheard music, or the footfall of some awaited lover. Haddon had been working on it in the days running up to his death, and no doubt the intimacy forged between painter and sitter had led to that brief and ludicrously tragic affair. The falling ladder had knocked it from the easel, and he had picked it up and placed it with its face to the wall next to the other canvases. He didn’t to this day know why he had done that. Perhaps as a way of closing off and keeping secret what he had witnessed. To this day nobody but he knew about Haddon’s affair with Madeleine. Had the painting ever been discovered? No one had ever mentioned it. Perhaps it was there still, just as he had left it.

Meg glanced at his face. ‘Penny for them.’

‘Oh, nothing,’ said Dan. ‘Just thinking about that house party, when you and I first met.’

What a fateful chain of events had been set in motion in the summer of 1936. He had been a twenty-four-year-old penniless journalist, invited to spend several days at Woodbourne House with a handful of other guests. Meeting and falling in love with Meg had led to the clandestine affair they had conducted throughout the war years behind the back of her husband Paul. Its discovery had led to estrangement with much of the family. Paul, a bomber pilot, had been killed on the way back from a raid over Germany, and the possibility that his discovery of the affair might have contributed in some way, on some level, to his death, still haunted them both. They never spoke of it. Meg and Dan were married now, but the guilt of what they had done remained. Meg’s mother Helen had been trying for some time to persuade her sister, Sonia, to forgive Meg and Dan, and today’s invitation to Woodbourne House was a signal that she had at last relented.

They walked up through the orchard, and when they reached the flagged courtyard at the back of the house Meg said, ‘I’m going to the kitchen to say hello to Effie. I don’t think I can face Aunt Sonia quite yet. I’ll let you go first. Cowardly of me, I know, but I can’t help it.’ She gave him a quick smile and a kiss, and turned in the direction of the kitchen.

 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links!

          

 

 

Thank you to Caro Fraser and Aria Fiction for being featured on my blog today!

 

About Caro Fraser

 

Caro Fraser is the author of the bestselling Caper Court novels, based on her own experiences as a lawyer. She is the daughter of Flashman author George MacDonald Fraser and lives in London.

 

 

For more information on Aria Fiction visit them at:

Website | Twitter | FacebookInstagram | NetGalley | Newsletter

 

It’s Monday (June 4, 2018)! What Are You Reading! #IMWAYR

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate is a weekly post to share what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this upcoming week.

 

So here is what I just read, am reading, and what I plan to read next:

 

What I Read Last Week (Ebook ARCs):

 

Title: The Heat is On (Mercury Travel Club #2)

Author: Helen Bridgett

Immediate Thoughts: Warm, sassy, and delightfully entertaining!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: August 2, 2018

 

 

Title: Even Money (All in Duet #1)

Author: Alessandra Torre

Immediate Thoughts: Ominous, dramatic, and risqué!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: June 4, 2018

 

 

Title: The Boyfriend Bracket

Authors: Kate Evangelista

Immediate Thoughts: A cute, heartwarming, first-love romance!

Rating: 7.5/10

Publication Date: June 19, 2018

 

 

Title: Mister Tonight

Author: Kendall Ryan

Immediate Thoughts: Sweet, funny, and charming!

Rating: 9/10

Publication Date: June 18, 2018

 

 

 Title: The Optimist

Author: Sophie Kipner

Immediate Thoughts: Unique, quirky, and laugh-out-loud funny!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: May 18, 2018

 

 

Title: Ashes to Ashes

Author: Rebecca Norinne

Immediate Thoughts: Angsty, dramatic, and romantic!

Rating: 7.5/10

Publication Date: December 13, 2017

 

 

What I Read Last Week (Physical ARCs):

 

Title: Dear Mrs. Bird

Author: A.J. Pearce

Immediate Thoughts: Spirited, poignant, and moving!

Rating: 9/10

Publication Date: July 3, 2018

 

 

What I Read Last Week for the #20BooksofSummer Challenge:

 

Title: Beartown

Author: Fredrik Backman

Immediate Thoughts: Powerful, tragic, heart-wrenching and raw!

Rating: 10/10

Publication Date: April 25, 2017

 

 

What I’m currently reading:

 

                             

 

 

What I’m reading next:

 

                                

 

Current Stats:

# of NetGalley ARCs Outstanding: 16

 

 

# of Books Still on my Goodreads TBR List: 923 ☹️

 

 

# of Books Read in the #20BooksofSummer Challenge: 1/20 😊

 

Have you read any of my upcoming reads? What do you have coming up? How are your stats?

Happy Reading!

#BookBlitz The Boyfriend Experience by J.A. Huss @JAHuss @XpressoReads

#BookBlitz The Boyfriend Experience by J.A. Huss @JAHuss @XpressoReads

 

 

The Boyfriend Experience (Jordan’s Game #3)

JA Huss

Publication date: May 30, 2018

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Comedy

 

 

 

From NYT Bestselling Author, JA Huss, comes a new sexy standalone in the Jordan’s Game series.

I NEED A BOYFRIEND… and I need one now…

WANTED
One bad-ass man with boyfriend experience.
Must be willing to fight dirty and work weekends, nights, and overtime.
Bad attitude a must. Bonus points if you’re hot, athletic, and sporting tattoos.

When I asked Jordan Wells for a Boyfriend Experience game I didn’t expect to get stuck with billionaire real-estate agent, Lawton Ayers. He doesn’t exactly fit the job description.

WANTED
One professional woman with business experience.
Must be willing to build a future together.
Successful entrepreneur a must. Bonus points if you’re a crazy local legend.

When Jordan Wells offered up Oaklee Ryan a last-minute business partner to seal a deal I’ve been working on for years, I didn’t expect beautiful, sexy, and multi-orgasmic to be on her list of qualifications.

But that’s what I got. And she’s perfect just the way she is.

Too bad she doesn’t want me to be HER boyfriend. Because she bought me for someone else…

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

 

EXCERPT:

She’s smiling up at me, her brown eyes turned slightly yellow from the glow of the lights, her cheeks pink. Flushed from the exertion of sex. Her breathing slower now, but not her heart. Because I can feel it underneath me.

Still pounding.

Waiting for more.

Trying to match mine.

So we can keep time together.

I think that’s what hearts do. Keep time. Keep everything together. Keep this crazy thing called life in perspective.

“One more time here,” I say. “Then I’ll take you inside so I can get you naked.”

It’s too cold to make her take her clothes off. Even though I know she’d do that if I asked her to. I can already feel the chill of her beneath me. But my body heat will help. Will protect her from the cold.

The deluxe package includes a boyfriend blanket on a cold night.

She opens her legs, reaches down between them to pull her panties aside, and my hips adjust enough to allow my cock to slide up to her opening. Her fingers are grabbing my shoulder now. And even through the leather I can feel them dig.

I want to take the jacket off so she can leave marks on me. I want there to be nothing between us. But I want her to be on the bottom at least once. So she can look up and see the surreal fantasy version of the underside of her water tower just like I did. So we can share that special feeling of being with someone you adore in a way that can’t be repeated.

No one will ever make love to her like this again. Not even me. Because this is a moment and moments pass into other moments and no two are ever alike.

She thrusts her hips upward, trying to force me to enter her. I just grin, because not gonna happen. Not until I say so, at least.

“Come on,” she whispers, watching me intently. “Let’s go.”

“We’ve got time. There’s no rush.”

She thrusts upward again. “There is a rush. A rush I want to experience again. Don’t make me beg, Lawton Ayers.”

“Begging?” I ask playfully. “Is that something you do?”

She giggles, then gets serious real quick. She frowns. Pouts her lips. Widens her eyes. “Please,” comes out like a whimper. Like she’s been wounded and needs relief. Relief only I can administer.

“Just take a moment, Oaklee. Feel it with me.”

Her eyes narrow slightly. Like she’s trying to figure out what I’m asking.

“The game is over,” I say. “That’s what I want you to feel. We passed it by some time ago. I’m not sure when, exactly. But the game is over.”

“OK,” she says, her face relaxing. The pout is gone. The confusion is gone. And all her expectations seem to melt away. “We’re real,” she whispers.

 

 

 

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#CoverReveal #Giveaway DILF DIARIES: OH BABY by Stephanie St. Klaire @StephStKlaire @InkSlingerPR

 

Today we are sharing the cover reveal of

 

DILF DIARIES: OH BABY by Stephanie St. Klaire!

 

This book kicks off a brand new series that you cannot miss!

Sign up for Stephanie’s newsletter for exclusive news and details about the series.

 

Pre-order Now for just $0.99 on

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Barnes & Noble (coming soon!)

 

 

DILF DIARIES: OH BABY by Stephanie St. Klaire

Coming July 12

 

Synopsis:

He likes to find them hot, and leave them wet…

Women are setting their lawns on fire and sticking cats in trees all so they can dial 911 and get a glimpse of Jack Decker’s…hose. When a firefighter looks like he does, it’s no wonder panties are melting, and hearts are ablaze all over the city because he is H-O-T…hot! Jack might put out fires like a regular hero, but it doesn’t stop him from heating up the sheets and letting them smolder.

In a burning twist of fate, Jack finds himself up all night long for an entirely new reason, a reason that’s anything but smoldering. That is until the feisty firecracker next door threatens to ignite a fire he doesn’t know how to battle…Oh Baby!

 

————-

 

 
 

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Enter the PRE-ORDER GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a surprise book box filled with goodies — including a Kindle!

ENTER HERE!

 

 

Pre-order Now for just $0.99 on

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Barnes & Noble (coming soon!)

 

———————

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

 

Stephanie St. Klaire debuted in 2016, launching her writing career with Rescued, the first book in the widely popular, five book series known as McKenzie Ridge. Stephanie is a Pacific Northwest native currently living in Oregon with her husband, five children, and two ferocious lap dogs.

As a writer, Stephanie brings realistic circumstances to the pages, and fills them with real emotion, reactions, and outcomes. Her characters are passionate, have bold personalities, and full of life. She writes happily ever after’s, with plenty of twists, turns, drama, and of course, steamy romance.

Stephanie has always been a story teller, with the gift of “gab”, and a life-long goal to be a writer. Unfortunate circumstances with her health, finally afforded her the time to do so. Irony at its best, she began writing her first novel at an adverse time, to escape her circumstance and explore the stories in her imagination for relief. She is happy to share those stories with her readers, and bring a little fun, entertainment, and of course smexy characters to the pages.

Follow Stephanie St. Klaire on Social media to learn more about her, and to keep up with her work.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Sign up for Stephanie’s Newsletter

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon

 

 

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#BlogTour #Excerpt Deep Fear by Rachel Lynch @r_lynchcrime @canelo_co

 

Synopsis:

DI Kelly Porter is back. But will this new case push her beyond her limits?

On a peaceful summer’s morning in the Lake District, a woman’s body is discovered outside a church. She’s been murdered and a brutal, symbolic act performed on her corpse. DI Kelly Porter is in charge of the team investigating the crime, and is determined to bring the killer to justice. But as more deaths occur it is clear this is the work of a disturbed, dangerous and determined individual. Can Kelly put the puzzle pieces together before the danger comes closer to home?

Don’t miss this gripping crime thriller featuring an unforgettable detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

 

————–

Excerpt:

The cardiac ward at The Penrith and Lakes Hospital was utterly depressing. Old people, smokers for years, hacked their lives out of their chests, and others wheezed and rattled around the corridors. The ward wrapped around a courtyard, and each patient had their own room. Wendy Porter was dozing. Kelly looked at her mother and felt regret. They were close in some ways but not in others. Kelly knew from DS Umshaw that being a mother was a tough job and children often believed that you were taking sides. The moment offered Kelly room to breathe and she watched as her mother’s chest rose and fell gently. She looked peaceful in sleep. An urge to take her hand gripped Kelly, but it passed when she heard the carping voice of her sister. She rolled her eyes.

Kelly knew that she had to move out of her childhood home, and she made a note to herself to try to squeeze in a viewing tomorrow. But even as the thought came and went, she knew she wouldn’t have time. Already the case was taking over. Damn it, she had to make time.

There had been a time when Kelly had worried about why she always seemed to disappoint her mother – to the satisfaction of her sister – but now she had more important things to consider, such as finding a house of her own, so she didn’t need to listen to it. As well as needing her own space, Nikki had a key to her mother’s house and barged in unannounced, whenever it pleased her, and Kelly felt suffocated. And now Kelly was public enemy number one. She’d not only put Dave Crawley away for fifteen years, but his father had been found guilty and sent down, only to spend the last pathetic days of his existence in the prison infirmary, being tended to by palliative care nurses. He’d died merely two months into his sentence. Of course it was all her fault, rather than the fact that they were both fucking toe rags. It still pained her that she’d shared a bed with Dave. She still felt unclean.

Nikki had lived in Penrith all her life; she’d never left. She finished college here, married a boy from here, and now she was raising kids here. Maybe that was the problem. Kelly had known for years, all the way through college and university, that she’d leave The Lakes one day. It wasn’t that she didn’t love the place, not at all – it was more that it made her feel trapped somehow. Before London, all she’d ever known was lakes and mountains; the same boys, marrying the same girls, and the same conversations around the same bars and the same nightclubs. Kelly wanted more, that was all, but Nikki called her arrogant and selfish. London did its job: Kelly found the life she’d craved, the freedom, the spontaneity, the vastness and the anonymity; they all intoxicated her, and when she came back, her sister was exactly the same. But with a vicious edge. Kelly hadn’t known what to make of it, and had tried to comfort her sister, thinking the cause of her annoyance to be grief over their father.

She was wrong.

And now she’d rocked the boat on a monumental scale. Nikki’s best friend was Dave’s wife, and was finding life on the knuckles of her arse, without the trappings of Dave’s extra-curricular activities, challenging.

Now, Nikki made it clear that she blamed her sibling, not only for not being there when their father passed away, but for the fate of one of Penrith’s greatest families. The irony was lost on her, and when the sisters clashed, it was never pretty.

Kelly followed the noise and found Nikki berating a male nurse with a clipboard.

‘Nikki, Mum wants you,’ Kelly lied.

Nikki spun round and the nurse slipped away. Kelly turned to go back to the room, ignoring anything her sister might have had to say. Nikki turned back to where the nurse had been standing and, realising they’d gone, tutted indignantly. Kelly couldn’t help smile as Nikki clacked towards their mother’s room in her impossible heels. It must be exhausting being that pissed off all the time, Kelly thought.

Their mother was now awake, and having her vitals checked by the young male nurse who’d been debriefed by Nikki, just a moment ago. Nikki glared at him. Kelly wondered what on earth he might have done wrong. Offence; everyone is so easily offended, she thought. Kelly found the nurse polite and efficient, but then Nikki wouldn’t be happy unless there was a problem. Kelly folded her arms, accepting that she’d have to share space with her sister for a while, and examined her. She wore black leggings, high white boots, and a baggy sweatshirt with some logo on it, several bangles around her wrists – which jangled infuriatingly – plenty of makeup, and a sullen expression. Her dyed hair was piled high on her head and she chewed gum. She stood in a strop, arms folded, glaring at the nurse.

‘How are you feeling, Mrs Porter?’ the nurse asked.

‘Better now. You’re very handsome,’ Wendy said.

Kelly found her mother’s blunt honesty (a result of the drugs she was taking) hugely amusing: it left her with no filters, and stuff simply fell out of her mouth. The nurse laughed, used to the effects of the drugs. But Nikki was appalled.

‘Mum!’ Nikki said. The nurse left.

‘It’s true,’ Wendy said.

 

About the Author:

Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.

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This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

 

Thank you to Rachel Lynch and Canelo for providing me with an excerpt for my blog today!

 

It’s Monday (May 28, 2018)! What Are You Reading! #IMWAYR

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate is a weekly post to share what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this upcoming week.

 

So I realized today that I have been so busy that my last #IMWAYR post was back on April 16, 2018! I can’t believe it, but hopefully I’ll be back on track now.

 

So here is what I just read, am reading, and what I plan to read next:

 

What I Read Last Week (Ebook ARCs):

 

Title: The Wright One (Wright Love Duet #2)

Author: K.A. Linde

Immediate Thoughts: A romantic, touching ending to Sutton and David’s story!

Rating: 9/10

Publication Date: May 29, 2018

 

 

Title: Game Players

Author: Anita Waller

Immediate Thoughts: Gritty, menacing, and meticulous!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: May 18, 2018

 

 

Title: Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings

Authors: Mary Jayne Baker, Sophie Claire, Jacqui Cooper, Helena Fairfax, Kate Field, Melinda Hammond, Marie Laval, Helen Pollard

Immediate Thoughts: Lovely collection of short stories that are charming and heartwarming and each have a little magic in the form of Miss. Moonshine!

Rating: 8/10

Publication Date: May 18, 2018

 

Title: The Perfect Couple

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Immediate Thoughts: A compelling, mysterious, perfect summer read!

Rating: 10/10

Publication Date: June 19, 2018

 

 

 Title: Down with Love (Love Wars #1)

Author: Kate Meader

Immediate Thoughts: Witty, seductive, and wickedly entertaining!

Rating: 10/10

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

 

 

 

What I’m currently reading:

 

                             

 

 

What I’m reading next:

 

                                

 

 

Current Stats:

# of NetGalley ARCs Outstanding: 17

 

 

# of Books Still on my Goodreads TBR List: 922 ☹️

 

 

Have you read any of my upcoming reads? What do you have coming up?

Happy Reading!

#BlogTour #GuestPost Songs of Innocence by Anne Coates @Anne_Coates1 @LoveBooksGroup

Synopsis:

“Gripping and original, Anne Coates delivers the most thrilling Hannah Weybridge investigation yet” – Hugh Fraser, bestselling author of the Rina Walker thriller series

A woman’s body is found in a lake. Is it a sad case of suicide or something more sinister? Hannah Weybridge, still reeling from her friend’s horrific murder and the attempts on her own life, doesn’t want to get involved, but reluctantly agrees to look into the matter for the family.

The past however still stalks her steps, and a hidden danger accompanies her every move.

The third in the bestselling Hannah Weybridge thriller series, Songs of Innocence provides Hannah with her toughest and deadliest assignment yet…

 

————–

 

And now:

Choosing a Title by Anne Coates

 

There’s often a wonderful sense of freedom and excitement that comes with selecting titles but if the author is considering a series there may be some constraints. For my Hannah Weybridge thrillers published by Urbane, I wanted titles to encapsulate the story in a creative and perhaps off-beat way.

Dancers in the Windis a reference to a verse in Dryden’s poem “Fortune”:

I can enjoy her while she’s kind;

But when she dances in the wind,

And shakes her wings, and will not stay,

I puff the prostitute away.”

One of the central characters is a prostitute and several are killed during the narrative, so that verse seemed pertinent to me. “Dances” is changed to “Dancers” and my title was created.

For the sequel, which begins with the murder of Hannah’s close friend, I worked on various connotations. I tried out various combinations of words from Death and Dispossession to Ambassadors for the Dead. Some 12 titles competed for the crown.

I was eventually inspired by Andrew Marvell’s poem, “In Mourning” – in particular the last verse:

I yet my silent judgement keep,

Disputing not what they believe:

But sure as oft as Women Weep

It is to be suppos’d they grieve.”

The words “silent judgement” resonated with me, leading to title number 13 – Death’s Silent Judgementwhich was published in May 2017.

Before deciding on these I made sure there were no other books with the same title by searching for books on Amazon and other websites. It’s amazing how often authors (or publishers) come up with the same title and confusion can arise sometimes with one author benefiting from the popularity of another.

For my third Hannah Weybridge thriller, I was stumped for a title. There are various facets of the narrative that I’d have liked to include but they didn’t necessarily sit well together.  I wanted to continue the poetic essence of the previous titles so again I turned to my favourite poets for inspiration.

For book three I was also looking for some local inspiration. On a wall of a house by the children’s playground is a mural depicting William Blake’s visionof angels in an oak tree in Peckham Park. Peckham Pond is where the first body is discovered… You can see where this is leading. I found my well-thumbed edition of Blake’s poetry and read until I found this verse in “On Another’s Sorrow”:

Can I seen another’s woe,

And not be in sorrow too?

Can I see another’s grief,

And not seek for kind relief?”

For me this summed up Hannah’s feelings and motivation when she is asked by the family of the drowned girl to investigate her death. Hannah is still in shock from her friend’s brutal murder a few months before and the repercussions in her own life. Her own grief made her more receptive to the family’s plea to her to help prove that it wasn’t suicide but murder. Of all the permutations for titles I came up with, Matthew Smith, the publishing Director at Urbane Publications, preferred Songs of Innocence.

When Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications asked me for the title of the next Hannah Weybridge thriller to be published next year, I had to confess I didn’t have one. So it’s currently Hannah Weybridge 4 and I’m back to reading poetry.

© Anne Coates, 2018

 

About the Author:

Reading and writing has been Anne Coates’ passion for as long as she can remember. Instilled and inspired by her mother and by the Deputy Head at her secondary school who encouraged her hunger for reading by granting her free access to the books not yet in the school library, and she feels still grateful for this, in her eyes, amazing privilege.

After her degree in English and French, Anne moved to London to stay. During her career she worked for publishers, as a journalist, writer, editor, and translator. The birth of her daughter, Olivia inspired her to write non-fiction books, such as ‘Your Only Child’ (Bloomsbury, 1996), books about applying to and surviving university (NeedtoKnow, 2013), but also short stories, tales with a twist, and stories exploring relationships, published in two collections by Endeavour Press (2015).

The sometimes strange places Anne visited as a journalist often made her think “What if…” And so, investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge was born… The Hannah Weybridge series currently consists of three books, all published by Urbane Publications: ‘Dancers in the Wind’ (2016), ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ (2017), and ‘Songs of Innocence’ (2018).

Anne Coates lives in London with three demanding cats and enjoys reading, going to the theatre and cinema, wining and dining.

WEBSITETWITTER /  FACEBOOK / PARENTING WEBSITE TWITTER

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

 

 

Thank you to Anne Coates for being a guest on my blog today! It was truly an honour!

 

#BookBlitz Playing for Keeps by Alison Packard @Alleyfics @XpressoReads

 

 

 

Playing for Keeps (Feeling the Heat, #6)

Alison Packard

Publication date: May 1st 2018

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

 

 

 

He’s riding the bench. She’s living a lie. The game of love is won in extra innings.

Following a terrible tragedy, Rick Taylor is making his comeback to the major leagues… and the dating scene. But years off the roster have left the veteran catcher a little rusty. It’ll take a special woman to heal the heartache of losing his family. But the perfect contender refuses to let him try out…

Single mom Amy Vaughn leads a double life. Between her daytime job and her nightclub gig, she can’t afford to date a famous baseball player… especially when the publicity could bring her dark secret to light. But the handsome catcher’s charms prove too strong to resist.

When old memories and new notoriety threaten to tear them apart, Rick and Amy must learn to drop their defenses, or they’ll miss out on their second chance at love.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

———-

EXCERPT:

Sitting next to Rick at the breakfast bar Amy was acutely aware of everything about him. His subtle scent; a mixture of soap and cologne that was unique to him invaded her senses. He’d shaved so the stubble was gone, but even without it he was sexy as hell. Underneath the navy blue Henley shirt, the play of his muscles as he’d worked in the kitchen had riveted her. The sleeves had been pushed up to his elbows to reveal his muscular forearms. She was taller than average, but next to Rick she felt almost dainty.

With a happy sigh, she set her fork on her empty plate. “On a scale of one to ten, your crepes are a definite ten.”

“I told you I had mad culinary skills.” He looked pleased as he grabbed their plates, then slipped off of his stool and rounded the counter to place them in the sink. Amy’s gaze lowered to his perfect ass. Boxers, briefs, or the ever popular boxer-briefs? She’d find out soon.

Just then he turned around and she jerked her gaze up to meet his. Warmth surged over her skin and she was sure she was blushing. Still, with a backside like his he should be used to it. “You don’t have to do the dishes. You can leave them in the sink. I’ll do them tomorrow.”

“It is tomorrow. But I won’t argue about the dishes. It’s the only part of cooking I don’t like,” he said as she hopped off of her stool and joined him in the kitchen. She reached for the brown paper grocery bag he’d placed on the counter next to the stove and let out a surprised yelp when he cut in front of her and grabbed it first.

“What’s in the bag?” She set her hands on her hips, curious as to what he didn’t want her to see. “A secret ingredient you used in the crepes?”

“Maybe.” A hint of a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. “Maybe not.”

“Color me curious.” She snatched the bag from his grasp, then, laughing at his dumbstruck expression, she stuck her hand inside and pulled out a box of condoms. “So this is why you had to stop at the store.” Grinning, she inspected the box and read the large script aloud. “Ribbed for her pleasure. What do you think that means?”

“I’m not really sure, but I think it means you…um…the woman gets more stimulation during…” He paused, then amusement flashed in his eyes. “Okay. I can see by that shit-eating grin you’re messing with me. And for your information the condoms aren’t the only reason I had to stop at the store. You said you didn’t have cream cheese, whipping cream, or berries. All of which I needed for the crepes.”

“Did you stop at the twenty-four-hour market on Bryant?”

He nodded. “Why?”

With a mischievous smile, she side-stepped around him and grabbed the tote bag she’d hung on an oversized metal hook on the end of the breakfast bar. “I was in and out before you got there,” she said as she pulled out three small boxes of condoms and set them on top of the counter along with his box. “I wasn’t sure what size to get so I bought regular, large, and extra-large. I’m sure the guy at the cash register thought I was on my way to an orgy.”

“You could have told him they make great water balloons.”

“And you’d know this how?” she asked, slipping the handles of the tote over the hook. She turned to find Rick leaning against the edge of the counter in front of the sink. She crossed the short space between them and in a quick move, braced her palms on the countertop and lifted herself up to sit on its smooth surface.

“When I was at UT a few of my buddies used to fill them with water and have water balloon fights. They’re actually pretty durable.” He chuckled. “They also make excellent balloon animals.”

“This is what you did in college?”

“I didn’t say I participated.”

“But you did.” She cocked her head and arched a brow at him. “Didn’t you?”

He pushed off the counter and moved to stand in front of her. “Maybe once or twice.”

“Will you make a condom balloon animal for me?”

“I made you crepes.” A smile crinkled the corners of his eyes. “Isn’t that enough?”

“No.”

“Are you always this demanding?” he asked with a laugh.

“Only when I want something.”

Their smiles slowly faded. Rick lifted his hand and gently caressed her cheek. The pad of his thumb brushed over her lower lip and the desire she’d held in check since they’d kissed in the garage returned full force. He skimmed his fingers over her jaw, then to her neck. She sighed and tilted her head slightly to the side. “What do you want right now?” he asked in a low voice.

“You.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alison now lives in Southern Nevada where she’s finally used to the blistering summers, but still finds the slot machines in grocery stores and gas stations rather odd.

When not working at the day job that pays the bills, keeps a roof over her head, and supports her book and chocolate habits, she spends most of her free time writing. But when she takes a break, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

 

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#BlogTour #Excerpt East of India by Erica Brown @baywriterallat1 @canelo_co

  

 

Synopsis:

India, 1940. When Nadine learns that the Indian woman she thought her nanny is, in fact, her mother, she rebels against her English father and he arranges for Nadine to be wed to an Australian merchant many years older. She whisked off to his plantation in Malaya but as the Second World War rages throughout the East, Nadine is taken captive by the Japanese. She is held at a camp in Sumatra with other women and forced to provide sexual favours for the soldiers. In the most unlikely circumstances, Nadine finds an ally and protector in a Japanese-American general, caught up in the war. The two bond over the conflicted identities and gradually fall in love. But can Nadine survive long enough to find happiness?

Don’t miss this emotional and powerful saga about a women’s determination to beat the odds, perfect for fans of Renita D’Silva, Dinah Jefferies and Julia Gregson.

 

Excerpt:

Schooldays were coming to a close and Nadine was glad that they were. She’d never fitted in, viewed as slightly odd by fresh-faced girls who knew the far-off Mother Country far better than they did the one they lived in. Her dark hair and skin had set her apart. Only the odd contrast of her grey eyes had halted their insinuations of mixed blood, until Cecilia Renfrew had thrown comments around that she’d overheard from gossiping memsahibs. Some of the girls now went out of their way to avoid her, though not all.

Girls in brown uniforms had filed in and out of the Benares Academy for Young Ladies for over forty years. Most were destined to be wives either in this country or back home. Only a very few intended furthering their education and contemplating a career in ‘something useful’, such as becoming a secretary or doing a little nursing, though nothing too strenuous.

Someone asked Nadine whether she was going to England to continue studying. ‘Seeing as Cecilia may have scotched your chances on the marriage market.’

Nadine had bristled. ‘No. I’m going to study India – and the rest of the world if I get the chance.’

‘Oh! How odd,’ said the person who had asked. ‘Still, as long as you can afford it. Anyway, not everyone needs a man, do they?’

‘Will you get a job?’ someone else asked.

‘As what?’

Jennifer, a softly spoken girl who was as near to being her best friend as anyone, shrugged her narrow shoulders.

‘Nurse, secretary, teacher…’

Nadine shuddered. ‘Certainly not. What will you do?’

‘Marry an eligible man as quickly as possible. That’s what my parents hope for too. Have you considered marrying? I mean, I know some of the others think you’ve got no chance because of your pedigree, but let’s face it, you’re jolly pretty. Actually, the prettiest girl in the school.’

Nadine glanced at the slight sixteen-year-old. She had hips like a boy and the curve of her breasts barely disturbed the front of her blouse.

‘No. I won’t marry.’

‘I see. Of course, now there’s a war on you could do something in the military, I suppose – once you’re old enough, that is.’

‘I don’t think so.’

‘So what will you do?’ persisted the girl, peering from beneath a floppy brown fringe as she awaited an answer.

Nadine eyed the sandstone yellow of the school building, the locked gates that kept the girls in and the world – an India viewed as decadent but tempting – firmly shut out.

Remember it was here that made you respectable young ladies, truly representative of all the British Empire stands for.

The school’s mantra, dogged and basically unthinking: Nadine grinned as a deliciously naughty thought crossed her mind.

‘I think I shall be a dancer.’

Jennifer gasped and clapped a hand across her mouth. ‘You wouldn’t!’

‘Why not?’ Nadine spoke deliberately loudly. ‘I’m going to be a dancer in the Hindu fashion. I’m going to twirl and twitch my hands and arms around all those exquisite temples – you know the ones I mean – those decorated with intertwining, naked bodies.’

Jennifer’s shocked expression fuelled Nadine’s urge to shock and unsettle. She raised her voice, determined everyone would hear.

‘You know what they’re doing of course, don’t you? They’re having sex in every position possible. Some of the female carvings are sucking on the men’s…’

Nadine’s descriptions of the lewd statuary spread from girl to giggling girl.

‘MISS BURTON.’

Judging by her flame-coloured expression, Miss Clark looked about to explode.

Nadine didn’t care. Satchel tucked beneath her arm, she sauntered off, her hat swinging on a ribbon around her neck.

She half-turned, smiled and waved back to those gathered at the school gates. ‘Goodbye, Miss Clark. I’m off to dance seductively in a Hindu temple.’

 

About the Author:

Erica Brown is the pseudonym of a very successful author of women’s fiction and crime. She lives in Bath and has one daughter and twin grandchildren one of whom is dead set on becoming a writer.

 

Thank you to Erica Brown and Canelo for providing me with an excerpt for my blog today!

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

For more information on Erica Brown follow her on Twitter at: @baywriterallat1

 

 

#BookReview Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley @SusannaKearsley @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley @SusannaKearsley @SimonSchusterCA Title: Bellewether

Author: Susanna Kearsley

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Apr. 24, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 414

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Some houses seem to want to hold their secrets.

It’s 1759 and the world is at war, pulling the North American colonies of Britain and France into the conflict. The times are complicated, as are the loyalties of many New York merchants who have secretly been trading with the French for years, defying Britain’s colonial laws in a game growing ever more treacherous.

When captured French officers are brought to Long Island to be billeted in private homes on their parole of honour, it upends the lives of the Wilde family—deeply involved in the treasonous trade and already divided by war.

Lydia Wilde, struggling to keep the peace in her fracturing family following her mother’s death, has little time or kindness to spare for her unwanted guests. French-Canadian lieutenant Jean-Philippe de Sabran has little desire to be there. But by the war’s end they’ll both learn love, honour, and duty can form tangled bonds that are not broken easily.

Their doomed romance becomes a local legend, told and re-told through the years until the present day, when conflict of a different kind brings Charley Van Hoek to Long Island to be the new curator of the Wilde House Museum.

Charley doesn’t believe in ghosts. But as she starts to delve into the history of Lydia and her French officer, it becomes clear that the Wilde House holds more than just secrets, and Charley discovers the legend might not have been telling the whole story…or the whole truth.


Review:

Powerful, absorbing, and incredibly fascinating!

Bellewether is an enthralling tale set on the eastern shores of Long Island during the late 1750s, as well as present day, and is told from three different perspectives. Lydia, a strong, hardworking young woman struggling to care and support those she loves in a time of uncertainty and upheaval. Jean-Philippe, a French-Canadian soldier who finds himself captured and a parole of honour in the final pivotal days of the Seven Years’ War. And Charley, an intelligent, independent woman determined to discover all the skeletons hidden inside the Wilde House, as well as her own.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are alluring, sympathetic, multi-layered, and authentic. And the plot is a sweeping saga filled with familial drama, introspection, love, loss, grief, mystique, heartbreak, romance, secrets, passion, loyalty, as well as a little peek into a war that had a tremendous impact on the culture and history of Canada as we know it today.

Bellewether is a beautifully written, exceptionally atmospheric novel that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the personalities, feelings, and lives of the characters you never want it to end. It is without a doubt one of my favourite novels of the year that once again highlights Kearsley’s extraordinary imagination and talent as a masterful storyteller and researcher.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Susanna Kearsley

A former museum curator, Susanna Kearsley brings her passion for research and travel to her novels, weaving modern-day and historical intrigue. She won the prestigious Catherine Cookson Fiction Award for her novel Mariana, the 2010 Romantic Times Book Review’s Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction novel for The Winter Sea, was shortlisted for a 2012 RITA Award for The Rose Garden, and was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel from the Crime Writers of Canada for Every Secret Thing.

Photograph © Jacques du Toit

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