Backstories by Simon Van der Velde @SimonVdVwriter #excerpt #shortstoriescollection

Backstories written by Simon Van der Velde, publisher Smoke and Mirrors Press, is available NOW in ebook, kindleunlimited, audiobook and paperback format. THE EBOOK IS CURRENTLY ON A KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEAL PRICE OF 99p, perfect time to top-up your ereader for a summer of reading.

Book Blurb

Backstories – ‘the stand-out most original book of the year’ – is a collection of stories each told from the point of view of one of my personal heroes, (or villains) back when they were just another Jew or black, or queer – back when they were nobody. Bullied, assaulted or psychologically abused, their road to redemption was never easy, and for some there would be no redemption, only a descent into evil.

These are the stories of people you know. The settings are mostly 60’s and 70’s UK and USA, the driving themes are inclusion and social justice – but the real key to these stories is that I withhold the protagonists’ identities. This means that your job is to find them – leading to that Eureka moment when you realise who’s mind you’ve been inhabiting for the last twenty minutes.

I should also add that this is a book that operates on two levels. Yes, there’s the game of identifying the mystery activist or actor, singer or murderer, but there is then the more serious business of trying to understand them. This in turn leads to the challenge of overlaying what you now know about these famous people onto what you thought you knew – not to mention the inherent challenge to your moral compass.

These are people you know, but not as you know them. Peel back the mask and see.

This book is dedicated to the victims of violent crime, the struggle against discrimination in all its forms and making the world a better place for our children. That is why 30% of all profits will be shared between Stop Hate UK, The North East Autism Society and Friends of the Earth.

To buy links:

https://amzn.to/3kp8cdZ

I am so pleased to be able to share an excerpt of the book with you all.

Jive Talkin
I’m wheelin my bike along the sidewalk, watchin all the white faces, watchin me. This
pinched kinda woman gives me a glare and then her man bumps me onto the road. I shrug
like it don’t bother me none, but I can’t help thinkin Daddy was right. Only a damn fool goes
up west of Walnut Street.
Maybe I should turn right around, but I wanna see the show, and anyway, that’s when
I see this skinny Asian kid across the street. Kinda high-yella, with this confused sorta look,
like my little brother, Rudy. I watch him lean his bike up against the wall, and then I watch it
fall down. I smile, course I do.
The bike’s battered to hell, and I can see why. Kid’s maybe eighth grade, same as
me, but he’s one of those clumsy, spidery type of kids that can’t hardly work their own hands.
Takes him forever to pick the thing up, and it falls straight over like he can’t even see the
slope on the sidewalk. In the end I do it for him, and lean my midnight blue Columbia Five
Star right alongside his piece of shit.
It’s obvious we’re both going to the auto show, just like it’s obvious neither of us
belongs up here, so we sort of tag along together. Bad idea. I know it as soon as he starts
talkin. See Joe, that’s his name, is one of those kids knows every damn thing about
everythin, and he’s gotta tell you.
First thing we see in the hall is this brand new ’55 Chevy Bel Air, up on the stand.
‘Great look, great life,’ the girl says, near bursting out of her sharp Chevy uniform.
‘Great ass, great tits,’ I whisper, but Joe don’t even crack a smile.
‘That’s nothin,’ he says, in his squeaky know-it-all voice, ‘up in Pittsburgh with my
Uncle, I saw this Mercedes-Benz, come all the way from Europe. Had these crazy wing
doors, looked like some kinda pterodactyl or somethin. Car like that do 150 easy, leave the
old Bel Air chokin on dust.’2
I guess he could be kind of interestin, if he’d just shut up sometime, but he never
does. Not for three hours straight. Gets on my nerves more than Rudy, if that’s even
possible.
‘Uhuh,’ I tell him. ‘Sure thing,’ with Momma’s voice in my head, like always, tellin
me I gotta be kind, and Daddy’s, like always too, tellin me I’m one prize fool for going so far
west, and a bigger one for hangin with this weird Asian kid.
Turns out Daddy was right.
Come sundown I’m ready to cut Joe loose, or maybe kill him, whatever Momma says.
‘Gettin late,’ I say, steppin out into the street and doin this big old yawn.
I hardly notice these two trashy white boys, baseball caps low, eyes dartin. You can
see the way they move they’re gettin ready for somethin, but you know, I’m thinkin about
how to get rid of Joe and I don’t get what’s happenin till it’s too late. They make a big deal
of starin at the poster for the show, then they’re on our bikes and pedalin down the hill like
the gun just gone in the Kentucky Derby.
‘Hey, stop,’ I shout like a dope, but of course they don’t.
I get to the corner in time to see a flash of red cap turnin up this alley. I follow them,
to the entrance at least. Maybe I am a prize fool, but I ain’t runnin down no blind alley, not
after what happen in Mississippi.
I take a good look. Alley’s a dead-end, high brick walls all around. There’s a couple of
doors, but they’re shut tight and the fire escape’s pulled way up high. There’s a load of trash
cans too, and crates and shit scattered all around, but there sure as hell ain’t no way out. It’s
a trap …

Thank you to the author for sharing this excerpt. This collection of short stories sounds so unique and I am looking forward to discovering the hidden characters within.

About the Author

Simon Van der Velde has worked variously as a barman, labourer, teacher, caterer and lawyer, as well as travelling throughout Europe and South America collecting characters and insights for his award-winning stories. Since completing a creative writing M.A. (with distinction) in 2010, Simon’s work has won and been shortlisted for numerous
awards including; The Yeovil Literary Prize, (twice), The Wasafiri New Writing Prize, The Luke Bitmead Bursary, The Frome Short story Prize, The Harry Bowling Prize, The Henshaw Press Short Story Competition and The National Association of Writers’ Groups Open Competition – establishing him as one of the UK’s foremost
short-story writers.
Simon now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, with his wife, Nicola, their labradoodle, Barney and two tyrannical children.

Website: simonvandervelde.com

Twitter: @SimonVdVwriter

The Return of the Disappearing Duke by Lara Temple @laratemple1 @MillsandBoon @rararesources #bookexcerpt #regencyromance #giveaway

The Return Cover Disappearing Duke

The Return of the Disappearing Duke written by Lara Temple, publisher Mills & Boon Historical, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

A scarred mercenary…Or the Disappearing Duke of Greybourne?

Rafe has spent years running from his true identity. He’s a lone wolf, living far from aristocratic England and his violent father. Then unconventional Cleopatra Osbourne requests his protection as she crosses the Egyptian desert. In Cleo he discovers a fellow outcast—and a fierce desire! Cleo must return to London, and here lies Rafe’s dilemma—because following his heart means claiming the title he’s avoided for so long!

Purchase Links

Amazon: http://mybook.to/RafeDuke

Amazon US paperback: https://bit.ly/RafeDuke1

Amazon UK: https://bit.ly/RafeDukeUK

Bookbub: https://bit.ly/RafeBookbub

The Return of the Disappearing Duke

I am so pleased to be involved in the Publication Day Push celebrating and promoting the launch of Lara Temple’s latest novel: The Return of the Disappearing Duke.  I have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt.

Rafe and Cleo have made it safely out of Egypt on a smuggler’s ship only to find themselves caught in an Atlantic storm which forces them to make the best of Cleo’s cabin…

Any moment now and the Captain’s prediction about them becoming a treat for the fish might very well come to pass. She clung to the polished wood, her heart slamming far faster and more brutally than the shrieks of wind and raging waves.

But her mind was amazingly quiet and clear. All she could think was—she did not want to die and she did not want Rafe to die.

She wanted him here, with her.

The door slammed open and something between a squawk and a shriek burst from her, but it wasn’t the ship being torn apart. Rafe stood braced in the doorway as the ship rolled back. His hair and face were slick with rain and the coat he was shrugging off fell with a wet thump to the floor.

I’ve conjured him, she thought. Her relief was so great it took quite a bit of restraint and common sense not to abandon her grip and throw herself at him precisely like a Haymarket heroine.

The ship gave another mighty effort to shake her off. She lost her hold on the shelf, but managed to grab one of the solid chairs that was grinding sluggishly back and forth across the floor, dragging her as she clung to it.

Rafe came towards her, using the shelves as anchors.

‘Stop dancing like a drunken goat and sit down.’

‘I am trying! It’s impossible to stay still.’

She was beginning to feel queasy. She couldn’t remember suffering from seasickness before, but there was a first time for everything. Her first relief at his entry was dissipating fast. It was bad enough she must look like a fright in the oversized nightshirt; casting up her accounts in front of him would add injury to injury.

‘I am perfectly fine. Go away,’ she said, trying not to sound desperate.

‘No. Not while you’re rolling around like a billiard ball.’

‘I’ll sit down.’ She aimed for the seat and promptly fell to the floor as the boat went the other way. The blow to her bottom was so sharp she lost her breath and sat gasping.

He helped her to her feet, planting his feet wide against the roll.

‘Come, sit.’

‘I think I am safer on the floor.’

He laughed, tucking her against him.

‘You’ll roll around the floor like a loose cannon, Queenie. Come.’

To her surprise he sat at the end of the bed and propped his boots against the cupboard. Before she could understand what he was doing he used the roll of the ship to pull her off her feet and on to his lap. His arm curved about her waist, his hand on her hip, flexing as he held her through the particularly enthusiastic roll.

‘See? Nice and snug. We roll with the ship, rather than try to battle it. You can’t win that one, sweetheart.’ His voice was a rumbling purr against her side and his breath warm on her temple.

His warmth radiated through the thin, damp cotton of their shirts and her hands began tingling at the memory of sliding her hands over his chest in the bathhouse. How his muscles had hardened under her touch, bunching and flexing in that strange dance of invitation and rejection. Her hand was so close to his waist, a simple tug could separate shirt from trouser and…

The ship gave another leap and dip and she grabbed at his shirt.

‘Ouch. Watch your nails, hellion.’

‘You’ve been stabbed more times than a roast ham. I hardly think my nails will have an impact on you.’

‘God, you’d be surprised.’ There was a laugh in his voice, but also a rawness, and she leaned back a little to look at him.

He was half smiling, but there was tension there and demons in his eyes.

She released his shirt, gently rubbing the spot she’d abused, still watching him.

His pupils widened, turning storm into thundery dusk, and under her thigh she felt him harden. It was definite, immediate, and so was her response.

All fear of the storm, the queasiness and embarrassment just…evaporated. Her body shimmered with heat, expanded and woke into awareness of every point of contact, of the tingling warmth between her legs, of the need to do something…

Oh, lord, she was in trouble.

Author Bio –

The Return AuthorLara Temple writes strong and sensual Regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion. She lives with her husband, two children, and one very fluffy dog and they are all very understanding about her taking over the kitchen table so she can look out over the garden as she writes and dreams up her Happy Ever Afters.

Social Media links

Amazon author page US: http://bit.ly/LaraTemple

Amazon author page UK: http://bit.ly/LaraTempleUK

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LaraTemple

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/LaraTempleAuthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LaraTemple1

Twitter: @laratemple1

Website: www.laratemple.com

Giveaway to Win 3 x E-copies of The Return of the Disappearing Duke (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494388/

 

 

 

 

Blooms of War by Suzanne Tierney @notajaxgirl #blogtour #bookexcerpt

Blooms pf War Cover BoW_1600

Blooms of War written and self-published by Suzanne Tierney is available NOW in ebook, kindleunlimited and paperback format.

Book Blurb

In war, she fell in love.

Vera Betts shouldn’t be falling in love with the enigmatic doctor she suspects of espionage. Reeling from her family’s betrayal, she’s faked her nursing credentials, invented a new name, and run away to the frontlines of the French battlefield. Four years into the Great War and she knows who she is and what she’s meant for—to save the living and sit vigil by the dying. When the cagey-yet-earnest Dr. Nicholas Wallace arrives, so do mysterious explosions destroying hospitals. Even as Nick raises her suspicions, he lowers her defenses. He wants the war to end. Are his acts of sabotage politically motivated or a desperate attempt at peace?

In peace, she fell apart.

A year later, Vera is back with her oppressive family, living under her real name, and Nick is on trial for murder. Trapped in grief and guilt, she cannot speak about the past and does not believe in the future. With Nick refusing to defend himself, she ventures to London to understand why he is so willing to embrace the hangman’s noose. Who is he trying to protect? What secrets does he plan to carry to his grave? And why does Nick insist upon hiding her true identity? To save the man she loves, Vera must tear open the past and confront the tragic price for peace.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blooms-War-Evocative-Emotional-Story-ebook/dp/B08CY87LW9/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Blooms-War-Evocative-Emotional-Story-ebook/dp/B08CY87LW9/

Blooms of War Full Tour Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Suzanne Tierney’s latest novel: Blooms of War.  I have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt from the novel.

Blooms of War

Chapter Eight

Wimereux, May 15, 1918

[Vera and Nick meet by chance at the beach and engage in their first flirt. A letter slips from Vera’s pocket and the wind picks it up, scattering it about. The two chase down the pages, turning the capture of the pages into a game.]

*    *     *

He and I kick up our pace. My skirt shortens the length of my stride. I grab a handful of fabric, bunch it above my knees.

“No fair,” decries Colonel Wallace, giving my legs an exaggerated ogle.

We keep running and both leap, trying to grasp the stubbornly airborne page, and end up colliding into each other. Midair, his arm goes around my waist, my arms around his neck, and when we tumble, we do so like lovers falling from the sky. We land, a soft thud on soft sand, and he’s careful to release me, letting me roll off of his arm like I am too precious to tether. I lay back, squint up at the baby blue sky. Something vibrant and alive forms a ball in my stomach, flares through me and bursts out.

Laughter.

I love the sound of this novel, one to definitely add to my TBR

Author Bio –

Writer of lush, historical happily-ever-after tales, Suzanne Tierney believes in true love. But she takes delicious pleasure in making her characters fight, flutter, and find their way to each other. Her books have won numerous awards and she has twice been a Golden Heart Finalist® with the Romance Writers of America.

Suzanne grew up in Oregon, adulted in the San Francisco Bay Area, and somehow ended up in Florida, where she is very much a cold-water fish learning to navigate humid, salty seas. She loves chatting with readers.

Social Media Links –

Instagram: @notajaxgirl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/notajaxgirl/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Twitter: @notajaxgirl

Website: suzannetierney.com

Giveaway – 3 Winners each win a Donation of $15 to designated winner’s choice of frontline healthcare worker organization in the name of the  designated winner – for example it could be the American  Red Cross; etc. (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494385/

 

 

 

 

Walking Back to Happiness by Penelope Swithinbank @minstriesbydsgn @malcolmdown @LoveBooksGroup #lovebookstours #bookextract #walkingbacktohappiness

walking back to happiness

Walking Back to Happiness written by Penelope Swithinbank, publisher Sarah Grace Publishing, is available NOW in ebook, kindleunlimited and paperback format.

Buy Link
https://amzn.to/2RHu6KW

Book Blurb

Two vicars, their marriage in tatters with wounds reaching far back into the past, set out on a journey to find healing and restoration. Their route will take them from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, but will it help them find their way home? Along the 320-mile route across rural France, burdened by backpacks and blisters, Kim and Penelope stumble across fresh truths, some ordinary, others extraordinary. But will they be defeated by the road ahead or triumph over the pain of the past? Is there a chance they’ll find themselves in France and walk back to happiness? In this simple but enchanting book, part travelogue and part pilgrimage, Penelope invites you to walk with her and her husband on their epic journey as they encounter new faces and new experiences, and reconnect with each other and with God. Every step of the way, you’ll discover more about yourself and what’s really important to you.

walking-back-happiness tour poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Walking Back to Happiness by Penelope Swithinbank.  I have the pleasure of sharing an extract with you:

Preamble A Great Walk
‘Portugal? Portugal? You want to go to Portugal by taxi?’
The taxi driver outside the airport at Béziers in south-west France is incredulous. He summons his fellow drivers around him to repeat our destination and they howl with laughter at our mispronunciation of Portiragnes. My husband, Kim, repeats it authoritatively in French:
‘Non, non, Portiragnes. Portiragnes-plage, s’il vous plaît,’ he says again. ‘We want to go to Portiragnes Beach, please.’
It is the start of our Big Adventure: to walk from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic across France, from the Languedoc through Midi-Pyrenees and then Aquitaine. It is a mere 530 km, more or less. 330 miles. 20,908,800 inches. We will feel every single one. But it will change us in ways we could never have imagined.
The Great Walk – la Grande Randonnée – has been on my bucket list for nearly thirty years after reading Miles Moreland’s book recounting his own grand marathon across the south-west of France. And I love walking, especially with a dog.
It began with dog walks when I was a ten-year-old, getting up early on summer mornings to sneak out of the house with our family Springer Spaniel and walk her with a friend in the woods near our homes. And as a teenager, when we had moved to live near the sea, there was nothing better than tramping across the fields to the beach, black Labrador in tow, and usually by myself. The freedom and the fresh air were life-giving to a rather solitary teenager. Later, with a clergy husband and a home and family of my own, I walked the streets of Norwich pushing my ‘stately pram of England’, a baby asleep in the pram, a toddler on the seat on top and an older toddler on the shopping tray underneath, my own dog, a golden Cocker Spaniel, trotting along beside me. We walked to the shops and the shopping was stowed all around the children; we walked to the park and the children played on the swings; we walked to nursery school.
Then, after another move close to my parents-in-law, we walked to prep school near Bath. We moved to Stamford, for twelve happy years in

The Rectory, and the children walked by themselves to school and I took the yellow Labrador Ollie on long rambles across the fields or by the river. And when the children grew up and left home, my husband and I began walking together on weeklong holidays in Italy – Casteluccia to Spoleto, Todi to Assisi, the Amalfi Coast; together we led pilgrimages on the Via Francigena, from San Gimignano to Siena oron to Montalcino. I organised pilgrimages on the Cotswold Way for groups of women, doing the 100 miles from Chipping Campden to Bath in six days and discovering the difference it makes physically, spiritually, emotionally, to walk for days on end, leaving the stress of normal everyday life for a while, concentrating on the countryside and the peace and the sheer rhythm of
placing one foot in front of another.
And how the silence and the solitude leave more space for the still small voice of God.
One day, my husband Kim and I promised ourselves, one day we will walk together across France from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.
And here we are. Sitting in a taxi on our way from the airport to the Mediterranean, excited, scared – and, if we are honest, a little lost in our marriage and our lives.

‘For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it’s always ourself we find in the sea.’ (e.e. cummings) 

Will we really walk from sea to sea? And will we find ourselves and each other again in France?

About the Author

Penelope is an avid walker and spends a lot of her time stomping in the hills and valleys near her home outside Bath. She is a chaplain at Bath Abbey and a spiritual therapist and counsellor for clergy (and some normal people too). Since becoming a vicar nearly 20 years ago, she has worked in churches in the UK and the USA, and has led pilgrimages in the UK and in Europe. She and her husband Kim have been married for more than 40 years and have three children and six grandchildren. Penelope rarely sits down, loathes gardening and relaxes by reading, going to the theatre or playing the piano. She is the author of two books, Women by Design and Walking Back to Happiness and is currently working on her third, due out in 2020: Scent of Water, a devotional for times of spiritual bewilderment and grief.

The Nanny at Number 43 by Nicola Cassidy @ladynicci @PoolbegBooks @annecater #blogtour #bookexcerpt #TheNannyatNo43

 

Nanny Cover Final

The Nanny at Number 43 written by Nicola Cassidy, publisher Poolbeg Press, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2G5kMdp

Book Blurb
Wanted, a respectable woman to care for a motherless child.
When William D. Thomas’s wife dies in childbirth, he places an advertisement in his local newspaper seeking a nanny for his newborn child.
He is thankful when an experienced nanny arrives at 43 Laurence Street and takes over from his frazzled housekeeper Mrs McHugh.
Mrs McHugh confides in her bedridden friend Betty, who has a bird’s-eye view of all the happenings on Laurence Street, that the Nanny is not all she seems. Betty begins her own investigation into the mysterious woman.
When the bodies of twin babies are discovered buried in a back garden, by a family who have moved from their tenement home into a country cottage, a police investigation begins.
But it is Betty who holds the key to discovering who the Nanny really is … and the reason she came to 43 Laurence Street.

Nanny at Number 43 BT Poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Nicola Cassidy’s latest novel: The Nanny at Number 43.  I have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt with you all:

Slowly, she counted the numbers, looking at each door as she passed.
She walked by a house painted pale blue and came back to read the black iron numbers on the door: 43.
She was early. The door was grimy. Two low windows were set in the facade, white windowsills turned grey. It wasn’t the most attractive house. She could see up ahead that there much finer buildings, with railings and steps and basements. Her gloved finger lingered on the button doorbell. Changing her mind, she lifted the large knocker, knocked three times and stood back.
No answer. She waited for another few moments. Impatiently, she tapped her boot on the pavement, curling her lip slightly, thinking. She lifted the knocker again and was about to try another rap when she saw the curtain twitching at the front.
Within seconds, the front door swung open, a frazzled woman holding it, hissing, “You’ve wakened her! Can’t you read?”
She pointed to a small white card pinned below the knocker, printed in capitals, emphasising the commands.
NO VISITORS. NO DOORBELL. KNOCK GENTLY.
“I’m here about the advertisement. About the baby.”
“Oh,” said the woman, her face softening. “Oh, of course. Come in.”
She crossed the limestone step and stood in the hallway. It was tiled in tiny small squares, a patterned mosaic in beiges and browns. The woman led her into the front room where the white net curtains blocked the light from the street.
“I’m Mrs. McHugh, the housekeeper,’ she said. ‘Please, take a seat.”
The room had a high ceiling and two low Queen Anne velvet couches. She sat down, perching her behind on the edge of the couch, looking round her when the woman left the room. Two vases of decaying flowers stood on the hearth. Their scent filled the room, an acrid smell. A cabinet filled with china and ornaments was placed near the door, the surface covered in dust. In the corner near the fireplace was a small writing bureau, in the same colour wood as the cabinet. Its lid was open, papers stuffed in the pockets, newspapers, pens, ink and string piled up in a mess. Everything needed a good clean. She expected there hadn’t been time.
Minutes passed. She kept her posture, not allowing herself to sag. She could hear movement upstairs, but still no one came to attend to her.
A cry rang out. A newborn cry. It hung in the air, sharp, painful.
After some time, she got up from the couch and walked around, her heeled boots digging into the light-blue wool rug. It was pretty, a soft pink rose woven into it. Black streaks nestled in the fibres.
The door opened behind her and she turned to find a man standing there. He was tall, his face thin, his shock of black hair wetted and smoothed on his head. He looked dishevelled and tired.
“Good morning,” he said, his voice low. He had a large black moustache, a small gap between it and his sideburns. “I’m sorry for the wait. Do sit down.”
She returned to her seat and perched gently, leaning forward, keeping her chin up.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” she said.
He sat down, pulling his trousers up slightly to allow his long legs to bend.
“Yes,” he said. “A terrible loss.” He paused, no emotion showing on his face.
“Can you tell me about yourself … Miss …?”
“Miss Murphy,” she said. “Margaret Murphy. Well, I’m from Dublin. The south side. Rathmines. I worked as a governess for the past three years. They’re gone to boarding school now. Lovely girls. I was sad to leave. Before that I was with another family in Dublin. And before that I worked in Wicklow.”
“And babies?” said Mr. Thomas, “What experience do you have with babies?”
“Oh, I adore babies,” she said. “My family in Wicklow had a wee one who I was very attached to. The baby is three weeks old, sir?”
“Four,” he said. “She’s four weeks now.”
“And how is she doing?”
He paused. “Not very well, to be honest,” he said. “She is crying. Hunger, I think. Mrs. McHugh tries her best, but she cries day and night.”
“Ah,” she said. “That can happen with the bottle, you know.”
“Can it?” he said.
“I have a lot of experience with bottle-feeding. My family in Wicklow decided on the same thing, not to go with a wet nurse, so I am well used to making up bottles. It causes extra wind in the child, you see, so you need to give gripe water, something to ease the poor little mite. Yes, I have plenty of experience with that.”
He looked relieved. “Well, that’s good then. And references, have you brought any?”
She picked up her case and put it on the couch, clicking open the locks. She sifted through the papers inside and produced her references, one stamped with a wax seal.
She rose and handed them to him.
“Yes,” he said quietly to himself as he studied them. “Very good.”

Well I hope the excerpt has whet your appetite for more, the story sounds very intriguing and mysterious.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nicola Cassidy is a writer and blogger from Co. Louth, Ireland.
She started her writing career early, entering short story competitions as a child and became an avid reader.
Encouraged by her English teachers, she chose to study journalism at Dublin City University and while working in political PR and marketing, studied a series of advanced creative writing courses at the Irish Writers’ Centre.
Later she set up a lifestyle and literary blog http://www.ladynicci.com/, which was shortlisted in the Ireland Blog Awards in 2015 and 2016 and finalist in 2017 and 2018.
She signed with Trace Literary Agency in 2016.
December Girl is Nicola’s debut historical fiction novel and is set in the mystical and ancient Boyne Valley, Co. Meath, famed for its stone age passage tombs. Elements of the story are inspired by true events.
Her second novel The Nanny at Number 43 is published by Poolbeg Press.

She lives with her husband and two young daughters in Termonfeckin, Co. Louth.
Follow her at http://www.ladynicci.com/, on Twitter @ladynicci or http://www.facebook.com/ladynicciblog.

His Tempting Governess by Cerise DeLand @CeriseDeLand #bookexcerpt #historicalromance #RegencyRomance

book two 3dHis Tempting Governess (Book Two in Delightful Doings in Dudley Crescent series) written by Cerise DeLand, publisher W J Power, is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2Nbygun

Book Blurb

A bemused earl. A governess disguised. A forbidden love and a terrible wrong that must be made right!

At No.18, Baldwin Summers, the Earl of Cartwell, deals with innumerable problems. At thirty-six, he’s changed. He’s no longer simply ‘Win’, that famous hero of Waterloo, but hailed as his profligate brother’s heir. He’s pensioned off his two mistresses and become oh, so bored with gambling. Yes, too, his mother presses him to marry—but he’d rather remove his spleen with a pickle fork than wed just any young peagoose.
Suddenly, he’s had thrust upon him guardianship of his friend’s eight-year-old daughter. Though she tickles him with her wit…and her exotic pets, the child needs a firm hand. With no idea how to mold her into a socially acceptable creature, he hires a governess.
However, that woman presents his most pressing problem—and his delight. She enchants his ward. But she’s beguiling him as well. And it’s a wonder because she is so very…odd. She knows (yes, indeed) bugs, defeats him every time at chess—and dances. In his upstairs hall. Alone. For the joy of it.
He cannot ignore her. He cannot control her. Worse, he cannot quell his mad desire to kiss her.
She is a temptation and a mystery. With a problem.
Stubborn, she refuses to allow him to help.
He won at Waterloo. But can we win the woman he loves?

ornate scroll

I’d like to wish the author Cerise DeLand a Happy Publication Week for her second instalment in the Delightful Doings in Dudley Crescent trilogy.  I have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt with you.

HIS TEMPTING GOVERNESS First Kiss excerpt, Copyright 2019, Cerise DeLand.

Win, the Earl of Cartwell, has arrived home late at night after a dinner party at which his friends introduced him to a few ladies in search of a husband. He’d rather remove his spleen with a pickle fork than wed just any young peagoose.

Tomorrow, he’d challenge his charming governess to a proper match. They’d drive to the park. They’d find a toy store to buy a new doll for Daphne. And he’d enjoy the carefree company of his new and compelling governess.
On a pivot, he made for the stairs and climbed up. But as he gained the landing, he slowed his pace. For in the hall, in the broad Rococo chair next to the old Tudor credenza sat the two objects of his new and stirring affections.
Daphne was curled into the warm embrace of Belle. And that lady, her head tilted at an odd angle, was fast asleep, her mouth open, snoring.
He bit back laughter. Even in sleep, she could bring him pleasure.
Dear lord. He was either getting senile or becoming light in the head.
That, he would decide later. For now, he slid his hands under Belle’s and gathered the child into his embrace. Daphne came, drowsy and nestling like a little bird. He strode with her into her bedroom. The linens were thrown back. She must’ve walked again. But in her bed was Pan, the little creature. And upon the carpet, lay Kringle whose only body parts to move were his eyes.
“I see you, boy. Usurped, have you been?”
The dog said nothing but the monkey babbled at him.
Frowning at the monkey, Win placed Daphne in her bed and covered her. In the dim light, he noted the spareness of the nursery. Oh, there were draperies, dull white. Curtains, drabber and older. A dresser, from the last century. A circular table of an odd height, either fit for child or adult, sat between two odd and rickety chairs.
Terrible. Unworthy of Daphne or Belle. With a vow to have the room gutted and refurnished, he left, closing the door behind him.
His more luscious charge sat, unmoving in her chair, appearing uncomfortable as hell. Worn out, was she? Well, he was becoming so too. Thinking of her, wishing to be with her when he had to smile and curry favor from other women, as he had tonight. It was tiring, unsatisfying to play this social game to find a wife.
Devil take it, I can’t find among them anyone who is refreshing.
He strode over to his sleeping, snoring governess and braced to gather her up. Always lighter than he expected, she sighed and snuggled close to him. The sensation of the wealth in his arms shot to his groin. Her unbound breasts pressed to his chest, an alluring femininity. Her derriere curved in his hands and he shifted to hook his arms behind her knees. She was all firm flesh, long limbs, fragrant rosemary and lavender. Her hair tickled his nose. Her face nestled into his frock coat and cravat.
He turned for her room and wished he didn’t have to. Wished he could carry her right into his.
And do what with her?
Everything.
Don’t be silly.
I’m not. I’m being honest.
She wiggled. Her head fell back against his upper arm.
God, she was lovely. What was such a creature doing working for a living? Why had her grandfather not provided for her?
It happened. He knew it. Heard of it often.
He swallowed back his hatred of such injustices and strode to her door. With a twist of his wrist, he opened it and walked through. The entire room held the signature fragrances of her charm. Rosemary, again. Thyme and citron. He was transported to lemon fields in Spain. Days of splendor. Nights of horror as the shells burst overhead and men cried out for their mothers.
But she was far from that. She was light and air, kindness and consideration, sadness in need of joy.
He bent to put her to her bed and found that she hadn’t turned back the counterpane. When she’d responded tonight to Daphne, Belle had not come from her room. Had she been downstairs playing chess with a phantom?
He smiled. Tomorrow you play with a real man.
She made odd little sounds as she allowed him to deposit her in her bed.
And her eyes fell open. Her lips parted. Her breath stopped.
He could not let her go.
Her hand came up, curved around his nape and in her dazed sleep, she beamed at him and drew him close.
Her lips were much too close. Her fragrance much too compelling.
And then he gave into the temptation and put his lips to hers. Her mouth was soft. Her lips were open. His own were ravenous and though he shouldn’t, he kissed her fully once and again.
She sighed his name.
Never had he heard it as a lover’s plea. And in need, he seized her mouth again.
She kissed him back. With heat and heart and the madness of a lover.
He dare not take more from her and tore his lips away. “Goodnight, ma belle. Sleep well.”
Rogue that he was, he left her. Quickly. Before he could not.

About the Author (Copyright © 2010-2018 Cerise DeLand)

Cerise DeLand loves to write about dashing heroes and the sassy women they adore. Whether she’s penning historical romances or contemporaries, she’s praised for her poetic elegance and accuracy of detail.
An award-winning author of more than 60 novels, she’s been published since 1990 by Pocket Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington and independent presses. Her books have been monthly selections of the Doubleday Book Club, Rhapsody Book Club and the Mystery Guild. Plus she’s won countless 4, 4.5 and 5 star rave reviews from Romantic Times, Affair de Coeur, Publishers Weekly and more.
To research, she’ll dive into the oldest texts and dustiest library shelves. She’ll also travel abroad, trusty notebook and pen in hand, to visit the chateaux and country homes she loves to people with her own imaginary characters.
And at home every day? She loves to cook, hates to dust, lives to travel and go to Jazz class once a week!

Website: http://cerisedeland.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CeriseDeLand

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CeriseDeLandAuthor/

If Trees Could Talk by Holly Worton @hollyworton @bookollective #blogtour #bookexcerpt

 

if trees could talk

If Trees Could Talk: Life Lessons from the wisdom of the wood written by Holly Worton, publisher Tribal Publishing, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2HQscCB

Book Blurb

All trees have a story.
Holly Worton has spent the last few years talking to trees – the birches, the oaks, the beeches and the sycamores.
You’re probably wondering: How is it that trees can talk? Is this for real?
Trees are living, breathing organisms which humans are able to connect and talk to on a deeper level through silent, telepathic communication.
Trees have a much broader perspective on life compared to humans. Trees can live hundreds and even thousands of years.
This means Trees have thousands of years of wisdom that we’re able to tap into. Talking to the trees can bring us back to our true selves and can reflect back to us the things we need to see in ourselves. It can also be a space for deep healing.
Living in the technology age, however, we spend our lives connected to computers, mobile phones, and video games. Consequently, we’ve become increasingly disconnected from ourselves and from Nature.
This book is meant to gently encourage you to get back to Nature and turn to the magic and the wisdom of the trees. By reconnecting to Nature, you can improve your relationship with yourself, which will help you make better, more aligned choices in your life.
This book is for you if:
You love Nature and the outdoors.
You feel like there’s something more to life, but you don’t know what that is.
You’re feeling disconnected from yourself, like your life has somehow gotten off track.
You feel like you don’t really know who you are anymore… or maybe you’ve never truly known yourself at all.
Life is going just fine, but you have the notion things could be much better.
Throughout this book, you’ll follow the author, Holly Worton on a journey of connecting on a deeper level with the wisdom of the trees. You’ll hear their stories, and you’ll be given a series of experiments to carry out, should you choose to do so. These will help you to connect with yourself through connecting with Nature, and they’ll open you up to the deep wisdom and healing that the trees can offer.
The trees will help you to get out of your head and into your body, so you can feel more deeply and truly experience all the JOY that life has to offer. They’ll add a new level of richness to your life that you have never thought possible.

if trees could talk banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Holly Worton’s latest book: If Trees Could Talk.  I have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt:

Introduction

I remember exactly when I first began talking to trees: it was in May 2015. A couple of years prior, I had started getting weekly Akashic Records emails from my friend Vickie Young, and it was one of her messages that sparked a new chapter in my life and ultimately led to the creation of this project. The Akashic Records are an extensive library of energetic records of all souls, including their past, present, and possible future lives. It includes all events, thoughts, words, emotions, and intentions ever to have occurred in these past, present, or possible future lives. It’s like an archive of each person throughout all their lifetimes. It is thought that each soul has its own Records, like a set of encyclopedias where each book in the set represents a single lifetime. It’s the history — and future — of you, as a soul.

These Records can be quickly and easily accessed in a variety of different ways. There are plenty of training programs available online, and author Linda Howe shares in her books a simple prayer that she uses to access the Records. That’s how I first learned to access the Akashic Records myself, and it’s how I continue to do so today.

Even though I know how to access my own Records, I rarely take the time to do it, which is why I greatly value the weekly messages that I get from Vickie. They’re short and focused, and they often provide a starting point for my journaling and mindset work each week. I’ve been getting them on and off since 2013, and they’re a very important part of my personal development work. On this particular week, back in May 2015, I received the following message from Vickie and my Records Keepers:

This week Holly, when you are on your sacred walks, take a moment and listen to the plant spirits. They have so much to tell you and they want to share with you their knowledge of the medicine that plant people have for you and for others.

Hold your hands on a tree (you know, The Tree!) and just listen for a voice in an unexpected way. Feel the energy of the tree and notice how it is waking up and moving inside. Feel the energy of the tree inside of your body and notice that a chakra stirs up.

Notice this on each plant that you hold. You see…each plant that you come in contact with will have a healthy influence and message for you. All you have to do is listen and believe!

To be honest, I was a bit skeptical when I read this email. “Me? Talk to trees? I don’t know how to do that,” I thought. But later that week, when I went on my weekly Nature walk, I had the opportunity to give it a try when I got lost in the woods. In fact, I got lost so many times, I turned an 11.6 mile (18.6 km) walk into a 16.7 mile (26.8 km) walk. I was on a route from Milford to Haslemere in Surrey, England, and I was following the directions that I had printed out. I didn’t have a map with me, which was not unusual at the time because, at this point in my life, I often went walking without a map. Later, I would go on to do more training in outdoors leadership and navigation, and I became much more careful on my walks: always walking with a paper map and compass for navigation, with the OS Maps app on my phone as a backup.

But back in 2015, I was a bit reckless. I did most of my walking in the lowlands of Surrey, which always felt like a safe environment to wander around in. Unlike in the hills of California — where I grew up — in Surrey, there were no bears, mountain lions, or rattlesnakes to worry about. It always felt relatively harmless, which had led me to put caution to the side when I went out walking.

Before I got lost for the first time that day, I remembered my weekly message from the Records Keepers, and I stopped to connect with the trees. I walked up to one at random, and I put my hands on its bark. I immediately heard the message: “It’s okay.” The words sounded clearly in my head, in a calm, male voice. I remembered to focus on my chakras, as the message from my Records Keepers had suggested, and I felt movement in my throat center as the energy shifted. It made sense that my fifth chakra would be activated, as I was focusing on communication with the trees. The fifth energy center, or throat chakra, is the one that’s related to communication and expression.

I was confused by the tree’s message: “It’s okay.” What did that mean? That was all the tree had to say to me, and at that point, I didn’t understand what it meant. I assumed that I must have gotten something wrong, and that I was missing another part of the message. After all, I was new to this tree communication thing. I went to another tree, hoping to get more information, but it repeated the same message, albeit in a different male voice. Once again, I felt movement in my throat chakra. It was as though new avenues of communication were stirring within me, yet I couldn’t understand what the trees were actually trying to tell me.

Their message wasn’t clear (or so I thought), but I resolved to continue on my walk and try again later. I assumed that because I was new at tree communication, I either wasn’t getting the full details, or I didn’t understand the words I had been given. However, I would soon understand that “It’s okay” was all I needed to hear for me to know exactly what action to take next.

About the Author

Holly Worton is a podcaster and author of nine books who helps people get to know themselves better through connecting with Nature, so they can feel happier and more fulfilled. Holly enjoys spending time outdoors, walking long-distance trails and exploring Britain’s sacred sites. She’s originally from California and now lives in the Surrey Hills, but has also lived in Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina. Holly is a member of the Druid order OBOD.

Holly ran her first business for ten years, building it up to become a multi-million-dollar enterprise. When she went into the coaching world she was confident that she had the business and marketing skills she needed to set up a new company. And she did – but she struggled to grow her new venture quickly because she encountered fears, blocks, and limiting beliefs that she didn’t even know she had.

She discovered that pushing forward and taking action just wasn’t enough. She needed to transform her mindset and release her blocks, as this was the only way to take the right actions to move her new business forward. Thus began her journey of intense personal development through deep mindset work, which transformed her existing coaching business into a focus on helping people with their business mindset.

Eventually, she realized that she wanted to devote her time to helping people through her writing, and she let go of her mindset business to focus on her books. Now, Holly continues to write about mindset, long-distance walking, and connecting to Nature.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hollyworton

Website: http://www.hollyworton.com/

 

Between the Regions of Kindness by Alice Jolly @jollyalice @unbounders @annecater #blogtour #bookexcerpt #BetweentheRegionsofKindness

 

Between The Regions Cover

Between the Regions of Kindness written by Alice Jolly, publisher Unbound, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2IUf1RV

Book Blurb

Coventry, 1941. The morning after one of the worst nights of the Blitz. Twenty-two-year-old Rose enters the remains of a bombed house to find her best friend dead. Shocked and confused, she makes a split-second decision that will reverberate for generations to come. More than fifty years later, in modern-day Brighton, Rose’s granddaughter Lara waits for the return of her eighteen-year-old son Jay. Reckless and idealistic, he has gone to Iraq to stand on a conflict line as an unarmed witness to peace. Lara holds her parents, Mollie and Rufus, partly responsible for Jay’s departure. But in her attempts to explain their thwarted passions, she finds all her assumptions about her own life are called into question. Then into this damaged family come two strangers – Oliver, a former faith healer, and Jemmy, a young woman devastated by the loss of a baby. Together they help to establish a partial peace – but at what cost?

Between The Regions of Kindness BT Poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Alice Jolly’s latest novel: Between the Regions of Kindness.  I have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt:

Before
Rose – Coventry, April 1941

The dawn must come – that’s all that Rose can be certain of now. Fumbling up the steps, pulling Mollie behind her, she sees its band of grey staining the blackness above a jagged line of roofs. She puts a hand against a wall to balance herself, heads for where the gates must be, stops when she gets there, steadies herself once more against their blistered metal. For a moment, the silence is absolute – the streets, the city, breathe out knowing that the night is ending. Rose gulps a deep breath but ash furs her throat, and she gasps, coughs, feels the sting of smoke in her eyes. She puts Mollie down and the child wobbles, clings to Rose’s leg, starts to howl. Rose bends down and buttons Mollie’s coat, then shakes her to keep her quiet.

The street is white with a frost of broken glass. Rose steps forward into the muffled light, her hand gripped around Mollie’s arm. Phantoms start to stumble from the shadows, caked in plaster dust, clinging to one another as though blind. An elderly man comes towards Rose, staggering over broken kerbstones. He has a colander on his head and his bare legs stick out from under his dressing gown. His knotted hands grip the colander and he sings – Nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be, when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.

A water main has burst and damp seeps through the soles of Rose’s shoes. She reaches down and picks Mollie up, steps out of the spreading puddles. Ahead of her, through the smoke and drizzle, a fire engine is slanted against the jagged outline of a blackened wall. Above, tangled wires dangle from a drunken telegraph post. The sound of bombs still smashes through Rose’s head, pounds in her chest, and at every imagined blast the street buckles under her feet. Voices ricochet around her. God be praised. Where? Where? No All Clear this morning. Wires blown right out the ground.

People gather around a man standing by the gutter, filling a kettle from a drain and pouring water into glass bottles and mugs. The trouble with the shrapnel is that it does jam the lawn mower. Rose’s teeth chatter against the edge of a tin cup. The water is clouded and tastes of ash and soap but she gulps half of it down, then bends to hold the cup for Mollie. All the stories are at an end. So what now? Where can we go? The questions form in her mind but she considers them without concern. The mystery is that she and Mollie are alive. Of course, the house has gone, she knows that. It was the Bostocks’ house and she’d been staying in the sitting room. At least the Bostocks had left the city and Arthur was out at Division B First Aid. But she’d left her gas mask there, her ration book, her last ten-shilling note. And Frank will, would have…

She turns to a woman standing close by. Shackleton Street? Is this the end of Shackleton Street? Where’s the pub? The woman turns, her eyes vacant. She wears red wool socks and pieces of cardboard are tied under the soles of her shoes. Her head shakes, she turns away.

The end of Shackleton Street? The colander man catches hold of Rose and pulls her around, as though he wants to dance. Rose keeps Mollie gripped tightly against her. The end of the road? It certainly is. Except the end ain’t even here, is it? The bloody end and not even any end. A mountainous woman appears, upholstered into a tweed coat. Taking hold of the colander man, she pushes him away. As the man steps back, his dressing gown falls open, revealing long underpants, a furrow of purple ribs. He pulls the dressing gown back around himself, bursts into tears.

The woman steers Rose and Mollie away. Rose recognises her as Mrs Bartholomew, the butcher’s wife, the woman who sold her a steak as green as grass and called her Mrs Von Mayeford. But now Mrs Bartholomew’s grip is steady on Rose’s arm. You need to get to the Rest Centre, love. At Barkers Butts school. Can you hear me, love? The Rest Centre.

I need to get to the end.

No, Mrs Bartholomew says. No, love. No. Can you hear me? Mrs Bartholomew is pulling Rose and Mollie back towards the College. Here we are. Butt Street. Can you hear me? You know where you are now, love, don’t you? Butt Street. Just keep on going. She pushes Rose and Mollie on.

The morning is arriving now, listless and blank. From an upstairs window an elderly woman shouts at the sky, grips a singed cat. Seen the worst in November. Wasn’t it enough? On and on, not a bleeding brick standing. Outlined against the bruised sky, a school hat, a pair of field glasses and several pairs of smalls dangle from the blackened branches of a tree. A wooden mangle is hooked over a lamp post and a parachute bomb, like a vast iron coffin, is suspended between the gable ends of two houses. Small boys stand under it, leaping and throwing stones, until a warden drives them away.

About the Author

Alice Jolly Author pictureAlice Jolly is a novelist and playwright. Her memoir Dead Babies and Seaside Towns won the PEN Ackerley Prize 2016. She also won the V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize awarded by the Royal Society of Literature in 2014 for one of her short stories, `Ray the Rottweiler’. She has published three novels previously, What the Eye Doesn’t See, If Only You Knew and Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile. She has also written for the Guardian, Mail on Sunday and the Independent, and broadcast for Radio 4. She lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Twitter:  @jollyalice

Website: http://alicejolly.com/wp/

The Peacock Bottle by Angela Rigley @angierigley @rararesources #indieauthor #blogtour #bookexcerpt #HistFic #giveaway

 

The Peacock Bottle Cover

The Peacock Bottle written and self-published by Angela Rigley is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Peacock-Bottle-Angela-Rigley-ebook/dp/B073NT79W2
US – https://www.amazon.com/Peacock-Bottle-Angela-Rigley-ebook/dp/B073NT79W2

Book Blurb
In this Victorian dual timeline novel, Amelia Wise feels a jolt when she finds a blue perfume bottle in the overgrown garden of the house she has inherited. Several events in her life mirrors those from the past and, with the help of her newfound cousin, Olivia, the bottle’s secret is uncovered.

The Peacock Bottle Full Tour Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting Angela Rigley’s latest novel: The Peacock Bottle.  The author has kindly chosen an excerpt to share on my blog today:

A scene from The Peacock Bottle, a dual timeline. Amelia and her stepmother have recently moved into the deserted house called Alice Howe, in Cockermouth in 1893. Amelia does not want her stepmother to know she has been trying to open a door in the overgrown garden.

“Where have you been, child?” asked her stepmother as she entered the drawing room.
“Just exploring,” she replied, tucking her long, brown hair behind her ears.
“What’s the matter with your arm?”
“My arm?”
“Yes. You’re holding it awkwardly.”
Not wanting to reveal the reason, Amelia looked up at the ceiling. “Mamma, look, another cobweb. I swear they multiply by the minute.”
Her stepmother threw a duster towards the offending cobweb. “You are right. And there is another patch of peeling wallpaper. I’ve tried sticking them on with sugar paste, but I fear we are fighting a losing battle.” Head in hands, she sank onto a chair.
Amelia knelt beside her. “Don’t give up now, Mamma.”
“But you were the one with all the objections. I thought you hated it here.”
“I’m growing to like it here in Cockermouth.” And as soon as I can open that closed door, I shall enjoy the place even more.
“Why on earth did I consider such a proposition, eh, child?” Her stepmother hugged her. “But thank the good Lord your father left you this house. He sort of mentioned it years ago, but I never gave it another thought. Where would we live if he had not?”
“But should it not be yours? After all, you were his wife. I am only his daughter. Daughters don’t usually inherit.”
“No, my dear. He specifically stated that he wanted it to pass to you, so who am I to go against his wishes?”
“Well, as you said before we came, it will be a challenge. We can’t go back to Kendal.” Unbidden memories returned of standing outside the blazing house, watching as the fire devoured everything in its path, and screaming, when they brought out her father’s lifeless body.
Tears ran down her cheeks, and they cried on each other’s shoulders until her stepmother pulled away and wiped her face. “But this won’t clean the muddle, will it?” She dried Amelia’s tears with her dusty apron, making her sneeze. “Oh, I’m sorry, child. I wasn’t thinking.” She tried to find a fresh spot, but Amelia resisted.
“It’s all right, Mamma, I am recovered now. I just miss him so much.”
“Yes, I do too. He would be proud of you. These past weeks you’ve been my stalwart. I don’t know how I would have coped without you.”
“Nor I without you, Mamma. But at least we are safe and have each other, even if we have to wear these awful hand-me-down clothes.”

About the Author

The Peacock Bottle Author PicMarried to Don, I have 5 children and 9 grandchildren, I live in Derbyshire, England, and enjoy researching my family tree (having found ancestors as far back as 1465), reading, gardening, playing Scrabble, meals out and family gatherings. I am the treasurer of my writing club, Eastwood Writers’ Group, and I also write and record Thoughts for the Day for Radio Nottingham. At church I sing in the choir and am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, a reader, a flower arranger and a member of the fundraising team for Cafod, my favourite charity. I have written hymns, although I cannot read music.

Social Media Links

Website:  http://nunkynoo.yolasite.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/angierigley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angierigley/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/angelarigleyauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14367596.Angela_Rigley

Giveaway to Win 2 x Paperback copies of The Peacock Bottle (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494209/

 

Mr One-Night Stand by Rachael Stewart @rach_b52 @MillsandBoon #DoYouDare #MrOneNightStand #blogtour #bookexcerpt

 

Mr One Night Stand Cover

Mr One-Night Stand written by Rachael Stewart, publisher Mills and Boon Dare, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link (amazon UK): https://amzn.to/2EukzjL

To buy link (Mills & Boon UK): https://bit.ly/2EsrTMx

Book Blurb

One night only.
Just think of the possibilities…
The second she sees Mr Oh-So-Delicious, Jennifer Hayes knows she needs one night of crazy. No names, no strings, no rules. Except that Jennifer’s naughty one-nighter is actually Marcus Wright—her new business partner! Now they’re mixing business with all kinds of pleasure. But when it comes to falling in love her sexy Mr Wright is either Mr Wrong or the best mistake of her life…

DARE Blog Tour Dates

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Rachael Stewart’s latest novel: Mr One-Night Stand.  Mr One-Night Stand is from the Mills and Boon Dare series and they are all stand-alone stories.  From the Mills and Boon website Dare is quoted as “Sensual love stories featuring smart, sassy heroines you’d want as a best friend, and compelling intense heroes who are worthy of them.”

I am delighted to share an excerpt from Mr One-Night Stand:

PATIENCE – HE WASN’T known for it.  Why should he be when he’d worked his entire life to ensure he got everything he wanted, when he wanted it?

Flicking his wrist, he checked the time.  Eight twenty-five.

Where the hell were they?

If being late was a last-ditch attempt at angling for more money, then Tony Andrews was an even bigger fool than Marcus had had him pegged for.

He waved away the approaching waitress who was eyeing his empty glass.  He’d already indulged in a whisky and filled his one-drink-while-on-business quota.  He wasn’t fool enough to indulge in more.  Although the girl’s perfect parting pout made clear that it wasn’t just a drink being offered.

Not tonight.  He smiled back.

He might be considered an arrogant ass by many, but no one could accuse him of lacking in manners.  Even his questionable childhood hadn’t beaten those out of him – much as his father might have tried.

It was hardly her fault he wasn’t up for it.  She had appeal aplenty, if surgically enhanced assets and peroxide hair were your thing.

But tonight was about work.

And work was work.

Sex was sex.

Never should the two be mixed.  Not if you wanted to stay focused and come out on top.

He watched as she weaved her way back through the intimate arrangement of tables, breaking his gaze to scan again the people occupying the circular floor space of the exclusive rooftop venue.  Andrews had chosen it for convenience, it being located only two blocks down from his London HQ.

Very convenient for Andrews – not so sodding convenient for him.  He rolled his shoulders and re-checked his watch.

What the hell was he doing?

He should’ve left ten minutes after the hour, not sat there like some obedient monkey.

But then, he wasn’t there simply to catch up with the man he was in the process of buying out.  He was there to be introduced to Andrews’ business partner – soon-to-be his partner – Jennifer Hayes, before they signed on the dotted line.

About the Author

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heartwarmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled on A4 sheets in her loft will attest to, and the lovingly bound short stories that her father would run off at work and proudly share out with his colleagues. Thinking it was a pipe dream to be published one day, she pursued a sensible career in business but she was really play-acting, achieving the appropriate degree and spending many years in the corporate world where she never truly belonged. Always happiest when she was sat at her laptop in the quiet hours tapping out a story or two. And so here she is, a published author, her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

Social Media Links:
Twitter: @rach_b52
Facebook: rachaelstewartauthor
Website: http://www.rachaelstewartauthor.com

Mr One Night Stand book giveaway

The publishers have kindly given me an extra proof copy of the book to giveaway, please enter the rafflecopter link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/baeaa5ef11/?

 

Good Luck!