Monday, 4 August 2014

Diamonds and Dust by Carol Hedges

Victorian Life through a modern lens.

I recently read Diamonds and Dust by Carol Hedges and these are my thoughts on it: 

The writing style I found more like an extended play script, yet it is not a play. I could easily imagine a narrator just off stage- perhaps in a box as would have been in a Victorian Music Hall or Variety Theatre – egging on the reader to interact, shout and bawl. The Victorian Melodrama isn’t left out either in this fast moving plot with quirky trips over Victorian bridges. 

When I accepted the unusual style, I found the novel an engaging and entertaining read. I’ve read a number of paranormal novels recently -this doesn’t fit and yet the perpetrator is not normal either. Carol Hedges doesn’t leave aspects all to the imagination but she does leave the events blurred enough to make you wonder what isn’t told in the story. 

I enjoyed secondary characters like Oi who made a tragic, and probably typically short, life seem very day to day; the character names imaginatively chosen.  There are so many scenes, names and situations that are so familiar they have a ‘borrowed’ ticket on them, but they are skilfully woven into the refreshing style that is Diamonds and Dust. 


Thursday, 31 July 2014

Vienna- Does Keira Love it or not?

A Facebook friend mentioned having a great holiday in Vienna, so today I'm sharing an excerpt from Topaz Eyes. 

At this point in the novel, Keira Drummond is on her own in Vienna. Though she's come to the city to seek a meeting with Teun Zeger's third cousin she has time to spare to do some sightseeing. The problem is she thinks she's alone but is she?

Instead of walking back to her hotel, Keira hopped onto the Ring-tram as it squeaked to a halt outside the impressive museum frontage. Entering through the middle doors, she punched her ticket and squeezed her way to the rear of the car. It was jam-packed, but she found an empty seat when a couple made an impromptu late choice to get off at the stop, jumping up in a flurry. As she settled down, her gaze drifted to the front of the tram. Just before the doors closed and the car slid into motion, a man forced his way through the closing space at the front doors.

            Oh God! That shit again?

            Panic set in. She stared out the window for guidance, from who knows what, or whom. The grip on her bag threatened to break the leather strap, her fingers trembling against her chest.

            Rat in a trap.

            Not absorbing a thing outside, she willed calm to descend. She was being ridiculous again. The back of one hand snaked up to towel her sweaty brow. The tram was packed full of people, the man trailing her couldn’t do anything to her while she was on… but when she got off? Her eyes tracked her surroundings. Wide open.             
 Squelching down her fear, she made plans. Exit really quickly, so fast her hunter would be unable to follow her. He was still wedged down near the front and that was a good thing. Wasn’t it?

            Oh God! Why was the tram so hot? The window close to her was open, but she felt as if she was a tasty bit of meat on a spit… just ready for the picking. Or more like the meat in amongst all the vegetables on a plate: her pursuer the fork, poised and ready.

            Having got on at the Museumplatz area, she guessed the tram might get less busy by the time it reached the University quarter. That was a good few stops ahead. She had to get off before then to lose her shadow. Once she lost him, she could do normal things like... find somewhere to eat? She felt nauseous already. Drawing on reserves of strength, she fought back the bile threatening to erupt and concentrated on the elusive being-normal thing.

            According to her guidebook, there were plenty of good restaurants around the area called Schottenkirche, and it wasn’t too far from her hotel. She yanked open her map so fast a split screeched down the middle. Her eye movements were feverish as she blinked to a clear vision, one finger tracing her route. When her tram passed along the Rathaus Park, she could get off and walk down the street named Schottengasse, and stop at some place when she was sure the man wasn’t following her.  

            She avidly scanned to confirm her bearings. When the car hissed to a halt at the next stop, lots of people around her were exiting. Finding no street name, she swallowed her alarm. She must be at Schottengasse already! How did that happen?  Scrambling from the seat, she ducked down as low as she could and followed the queue. When she was almost out of the door, she leaned to the side to track her snowy-haired follower.

            Her stomach almost heaved up its contents. He’d forced his way to the nearest doors. Panic overtook her; her foot froze on the lowest step, her body fully out of the vehicle. In slow freeze frames, her pursuer got off. A pile of travellers surged behind him and forced him to move further onto the pavement. 

            Keira’s chin whipped around. No-one exited behind her. Zipping back inside, the doors hissed to a close before the tram wheezed into motion. Thumping down onto the nearest seat, her eyes gravitated to the window. Her stalker speed-walked alongside the tram. She was terrified. He looked furious. Now he wasn’t just a white head as his features imprinted on her memory banks. An aquiline nose sat above tightly-drawn thin lips. Strong blue eyes flared his anger. 

            Keira shut her eyes tight. She couldn’t look out the window any more. Her hand willed the rapid pulse at her neck to still. Involuntarily, her lips curled up in a nervous smile. Her nerves were still a jingle, but she also felt exhilaration, a heady excitement. She’d lost him. Steeling herself to be braver, she scanned the street up ahead. He’d have to run much faster to keep up since the stretch they were travelling on moved alongside the edges of the Rathaus Park, now a greater distance between the tram stops.

            That was confusing.

            Pulling up her map, she checked again. A genuine smile of delight split her face; her body slid even further down the vinyl seat, beginning to relax a little. All those people had exited at the Burgtheatre, the city theatre, and there was still a bit of park to pass along before the next stop. She wasn’t near Schottengasse yet. Relief flooded as the tram clicked into an even faster pace. No-one got off or entered at the next stop. Keira heaved a sigh of relief when there was no sign of her shadow alongside.

            Her legs trembled like mad when she got off at Schottengasse.  As she walked down the fairly major thoroughfare, she willed her nerves to calm. She sporadically scanned back on her speed-walk, relieved there was no sign of her pursuer. After a few long blocks, she slowed her pace and regained her breath. She couldn’t truly appreciate the marvellous architecture around her, though she tried. When she was close to the Schottenkirche, the local parish church, she selected a place to eat.

To find out what happens next...grab a copy from:

Crooked Cat Bookstore
Barnes And Noble: 


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Deep Deception by James North

 My thoughts on Deep Deception are...

 Don't get lost in the crowds in a huge demonstration!

Or you might find that dreadful things happen to you. However, the general public may not be given the real truth of what has occured if your dead body is the evidence that you've been there...or maybe even been somewhere nearby.

Accidental death? Or deliberate murder?

Deep deception is spattered with incidents of questionable causes. You have to read the novel to get below the surface of what is transpiring in the politically volatile situations the characters find themselves in. 

World ecological summits are potentially hazardous for those who may be able to expose details which may be globally catastrophic. 

This was a very enjoyable read which lured me in. The pace throughout is excellent, and the topic is one which is very believable in this contemporary world. The lives of the most senior members of organisations who attempt to combat global warming and ecological issues may well be under many different sorts of threats on a daily basis but the public will only hear about them if serious enough to hit the main headlines, or if a situation is exposed as a political disaster. The plot was intriguing with plenty of political machinations to entertain along the way. The character of Caroline Dupre is well rounded- she’s a lady of many talents who can keep her head in difficult circumstances. Other characters are less likeable, the villains of the piece. However, I really liked the way James North has imbued some shreds of conscience into the hit-men dedicated to duty and into the pursuit of financial gain regardless of the task involved. 

In the past, I haven't read much of the political thriller genre but Deep Deception makes me want to read more.

Kill Zone
A highly contentious international conference on climate change triggers a wave of assassinations, but the killing of one particular political activist throws human rights worker Caroline Dupré unwittingly into the center of a deadly conspiracy. Before long, she is in a race against time, struggling for her life against killers hired by one of the world's most powerful men.

The killers are closing in and Caroline is running out of time. Can she expose the diabolical plan, before it is set in motion?

Will she survive?


Monday, 28 July 2014

If You Only Knew

Monday Moments with... Zanna Mackenzie 


As first of a new series of promotional days for Crooked Cat novels, I'm welcoming Zanna to tell us about her novel - If You Only Knew.  

Faith owns The Coffee Pot in the outdoor adventure sports mecca of Derbyshire’s Peak District. She hasn’t had a man in her life for a while, as she’s been too busy serving cakes to weary rock climbers and mountain bikers to find time for the complications of a relationship with the male of the species.
At least, that’s what she tells herself. The truth is that since she got her heart broken she’s had problems trusting men.
When she meets Zane, one of the new owners at the Carrdale Extreme Sports Centre, Faith finds herself enjoying his company even though part of her can’t help wondering why he’s so reluctant to talk about himself.
Then the past comes back to haunt her in the shape of Zane’s business partner Matt, who just happens to be the guy who broke Faith’s heart all those years ago.
With Matt out to cause trouble and Zane keeping secrets Faith’s life is about to get very complicated indeed…
Buy links:
Grab a copy of If You Only Knew:
*Amazon UK
*Amazon USA

Book extract:
“I guess that’s the man you’ve been waiting for.”
Sophie nudged Faith, almost knocking the fresh-from-the-oven apple pie from her hands, and pointed towards the door.
Faith chose to ignore the double meaning behind her friend’s words. She wasn’t waiting for any man, not in the romantic sense anyway, and certainly not a guy who reminded her of Aaron. Her café, which she had created from scratch six years ago, was hosting the meeting of the local Tourism Association. And the guy currently making his way towards her was Zane Ferguson, one half of the new ownership team of the Carrdale Outdoor Activity & Extreme Sports Centre. She’d reluctantly phoned him a few days ago when he’d arrived in the UK and invited him to the meeting to give everyone an update on the Centre.
“Faith, right?” he said, extending his hand and hopping onto one of the stools in front of the café’s counter. The hand was firm, slightly rough to the touch and warm. It was strangely comforting. “I’m Zane. Good to get to put a face to your name at last.”
Faith nodded, even though she was anything but pleased to put a face to the name of Zane Ferguson. What kind of a name was Zane anyway? It sounded all-American, as though he should be something like a baseball player, a superhero, or a cowboy – certainly not an English extreme sports instructor. Out of the corner of her eye she could see Sophie giving Zane the once-over. Sophie knew all about Aaron, knew every detail of what had happened…

Author bio:

Zanna Mackenzie lives in the UK on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.
Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!
If You Only Knew is Zanna’s third novel; her previous books The Love Programme, and How Do You Spell Love? were both published in 2013.
Find out more about Zanna on her blog, on Twitter via @ZannaMacKenzie or on Facebook at
Follow Links:
Find out more about Zanna at:

Thank you for visiting today, Zanna, and best wishes with your writing.  


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Whom Evil Touches


It's a Welcome Wednesday author interview over on my main blog today and the writer being interviewed is the lovely D.E. Royce,  author of the murder mystery- Whom Evil Touches. I was fortunate enough to get to know D.E. a few months ago and was able to sample the novel prior to it's launch in June 2014. I thoroughly enjoyed the plotline and the varied and very interesting set of characters.
Here's my 5* review of the novel but carry on reading because you'll also be able to read short snippets from the book. 

I found this a very intriguing and enjoyable novel-one which I wanted to read on without interruptions. There’s excellently written narrative, great dialogue between the many different characters involved, it has a complicated plot that kept me guessing till the end, with plenty of tension to grip the reader in its clutches. I found myself asking questions at different times during the reading as in “Who is the murderer?” and “Can there be more than one murderer?”  I made a guess quite early on about which character had done such dire deeds - a guess which turned out to be accurate. However, by the time I was around half way through the story, I doubted my choice, and favoured another, this situation having been engendered through D.E. Royce’s skilful weaving in of other possible candidates as the murderer. There are a number of plot twists which are beautifully crafted, the entangled interactions between characters driving along the pace of the story. It’s easy to empathise with Will Kennedy and to want a good resolution for him by the end of the novel. His wife, Judy, on the other hand, is not really a character who appeals. Freddy Nunn is a very complex character with a lot of hang-ups – not too likeable either. Other characters are also well portrayed with all their little foibles on show, the writing of all this very well crafted. There are many misdeeds to resolve over the course of this entertaining novel. 

I recommend it for lovers of the murder mystery genre, and to those who enjoy a great story. 

Follow D.E.Royce via her WEBSITE
Buy from AMAZON

D.E. Royce was born and raised around the bay area of Quincy, Massachusetts. After graduating from nursing school she married, raised two children, and devoted her time to family and learning the art of landscape and still life painting. After earning a BA in Communications she began writing short stories and spent the remainder of her nursing career as a clinical liaison and composing health care related documents.
“I was one of those children who loved to draw and write. For most of my life, I’ve held some type of tool in my hands related to creativity, including cooking utensils, gardening tools, pencils, paper, books and paint brushes. Living around Quincy Bay and the marshlands is inspiring and I’ve spent many happy hours sketching and landscape painting there. In fact, it was the marshlands that provided the inspiration for Whom Evil Touches.” 
Ms. Royce continues to live in Massachusetts, exhibits her paintings in several galleries and is working on her second novel.

Murder. Deceit. Lies.
Judy Lydon Kennedy led two lives. One her husband Will knew about, the other protected by her constant gamesmanship and smoldering anger. But when the police discover bits and pieces of her body, it's her husband the detectives finger as the prime suspect until they begin to dig deeper into her hidden life.
It turns out that Judy had a very special relationship with a fellow employee at the bank - a female who just happened to dump her shortly before Judy's disappearance and grisly return. Now the investigators must sort through those connected with Judy: a misguided, pathological liar who was in love with her, the bi-sexual lover at the bank, and the blackmailed bank president who had every reason to shut Judy up for good.
As the secrets of Judy's twisted life begin to emerge, a series of revelations bring with them a K-9 handler and his detection dog to shed light on who murdered Judy - and why. And for Will, it will bring a long lost flame to his side - and just maybe free his spirit once and for all.

A sensitive and thought provoking, first rate murder mystery filled with surprising twists and inventive turns. Whom Evil Touches is a top-notch page turner of whodunit that will keep you guessing until the final, shocking, revelation.

Excerpts from Whom Evil Touches…               
Will Kennedy had not always been at peace with himself, the law, or cops who enforced its boundaries on his long-past adolescent behavior. Once he grew up and finally ceased-fire on himself and a society he once so bitterly loathed, he realized that he had learned from it in more ways than one. Will knew that the headache he had now was just a sample of the one he would have after filing the missing persons report for his wife. His past would raise a red flag and the cops would be swarming around him like hornets.

Ginger checked in the mirror the look of her naked body, admired what she saw, but resisted the urge to fondle herself. There was no time; the detectives were due any minute. So she adjusted her bra and celebrated her appeal with a sip of scotch. Ginger was in the mood for sex, not discussion, and the more the merrier. She hoped that luck was on her side and that the detectives were nothing more than a couple of sex starved civil servants.

Detective Swenson gazed at Ginger and spoke up. “You know that Judy is missing, and we have reason to believe she’s dead.”
Ginger finished her wine and let out a laugh. “Boo-hoo. Any more questions?”

Freddy Nunn lifted his binoculars, fine-tuned the focus and scanned the neighborhood. Maureen Feeney was on vacation, so he ignored her bedroom.”

Ted slammed the notebook on the table. Freddy jumped. “I asked you a question, Freddy now what about it? Were you rolling around in the sack with Judy Kennedy?” He leaned towards Freddy and whispered. “It’s so easy to find things out. Forensic investigations are today’s way to go. A little DNA leaked on a sheet, a search warrant. Do you watch CSI or Law and Order?”
Freddy pulled off his ranger hat, blotted the sweat from his forehead and wiped the tears from his eyes. “It was supposed to be so wonderful. Judy was going to divorce Will and marry me.”

Attorney Charles Sudanski glanced away from his notes. “I know your marriage was on the rocks for a long time, Will, but was it that bad? I’m not sensing much grief.”
Kennedy ran his fingers through his hair, suspecting what Sudanski was thinking: would a jury understand? “Charlie,” he said firmly. “I’m not going to act like some grieving husband that I’m not. I’m sorry for the way she lived and sorry for the way she died. But I’m not sorry she’s out of my life. You’re going to have to find a way around it!”

Alfred Locke’s lips tightened. “Yes, I’m afraid Judy was having an affair.”
Detective Swenson’s eyes widened with interest. “Is he here? We need to talk with him.”
Locke leaned his head to one side, methodically massaging his right temple. “You’ll be speaking with a she not a he. Her name is Ginger Stoolman and she took the day off.”

Freddy Nunn anxiously approached the letter. It quivered in his trembling hands as he fumbled for the light switch. He sank into a chair and began to read. A prickly chill spread throughout his body. Freddy gawked at the words, read them aloud, to himself, and aloud again. While his teeth chattered, his body shook and quaked until, suddenly, it stopped. Nunn felt nothing. No words crossed his mind and he moved no muscles. Quite and alone he sat in the gathering dusk – his thoughts as bitter as a winter’s wind – his soul as cold as ice.
 Best wishes to D.E. and thank you for featuring here today.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

JoAnne Myers & Wicked Intentions

On my Features blog I'm welcoming a returning guest author- JoAnne Myers.   JoAnne visited my main blog last month, May 2014, and shared a wonderful guest post with us. If you missed that slot, don't worry because we're sharing the promotional information about her paranormal anthology - 'Wicked Intentions' -  here today.

Here's a brief idea about her tales:
 Blood Ties
Audra Roper has disturbing visions about her twin sister’s disappearance, suspecting her brother-in-law Doug of Lisa’s death.
Police officer Tyler Pettit tries to help, but when the law fails, Audra assumes Lisa’s identity, plays amateur detective and discovers a bloody scene. All isn’t what it seems as her life becomes a roller coaster of danger, heartbreak and intrigue.

Dark Visions
When Carrie Reynolds starts having nightmares on her twenty-sixth birthday, she believes her “dark visions” can solve the twenty-year disappearance of her father.

The Apartment
When young newlyweds Bill and Gayle move into their new apartment, their lives are plagued with sightings of evil ghosts that threaten their marriage and lives.

The Legend of Lake Manor
For psychic Cassandra Lopez, coming to haunted Lake Manor was like a mission. The Manor and its employees needed her help in ridding the home of specters, most trying to kill and one willing to stay for love’s sake.

Summer Wind
When twenty-nine year-old Ginger Duncan discovers the old mansion Summer Wind, she is mysteriously drawn to it. Immediately the hauntings have a negative and profound effect on the family.

The Haunting of Barb Marie
Even as a child, Barb Marie saw dead people which terrified her parents. With no one to talk to about her gift/curse, Barb keeps the secret to herself. This takes an unhealthy toll on her childhood and two marriages. Who are these people that haunt her home now?

The Truth Behind the Lies-Laying the Norfolk Ghost to Rest
Solving the brutal murder of American born Ruthie Geil becomes a gauntlet of attacks and more murders for Federal Police Inspector Ian Christian. Between the victim’s family, ex-lovers and ghostly occurrences on Norfolk Island, the killer is closer than anyone realizes.

JoAnne has been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of her life. Besides having several novels under her belt, JoAnne canvas paints. When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, JoAnne spends time with relatives, her dog Jasmine, and volunteers her time within the community. JoAnne is a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. JoAnne believes in family values and following your dreams. JoAnne’s original canvas paintings, can be found at:

Other books by JoAnne:
Murder Most Foul-a detective/mystery
Loves, Myths, and Monsters-a fantasy anthology
The Crime of the Century-a biography true crime
Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between

Upcoming Releases:
Twisted Love-a biography true crime anthology available June
Flagitious-a detective/mystery novella anthology available Summer 2014

Buy links for “Wicked Intentions” 7 paranormal/mystery tales



Contact JoAnne:

Thank you for featuring today, JoAnne. Best wishes for successful sales.


Monday, 16 June 2014

Fabulous interview and a Giveaway by Andrew P. Weston!

My Monday Moments are with paranormal fantasy writer Andrew P. Weston. Andrew visited my Nancy's Novels blog last year, so it's excellent to welcome him back here with the second novel of 'The Cambion Journals' series.   

Today, Andrew has generously given us an excerpt to read along wth the blurb to Kiss of the Succubus, released just yesterday on June 15th, 2014 by Pagan Writers Press. In addition, he's agreed to be interviewed so that we can get to know him a bit better. There's also a fantastic set of goodies to be won in a GIVEAWAY, so make sure to fill in the rafflecopter details that you'll find access to below.

What's Kiss of the Succubus about?

Having survived the double-cross planned by Samael, the demon king, and Fanon, his own spawn-father, Augustus Thorne is trying to come to terms with his lot in life. Both Fanon and Agamemnon, the king’s assassin, lay dead. And good riddance! But the only woman Augustus has ever loved in his long and lonely life is gone–driven away by the very real dangers his lifestyle brings. However, Augustus doesn’t have the luxury of dwelling on what might have been. An insidious new threat has emerged, one that exposes humanity to a danger, the likes of which they have never faced before. Surprisingly, Augustus discovers he doesn’t have to face this threat alone. Quite by chance, he stumbles upon a mysterious woman. Someone who appears to be the only other Cambion he has ever met.  Has he found a true soul mate at last? Or is she too good to be true? Are other players involved who would still like to see Augustus Thorne dead? If so, what’s the connection? Find out for yourselves as the story continues in: The Cambion Journals – Kiss of the Succubus.

  • Buy Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

  • Welcome to my features blog, Andrew. It's great to have you visit again and even better to get to know more about you.  

    Take yourself back 20 years and tell us if you had any aspirations to become an author at that time.
    *Certainly. I’ve always been creative and used to express it in a number of outlets. Art, poetry, short stories for my children. But sadly, life got in the way of actually finding the time to sit down and put my thoughts and ideas into a novel.

    I totally understand about life and the job taking a priority place, Andrew! What were you mainly doing as a daily occupation at that time? 
    *I spent a total of 33 years as a military specialist, and then as a police officer. As you can imagine, those lifestyles were very intense and time consuming. I’m afraid to say, they stifled the opportunity to express my creativity on long-term projects.

    And today? How do you mainly spend an average day? 
    *I live on the Greek island of Kos, a place dominated by the holiday seasons. In winter, I train as soon as I get up. I find that relaxes me, and puts me in the correct frame of mind for a morning’s writing. When my wife comes home – around 1:30 – 2:00 PM – I finish off with an hour’s research and note-making. That way, we get to spend quality time together.
    In summer, I work every day on shifts without time off. I adjust my training schedule to suit, and complete my research and plot preparations during meal breaks and the odd moments I snatch here and there. That way, I can ensure to devote 2 – 3 hours of quality space to my writing, before or after work. It’s difficult, but I’m strict with myself, as I want to keep making progress, while making sure my family doesn’t suffer.

    That's a tough summer schedule. Now jump forward 20 years from today. What do you think you’d like to be doing then? 
    *That’s easy. Full time writing.

    What’s your preferred genre for reading material? 
    *Science Fiction and Fantasy. Although I enjoy paranormal and action adventures too.

    What genre/ sub-genre do you feel comfortable writing in? 
    *I like to write what I read. Although I might do something more autobiographical as time goes by.

    What do you think will be the main reading materials within the next decade? Books, some form of portable tablets?
    *I’ve got no doubt electronic reading devices will become more sophisticated as time goes by. I mean, look what you can do with mobile phones now. BUT – The good old-fashioned method of reading from ink on paper will never fade from true connoisseurs tastes.

    In recent years there’s been a movement towards popular cult-type stories- sometimes driven by what’s been popular on TV and the cinema, like Vampire, shifter, time-shift sub-genres. What do you see as being the ideal focus to capture the imagination in 5 years time? 
    *I think we’ll probably see a return to space exploration. NASA’s proposing all sorts of projects and expeditions for the future. TV and films are bound to tie in with a popular, developing trend.

    That's an interesting insight, Andrew, and one that will delight some of my author friends who write in those areas.  Can you give us an idea of what your writing schedules might be like during the remainder of 2014 and on to 2015? 
    *Busy. I have another sci-fi trilogy to complete, along with a separate, specialized novel I’ve been invited to write. After that, I have a brand new concept I’m itching to begin. The more time I devote to its development, the more I want to crack on with it.

    Fast and furious:
    Ice cream or chocolate cake? *Neither – cheesecake!
    Home made lemonade or rum cocktails? *Rum cocktails.
    Cycling tour of France or a beach holiday in the Caribbean? *Cycling Tour.
    A date with a politician, or a date with Jennifer Aniston? *Now...let me think J
    Children or pets? *Pets. My children are now grown J

    Thanks for your great answers, Andrew.  

    Andrew P Weston is a military and police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.
    A criminal law and astronomy graduate, he is a contracted writer of both fiction and poetry for several publishing houses and a growing number of well established magazines. In his spare time, Andrew assists NASA with one of their research projects, and amazingly, still finds the time to submit regular educational articles for Amazing Stories and
    When not writing, Andrew enjoys holding his breath, being told what to do by his wife, and drinking Earl Grey Tea whilst dressed as Captain Jean Luc Picard.
    Make it so…
    Andrews’s Website | BlogTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads

    GIVEAWAY. Don't miss a chance to WIN from Andrew's excellent selection. Enter Andrew's 
    Rafflecopter HERE

    Don't go without reading Andrew's teasing excerpt:

    A background thum-thum, thum-thum, thum-thum, pervaded the tranquil serenity of her thoughts. A muffled throb that somehow coaxed her along the current of sublime melodic reverie that was her entire world.
    Everything was as it should be. She was safely cocooned within a web-like tracery of scarlet and rose warmth, and her senses were soothed by the rhythm to the point of rapture.
    She had changed. Of that there was no doubt. The disconcerting other within her heart was making its presence felt. And yet, the metamorphosis it had generated caused no discomfort. No anxiety intruded upon her perfect existence.
    Thum-thum, thum-thum, thum-thum.
    Something encroached at the very limit of discernment—static noise, a sharpening of mental focus. Awareness impinged, and her head swarmed to the echo of a thousand whispers on the edge of perception as she blinked her eyes open.
    At first, her sight refused to cooperate, and it took a moment before the liquid silver of her vision cleared. Lucidity, the likes of which she had never before witnessed in thousands of years of existence, struck her with a hammer blow.
    A darkened chamber illuminated only by a handful of Bale-Lights greeted her. Plain walls welcomed her return to coherent thought, their clinical frigidity a stark contrast to the bank of high-tech medical equipment surrounding the single bed upon which she lay.
    That unfamiliar sound intruded again. Thum-thum, thum-thum, thum-thum.
    What the . . . ?
    “Are you all right?” a disembodied voice asked.
    “I . . . I think so. . . .” Her thoughts turned inward, scrutinizing the presence within her.
    “Are you in pain?”
    “No, not at all. It was just . . . different than what I expected . . . than what I’m used to.” Turning, she recognized the source of the questioner. “Lamia?”
    “Welcome back, Mahlat-essa. How have the last three and a half months been?”
    Mahlat-essa felt her breast and the newfangled steady rhythm that beat incessantly within her. “I feel . . . different.”
    “That’s the effect of the Bloodstone. Is it freaking you out?” Lamia placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
    “No, it’s just . . . not what I’m used to.” She sensed that inward scrutiny again, and wondered what to call it. “What’s happened to me?”
    “Your memories haven’t returned yet?” Lamia appeared concerned, her brow furrowing.
    “Well, I recognized you, didn’t I?”
    “I suppose we have to expect this. The Bloodstone is bound to mix things up for a little while yet.”
    “So what’s it done?”
    “It’s changed you at the molecular level, Mal. Altered what you are—”
    “What I am?”
    “We talked about this. Don’t you remember?”
    A soupy mishmash of jumbled thoughts tumbled through Mahlat-essa’s mind. Slowly, they began to coalesce into a structured, recognizable form. Comprehension dawned.
    “So the bloodline was puissant enough then?”
    Lamia’s relief was obvious. “Yes, it certainly was. Only two lines still exist today, as you know. We were able to extract sufficient vitality from our subject to imbue the stone with enough potency to trigger the transmutation.”
    “And there’ll be no lasting side effects?” She touched her chest again, with its disconcertingly loud beat.
    “Not so far as we can determine. The stone contains sufficient potency to hold the change in stasis for about six months. It’s gradually leaking that essence into your heart at a steady rate. Once it’s depleted, you’ll either revert back to normal or have to undergo a fresh infusion.”
    “Lamia, do we have a mirror here?” Mahlat-essa sat up, the speed of her sudden movement causing both shock and delight to course through her veins like an electric charge.
    Smiling, Lamia fished one out of her handbag and handed it to her friend.
    Mahlat-essa was slow to raise the vanity mirror to her face, and was stunned by the reflection staring back.
    Gone was her devilishly beautiful and angular looks which had taken the breath away from the most resolute demons. She had been replaced by a vision of even greater exquisiteness. How?
    “I look . . . I look . . .” She gasped.
    “Perfect, eh? Just right for your goal.”
    “My goal?” Mahlat-essa mumbled, momentarily confounded.
    “Remember.” Lamia hugged her close, gushing, “You can’t recall much about your past, my dear. Your poor mother died when you were born, and you were left all alone in the world, wondering who and what you are. You grew up with the awful burden of knowing you were rejected by others for being different. For having a hunger you could barely control. The only relief you’ve ever felt is when these supernatural things are present. These demons! Venting your fury on them provides the only opportunity you have of appeasing the hunger inside. And you’re very, very good at dealing with demons. It’s something that comes naturally to a freak like you, yes?”
    Memories began to unravel within Mahlat-essa’s mind.
    “Yes, I’m starting to remember now! I’m different than other girls. Stronger than other humans, faster in some ways, nastier. Although I want to protect them, they shun me. I’m all alone without anyone to share my sad and solitary existence with.”
    “Which is a shame of course, because our one woman execution squad just so happens to be incredibly highly sexed and armed with killer looks too. The perfect bait, eh?”
    Raising the mirror again, Mahlat-essa grinned. That smile failed to reach the cold depths of her eyes.
    Yes. The perfect bait. He won’t know what hit him!

    Very intriguing, Andrew!  Thanks for visiting, today, and best wishes with your latest novel, Kiss of the Succubus.


    Thursday, 12 June 2014

    Risking It All is here today!

    Today I'm delighted to post details of my friend - J.M. Stewart's - contemporary novel coming in September! 

    Cover reveal: Risking It All by JM Stewart

    Title: Risking It All
    Author: JM Stewart
    Publisher: Penguin Intermix
    Date published: Sept 16, 2014
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Word count: 80, 000
    ISBN: 9780698147980

    Originally published in a shorter form as Staking His Claim


    She’s everything he wants…

    For years, Kyle Morgan has hidden his true feelings from the gorgeous girl next door that he grew up loving and protecting. But when she shows up at his apartment in the middle of the night, desperately needing comfort and support, his iron will begins to waver…

    …and the only thing he can’t bear to lose.

    Kyle was always the big brother Cecelia Anton never had, but suddenly her goofy best friend has become a sexy man she can’t keep her thoughts—or hands—off of. As their deep connection melts into uncontrollable desire, Ceci is willing to put it all on the line for a shot at true love. Only Kyle is keeping a terrible secret about Ceci’s past that could destroy not only their lifelong friendship but their happily-ever-after…

    Purchase links:

    About the author:

    JM writes passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.

    You can find out more about JM or her books here: Website /Blog /Twitter /Facebook

    Best wishes with 'Risking It All', and with your other writing, J.M.