Saturday, 10 December 2016


Book fanatic? Me??

As a writer, I have a natural (almost unnatural!) obsession with books and my home as well as my office is overflowing with them. I am a self-confessed bibliophile and despite having over 250 books waiting to be read, I still buy more. This backlog of books are hardbacks and paperbacks and doesn’t include the 40 + I have downloaded onto my Kindle.

It’s usual for me to be reading three books at any one time – a hardback, a paperback and an ebook. Makes complete sense, right? No? Let me explain. The hardback is for reading in bed, the paperback is for reading in the bath or when I’m walking the dog (I kid you not) and the ebook is for when I am waiting to pick up my kids from one club or another, or waiting at the dentist/doctors etc. Simple.

Okay, so clearly I LOVE books with a passion which means it’s darn near impossible for me to choose a single favorite title – so I’m going to cheat and name my all-time favorite author instead….

It has to be the fabulous Nora Roberts every time.

Now I know there maybe some moans and groans out there, but I seriously don’t know why so many people seem to have such a gripe with the fabulous Nora. She writes fantastic stories, with fantastic characters and, most of all, a fantastic romance. For me, she delivers each and every time. I’m yet to be disappointed by any of her books and I’ve read a lot – and yes, I still have a lot to read too!

So are you a self-confessed bookaholic? Favorite author? Book?

Let’s talk books!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Welcome Contemporary Romance author, Melissa McClone...



1.)              What is your favourite thing about yourself?

I would say my perseverance is my favorite thing. It took me nine years to sell my first book (that was in the days before indie publishing.) I just thought if I kept writing, I’d get there someday. And I did. Being that way has served me well over the years both with writing and life.

2.)              What do you wish you’d known before you started writing?

I wish I’d known that it doesn’t get easier after you sell your first manuscript. That had been the goal. I hadn’t looked beyond that, so I thought it would be easier, but for me, I’ve found it just keeps getting harder because I want to do better than I did with the last book so am always working to improve my craft and try to reach more readers.

3.)              Share a romantic moment in your life.

I’ve always been a big Titanic buff (long before the James Cameron movie came out) and Jane Austen fan. Before we had kids, my husband took me on a short QE2 cruise that went from Southampton, France, and Cork, Ireland and then on to England’s Dorset coast to celebrate my birthday. The ships course somewhat mimicked the Titanic’s early voyage and leaving from port at Southampton gave me a chance to explore Titanic related sites. My husband had never put much thought into birthday plans before (just not as big a deal to him as it is to me), but he went all out this time. He arranged for the chef in our dining room to have a special meal and birthday cake made just for me.

After the cruise, as we drove to/from the Dorset coast and while staying there, he stopped at every literary site he could find, and even went beyond Jane Austen to Thomas Hardy. He also bought a paperback version of Pride & Prejudice which we read aloud to each other each day of our trip. It was a once-in-a-lifetime vacation and one that made me feel so cherished and loved. And the best part was that he had as good as time as I did. I don’t think he was expecting that to happen since he’s a sailing/camping kind of guy!

4.)              Is there one subject you’d never write about as an author? What is it?

I can’t say that there is, because I write sweet romances. By default many topics/subject matters just don’t fit that genre so wouldn’t even be in my radar when I’m plotting a story idea.

5.)              Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?

I first began my writing journey as a reader. I think writers need to read and read what they want to write. I also think it’s important to get in the habit of writing. That could mean five days a week or seven. I’m a big fan of craft books and online courses, but you need to put words on a page to improve. Some authors are naturals at this, but for the rest of us, writing is a skill to work on and hone, sometimes one word at a time in the beginning.
For me, I haven’t been able to take breaks without dealing with a long ramp up time to get back to where I was before the break. That’s why I suggest being consistent, even if it’s for a short time, especially when you’re first starting out. My first three manuscripts improved my craft and helped me find my voice (and no reader will ever see those stories because of that!)

6.)              If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why?

The Stand by Stephen King. I read the book when I was in high school, and it’s been a favorite ever since because of the characters and their struggle with good and evil. A classic tale.

7.)              What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

My room was a complete mess when I was growing up, and I would get in big trouble because I wouldn’t clean it. Yes, I was a slob. I knew where everything was so why did it matter if it was on the floor or in piles?

I remember one time just tossing everything into my closest, so my dad wouldn’t ground me. I had about five minutes before he was going to check our rooms and I’ve never moved so fast. Thank goodness he didn’t open the closet or I’d have been grounded for weeks!

8.)              If I came to your house for dinner what would you prepare for me? Why?

If you came for dinner, I would prepare grilled salmon, rice pilaf, roasted asparagus, homemade bread, a tossed green salad with hazelnuts, and a marionberry pie. I’d serve you these dishes because the ingredients showcase the Pacific Northwest where I live, and I love sharing that with visitors.
 
Christmas at the Castle Book Tour
 
By author Melissa McClone

Tour Dates: December 4th – 10th, 2016
Blurb:
A royal wedding. A meddlesome mother. An unexpected union.
A European getaway during the Christmas holiday is exactly what veterinarian Katrina “Kat” Parsons needs. She can’t wait to be a bridesmaid in her childhood friend’s royal wedding, but she hopes to steer clear of the bride’s arrogant older brother.
 
Crown Prince Guillaume wants his younger sister’s wedding day to be perfect, but he’s suspicious of Kat. He and his mother on are on high alert, afraid Kat is not just there for the wedding, but also to find a prince of her own.
But when Kat’s kindness and generosity prove them wrong, the prince realizes there’s more to her than he ever imagined. Can he trust his heart or will he lose the one woman he can’t live without?
Buy the Book:
About the Author:
auth_melissamcclone-500x500Melissa McClone
 
Bio:
Melissa McClone’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University led her to a job with a major airline where she travelled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over twenty-five romance novels with Harlequin and been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim and soccer practices, 4-H meetings and dog shows. She also supports deployed service members through Soldiers’ Angels and fosters cats through a local non-kill rescue shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house.
Visit all the stops on the Tour:
December 4th
Book Lover in Florida - Book Excerpt
4TeenReaders - Author Guest Post
December 5th
Blog on the Run - Book Review
Quartzfeather - Book Review



Ali's Book Nook - Book Review
December 6th
Steamy Book Momma - Book Review
Hello...Chick Lit - Book Excerpt/Author Guest Post
December 7th
Lady with a Quill - Book Review
ItaPixie's Book Corner - Book Review

Writing Pearls - Book Review
December 8th
Reading To Unwind - Book Review
December 9th
December 10th
 

Tour arranged by:
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Giveaway:
Melissa is giving away this amazing prize pack (within the US), make sure you enter below!
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$10 Amazon gift card
Thirty-One Gifts Zipper Pouch
Autographed paperback copy of The Cinderella Princess
Footies
Christmas at the Castle Bottle top keychain
Recipe Card
Bookmark
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Introducing Raphael's Fling by Alix Nichols...

























 


a swoony

bad-boy hero, laugh-out-loud moments 
and a happily-ever-after
 

RAPHAEL'S FLING
A Darcy Brother's Romance

Alix Nichols
Released Nov 17th, 2016



My name

is Mia Stoll and I dream about publishing a monograph on medieval Paris.

Problem is, I’m better qualified for writing a handbook on how to go from a

budding scholar to a pregnant runaway in three easy steps. 


- - -
My sister Eva carries a torch for the wrong man. Here’s the gist of my sermons

to her: “Drooling over your hunky astronaut boss is a loser’s trek to Calamity

with three stops along the way: Heartbreak, Job Loss, and Spinsterhood.”
The thing is, I’m in a terrible—you could even say impossible—position to
lecture Eva.
I’m attracted to my own boss.

Raphael d’Arcy is funny, smart, and uber-rich. He’s also smoking hot. That

alone should have scared me away, were I not such a dolt, my academic

achievements notwithstanding.

But there’s more.

Raphael is France’s most notorious playboy who doesn’t do relationships. He

does one-night stands. If sufficiently intrigued, he might do a fling. Which is

the most I could ever hope to have with him—a short-lived fling.
So what, right? It’s not the end of the world.

But consider this: Getting my heart broken by Raphael d’Arcy is the least of

my worries. Some very serious merde has been piling up in my

life lately.
And it’s about to hit the fan.

RAPHAEL'S FLING is a sexy standalone romantic comedy. No cliffhangers.

GUARANTEED: a swoony bad-boy hero, laugh-out-loud moments and a

happily-ever-after.
BUY NOW



 
Alix Nichols 
is an unapologetic caffeine addict and a longtime
fan of Mr. Darcy, especially in his Colin Firth incarnation. She is a Kindle
Scout and Dante Rossetti Award winning author of critically acclaimed romantic
comedies.
At the age of six, she released her first rom com. It featured highly creative
spelling on a dozen pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper.
Decades later, she still loves the romance genre. Her spelling has improved
(somewhat), and her books have made Amazon bestseller lists, climbing as high
as #1. She lives in France with her family and their almost-human dog.
For exclusive content, giveaways and special offers, including a bonus book,
subscribe to the monthly newsletter on her author website: www.alixnichols.com.





Saturday, 3 December 2016

It's Christmas At The Cove!



Writing a series of books set in a small town is a dream come true––something I’ve wanted to do ever since I discovered Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven series when I was nine or ten. The idea of having recurring characters appeals to me in both my writing and reading choices.

Obviously, I’ve moved on from Enid Blyton, but my shelves now groan with the weight of the books I collect and refuse to part with. The downside of loving a particular series is I have to buy the entire backlist (if I’ve come in past book 1) or keep buying each book the author releases.

 To name a few favourites, any series or trilogy by Nora Roberts, The Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis and The Virgin River series by Robyn Carr – each of them has influenced some small aspect of my Harlequin Superromance series set in the fictional UK seaside town of Templeton Cove.

 Until the fourth book, CHRISTMAS AT THE COVE, Templeton has more often than not basked in the summer months due to the sea, the beach and everything a typical British seaside town encapsulates. Yet, when my editor suggested I might like to try a Christmas themed novel, I was thrilled! One, because I had never written a Christmas story before and two, it would be fun to paint the canvas of the Cove a different colour for book number four.

The series consists of a mix of romantic suspense and mainstream contemporary romance stories, but I decided quite early on I didn’t want to taint the joy of Christmas with a grisly murder, abduction or threat of some sort…so mainstream contemporary it was!

Christmas At The Cove is a reunion story between long-term Templeton resident, Scott Walker and the return of his brief but passionate lover, Carrie Jameson. Carrie has news for Scott - the decision is his what happens next…

Do you like series romances? Favorite settings? Favorite series/author?’

Let’s talk series!

Happy Reading!
 
Blurb & Buy Links:
 
More family for Christmas? 

Scott Walker doesn't have time for a relationship. The sexy mechanic has career ambitions, not to mention a mother and three sisters to take care of. The last thing he needs is Carrie Jameson, the beauty he never forgot, arriving in Templeton Cove over the holidays with some unexpected news. 

Scott still finds Carrie irresistible, and he's not one to shirk responsibility. Scott's issues with his own dad make the prospect of parenthood a minefield. But if he and Carrie can overcome their fears, this Christmas could bring them the best gift of all.




Templeton Cove Trailer


 

 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Introducing Be My Baby by A.L. Michael...




Be My Baby
 

Blurb: Two’s company…

If you asked Mollie whether she struggled as a single mum, she’d have to cover her daughter’s ears before answering. Surrounded by friends, watching Esme grow into the sassiest eleven-year-old in North London, and building her name as TV chef Mollie Makes, Mollie’s never been happier. Well, that’s what she’d tell you. But as her best friends pair off, and Esme starts getting into trouble at school, Mollie wonders whether life would be different – not better…but easier – with a team mate.

Three’s a crowd?

But Esme’s dad, Jamie, would be the last man Mollie would team up with. After all, he made it clear eleven years ago that he wasn’t interested in playing the family game. So when he suddenly reappears, Mollie can’t believe her eyes. And soon, she’s got to ask herself the hardest question yet: she knows she can succeed as a single mum. But what if her daughter doesn’t want her to?
 
Excerpt
 
 
Well, Mollie thought as she desperately sipped her glass of Pinot Grigio, Ben was perfectly nice. But he was going to have to die.
 
This one was all Kit’s fault, suggesting a ‘friend’ from work. Ben was an accountant, he went to the gym every day at five a.m., he loved holidays in the south of France and would choose a good cheeseboard over a dessert, every time. Ben also chewed with his mouth open, and if she had to look at the half-masticated cow he’d been rolling around his trap whilst he’d been talking, for one moment more, Mollie thought she might vomit. Also, the man didn’t ask questions.
 
‘Well, I should probably get going, got a big morning tomorrow, you know,’ Mollie shrugged, signalling desperately to the waitress for the bill, and reaching for her purse.
 
‘Big morning?’ Ben smiled, ‘I thought you worked in the arts? Surely it’s all ten a.m. starts and parties?’Ah, so he did ask questions. Stupid questions.
 
‘Nope, I’ve started a company creating healthy, exciting food for kids. I’m being interviewed for a morning TV slot. Mollie Makes...’ Mollie shrugged awkwardly, ignoring the fact that, whilst that was true, that wasn’t happening tomorrow. Tomorrow morning she was taking her daughter to school. Not that he knew she had a daughter, because Ben didn’t ask questions.
 
‘Oh no, not more of all that “kids can eat quinoa” bollocks, is it?’ Ben laughed, slurping at his wine. The wine he’d spent ten minutes telling the waitress didn’t have a full enough body, and was incorrectly described on the menu. ‘I ate chicken nuggets and chips all the time as a kid. If those obese kiddies are fat, it’s because they’re lazy and need to get off their games consoles.’
 
Mollie widened her eyes, but said nothing, instead sending a look of relieved appreciation as the waitress delivered the bill. The girl caught her eye and quirked a lip, she must have seen a billion bad dates at this table. Mollie brandished her purse desperately, hoping the waitress wouldn’t leave.
 
‘Oh no, no, Molls, my women don’t pay,’ Ben shook his head, reaching for his wallet, ‘besides, I don’t suppose you’ve got a gold card, have you?’
 
‘No, I applied, but when they asked for my soul as collateral, I had to decline,’ Mollie smiled sweetly, and Ben looked at her in surprise.
 
‘Well look, Molls...’ he pulled out her chair as she stood, ‘let’s talk about where this is going, I’m an upfront guy, can’t afford to waste time, time is money you know. So, how many dates before I get the keys to the kingdom, so to speak?’ He raised his eyebrows in what he seemed to think was a playful manner and grinned, hands in his pockets as he shrugged.
 
Mollie pursed her lips as if she was thinking, ‘Ahh, I see, I mean, you’ve got out the gold card, so...’
 
‘Exactly! I knew you were the sort of woman who understood how the world works.’
 
She was that sort of woman, Mollie realised. She was a woman in her late twenties, who had successfully raised a child, who had started a business, left her crappy home town and created a brilliant life. And the only thing that was missing was someone to share it with.
 
But apparently, in the eleven years she had been raising a child, men had started to believe that swiping right was what their opposable thumbs were truly for. No more. If this was how the dating world worked, then the fairy tale was dead before it began. It was time to put away the politeness.
 
‘Right, well,’ Mollie pouted, twirling her blonde curls around her finger thoughtfully, ‘I’m afraid my vagina doesn’t come with a card chip-and-pin machine. Or contactless. But thanks though. Word of advice? Maybe try chewing with your mouth closed in future. Or just keep your mouth closed throughout the date, that would work too.’
 
Mollie threw her shoulders back as she walked off, and the waitress grinned at her, clapping her hands silently in applause. Well, for her first date in eleven years... that went as well as could be expected.
 
Links:



GIVEAWAY!!
 
 
 
The prize is a goodie bag, full of healthy foodie treats inspired by one of the characters in the book! It will include baking goodies and other stuff!
It will run from the 28th November till the 12th December. UK only.
 
About A.L. Michael

A.L Michael is a writer and workshop leader from North London. She has a BA in Creative Writing with English Lit, an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship and is starting an MsC in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She likes learning and hates essays.

She's a fan of cheap wine, expensive chocolate and still wants to be a secret agent when she grows up, but she'll settle for lying on the page.

Links:




 

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Please welcome contemporary romance author, Julie Archer...


 



 
 
 
 
         What was your first job? Did you like or dislike it? Why?

My first job was working in a petrol station/convenience store. Mostly, I enjoyed it, we had a great team and developed some great friendships and teamwork. But there were times (such as the middle of winter) when I hated it! Bringing in stock from outside when it was cold and dark was horrible, particularly as it was late at night and I was on my own. It taught me a lot about customer service and I do despair when I go into shops and the staff are more interested in talking to each other or looking on their phones than looking after their customers.

2.)              Do you have a pet peeve? If so what is it?

Um, maybe bad customer service as per the above answer… I don’t like misuse of apostrophes. Particularly when it is a business that is trying to advertise themselves. For example: Cakes for all occasions, wedding’s, birthday’s, anniversary’s, christening’s. Come on people!!

3.)              Would you describe your style as shabby chic, timeless elegance, eclectic, country or ___­­­_?

I guess I’m eclectic. Some days, it’s professional and businesslike (okay, that’s not very often these days         , but I know how to do it!), other days it will be rock chick inspired and sometimes it will be slobby chic or whatever is most comfortable and warmest! I worked for an accommodation company for a while and the rules of my wardrobe would basically be down to the fact of whether I could do cleaning in it!

4.)            Tell me about your book Cocktails, Rock Tales & Betrayals and where you got your inspiration for it?

Cocktails, Rock Tales & Betrayals is a contemporary women’s romance. It’s basically the story of a bar, a band and a Thorne between two roses. I’m a big music fan and wanted to write something that was set in that world. I got inspiration from going to gigs and festivals. And I always wanted to write something that I would read.

5.)              Who is your role model? Why?

From an author perspective, I’m truly inspired by those writers that have done it themselves and made a success of it, such as Carrie Elks and Marissa Farrar, who then pay it forward to new and aspiring authors like me. Oh, and Jenny Kane/Kay Jaybee/Jennifer Ash who has a million pens names and personas and still manages to make time for newbies.

Outside of that, it has to be Karren Brady. Now an aide to Lord Sugar on The Apprentice, she started her career in advertising before being the Manager Director of Birmingham City football club at the age of 23. As a woman working in a male dominated world, she stood strong and made her mark, particularly when faced with sexism. She champions women in business and is an ambassador for a scheme offering young people workplace experience, while still retaining an interest in the football world. Oh, and she’s also written two novels!

6.)              How much of your book is realistic?

Quite a lot of it, I hope! I spent time around bands doing various bits of promotion and marketing, so I’ve seen the less glamorous side of it, such as rehearsals in a draughty village hall in the middle of winter. And I’ve stood in a field in Leicestershire with around 90,000 other rock fans at Download Festival. Obviously there are things that have totally come from my imagination, it would be boring otherwise!

7.)              What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I’d like writing to be my only job! Ideally, I’d like to become a traditionally published bestselling author. It would also be great to have a strong following of people that are interested when my next book comes out. But in all honesty, if I can break even some day, that would be great!

8.)              Share one fact about yourself that would surprise people.

Hmm, that’s a tough one! I guess one of the strangest things that happened to me was hanging out with Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses bass player) after a gig he did in London. He’s surprisingly shy in real life, which is something you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a global rock star!
 

Cocktails, Rock Tales & Betrayals Book Tour
By author Julie Archer
Tour Dates: November 27th – December 6th, 2016

Blurb:

A bar, a band and a Thorne between two roses…

Caro and Nate are perfect for each other. Trouble is, Nate is really Alik Thorne lead singer of the Next Big Thing in rock music and his girlfriend, Edie, isn’t really prepared to share him…

Caro Flynn leaves behind the sultry nights of Mallorca to open her own bar back home. Romance wasn’t high on her list of priorities, but a last minute fling makes her think again…

Edie Spencer-Newman always gets what she wants. But when she sets her sights on something a little too close to home, she’s about to stir up a whole heap of trouble…

When the consequences of a tragic accident cause relationships to crumble, will anyone find a happy ending?
 
 

Buy the Book:


About the Author:


Julie Archer

Bio:

Julie Archer grew up in Hampshire and lived in Reading before moving to the beautiful riverside town of Dartmouth in Devon. She still feels like she’s on holiday.

Julie trained as a journalist, then went into teaching (kept meeting the sixth form students in the pub, awkward!). After that she ‘fell’ into recruitment, spending more years there than she cares to mention, where the most creative thing she did was to create a sexy top line for job adverts! Since moving to Devon, she set up her own business offering virtual administration and recruitment services, worked for an accommodation company and is currently moonlighting in the local bookshop…

Also, COYS, Cats, Metal. Underneath this preppy exterior beats the heart of a rock chick.

GoodReads  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Contact

Visit all the stops on the Tour:

November 27th

Blog on the Run - Promo Post
My Comfy Reading Corner - Book Review
He Said Books or Me - Author Guest Post

November 28th


November 29th

Rachel Brimble Romance - Author Q&A
Living Life With Joy - Author Guest Post

November 30th

Book Lover in Florida - Book Excerpt

December 1st

Chick Lit Central - Author Guest Post

December 2nd


December 3rd

Hello...Chick Lit - Book Excerpt

December 4th

Novel Gossip - Book Promo/Excerpt

December 5th

Rae Reads - Book Excerpt

December 6th

Grass Monster - Amazon Book Review