Saved By The Firefighter Blog Tour

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes By Lindsey Paley...

Winter Wonderland or Sunshine Paradise? Which would you choose?

Like lots of people I love Christmas. I love the music, the spicy aroma of mulled wine, the twinkling fairy lights on the Christmas tree and the home-made snowflake decorations. But most of all I love the food and like many people I have my favourite recipes that I bake every year - a chocolate log smothered in chocolate buttercream, flaky pastry mince pies (without the candied peel - yuk!), not to mention my Grandma’s special recipe Christmas pudding.
Readers of my novels cannot fail to have noticed that my love of baking has spilled over into my writing and that was no exception with Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes - book one in my Camille Carter series. The story follows Millie, an all-round buttercream princess, who gets caught up in the snow and becomes stranded at a culinary school in the English Lake District. The village is Christmas card-perfect, but Millie hates the snow and the cold. She plots her escape and ends up locking spatulas with hunky estate manager Fergus McKenzie when he is forced to rescue her. It’s a story of love and friendship and of reaching for the buttercream and edible glitter when life gets tough.
In order to fill in the time until she can catch a train back to civilisation, Millie rustles up a batch of Christmas Cake Muffins - a lighter alternative to the traditional Christmas cake. Of course, I had to triple-test the recipe before the cupcakes made their debut in the story. Delicious!
Here’s a photo. What do you think?
However, whilst I do love Christmas, I have to confess that I’m no fan of the weather in December. I’m a summer baby (my birthday is in July) which may be the reason why I prefer the sunshine; why I crave the golden sandy beaches, a warm sea fringed with palm trees and if there’s a Pina Colada going so much the better. Skiing is not something that will ever feature on my personal bucket list either.
In Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes, Millie loathes the freezing temperatures too. She loves her strappy tops, her Capri pants and sparkly sandals and that’s all she has in her suitcase when she arrives at Craiglea Manor. She is mortified when she is forced to wear a borrowed woolly jumper and an old wax jacket, complete with the aroma of dead ferret, and which make her look like her great-aunt Margery.
So, which would you choose?

Winter wonderland or sun-drenched shores? Let me know in the comments below.

When all-round buttercream princess, Millie Carter, becomes stranded at Craiglea Manor Cookery School, she believes her chance of enjoying a merry festive season is over.

The village of Aisford is Christmas-card perfect, but Millie hates it - she hates the snow, her freezing fingertips, and being forced to look like her Aunt Marjory in a mud-splattered wax jacket and wellies instead of her beloved shorts and sparkly sandals. 
She plots her escape but ends up locking spatulas with the estate manager, Fergus McKenzie, who is forced to rescue her before she succumbs to a severe dose of hypothermia. Things start to improve with the arrival of handsome Sam Morgan, fresh from the beaches and rum shacks of the Caribbean. 
Can Millie accept her fate? And will Aisford sprinkle some of its seasonal magic on her troubles? 
Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes is a festive story of love and friendship and reaching for the buttercream icing and edible glitter when life gets tough. 
Buy Links:
Author Bio
Lindsey Paley is a Yorkshire girl and author of contemporary romance novels with page-turning plotlines and satisfying endings. When not scribbling away in her peppermint and cream writer's retreat (shed) she loves baking cakes, enjoying a spot of afternoon tea with friends and taking long walks in the countryside. Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes is the first book in the Camille Carter series set in the beautiful Lake District and the Caribbean. The latest in the series is April Showers and Wedding Flowers and is out now.
Author Links:

Saturday, 22 October 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!

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, 20 October 2016


Genre: Chick Lit
Release Date: Kindle: 15 January 2016 / Paperback 14 October 2016
Publisher:  Choc Lit
Celebrating the Paperback release of Linn B Halton’s wonderful book
A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love
Life isn’t all love and cupcakes …
Katie has had her fair share of bad luck, but when she finally realises her dream of opening a bakery it seems things can only get better.
But the reality of running a business hits Katie hard and whilst her partner, Steve, tries to help she begins to sense that the situation is driving them further apart. Could Katie be set to lose her relationship and her dream job?
Then, one winter’s day, a man walks into her shop – and, in the space of that moment, the course of Katie’s life is changed.
But nobody finds happiness in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it takes two Christmases, three birthdays and a whole lot of cake to get there …
Previously released as Sweet Occasions by the author. Revised and edited by Choc Lit December 2015.


Grandma Grace peers at me with interest over the top of her glasses, taking the box from my hands and placing it on the side. She wraps her arms around as much of me as she can reach, being at least a foot shorter, and gives me a fierce hug.
‘Thank you, my dear, but the only present I wanted was to see you standing here in one piece. It’s such a long journey and the weather! That rain is relentless, so many places are flooded. To think of you at the side of the road worried me to death and I will admit to saying a few little prayers as one hour turned into two, then three …’
She raises her eyebrow sternly, but it’s a brief moment before those twinkly blue eyes are full of love and laughter again.
‘My boy is here and that’s all that counts.’
‘Grandma, I haven’t been a boy for many years,’ I retort, softly, as she releases me with a tender pat on my back. She might be in her twilight years but her spirit is strong and her mind as sharp as ever. We all thought she’d fade away when Pop died, but the truth is he’s the one who would have faded if she had gone first.
‘You will always be a boy to me. Now, tell me more about this guardian angel of yours.’
While the tea is brewing and the cake is sliced, I hang around the kitchen as I did when I was growing up. Grandma Grace was always easy to talk to; she seemed to understand even when the words wouldn’t come. Her instincts filled in the gaps at times when even I couldn’t make sense of what was going on inside my head. After this failed relationship I began to despair of ever finding someone special.
‘You can’t hurry love,’ she’d told me. ‘It takes time to find your soulmate and in the process you change and grow. That’s why young love often withers, as Pop would have said. Two people either change and grow together, or they grow apart. Love is about sustaining what comes after that first hormonal rush.’
‘But that wasn’t the case for the two of you,’ I remember pointing out.
‘There has to be an exception to every rule,’ she’d replied, with a wicked smile. ‘We were lucky. Fate was kind to us. But with hindsight, we were too young and naive to understand that until much later in life. Don’t fret, Adam, there’s a wonderful young woman out there for you when the time is right.’
Sadly, when I reached that point it too turned out to be yet another huge failure. This time the consequences had been more painful than I could ever have imagined. Kelly was everything I thought I wanted in a woman and, after adjusting to the shock of an unplanned pregnancy, she was a fantastic mother. With hindsight I can see now that parenthood came too early in our relationship, we hardly knew each other. Suddenly I was a family man and yet, surprisingly, the role seemed to come naturally to me. I loved Sunday mornings the best. When a little head would appear on the pillow next to me at some unearthly hour and a warm little hand would wind its way around my neck.
Lily Grace is my sanity, my raison d’ĂȘtre.



“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache…”
An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award. Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.
Contest Open Internationally – No Purchase necessary

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Introducing Baron by Joanna Shupe...

One pragmatic industrialist is about to learn 

that a man may make his own destiny, 

but love is a matter of fortune . . .


The Knickerbocker Club #2

Joanna Shupe

Releasing Oct 25th, 2016

Kensington Zebra

New York
City’s Gilded Age shines as bright as the power-wielding men of the
Knickerbocker Club. And one pragmatic industrialist is about to learn that a
man may make his own destiny, but love is a matter of fortune . . .

Born into one of New York’s most
respected families, William Sloane is a railroad baron who has all the right
friends in all the right places. But no matter how much success he achieves, he
always wants more. Having secured his place atop the city’s highest echelons of
society, he’s now setting his sights on a political run. Nothing can distract
him from his next pursuit—except, perhaps, the enchanting con artist he never
saw coming . . .

Ava Jones has eked out a living the
only way she knows how. As “Madame Zolikoff,” she hoodwinks gullible audiences
into believing she can communicate with the spirit world. But her carefully
crafted persona is nearly destroyed when Will Sloane walks into her life—and
lays bare her latest scheme. The charlatan is certain she can seduce the
handsome millionaire into keeping her secret and using her skills for his
campaign—unless he’s the one who’s already put a spell on her . . .


Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

Award-winning author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since
she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every
romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy
historical novels. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters
and dashing husband.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

My Favorite Christmas Recipe by Kate Hewitt...

I love Christmas. I love the decorations, the presents, the family time, the sense of wonder, the sheer happiness and hope of the season. And of course I love the food. Everyone has their favourite Christmas recipes, and in celebration of my Christmas novella, A Cotswold Christmas, I thought I’d share one of mine here. My mother made these when I was growing up, and they are a firm favourite in my household now. And super easy to make too! I’m not sure why these have to be Christmas cookies, but they most certainly are. I would never make them any other time of year, and if I did, my children would draw back, horrified, proclaiming they are only to be eaten at Christmas!

Seven Layer Bars


¼ cup butter
½ cup crumbled digestives
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate or butterscotch chips
½ cup walnuts
½ cup sweetened coconut


This is the simple part! Simply layer the ingredients in a 9” by 13” pan. I usually mix the butter and digestive and press to make a base, and I also fiddle with the measurements depending on preference—usually more chocolate chips and less nuts J

Bake in 180° oven for 30-45 minutes. Top should be golden-brown but bars will still be soft; they harden as they cool. Cut into bars after they are cooled and enjoy!

What about you? Do you have a favourite Christmas cookie recipe?

 Blurb: Welcome to Wychwood-on-Lea… a not-too-quaint village where frosty evenings, welcoming fires, and second chances will make this a Christmas you’ll never forget.

Anna Vere has escaped to the Cotswolds for Christmas to try to heal from her broken engagement and, far worse, her broken dreams. When her reserved room at a bed & breakfast is flooded, she takes up the offer of camping out in Willoughby Close, the converted stables of the nearby manor house… and is taken under the wing of sexy local carpenter Colin Heath.

What starts out as merely helping a neighbor in need turns into far more as Colin and Anna share a surprisingly intense and emotional connection, weaving their own Christmas magic as they spend the holiday together. But Anna has a secret she’s scared to reveal, something that could destroy the fragile bond they’ve just created, and Colin knows she’s only in England for a short time. Can these two sudden soul mates risk their hearts for a love that has yet to be tried and tested?

Get swept away by this poignant and heartwarming story, set in beautiful Wychwood-on-Lea, in the English Cotswolds. And look forward to four more books set in Willoughby Close, where everyday miracles and happily-ever-afters are guaranteed.


About Kate Hewitt: Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 40 books of women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Welcome paranormal romance author, Sandra Schwab....

 Hi Sandra! It's great to welcome you to my blog for the very first time - I'm looking forward to learning more about you and your work. Wishing you lots of sales and success with your latest release, CASTLE OF THE WOLF! Let's start with my questions...

1.)              What is the strangest talent you have?

It's not exactly a strange talent, but I love sketching, especially when I'm on holiday. It's a fantastic way to explore new places: I notice more details, and I remember places that I've sketched in a slightly different way than places of which I've just taken a picture with my camera or phone.

Moreover, sketching is an awesome way to get to talk to people because they will stop and watch what you are doing. When I visited Berlin for the first time, I went up on the Alex, the television tower. It's typically packed up there, and people walk around, taking pictures in quick succession. By contrast, I went around much more slowly, sketching different vistas – and at one point, about 10 children had assembled behind me and were whispering, "What is she doing? Is she SKETCHING? What is she sketching!?!?" So I started to tell them a little about the buildings I was drawing. It was great fun. And about an hour later, when I was down on the ground and went into a donut shop to grab a quick bite, several people started a conversation with me because they had seen me sketching up on the tower.

And if you're really lucky, you might meet people who live in the area and who might tell you some stories about the things with which you've filled your sketchbook.  

2.)              What is the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?

I live in Germany, where Halloween has only become a thing in the past couple of years. But we've got carnival and dress up for that! As a little girl I loved to dress up as a cowgirl. (I even had a cowboy…sorry, cowgirl hat!)

3.)              Are the titles of your books important?

The titles of my books often refer to a central theme or motif of the story, e.g., the title of my very first novel, The Lily Brand, refers to what both connects and separates the two main characters, while Castle of the Wolf underlines the gothic elements of the book and also gives you a hint what the main setting of the story is. And the titles of my Victorian series about a fictional 19th-century magazine give you the name of said periodical in the subtitle: Allan's Miscellany.

4.)              If you’re struggling with a scene or difficult character, what methods help you through it?

I am a plotter and I typically use a mindmap to plan my novel and to work out problems. Mindmapping is a fantastic way to develop a story "organically" and make recurring themes and motifs visible. The more detailed my mindmap is, the less problems I have during the writing of the book.

5.)              Do you prefer dog, cats or none of the above?

Both! I lived with cats for most of my life, and now my parents have got two little dogs, Tinka and Charlie, whom I love very much.

6.)              Who’s your favourite author? Why?

Rosemary Sutcliff. She wrote historical fiction, mainly for children, and I fell in love with her books when I was eight years old. In her novel, she not only brought history to life, but she also created such vivid scenes and imagery that I've remembered specific moments from her stories for decades. Her novels set in Roman Britain – such as The Eagle of the Ninth or Frontier Wolf – are particularly good.

7.)              Do you have a pet peeve?

I hate it when the majority of female characters in a book are depicted as weak and incompetent or completely bitchy.

8.)              Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning?

When I haven't written anything in a while, I get the most vivid (and really weird!) nightmares – and unfortunately, I tend to remember those and they keep creeping me out for at least half a day. Ugh! Talk about a stern Muse!

Into the Darkness
Celia Fussell's father was dead, and she was reduced to the status of a poor relation in the house of her brother - the new baron - and his shrewish wife. A life of misery loomed ahead.
But, no. There was hope. Deep in the Black Forest, in the Great Duchy of Baden, was Celia's inheritance. Among fir trees so dark they looked almost black, the Castle of Wolfenbach rose, a skeletal ruin adorned by gargoyles where even locals feared to tread. It was a fortress of solitude, of secrets, of old wounds and older mysteries. But it was hers. And only one thing stood in her way: its former master, the hermit, the enigma ... the man she was obliged to marry.

If you’d rather armchair-travel to the Black Forest instead (minus the slugs), check out her latest (re)release, Castle of the Wolf, originally published in 2007 and now available again on:
Barnes & Noble:
Sandra Schwab is an author, artist, and translator. She earned a PhD in English literature with a study on the history of dragonslaying, and she now uses some of her fiction to shamelessly fangirl over Punch, her favorite Victorian magazine. She appeared on the BBC documentary Great Continental Railway Journeys to talk about the Grimms’ fairy tales (while walking through a rather muddy stretch of the Black Forest) (there were a lot of slugs too).
Sandra lives in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, with a sketchbook, a sewing machine, and an ever-expanding library. You can find her online at,or chat with her on Twitter ( and Facebook (