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#BlogTour #CharacterProfile ~My Girlfriend’s Perfect Ex-Boyfriend by Peter Jones @peterjonesauth @rararesources

My Girlfriend’s Perfect Ex-Boyfriend by Peter Jones

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Publication Date: 10th October 2017

Adrian Turner, Mountaineer, Secret Agent, Fireman… Ade would dearly like to be any of these things, though he’d trade them all to win the heart of feisty Public Relations Executive, Paige.

Instead, he’s a disillusioned school teacher, on suspension, after an unfortunate incident with a heavy piece of computer equipment. And somebody’s foot. And Paige? Despite being his girlfriend for the past eighteen months, she still seems to have one foot out of the door and hasn’t quite committed to leaving a toothbrush in the bathroom.

Of course, it doesn’t help that she’s working with her ex-boyfriend, Sebastian. A man who in almost every way imaginable is better, taller, wealthier, hairier, and infinitely more successful than Ade.

Is Paige still in love with Sebastian? Why then did she suggest they get away for a few days? Some place romantic…

But when Adrian finds himself in Slovenia – with Sebastian in the room down the hall – he realises there’s serious possibility that he’s in danger of losing his job, his mind, and the woman he loves…

From best-selling author Peter Jones comes this hilarious romp about love, and the things people do to keep it from getting away.

Purchase from  Amazon UK

About the Author

Peter Jones started professional life as a particularly rubbish graphic designer, followed by a stint as a mediocre petrol pump attendant. After that he got embroiled in the murky world of credit card banking. Fun times.

Nowadays, Peter spends his days writing, or talking about writing. He’s written three novels; a Rom-Com (Romantic Comedy), A Crim-Com (Crime Comedy), and a Rom-Com-Ding-Dong (a sort-of Romantic-ish Comedy, with attitude). He’s currently working on his fourth novel, which – if it’s a musical – he’ll no doubt describe as a Rom-Com-Sing-Song. (Spoiler: It isn’t).

He is also the author of three and a half popular self-help books on the subjects of happiness, staying slim and dating. If you’re overweight, lonely, or unhappy – he’s your guy.

Peter doesn’t own a large departmental store and probably isn’t the same guy you’ve seen on the TV show Dragons’ Den.

Follow Peter Jones  Website  Amazon   Twitter  Facebook

Character Profile

I cross the hall to the bathroom, close the door, fumble around for the light cord, and switch on the light. I stare at myself in the mirror. The beard’s gone. Well of course it has. It was only ever an imaginary beard. I stick out my tongue and check the colour. I’ve no idea why really, it’s just what you do, isn’t it. Anyway, it seems to be the usual shade of pink. In every way I look exactly as you’d expect a stressed out, over-worked male schoolteacher – one who’s approaching his forty-sixth birthday and suffers from regular bouts of insomnia – to look.

Character Name: ADRIAN TURNER

Who are they?: Burnt out, disillusioned computer science teacher… and our hero

Age (in the story) / Date of Birth: Almost 46 (14th November 1968)

Nationality: English

Who could play them in a movie adaptation?: Martin Freeman

#BlogTour #VideoExtract ~ The Bitches of Suburbia by Jane Owen @janeowenauthor @rararesources

I’m delighted to welcome Jane to the blog today .. this looks such a fun book! You can listen to Jane reading a section below 🙂 x

Nothing much ever happened on Horseshoe Lane – why should it? It was, after all, just a normal suburban backwater with the usual cross section of growing families, ageing pensioners, the occasional singleton and a brace of curtain twitchers. The arrival of celebrity couple, Heavenly and Travis, however, changes all that. This glamorous pair bring about a summer of competitive party throwing and ambitious home improvement projects that will have disastrous and completely unforeseen consequences.

Neighbours who’ve got by for years with just the occasional chat over a garden fence about the unseasonable amount of rain or the state of next door’s garden are slowly united by suspicion as a husband goes missing, a much loved cat turns up dead on a doorstep and Enid from Number Seven is found badly injured at the foot of the cliff.

Could one person be responsible for all of this? Could that person be the strange and unlikeable Hilary Jones from Number Nine? There was only going to be one way to find out and it was going to involve a lot of whiskey….

In this her wonderful follow up to ‘The Rock Star Known as Horse’, Owen’s riveting new story finds a murky side to the suburbs, a side where petty jealousies and neighbourly rivalries can escalate out of all control with calamitous results, all intricately observed with her usual dark humour firmly to the fore.

Purchase on Amazon UK

About the Author

Jane’s first novel, Camden Girls, was published by Penguin twenty years ago and quickly became an international cult bestseller published in many languages including Japanese, Spanish,German, Hebrew, Italian and Dutch. She’d already spent many years working in the film business working alongside stars such as Christophe Lambert, Andi McDowell, Daryl Hannah and James Remar before switching to the music business and working for bands such as The Who, Robert Plant, ZZTop and many more. Eventually, even that got boring and that’s when she wrote Camden Girls.

After publication, life became interrupted by an unfortunate traffic accident and Jane moved out of London to Sussex and slowly returned to writing. Her novels don’t fit into any specific category and, frustrated by endless rejections along the lines of ‘You write beautifully but we don’t know how to sell this book’ she started self publishing. Rave reviews gave her the confidence to keep going and believe in what she was writing.

She’s still in Sussex, sharing her life with her musician partner, three horses and a dog and divides her day between writing and riding.

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#BlogTour #Extract ~ A Seaside Escape by Lisa Hobman @LisaJHobmanAuth @Aria_fiction

All work and no love can make for a dull life. But cupid’s arrow has a habit of striking when you least expect it… A heartwarming, feel-good romance to curl up with this winter. Perfect for the fans of Marian Keyes and Veronica Henry. Mallory Westerman is the successful proprietor of Le Petit Cadeau, a gift shop extraordinaire in thriving Leeds. Concentrating solely on her business, she has almost given up on finding someone to love. That is until she literally falls into the arms of a handsome, intriguing stranger who becomes her Knight in shining armour. The whirlwind romance that ensues changes her life-path irrevocably. However, the road to true love is never smooth and things don’t always turn out how you expect… *Shortlisted for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year 2014* This book was previously published as A Bridge Over The Atlantic.

Available on Netgalley

Buy links:  Amazon UK  Kobo  iBooks  Google Play

About the Author

Lisa’s debut novel was shortlisted in the 2014 RNA. Her stories centre around believable, yet down to earth characters and the places in Scotland she has visited and fallen in love with. She is a happily married mum of one with two energetic dogs.

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Extract

Sam smiled and listened intently. He found her quite beautiful. Her long wavy hair fell in chocolate tendrils around her shoulders, where it had escaped the grasp of the claw pinning the rest of it in a loose pile atop her head.

He discretely ran his eyes over her body. Her curves were accentuated by the fitted skirt and top she wore, giving her a timeless Marilyn Monroe-esque appearance. Every so often she would push her spectacles up her nose, even when there was no need to do so. He thought that was really cute. Her bright blue eyes sparkled and he couldn’t help but smile at the way she waved her arms around as she spoke; so expressive. She was clearly a nervous talker and he felt the urge to stop her mouth with his. Not because she was boring; no she was anything but boring. He just wanted to kiss her. It took all the will he had not to just do it.

At the end of their conversation they stood outside the window of the coffee shop in the chilled December early afternoon. Mallory felt sure she had bamboozled him with her non-stop jabbering and her life history. Good job, he’s way out of my league really, she thought to herself. At least I won’t see him again to remind him what a clumsy, chatterbox I am. Hmm, there was that low self-esteem rearing its ugly head again. She had always felt herself unattractive and had pretty much given up on the yo-yo dieting. After all, she was single and busy with Le Petit Cadeau, so it didn’t really matter that she had crept up three dress sizes since her youth.

Expecting this to be the start and end of a beautiful friendship, she held out her hand. ‘It was very nice to meet you, Sam with the Canadian accent.’ She smiled. ‘Thank you for rescuing my face from a date with a concrete pavement.’

‘You’re very welcome.’ He let out a long breath, but didn’t move. He wasn’t making a run for it. ‘It would’ve been such a shame to spoil such a pretty face with a bashed-up nose and cracked teeth.’

Mallory chuckled as she saw him outwardly cringe as the words escaped his shapely lips. ‘Thank you… I think. Well, better get on. Bye then.’

‘Wait. Why do you sound as if I’ll never see you again?’ He looked sad. ‘Is that it? Is this the end? How could you? After all I’ve done for you?’ He held his knuckles to

his teeth and bit down in mock, melodramatic actor mode. The back of his other hand pressed to his forehead.

This guy was funny. She found herself allowing a small hope to shine through, that this was not the end. Perhaps he did want to see her again.

Later that night she sat, snuggled up on the sofa with Ruby, watching a re-run of Friends. It was the one where Brad Pitt’s formerly overweight character, Will, is invited for Thanksgiving.

She was just munching through another carb-laden mouthful of cereal when the phone rang. Her heart leapt. Surely he wouldn’t be ringing so soon? She and the rather yummy Sam Buchanan had exchanged phone numbers at the end of their coffee shop chat and she had almost skipped back to the shop, avoiding all the cracks in the pavement this time around. Although secretly she thanked her ridiculous choice in footwear on that winter’s day, considering without it she may never have met Sam.

‘H-hello?’ she stammered hopefully, into the receiver.

‘Hi ya, chick! Are you okay? You sound a bit odd.’ Perceptive as ever, Josie, who had been her best friend since school, wasn’t known for beating around the bush. They had been friends through thick and thin. The thick being boyfriends, who Mallory regrettably discovered were either too self-absorbed or more interested with cars and staring at other women’s boobs. The thin, on the ground patches, where loneliness and reluctant celibacy seemed to be the way of life thrust upon her. Josie was her touchstone, her voice of reason and in addition to this she was Mallory’s one and only trusted employee, working slightly more than part time to give Mallory the opportunity to be creative. She was glad to have the opportunity to spill the beans on the potential new guy in her life.

‘Oooh Mally, he sounds dreamy.’ Josie swooned after Mallory had imparted every last detail she could remember – and there were many.

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#BlogTour #GuestPost ~ Shanghai Tang by Mick Bose @sbasu13 @emmamitchellfpr

Shanghai Tang – a fast paced and heart pounding action thriller from the wildly popular Dan Roy Series. A betrayed assassin is thrust into the secret life of Shanghai’s underworld. Dan Roy, ex Black Ops legend, is becoming a new legend in the infamous blood fight tournament called Kumite, in Hong Kong. He is carving himself a new life, when disaster strikes his loved ones back home. He gets a phone call, and he cannot deny Kimberly Smith’s plea for help. Not only is Kim’s life endangered, the rumbles of discontent have reached the White House… A devastating secret lurks inside the glamorous night life of Shanghai. Political interests are involved, and soon Dan finds himself in a ruthless and twisted struggle for survival. He gets help from Xiao Wei-Ling, A Chinese woman who is on the run herself. An ambitious Triad boss is making a bid to overrule the whole of Shanghai, and Dan Roy has become a thorn in his side. The Triads have help from the police, and all eyes are on Dan – alone in a foreign land. Get prepared for a white-knuckle ride from Hong Kong and Shanghai to the corridors of power in Washington, as we follow Dan on a terrifying adventure that could be his last. Will Dan meet his nemesis in the murky underworld of Shanghai? Or will he fight to live another day?

Buying link: Amazon UK

About the Author

If you are enthralled by Lee Child, David Baldacci and mesmerised by Vince Flynn, then you will like Mick Bose. Mick Bose is a writer in London who can often be found jogging around the parks of Wimbledon, when he is not writing. The popular and well received series about Dan Roy is a tornado of hard action and military secrets. A novella introducing Dan is now out, which is available to subscribers free at www.mickbose.com. He also has a standalone thriller, Enemy Within, which is a nail biting, fast paced manhunt about a secret weapon that can change World War 1. It is also a gesture of respect to the 100-year anniversary of the Great War.

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Guest Post

Growing up, I was a voracious reader. Most authors are – and it is a habit they cannot let go of. Authors are readers first and foremost, and much like writing, it is a lifelong process.

I used to write a lot of literary fiction and poetry when I was in my late teens and early twenties. The problem was, I never finished anything. The poetry was easier in fact, it was more focused, specific, and every word had a weight and purpose. But the problem I had with fiction was the lack of that purpose. Then I realised my mistake. I went back to basics, my earliest love in books. It was Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, Alistair Maclean even Sidney Sheldon, for the more easier reads.

Those books didn’t compare to Jack Kerouac and James Joyce – but they had one critical aspect I had overlooked in my early writer days.

A plot.

Not just any plot. An actual story.

A friend of mine who is a scriptwriter for the BBC once told me – many published authors don’t understand what a story is.

A story happens when a reader learns about a character and begins to root for them. As the character goes through a life transforming event, the reader goes along for the journey, and experiences what the character feels. This is why the best stories take us “there”- that special place where we turn the pages, eager to learn what happens next.

It can be a love story, a suspenseful thriller, but the premise remains the same. And it took me a while to get that. When I did, I never looked back.

The key, as any writer will tell you, is to create conflict. The main character has to have something in her past or life that haunts her. She has to get over that, and deal with the present predicament she is in. How the writer creates the conflict, in my opinion, shows his class.

I am reading Robert Bryndza’s DCI Foster series now, and he is a very classy writer. The way his lead character evolves shows a lot of skill on the author’s part.

As far as I could, I tried to make Dan Roy a complex character. He suppresses a lot about himself. Given his life of violence, he has to. Most soldiers do. Trying to take a crap while wondering if you are going to be shot, is a unique position to be in. So is pulling out dead bodies from under rubble. Bodies of people you know, and more vulnerable members of society.

In short, most soldiers never talk about their past life. They clam up, push it into a dark hole, and get on with family and civilian life the best they can.

Dan Roy is similar. He has seen extreme, awful things a human being should not have to countenance. He has the strength of character to withstand it, but he doesn’t spend his time

thinking about it. If he does he won’t survive. PTSD has affected many of his colleagues. Dan has been one of the lucky ones.

I’m meant to be talking about myself, but Dan Roy has crept in.

Do I identify with him?

Well, I have never lived a soldier’s life. But I have researched war in detail as part of my writing. One of my first books – “Enemy Within”- is about the First World War. I read countless soldier’s memoirs, and history books, for Enemy Within, and for the Dan Roy series.

Somewhere along the way, this complex, convoluted man has seeped into my sub conscious. His soul is scarred with the events of his past life. A life he tries to escape but which finds him at every turn. When it does, his world becomes violent and unpredictable. A strange world in which he finds himself at home.

In some way, I suppose we are all like Dan Roy. Wouldn’t we all like to win the lottery, and buy a house in southern France, or a villa in Mallorca? Wouldn’t we like to escape as well?

Would that make us happy?

Dan Roy doesn’t know what the future holds. He knows he is happy when he can be himself. That is enough, and that is all we can achieve with our lives.

When I am writing about Dan, I am happy too. I guess I couldn’t write if I wasn’t. When trouble and unhappiness come calling, I turn the page and fill the blank page with words.

My readers are also important. I write what I enjoy obviously, but when readers enjoy it, that adds a superlative dimension that makes it all worthwhile.

I do a lot of my writing late at night, when the kids are in bed. Readers are like the stars in the night sky when I walk out into the garden. Looking up at them gives me a sense of wonder, and energy.

I go back up to my study, fingers flying on the keyboard.

Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week! @beckvalleybooks

Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs…
Monday
Life as Leels | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble | All Romance Reader
Tuesday
It’s My Side of Life | Celticlady’s Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures | Bound 2 Escape
Wednesday
Beck Valley BooksA Library of Reviews | Cinnamon Hollow Reviews
Thursday
Miki’s Hope | Taking Time for Mommy | Nicki’s Nook
Friday
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance | A Bit Bookish | Mother Distracted | Colorimetry
Saturday
Totally Addicted to Reading | 3 Partners in Shopping | Angie’s Angle I Creat Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings
Sunday
Lynchburg Mama | LibriAmoriMieiAli – The Dragon Slayer | Wondermom WannabeMy Bizzy World |
Deal Sharing Aunt 

For Pre-orders post – PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author

For New Releases post – NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post – FREE / genre / title / author / end date
For Bargain Books post – SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!



Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here

Come back and check out the new selection every week x




#BlogTour #Extract ~ Three Weddings and a Scandal by @Wendy_Holden @HoZ_Books @Suzepr

A delicious new series from one of Britain’ s funniest novelists, starring a hapless journalist going undercover during wedding season.

She’ll need a triple-barrelled name for the castle one.

She’ll need a gallon of glitter for the woodland one.

She’ll need a lobster-shaped hat for the Shoreditch one.

Laura Lake longs to be a journalist. Instead she’s an unpaid intern at a glossy magazine sleeping in the fashion cupboard and living on canapés. But she’s just got her first big break: infiltrate three society weddings and write a juicy exposé.

Security will be tighter than a bodycon dress, but how hard can it be? Cue disappearing brides, demanding socialites and a jealous office enemy who will do anything to bring her down…

Amazon UK

About the Author

Number one bestselling author Wendy Holden was a journalist on Tatler, the Sunday Times, and the Mail on Sunday before becoming an author. She has since written ten consecutive Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers. She lives in Derbyshire.

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Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings

The heaps of flowers next door to all this were more numerous than anywhere else in the office. No prizes for guessing whose desk this was.
To Harriet, with love from Karl
To Harriet, with love from Miuccia
To Harriet, with love from Stella

The fashion editor did not seem to run an especially tight sartorial ship. The department was a mess. All over the desk and on the floor, designer carrier bags were tangled up with tissue paper, bubble wrap and shoes. More mess spilled from the open door of a small room nearby. Laura peered in.
It was piled with great heaps of clothes and looked like a fashion avalanche, or perhaps a landfill site bristling with famous logos. She moved on, glad that clearing it up wouldn’t be her responsibility.
The bank of desks in the middle of the office were the only ones that seemed to be used for actual work. No one sent the people here any flowers. The desks were covered with printouts of magazine pages. This must be where the sub-editors sat, the writers of headlines and checkers of facts. Here was a cover mock-up. A blonde in a big red coat beamed out above a coverline that read: ‘HOW TO WEAR THE NEW STATEMENT GOAT’.

Someone had crossed out the G, put a C above it and scribbled, ‘Whoever did this is fucking fired. Carinthia’.
Grinning, Laura slid the cover aside. Some girls with large teeth, tiaras and black leather jackets looked out haughtily from a photograph. The accompanying piece was about three heiresses who all dressed in identical clothes. How lame, Laura thought. She had much better ideas than that.

Beneath it was an article about how fencing was fashionable.
Four superior-looking youths in tight white breeches stood holding their masks and foils. This didn’t seem terribly original to Laura either. It also brought back a horrid memory.
That first term at St Margaret’s. She had fallen foul of Clemency Makepeace immediately, although completely by accident. One night, walking into the dormitory they shared, Laura had found Clemency savagely pillow-beating one of the room’s other occupants, a new girl like herself called Ella.
The weeping Ella, her thick glasses shattered on the carpet before her, was being held by Kate, the fourth girl in the dormitory, and, like Clemency, an older girl.
Laura had not paused to think. Her instinct, to grab Clemency by the hair and smash her face into the wall, was one she followed to the letter. It marked the end of Clemency’s campaign against Ella and began the one against Laura herself. Word soon got around the school of how the all-dominant school bully had been shown up by a new girl, and that funny, skinny French one at that.
As the vicious attacks began, no one, not even Ella, came to Laura’s rescue. Fear of Clemency and her henchwomen was too great. Laura fought back as best she could but made no complaint to the teachers. There was no point; authority was always on Clemency’s side. When not snarling and beating Laura, she sat in the front of the class paying wide-eyed attention and answering questions in a highpitched little-girl voice. The teachers loved her.
As the campaign against her stepped up, Laura got used to finding her bed soaked with cold water and her clothes serving as bedding for the school’s rabbits and hamsters.

Efforts to track down missing shoes led to lateness, for which she was punished. As, at roll call, the housemistress rebuked her, Laura would see, out of the corner of her eye, Clemency smirking.
Trying to keep out of her way, Laura had taken up obscure pastimes. Fencing was one of them. The sport had been started at St Margaret’s under the auspices of a housemistress who had been in the national team. Once it was known that Laura had an especial aptitude for it, Clemency struck. Literally.
It had all happened so quickly. One moment she stood in her fencing whites, reaching for her mask. The next, she felt a sharp bite of pain in her face. Raising her hand in its protective glove, Laura was shocked to see red blood running between the fingers, soaking the white fabric.

She pulled off the glove and touched her cheek. It felt swollen, wet. She could feel the blood pulsing out and taste its brassy flavour on her lips.
Laura had thought herself alone in the sports hall, but she saw now that she was not. Retreating, sabre in hand, was a masked figure, also in fencing whites. The black mesh meant that identification was impossible, but as the figure turned, Laura caught a glimpse of auburn hair tucked into a collar.
Then darkness swirled over her eyes and she fell.
She woke to find herself in bed. Not in her usual dormitory, but in a small white room by herself. Her face throbbed and felt heavy. She raised a hand; her cheek was thickly padded.
She was no longer in fencing whites but the pyjamas Mimi had sent her. They had Eiffel Towers and poodles on them.
Laura stared at the poodles.
‘And how are you feeling?’
She looked up into the friendly gaze of Matron. ‘Someone slashed me in the face.’

Matron gasped. ‘Of course they didn’t! You blacked out just as you were putting your mask on. You fell on the sabre blades in the rack.’
‘I didn’t!’ Laura protested, raising herself up. ‘And I couldn’t have done anyway. The blades point down, not up.’
‘Well, one of them was upright.’
‘Who found me?’ Laura asked. There was more than one way of approaching this mystery.
‘Clemency Makepeace,’ Matron said fondly. ‘She raised the alarm, the dear girl. She was awfully shocked herself, poor thing. But very helpful. She found the sabre that you fell on. Apparently it was absolutely covered in blood.’
Laura jumped, jerked rudely back into the present as someone now entered the office. She hoped it was Carinthia.
To be alone in the office with the editor would be a wonderful opportunity. She could present some of her ideas.
It was not Carinthia, however, but a slight, tanned girl in a leather waistcoat and denim miniskirt. With her side-parted
dark hair in a single plait which ended in a neon-pink feather, there was something of the squaw about her. Dreamcatcher earrings and brown gladiator sandals completed the look, along with a great heap of dry-cleaning.
Laura took a deep breath and gave the girl a broad smile.
‘Hi. I’m Laura Lake. I’m the intern.’
The girl nodded. ‘I’m Demelza. Carinthia’s assistant.’
‘I thought she was called Xanthe.’
‘Xanthe was the one before me. None of us last long.
Working for Carinthia’s like being married to Henry VIII.’
‘Surely it’s not that bad,’ Laura said brightly. Demelza chuckled. ‘You’ll find out.’ She snapped off the elastic band around the post and began to open it. ‘Just watch out for The Gaze.’

‘The Gaze?’
‘Kind of a freezing thousand-yard stare. If you get that, you’re in trouble.’
Laura immediately resolved never to get it. ‘Where should I sit?’ she asked.
‘What department are you?’
Laura did not hesitate. ‘Features,’ she said firmly.
‘Oh well, here’s your answer!’ Demelza said cheerfully.
‘The features editor’s just come in!’

Laura turned, and looked. And blinked, disbelieving. It could not be true. Please let it not be true!
‘God, how bad was the Tube this morning?’ exclaimed the familiar, breathy, little-girl voice. Clemency was busy shrugging off a tiny gold leather jacket. She hadn’t yet glanced at Laura.
Laura was still struggling to gather her wits. It felt as if her brain had blown up and the pieces were floating back down only slowly. Clemency Makepeace, her long red hair flowing glossily over her shoulders, was the Society features editor?
The disappointment was shattering. It was as if a plug had been pulled and all Laura’s happiness and excitement had drained out. Her heart banged painfully in her chest and the scar on her cheek burned and throbbed.
The smell of the flowers rose overpoweringly up her nose.
The room started to whirl. She gripped the edge of the desk.
She would not faint! She stared at the spinning carpet, willing it to stop. She wouldn’t let this stop her. She had overcome so much already. What could a school bully from years ago do to hurt her now?
Clemency was looking at her, she could feel it. ‘Who’s this?’ asked the breathy little voice.
Laura looked up, pushing back her hair to reveal her face, plastering on the calmest smile she could. This was the moment.
It was an anti-climax, however. The green stare that met hers looked merely bored. Clemency had not recognised her!
‘Your new intern,’ Demelza said cheerfully.
‘My new intern?’ Clemency sounded put out. ‘Carinthia never said anything.’
‘Carinthia never does.’
‘Name?’ Clemency glared at Laura, whose mind was whirling. As Clemency had no idea who she was, might she somehow remain anonymous? Invent a nickname?
‘Laura Lake,’ Demelza helpfully put in.
The green eyes flexed in shock. ‘Laura Lake? It can’t be!’
‘Hey,’ said Demelza, delighted. ‘You two know each other?’
‘We were at school together,’ Laura managed, as Clemency remained silent.
‘How great is that? Aw, look at Clemency! She literally can’t speak, she’s so thrilled.’ Demelza’s fond expression now changed to one of panic. She gave a sharp gasp. ‘Someone’s put poppies in Carinthia’s office! She thinks red flowers are common. She’ll freak.’
The executive assistant hurried off.
Laura turned to Clemency. ‘So,’ she said, brightly.
‘So what?’ Clemency snarled, conclusively abandoning the fetching lisp.
It wasn’t an especially promising start, but Laura was determined to try. ‘So perhaps we can put school behind us?
It’s a long time ago, after all. Let bygones be bygones and all that.’ It seemed to her a magnanimous offer; she had been the injured party after all. Quite literally, and on many occasions.
Clemency did not reply. Hopefully she was considering the suggestion.

#BlogTour #Extract ~ The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas @Gilbster1000 @AuthorightUKPR

I’m finishing up the blog tour today .. this looks such an interesting book that I have agreed to review it at a later date because I physically haven’t had time to do it in time for the tour! 

It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of. Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and doting grandparents. Now, if family life isn’t tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.

Amazon UK

About the Author

Monika Jephcott Thomas grew up in Dortmund Mengede, north-west Germany. She moved to the UK in 1966, enjoying a thirty year career in education before retraining as a therapist. Along with her partner Jeff she established the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy in order to support the twenty per cent of children who have emotional, behavioural, social and mental health problems by using play and the creative Arts. A founder member of Play Therapy UK, Jephcott Thomas was elected President of Play Therapy International in 2002. In 2016 her first book Fifteen Words was published.

Website

Extract

MAX

Just as Erika has struggled to relate to Max, so Max has struggled to relate to the daughter, whose first five years of life he has missed. However, in this extract we see the first flicker of a bond with her, ironically, when he has to leave her at a children’s home for four weeks. Netta has no idea she will be left there by her father. Her ‘internment’ there sparks connections in Max’s mind with his own time spent in a Siberian labour camp. And little does he know how his daughter will be abused in the home, as he was in the camp.

The sign was in German, English and Russian.

Max saw Netta craning her neck up to look at it and the Cyrillic he recognised there made his skin crawl. They were only going an hour across the water to the holiday island of Sylt, but suddenly Max was filled with a sense of dread, as if he was standing on the rimy edge of the Barents Sea again, looking out at the single storey wooden structure standing on stilts out in the grey water. His hospital for the four years he was a prisoner. Where he had to tend to the sick and injured with nothing but aspirin for pain and coal for diarrhoea, vascular clamps made from bits of wire fence and a piece of leather to bite on for anaesthetic.

‘Come on, Papa, let’s go!’ Netta said, yanking him back towards the car.

He instinctively resisted. If he didn’t, he felt he would never be able to return from that island. That place of isolation.

‘Papa!’

His daughter’s voice penetrated his misted mind and told him he was not in Gegesha anymore. There were never any little girls in Gegesha, so he couldn’t possibly be there.

He blinked, looked down and saw her; smiled to smooth away the anxiety clouding her face and hurried to the car.

Once on the water he breathed in the warm salty air and toasted his face against the sun. He caught his daughter copying his movements: a big breath in, eyes scrunched up against the light. He chuckled quietly to himself. She copied this too.

The home was in a small town on the northernmost tip of the island. When they drove up to the imposing slab of a mansion, a group of gaunt children were on their way out, led by their antithesis, a gargantuan matron who seemed to be made up of a collection of spheres: a globe of a head, a very planet of a body, and two massive orbs for breasts. Even her ankles had been replaced with rondures connecting her considerable calves to her feet, which seemed to be the only slender thing about her, flattened no doubt under the weight of the solar system piled upon them.

‘Ah, you must be Herr Portner?’ she wheezed and, far from worrying about enlightening her with his proper title, Max was more concerned with the implications if this woman was meant to be an ambassador for the healing powers of the sea air in Sylt. ‘And you must be Netta?’ she said to the little girl, who had already ejected herself from the car, and was pulling on every reserve of will power she had lest she dart off towards the vast expanse of sand beckoning to her on the other side of the promenade and risk the return of the wrath of her father.

‘How does she know my name?’ she whispered to her papa.

‘The tide is out so we were all just going out for a walk along the beach. Perhaps Netta would like to join us?’

Despite her awesome size, the lady seemed nice enough to Netta. And a whole bunch of kids to play with on the beach too! This was a pleasant surprise, but she didn’t know any of them yet, so she turned to her papa to make sure he was coming too.

#BlogTour #Extract ~ The Accident by Dawn Goodwin @DGoodwinAuthor @Aria_Fiction

A tragic accident, an unbearable loss and a marriage in crisis – but who can she trust or is she all alone? A gripping, debut psychological thriller that will keep you hooked. Perfect for the fans of Paula Hawkins and S.J. Watson.

Veronica Pullman’s comfortable suburban life comes to a shuddering halt when her young daughter, Grace, tragically dies in a car accident.

Months later, unable to come to terms with her daughter’s death, detached from her husband and alienated from her friends and family, a chance encounter on a rainy street pushes her into an unlikely new friendship.

Scarlet is everything Veronica could’ve been: feisty, adventurous, unpredictable. But as she approaches what would have been Grace’s 10th birthday, it becomes clear to Veronica that the friendship she thought was saving her life could be costing her everything.

Consumed by grief and left questioning her own sanity, is there anyone she can really trust or is someone out to torment her as part of their twisted game?

Available on Netgalley

Buy links:  Amazon UK  Kobo  Google Play  iTunes

About the Author

Dawn’s career has spanned PR, advertising and publishing. Now, she loves to write about the personalities hiding behind the masks, whether beautiful or ugly. Married, she lives in London with her two daughters and a British bulldog called Geoffrey.

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Extract

Veronica

A week passed and I saw nothing of Scarlet, but I wore a cloak of shame and self-recriminations for days, paranoid as I was over my drunken behaviour. My fragile ego got a lot of mileage out of it. Tom was hardly around that week. We had eaten in silence that evening in front of the television blaring a news programme full of sadness and destruction, then I had retreated nauseously to bed while he pretended there was more he wanted to watch. Although he had acted as normal the next morning, even stopping to tease me about my hangover while on his way out the door to work, he had a busy week and spent more time than ever at the hospital, which suited me fine as I couldn’t look him in the eye after my embarrassing seduction routine had failed. I felt a wave of queasiness every time I thought about it.

I could feel myself retreating again. My brief brush with friendship had been a welcome change to the norm and I had really enjoyed spending time with Scarlet, someone who couldn’t compare me to who I was before, but she would probably not want anything to do with me after the other day. I can’t remember her being as drunk as me. God knows what she must’ve thought.

Then Friday rolled around with a lack of purpose. I had no idea what I would do with myself, apart from clean away more imaginary dust and lie on the couch watching reality TV stars embarrass themselves in the name of entertainment.

That morning, I got up as usual, dressed for a run and kissed Tom goodbye like a dutiful wife as he headed out. I opened the door, then returned to the kitchen to grab a bottle of water and some headphones. Behind me, I heard Felicity call my name.

‘Hey stranger.’

I fought the urge to close the door in her face.

‘Hi.’

‘You going for a run? I’m heading out too – we could go together.’ She was already stretching her arms above her head. The whole idea filled me with dread and made me want to crawl back to bed, especially since our last few meetings had been awkward to say the least.

‘I… er… I promised a friend I would go to the gym with her,’ I answered vaguely.

‘Really? Which friend?’

‘Just someone I met last week. She thinks more exercise would do me good, so I’m going to try a class with her.’

‘She’s right, of course. Didn’t I tell you that? Well, she sounds interesting – we should meet up some time.’

‘Sure, yeah.’

An uncomfortable silence fell between us as Felicity began to stretch her hamstrings in her brightly coloured leggings, never once taking her eyes off me.

‘Right, well, I… er… I better get my stuff together,’ I said, starting to back into the house.

‘Fine, another time then,’ she said, her voice now tense.

I closed the door on her and leant against it with my eyes closed. Pulling off my running shoes, I left them lying in the middle of the carpet before heading into the lounge. The curtains were open and blades of sunlight carved up the walls, but all I focused on was the soft couch, the comfortable-looking cushions and the beige quietness of the room. I lay down with my face in a cushion, steadying my breathing and shutting the world out.

Minutes passed, but I lay where I was, not moving, struggling to pull in breaths through the fabric of the cushion, but perversely enjoying the suffocation.

All at once, I had the overwhelming feeling that someone was in the room with me. My skin prickled as though eyes were tiptoeing over my skin. It took me a minute to react, scared of who I would see, but close behind the fear was hope that I would see her.

I slowly lifted my head and looked towards the lounge doorway, but it was empty, the room quiet, the air unmoved. I wanted to weep at the flood of disappointment that washed over me and I went to bury my face again, but heard a subtle noise in the hallway, the scuff of a door or a shoe perhaps.

This time it was pure fear that prickled through me. Was there someone in the house? Had I closed the front door properly behind me? Was the back door locked?

I lay still and quiet, my ears reaching above the sound of my pulse. But there was nothing to hear. The feeling of being watched dissipated, replaced by doubt at whether I had heard anything at all.

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#BlogTour #Spotlight ~ Awoke by K.T. Conte @ktlristina @iReadBookTours

Book Title: Awoke (The Want Series) by K.T. Conte

Category: YA Fiction; 324 pages

Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Publisher: SugarCane Publishing

Release date: October 2017

Content Rating: PG-13 (mainly bad language)

Katya leads a normal life any teenager would be envious of – popular, pretty and dating the high school elite. Not she enjoys the spotlight, mind you. She wants everyone to believe she is normal.

But when Katya sees the real reason behind the earthquakes plaguing everyone in Boston, the truth rattles and shatters the perfect normal illusion Katya created for herself. An ability to see unearthly creatures and manipulate waves of life energy labels her as anything but normal. And it’s an ability that attracts unwanted and dangerous attention.

She reluctantly finds herself in the company of Gregor, a handsome member of an international spirit military team called the Kyrios. Her simple decision to help thrusts Katya in a world of the undead spirits, betrayal and a perpetual battle between undead monsters and the wardens that keep them in their place.

Katya must decide whether she values the simple and easy life she created for herself over the complex and difficult world now asking her to stand and fight.

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Meet the Author

K.T. Conte is a lover of books, people and all things wild and crazy. She received her B.A. in English from Boston College and her law degree from Suffolk University Law School. While she has and continues to be a licensed attorney, her first love has always been books from the tender age of 2. Originally from Massachusetts, K.T. currently lives in New York City with the monsters in the closet, her husband Everett, a couple of building fairies and her dog, Champ.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

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#BlogTour #Extract ~ The Second Son by Andy Blackman @Gilbster1000 @AuthorightUKPR

As the second son of the Duke of Hampshire, Grenville St John Hampton isn’t likely to inherit his family’s title or estate, leaving him pondering an empty, aimless future. During the summer break from university, he impulsively decides to go backpacking with one of his oldest friends, Johnathan; their destination is Belize.

One sultry night on the Central American coastline, Grenville and Johnathan meet Tom. A game of darts takes a vicious turn. Realising he has nothing to look forward to back at home, Grenville decides to stay on in Belize with Tom, in pursuit of adventure. Together, the new friends establish an import business, and for the rst time in his life, Grenville has a sense of purpose.

But back in England all is not well. The sudden death of his brother leaves Grenville with an unexpected – and now unwanted – inheritance, with new consequences and responsibilities. He will return to claim the family’s seat with a dark secret in tow.

Andy Blackman is the author of For the Love of Grace (published by Clink Street, 2016).

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About the Author

After serving in the British Army for over twenty-five years in the Parachute Regiment, Andy Blackman today lives in Bedworth, Warwickshire and works within in the IT sector. In his spare time he can be found visiting his three daughters and grandchildren. His previous novel, For the Love of Grace, was published in 2016.

Extract

This is where Grenville find out about Tom and his secret, and decides to help Tom in his quest, once he has returned to England.

When Tom returned, Grenville was staring out into space with tears in his eyes. He turned to Tom and said, “My dear chap, I had no idea. You don’t know how sorry I am.”

Tom waved it off and said, “It’s who I am and the way I am.”

Grenville nodded and said, “I totally understand.”

Grenville asked Tom, “So what happened after you left Odessa?”

Tom said, “We found out the two-people involved in the assassination attempt on my uncle had fled Odessa on board a ship bound for Belize, so the hunt for those involved started here. As Uncle Ivor was shipping out to here, I tagged along, Max was the family contact in Belize and he found me this place. The rest, as they say, is history.”

Grenville asked, “What happened to S&T Imports?”

“Well, technically it’s still trading,” said Tom. “We registered it under Russian law, so it’s still a viable company.”

“Good, good,” said Grenville.

Tom looked at Grenville, and Grenville could see by Tom’s puzzled expression that he was confused. “Don’t worry,” said Grenville, “I have a brilliant plan, just need to work out some details.”

Over the next few days Grenville and Tom worked on the plan. As the pieces fell into place Tom was impressed with Grenville’s enthusiasm and flair; Tom in a million years would never have thought of half the things Grenville was suggesting. Then again, he had known one other person like that many years ago; this brought a smile to his face.

“So,” said Grenville finally to Tom, “first things first, once I am back in the UK I will register S&T imports as a private company and register it in the UK. I will also open a UK bank account for S&T Imports which we both can add and withdraw funds from, and with the money we have already, and the money we will make, we will create a world class import and export business, delivering worldwide, above the radar or under the radar, depending what the client wants. We will become the name to be trusted to deliver anything anytime anywhere, and as we build we will expand. In the shadows, I will create a clandestine operation to rival any top government intelligence agencies. I will employ the very best programmers and analysts; none will know the whole picture, or what they are doing; as far as they know, it will all be working towards the import and export business, but only you and I will know the real reason for S&T Imports. As you pass me a name, I can find them, check them and pass on their profile within months, possibly weeks, or even days, and ‘hey presto’, we are in business. What you think then, Tom?”

Tom stared at Grenville and realised he was not joking he was serious and started to believe Grenville’s commitment.

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