#BlogBlitz #Excerpt ~ Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager @KrystenLindsay @NeverlandBT #Giveaway

Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager
YA contemporary
Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

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About the Author

Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2), and Dating the It Guy. Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Best Sellers award. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Grand Blanc View, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

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Excerpt 4

He put the magazine between us, and when I moved forward to see it, he put his arm across the back of my chair. Now lots of guys did put their arms on chair backs, even Kirk did that with Rory, and he definitely wasn’t interested in her, but I couldn’t help but hope it meant something. I got this shivery feeling, and he asked if I was cold. I shook my head. I always got a feeling before something major was about to happen, and it has nothing to do with being cold, but I didn’t know why I got the feeling. Grandma used to do the same thing and always said, “Somebody just walked across my grave.” Somehow I didn’t think Brendon would understand if I told him I needed to move my future burial plot to a less high-traffic area.
“Are we still on for the art fair?” he asked.
I had only been circling it with hearts on my calendar since he asked.
“Sure, I think I’m still free,” I said.
We finished up our work, and he walked me out to meet Kylie.
“Okay, I’ll pick you up at three tomorrow,” he said, walking off.
“Can I ask a stupid question?” Kylie asked as soon as Brendon was out of earshot. “What’s he like? Because he’s so well-known, and I can’t imagine what it’d be like to grow up with your whole life under a microscope. I mean, my mom remembers his first birthday party pictures being shown on the news. And he’s hot, but he’s not like I-know-I’m-a-hottie hot, but more like a confident, ‘Yes, I am hot. Any questions?’ I mean, he has to have noticed there aren’t any guys who look like him walking around.”
“I should tell him what you said.”
“Don’t you dare,” Kylie said.
“I get what you mean—he’s grown up with everybody knowing his dad and watching him, but he’s pretty down to earth.”
“So what’s up with you two? You guys didn’t do any work last Saturday, and now you’re going to an art fair.”
“I dunno. He just asked me to go with him.”
“Asked you to go with him as his study buddy or asked you to go with him because he’s desperately in love with you?” she asked.
I said we were just friends, but she wouldn’t let it go.
“Okay, duh, obviously I like him, but let’s be honest. He’s out of my league. He’s out of most people’s league. It’s weird because normally if I like a guy then one of two things happens—either he likes me and asks for my number…or I find out he’s not into me and I cry in my pillow and listen to man-hating music for at least three days,” I said. “But this time’s different because he’s, I dunno, not just ‘some guy.’ I mean, I’m not putting up a shrine to him in my room, and I haven’t rooted though his garbage can, but I have as much chance of going out with him as Kirk does of getting an ‘A’ in this class.”
“You listen to man-hating music?” she asked, and I narrowed my eyes at her. “Whatever. Anyway, Em, he’s asked you out once already, and you are seeing him tomorrow. Plus, he’s always staring at you.”
I said he was probably just bored in class today, but she wouldn’t let it go.
“I’m not just talking about today. When we watched the movie on Monday, he watched you instead, and whenever I see you guys, he acts like there’s no one else in the room,” she said.
I couldn’t hold back the big, stupid smile spreading across my face. “He does? For real?”
She nodded. “You know, it’s weird. Here you were all upset you didn’t have a partner at the beginning of the semester, and then you ended up with like, Mr. Perfection, as your partner.”

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Praise for Dating the It Guy

“Dating the It Guy is an entertaining story that is as absorbing as it is hilarious.” Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers’ Favorite

“A satisfying YA romance that is really about growing up and learning how to deal with life.” Writing Pearls book review blog

“There is so much to love about this book. Krysten Lindsay Hager knows how teens think and speak, and she understands why Emme would feel overwhelmed by everything about Brendon – his looks, his popularity, his feelings for her, his exes, his family.” Vox libris: the voice of books book review blog

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#BlogTour #Extract ~ 88˚ North by J.F.Kirwan @kirwanjf @NeverlandBT

Would you kill your loved one to save the world?

The world’s most-wanted terrorist is on the loose, and this time the threat is global. To stop him, Nadia infiltrates his organization, from the triads of Hong Kong, to the refugee-smugglers of Sudan, to the Mafia gangs running oil platforms in Sakhalin. But in the end, she must travel to the top of the world and confront her sworn enemy on the Arctic ice, where she will face a terrible choice.

Amazon UK

About the Author 

J. F. Kirwan is the author of the Nadia Laksheva thriller series for HarperCollins. Having worked in accident investigation and prevention in nuclear, offshore oil and gas and aviation sectors, he uses his experience of how accidents initially build slowly, then race towards a climax, to plot his novels. An instructor in both scuba diving and martial arts, he travels extensively all over the world, and loves to set his novels in exotic locations. He is also an insomniac who writes in the dead of night. His favourite authors include Lee Child, David Baldacci and Andy McNab.

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Nadia was led outside by Blue Fan, where four armed men awaited her, which seemed a trifle excessive. The road was quiet, except for the night breeze rustling the trees. Salamander and Jake were gone. The hazy lights of a beach – Repulse Bay, she reckoned, the only true beach on the island – beckoned far below.

Blue Fan walked up to her, close. ‘If you make it to the beach, you live.’

‘Bullshit,’ Nadia said. ‘It will look better for the headlines if I’m shot in the back fleeing the crime scene.’

‘You make it to the beach, you live. Our code, remember?’

‘Salamander doesn’t live by a code. He twists the rules any way that suits him.’

Blue Fan seemed to consider this for a moment. ‘I am not my grandfather. You will have a five second head start.’

Nadia scanned the bushes and trees descending at a thirty-degree angle to the beach, five hundred metres below. Dense vegetation. Almost no light. There would be roads crossing her path every now and again. It was a chance, a slim one. And there was one good reason to try.


She turned back to the four men. Three of them looked eager for the hunt, removing their jackets, revealing heavily-tattooed torsos and arms. The fourth one stood back. At his feet was a long holdall. A sniper rifle. Just in case. There was an open, flat stretch of land between the tree line and Repulse Bay. He’d have a clear shot.

She spoke to Blue Fan. ‘If we meet again, just bear in mind that for me, there are no rules.’

‘Everyone follows rules. Most are not aware of the rules they follow. Now, run, Nadia Laksheva. Run for your life. One.’

Nadia sprinted across the tarmac into thick bush, ducking just in time beneath a low hanging branch. In her head, she counted. Two. She tripped over a root, and tried to roll in the soft earth and leaves, but ended up sliding on her front. Three. She got up and start running again. Four. Taking large, loping strides, each one threatening to twist her ankle on treacherous undergrowth, she thought about alternative tactics: lying low, climbing a tree, breaking off to the left or right. No. The quickest route to life was a straight line. Five. She heard the thrashing of the three men entering the bushes behind her, their footfalls thumping the ground. They probably knew this terrain, and would spread out in case she was stupid enough to hide.

The headlamps of a car rounding a bend lit up the foliage below, and a clearer passage emerged to the left. She bolted for it. Darkness flooded in again, but the route was etched on her retinas, and she ran as fast as she could. Suddenly she spilled onto asphalt, an empty road, her knees buckling as she hit solid terrain. No cars, just the men closing on her. A high-pitched pfft sound to her right announced a bullet from a silenced weapon. She dashed for the other side of the road and dived into the bushes.

She rolled the way she’d been taught, knowing that at this speed, if she hit a tree trunk, she’d be stunned long enough for them to catch her. But she came up on her feet and continued, arms in front of her in a crude triangle, hands in front of her head. A thick branch whacked her ribs, making her spin around, but she kept her balance. She kept her arms up. Protect the head, always. That’s what the Chef had taught her. She heard the whine of a motorcycle, maybe a local on his way home on the road she’d just crossed. But Salamander’s men were already charging through the bushes behind her. She had maybe another four hundred metres to go. She wasn’t going to make it. Not even close.

She kept running.

A second pfft told her they were trying to down her in the woods before she reached the next road, so that became her goal. Just make it to the road. A branch exploded to her left, so she began zigging and zagging. Maybe if she was lucky, she’d hit the road just as the motorbike was coming along it, and maybe … Too many maybe’s.

Just fucking run!

She spotted the white lines of the road through a gap in the trees, and pushed off for one final sprint, but the next bullet found her left shoulder and sent her sprawling forward. Her hands instinctively went down to brace against the fall, and a branch struck her in the face. It felt like she’d been punched on the nose, and she tumbled out of the woods, her head smacking onto the warm tarmac.

Through ringing ears, she heard the motorbike’s engine, the driver braking, crunching through the gears. She crawled towards the white line, her final goal. She touched it. If she was killed here, bleeding, wounded, at least somebody might ask why a kill shot had been necessary. A seed of doubt before the investigation was closed. She imagined the headline. Russian assassin-bitch gets what she deserves.

Shoes skidded to a halt in the dirt. The men didn’t venture onto the road. Of course, three men chasing an unarmed, wounded woman would look suspicious. They’d either have to leave her, or kill the motorcyclist if he stopped. She heard the crackle of static followed by a low, urgent voice. One of the men was asking Blue Fan what to do.

The motorbike was slowing. She regretted it. An innocent passer-by was going to be killed.

The men stepped out into the road, fanning around her. She looked up into the glare of the headlamp, unable to see the rider, the motorbike’s engine humming calmly.

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#BlogTour #Extract ~ Making The Difference by Kathryn Haydon #Giveaway @BrookCottageBks

Genre: Medical romance

Release Date: January 2017 (e-book format) & March 2017 (print format); both available via

Publisher: Mezzanotte

Single mum, Phoebe Jackson is stunned to find her new neighbour is hot, new doc Oliver Grey – locum consultant for Greenways Hospice where she is a specialist palliative care nurse. At their first encounter sparks fly, but soon there are sparks of a different sort. However, Oliver makes it clear from the outset that he’s not a settling down kind of guy. Having a family is not for him. Phoebe must decide if a summer romance is enough – or can true love change his mind?

BUY LINKS  Mezzanotte  Amazon UK  Amazon US




Hello readers, pleased to meet you and have this chance to introduce myself. I am a West Country author; indeed, the red earth of Devon is steeped in my bones. I write under the pen name of Kathryn Haydon – Haydon as a nod to my mother (it was her maiden name) and Kathryn for no other reason than it flows well!

From as far back as I remember, I’ve loved to write and always hoped to be published ‘one day’ – but, as all writers know, the road to publication is a tough one and it’s taken me a while. Although short story competition wins, not least the Crediton Courier prize in June 2016, felt good, publishing a novel remained elusive. However, in January 2017, my dream was realised. What a thrill to see ‘Making the Difference’ launched via, first as an e-book and later, March 2017, in print format. A big thank you to Bettina at Mezzanotte for all her support and guidance along the way.

What were the highlights as I worked steadily though my six- month contract with Mezzanotte, bringing my book to completion? There were several, starting (of course) with Bettina’s email stating that she liked my synopsis and first three chapters – and could I please send her the rest. You bet I could; in fact, I couldn’t send the remaining chapters off fast enough! The thing that stands out most, though, is the excitement I felt on being involved in choice of my book’s dust jacket. A real ‘wow’ moment, especially as I love it!

Why choose the medical romance genre? Well, they say write what you know and I am a retired nurse. So, it made sense to use a medical setting as the backdrop for my story. Also, I remain passionate about good palliative care; it really does make the difference. So, if you’re looking for something new – a ‘feel good’ book to curl up with on a winter evening by a cosy log fire, perhaps – then look no further.


“I like you, Phoebe Jackson – very much.” Placing a finger on her lips, Oliver silenced her. “If we take things any further it’s your call. Only before you make that decision you need to know something. I don’t do families, or long-term commitment. I’m a man who can’t offer roses round the door and a happy ever after ending. So, if that’s what you’re looking for, never say I didn’t warn you.”

Feeling her cheeks flame, Phoebe gasped. Stepping back smartly, she broke Oliver’s hold, head held high.

“I think you’d better go,” she hissed, keeping her voice low because of her son sleeping upstairs. “Though, for the record, aren’t you getting a little ahead of yourself, Oliver? I’m content with my life the way it is. Noah and I are fine on our own. It would take a really special kind of guy to make me even consider changing the status quo. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve already got roses round my door!”

“Hell, Phoebe, I didn’t mean – – -” Cursing under his breath, he reached for her.

Fending him off, Phoebe’s eyes blazed.

“What exactly did you mean, Oliver? I’m not sure.” Her voice was saccharine sweet. “Are you suggesting, since we live in such close proximity, that you pop round for a spot of sex whenever the mood takes, no strings attached? We are both single, how very convenient. I’m afraid you’ll have to let me get back to you on that one. I haven’t had much experience of playing the hussy.”

“Phoebe, be a gown up. I’m moving on after the summer.” Oliver gave her a hard look. “We both know that. I’m not into making promises I can’t keep.”

‘Making the Difference’ is waiting for you, with an ending that won’t disappoint.

I’ve enjoyed writing Oliver and Phoebe’s story very much. I hope you have equal pleasure reading it.

Very best wishes,

Kathryn Haydon.



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#BlogTour #PromoPost ~ The Season For Love by M.W. Arnold @mick859 @rararesources

Believing she was responsible for the death of her husband, Chrissie Stewart retreats from all those who love her. A chance meeting with mysterious stranger, single-parent Josh Morgan and his bewitching young daughter Lizzy, breathe new life into her and gradually, she feels able to start to let go of the memory of her lost love. Unexpected links are revealed between the two families that strengthen the growing bonds she feels to this man and with the encouragement of her best friend Annie, herself hiding a hidden conflict from Chrissie, she battles with her demons to believe in her ability to trust and love again. Everything comes to a head on Christmas Day; which all goes to show that this is truly The Season for Love.

Purchase links for The Season For Love

Amazon US Amazon UK  B&N  Bookstrand  Smashwords  Kobo US  Kobo UK

About the Author 

Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England, and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elisabeth II in the Royal Air Force, before putting down roots, and realising how much he missed the travel. This, he’s replaced somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and writing a regular post at the blog site.

He’s the proud keeper of a cat bent on world domination, is mad on the music of the Beach Boys and enjoys the theatre and humouring his Manchester United supporting wife. Finally, and most importantly, Mick’s a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, with the forthcoming publication of his debut novel The Season for Love.

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#BlogTour #Extract ~ Blackmail, Sex and Lies by Kathryn McMaster @TrueCrimeNovels @rararesources

Blackmail, Sex and Lies is a story of deception, scandal, and fractured traditional Victorian social values. It is the tale of a naïve, young woman caught up in a whirlwind romance with a much older man. However, both have personality flaws that result in poor choices, and ultimately lead to a tragic end.

For 160 years, people have believed Madeleine Smith to have been guilty of murder. But was she? Could she have been innocent after all?

This Victorian murder mystery, based on a true story, takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, 1857. It explores the disastrous romance between the vivacious socialite, Madeleine Hamilton Smith, and her working class lover, Pierre Emile L’Angelier.

After a two-year torrid, and forbidden relationship with L’Angelier, that takes place against her parents’ wishes, the situation changes dramatically when William Minnoch enters the scene. This new man in Madeleine’s life is handsome, rich, and of her social class. He is also a man of whom her family approve.

Sadly, insane jealous rages, and threats of blackmail, are suddenly silenced by an untimely death.

Purchase from  Amazon UK Purchase from  Amazon US

Blackmail, Sex and Lies will be dropped to 99p/c for the duration of the blog tour.

About the Author 

Kathryn McMaster is a writer, entrepreneur, wife, mother, and champion of good indie authors. She co-owns the book promotion company One Stop Fiction , where readers can sign up to receive news of free and discounted 4 and 5 star reviewed books. She is also a bestselling author of historical murder mysteries set in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Her debut novel, “Who Killed Little Johnny Gill?” was well received. All her novels are based on true stories, and she melds fact with fiction, writing in the creative nonfiction style. She lives on her 30 acre farm in the beautiful Casentino Valley, Italy for 6 months of the year, and during the other half of the year, on the small island of Gozo, Malta.

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The novel is based on the true story of the infamous Madeleine Smith. She was a young, vivacious socialite who was accused of murdering her social-climbing, working-class lover, Pierre Emile L’Angelier with the aid of arsenic in Glasgow, 1857. However, this excerpt already casts doubt on the case when we realise that Emile, as he is known, entertains some rather dangerous practices of his own. Here he is setting out a meeting room for the local horticultural society and we are given more clues as to who he really is. Will this dangerous habit the cause of his untimely end, or was it the hand of another?

‘As he brought out the chairs and tables, Emile’s pulse raced with the excitement for the evening ahead. With numerous well-bred women attending this was an opportunity he never passed up. All of them were the type of woman he felt he deserved to be allied to, on the level of society he aspired to attain.

While his thoughts of the various ladies jockeyed for position, William McDougall Ogilvie, assistant bank teller by day, and secretary of the society by night, arrived early to make sure the tables and chairs were set up in good time.

“Ah, Emile my good laddie, how nice to see you again. Is everything under control?”

“Good evening Mr. Ogilvie. Yes, everything’s going according to plan. The room should be ready shortly.”

“Looking forward to the meeting then?”

“Oh yes, as always. I so enjoy mingling with the ladies afterwards.”

“Um, yes, well, I’m looking forward to the talk on Aspidistras tonight. Fascinating plants! And they grow so well indoors. Do you grow any yourself?”

“I wonder if Miss Chatham will be coming this evening. I do hope so. I hear her father’s an excellent surgeon. He’s made quite a name for himself in Dundee, apparently. I think she rather fancies me.”

“Oh, it must be your French accent women find so attractive, L’Angelier.”

“Perhaps. I’ve been thinking of late I should secure myself a wife who’ll help me elevate my position within society. A good marriage is all it’ll take.”

“Quite possibly, but such a marriage would be almost impossible to secure. I wouldn’t advise it. The matters of the heart are complicated enough, without trying to jump class, laddie. Rather stick with the breed you know.”

To Ogilvie’s relief, the conversation turned to safer ground. Emile embarked on an anecdote concerning a journey to France with a person of some distinction. How they had given him charge of all their luggage, carriages, and horses, when he experienced trouble with the horses en route.

“Oh, the journey was quite arduous, actually, especially for the horses. But I found a simple solution which worked exceedingly well,” said Emile as he started setting out the water glasses on the table.

“What was that?” enquired Ogilvie, sounding rather intrigued.

“Well, some of the horses were really knocked up and I gave them some arsenic which made them accomplish the journey.”

“Arsenic? Good Lord! What effect did this have on the horses?”

“It made them long-winded and enabled me to complete the arduous ride with ease.”

“Yes, but weren’t you worried you would end up poisoning them?”

Emile laughed and casually flicked off some imaginary lint from the tablecloth.

“Oh no, not at all. You see, I take it myself.”

“You take it yourself? Laddie, that cannot be true. I certainly wouldn’t like to try it.”

“I’m not suggesting you do, Mr. Ogilvie, but I’ve been taking it for years now, and I’ve suffered no ill-effects at all. It improves the complexion, you know. I used to have pains in my back for many years, and shortness of breath at times from asthma, but that’s all gone now.”

“Really? You can’t ingest it then, surely?”

“I take it a number of ways, but mainly I drink a few grains from time to time in my tea. Here, I’ll show you.”

He walked back to his office, and after a few moments came back with a small envelope to prove his point. He opened it up carefully, and inside was a small amount of brilliant white, crystalline powder.

He closed it up again making sure the arsenic grains stayed well contained.

“I take handfuls of poppy seeds too, quite regularly,” he went on to admit. “I eat them in such large quantities it makes me quite lightheaded, but all rather enjoyable. It does help in this miserable world of ours, don’t you think?”

“Well, I’m surprised you don’t seem to have suffered any ill-effects, if what you say is true. From the arsenic, that is,” said Ogilvie.

“Ill effects? None whatsoever. I recommend it, Ogilvie. Perhaps you should try it, after all.” ‘

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#PublicationDayPush ~ Recluse Millionaire, Reluctant Bride by @sunchara3 @rararesources #BookBoost

Is his reluctant bride a business risk or a personal necessity?

Stan Rogers, recluse millionaire, must negotiate a risky deal with Stella Ryan, the exotic beauty from his past, to gain custody of his son. But how can he close the deal with her, the one and only woman who flips his switches and pegs him as the enemy?

Martial artist Stella knows she should steer clear of Stan, the man who had shattered her heart and could still destroy her. Four years have passed since their hostile business deal, and now, the American financier is proposing holy matrimony…but she’s the reluctant bride wondering, what’s he up to?

Purchase Link – Here

About the Author 

Sun Chara, an Amazon top 100 bestseller, writes sexy, hip ‘n fun contemporary romance for Harper Impulse. JABBIC winner, Manhattan Millionaire’s Cinderella launched her writing career, spinning the ‘global millionaire’s series’. She makes her home in southern California, and has appeared on stage/film to rave reviews in How the Other Half Loves, General Hospital, and McGee and Me. With a Master’s Degree in Education, and membership in SAG/AFTRA and Romance Writers of America, she enjoys sipping designer Frappuccinos topped with whipped cream/sprinkles, and dancing on the beach…making everyday a celebration!

Sun loves to hear from her readers on: Facebook Twitter

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#BlogTour #Poem ~ Sparkling Fountain by Oranmore @AuthorightUKPR @gilbster1000

Sparkling Fountain: Collected Poems

Life and death, conflict and oppression, nature, love, philosophy and faith. The poems of Oranmore resonate with deep, universal themes and are based on real events and poignant personal experiences. From growing up in Ireland to the 100th Birthday of his father — 4th Lord Oranmore and Browne and the longest serving member of The House of Lords — and his travels across the globe, Sparkling Fountain combines both previously published and new poems to create a fine original collection which is a joy for all to read.

Purchase from Amazon UK

About the Author

Oranmore, also known as Dominick Mereworth, is a poet and playwright. He has had numerous anthologies previously published including The Glory of Glories: Inspirational Poetry (Arcturus Press 2005) and has had a number of plays produced on Fringe Theatre London including Seal of Rome in Belfast and I married Madeline as well as others produced in Belfast and Cork. Over the years Dominick has also had short stories published to wide acclaim in national magazines. In addition, he continues to work extensively in the voluntary and charity sector including: Kent Refugee Action Network and Rapid Ireland, he is the president of Celtic Vision and Vice-President for both Veterans in Europe and Montecassino Federation for Remembrance and Reconciliation. His father, 4th Lord Oranmore and Browne, was to date the longest serving member of The House of Lords and Dominick succeeded him in 2002 to become the 5th Baron. Today he lives in London with his family.


You asked me to write a poem,

what do you wish me to say?

Your face is round and radiant,

your laugh contagious most days.

This joy becomes infectious,

from your touch I cannot stay away.

It was you who drew me to you,

with the kiss on the cheeks,

the embrace of the heart,

and the warm hand held in clasp.

Remember the soft cheek you gave

to be kissed with passion sweet.

Then the other, the peach to eat.

So that our love would in friendship meet,

and so to love our minds greet.

Be fair, be just, this is new to me,

to have attention paid by a beauty queen,

above all a heart a passion serene

this affection can only be received,

accepted as genuine fresh leaves.

Then suddenly as a flash of fire,

the temperature changes overnight

to a fierce passionate desire,

not of pure love, a mixed fight

of clenched fist, and teasing

angry feeling runs true, insight

before another devastating freezing

explosion, as she destroys the red roses,

a gift given with sincere feeling.

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#BlogTour #GuestPost ~ A Ragbag of Riches by James Chilton @AuthorightUKPR @gilbster1000

A Ragbag of Riches: An assortment of wordy delights

This collection of quips and quotes creates a book for the bower, the bedside, the bath and for browsing; a book at arm’s length from the deck chair, for the tedium of travel but above all for pleasure.

It is a haphazard collection: the Ragbag covering the rougher, even vulgar (but nevertheless witty) entries of graffiti, newspaper headlines and bumper stickers, the Riches being the poetry, prayers and prose of fine minds that inspire by their beauty, sincerity and sublime use of words. At the lower end, I love the astringency and ability of the authors to poke fun with the sharpness of a red-hot needle. At the top end, silver words and profound wisdom sometimes lead me to tears.

So I invite you to wallow or skip lightly. I hope there is something in this salmagundi to make you smile or catch the affections of your heart; to mingle quiet music with amiable irreverence.

Purchase from  Amazon UK

About the Author

A grandfather of nine and a father of four, James Chilton lives with his wife and two labradors in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. He holds diplomas in Architectural History from Oxford University, in Design and in Plantsmanship from The English Gardening School and a certificate in the Decorative Arts from the Victoria & Albert Museum. Perennially busy, James draws, sculpts, designs gardens and jewellery and is a member of Bart’s Choir. He also a member of the International Dendrology Society and has lectured at the Royal Geographical Society and in Oxford. His first book, The Last Blue Mountain, was published in 2015.

How I put together the compilation

There comes a time when collections, whatever they are, become unmanageable unless you take control of them and this point was reached a couple of years ago when the box, full of loose scraps of paper, a few note books and randomly stuffed envelopes became full to overflowing. Another box or a larger one could have been fatal to good order and the moment was seized by taking the box on a walking holiday in Slovenia. Each evening, helped with a large roll of sellotape, I reviewed this collection, discarding those items that I felt had become too familiar or which time had superseded the interest or humour and then I made an initial grouping sticking the entries together so that they became long lines of motley scribbles, torn pages, postcards and anything that could be employed at the time to remember something that I felt worth adding to the envelopes. Too many sections and some would be too thin, too few and there would not be the separation to ease the reader’s selection. As it turned out, Miscellaneous was the longest section and it could have been much longer were it not for some dubious entries elsewhere. It took a week and then an accomplished typist called Lindsay Johnstone in my home town of Chipping Norton, made an initial typed list.

I regard previous common place books as being rather dry with simple lists of quotations. Part of the fun in compiling these entries was to add a few details of the author – dates, profession and anything of interest in their lives. This was not to overwhelm the quote but to add a little spice; immigrants who had changed their names, others who had had remarkable lives. For instance, James Mason (who made 127 films) had a first class degree in architecture from Cambridge; Spike Milligan held an Irish passport, could speak Gaelic, was educated in Rangoon and wrote a seven volume autobiography. If there was something obscure or even ridiculous, that was a candidate for inclusion – such as unbelievable names of American baseball players or the list of names from which Snow White’s dwarfs were chosen. For further fun, I sent an initial draft to the brilliant cartoonist Kathryn Lamb and asked her illustrate fifty entries of her choosing.

There is nothing original in these entries. It is plagiarism on a considerable scale and as I say in the introduction, the choice is partisan and subjective. Such a miscellany might be regarded as being too personal, even arrogant but so is an autobiography. These inclusions are a declaration of the author’s interests. My interests are many; there is almost nothing that I am not interested in – a product of an education and upbringing that encouraged and had time for exploration down the alleyways of life and literature. I sometimes wish that I knew more about less. This random nature has given this collection its overall lack of discrimination. A friend who looked at an early copy, suggested that an index would be useful but apart from the difficulty of compiling an index – should it be by subject or author and in any case there are too many attributions to ‘anon’. An index would then place the book on the reference shelf where it definitely does not belong. There are many specialised quotation books, such as those aimed at literacy, humour, grave stones, music etc (and many have indexes) but A Ragbag of Riches is essentially for enjoyment. A book for the beach, the bedside, for browsing and long journeys. I hope that there is something on every page to raise a smile, to catch the heart, possibly to question, to slip into those categories of ‘well, I never!’ or ‘ I never knew that’. All in all, it is a salmagundi whose stew mixes quotations, literature, serene prose, graffiti, the absurd, the wise and all the ingredients of life.

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#BlitzPost #Promo ~ Beginnings by Helen J Christmas @SFDPBeginnings @rararesources

Beginnings is a romantic thriller set in the criminal underworld of 1970s London. Eleanor Chapman is 16. She has no idea her father is employed in a world of organised crime until the day he is forced to go on the run, leaving her at the mercy of dangerous people.

Her life is spiralling out of control yet on the night she plans to escape, she stumbles across a mysterious prisoner. His name is Jake, a rock musician from Holland and he has a contract on his life.

Their daring escape across London eventually draws them into a place of hiding before Jake’s chilling story begins to unfold. He was the one vital witness to a sinister scene leading up to the death of a British MP and now those responsible want him silenced. As two young people, thrown together by fate they develop intense feelings for each other. It does not take long for Eleanor to realise that she will do anything possible to keep Jake alive.

Their tender love bond keeps you turning the pages as they live on a knife edge, desperate to escape London. Will they outrun the deadly enemies who stalk them? Or are the people at the top more powerful than they think?

Purchase on Amazon UK

About the Author

Helen J. Christmas lives on the south coast of Sussex with her husband. With a love of writing since childhood, she started her decade spanning thriller series ‘Same Face Different Place’ in 2011. Her first book ‘Beginnings,’ set in 1970s London, combines romantic suspense with a hard-hitting conspiracy thriller. Writing is something she juggles around family and social life. Helen is self employed and enjoys running the web design company, she and her husband set up from home. They have no children but enjoy the company of a faithful border collie and a fluffy white cat. Helen confesses to have got most of her ideas for writing, whilst walking Barney along the beach.

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Happy Publication Day! Real Men Love Cats by Nic Tatano @NicTatano

Most people know I am a huge fan of Nic’s books especially this ‘cat’ series. So I’m delighted to welcome him back to the blog today.

I have read Real Men Love Cats but due to illness/hospital etc I haven’t been able to get the review ready for this early post .. hopefully I will be able to add it later in the day. Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed it so go buy it now, the purchase link should be live! 🙂

 Amazon UK

(Fourth book in the Lost Cats series)

Advertising copywriter Rory Callahan is very picky. She thinks Mister Right should check off some important boxes.
But if “love me, love my cat” isn’t one of them, that’s a dealbreaker.

Unfortunately, the men she’s been dating lately want nothing to do with her playful six-toed tabby, Hemingway. Or any cat, for that matter. Can this classic girl-next-door find a real man who loves cats?

Romance moves to the back burner when a terrific business opportunity that seems perfect for her falls in her lap. The CEO of a national cat food company is looking for a new ad agency, and Rory is desperate for the huge account.
The one guy standing in her way? A modern day advertising whiz named Will Prescott who seems to be right out of the Mad Men era as far as women are concerned.

Or is she reading him wrong? After all, the guy does like cats. How bad could he be?

After a horrible first meeting and a series of bizarre misunderstandings she’s keeping him at arms’ length. But when Will and Hemingway cross paths, she begins to see him in a different light. Can her cat show her the way?

Other books by Nic can be found Here  

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In Memory of Gypsy

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