AppleBlossom by Jaye Marie @jayedawes2 #NewRelease #true story

ddtup.jpg

I have just uploaded Apple Blossom on Amazon, and it will be live later on today for the princely sum of 99p!   myBook.to/appleblossom

“Someone asked me the other day, why such a pretty cover for such a sorry story?

The explanation is simple.

The illuminated image of apple blossom was on the ceiling of the cancer treatment room, and I lay underneath it for 15 days, terrified, praying I would be happy and healthy again.

The sight of that lovely blossom gave me strength, and even now, it inspires me to be the best I can be…

I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the way with this novella. From the beta readers at Inky Fingers to the friends who helped me choose and improve the cover, when my brain just couldn’t figure it out.

Special thanks go to Rosie Amber, whose sensible and inspiring advice about the tagline has made all the difference!

 

Now it Begins!

When we made the decision the other week to re-edit and re-cover ALL of our books, we must have been out of our tiny minds. I double checked, and it would seem that we were super serious about all of it.  Six of Anita’s books, three of mine, and two that we wrote together.

I was quick to realise that this was a major job, and might take me a while. I would also have to do it one book at a time, for the involvement alone could make a grown man weep!

The first time I changed something we had written, I was optimistic. Changing a cover image was pretty easy, and changing the text wasn’t difficult either, but by the time I had ploughed my way through WordPress, Amazon, and Goodreads, my head was spinning.

Then there were all the promotional sites and Pinterest to see to. And just when I thought I had covered everything, I realised I had to create totally new posters for the books too and at this point the cracks were beginning to show!

I have no idea why I chose this book to start with, for my head was swimming with dozens of possible new covers, taglines, keywords. I just picked one out of the hat…

And this is what happened…

two minds x1 - Copy.jpg

sssw.jpg

The First Story…

A Midnight Clear

It was freezing cold on the Embankment, the river Thames flowing past with an insidious slithering oily sound in the darkness. Big Ben loomed out of the darkness behind her. It was nearly midnight and the air was crisp and pure, slightly uncomfortable to breathe. The clouds of her breath wafted away on a gentle but persistent breeze.

She thought back through the evening, remembering how she had decided not to dress up for the occasion, choosing warmth over style, grateful for the fur-lined hood of her jacket. She hadn’t wanted to roam around London with her friends, visiting pubs and bars looking for fun and the minute she had a chance to escape, she took it.

She wasn’t ready for fun, not yet. The scars of her broken marriage were still sore and she lived in fear that they would break open again at any provocation and she would weep uncontrollably. She could nearly go a whole day without thinking of the pain she had caused, leaving him wounded and helpless on the floor, begging her not to leave him. But she hadn’t hesitated or listened, it was far too late for any of that. If she hadn’t left when she did, she may have drowned in her misery and sunk without trace.

She didn’t hate him, only what they had become. Two lonely people, each trying to outdo the others suffering.

Their romance had been a fairy tale in the beginning. James, a fellow student at Art College, every young girl’s dream of a Prince Charming. Tall and slender, with dark wounded eyes, he almost demanded to be loved, all without saying a word.

The warning signs were there almost from the beginning. From the moody silences to the almost violent fervour that obsessed him when he painted. It was like living with so many different people, the one she fell in love with hiding somewhere among them.

If she was honest, she knew their relationship was doomed from the start, but had been unable to walk away. She imagined he needed her; such was his effect on her. The thought of causing him even a minute’s pain was unbearable, even when it became clear, he had no idea how much he hurt her with his self- contained attitude.

She began to feel like his mother, tolerating his moods and temper, desperate for any crumb of affection she may receive.

Their relationship continued to decay until it was almost gone. She had become invisible. He barely acknowledged her presence, and when pushed, would become violent. The day he actually hit her in the face, something inside her finally snapped and she stepped away from him. Something in her eyes must have told him he had gone too far, that this time she would leave him.

He was instantly contrite, and the small, ill- treated child made its appearance. He begged and pleaded for forgiveness, but his words never reached her heart. She pushed him away and walked out of his life, leaving him broken on the floor. Part of her would have rushed back to him, prop him up and get him back on his feet, but it was a part of her she would have to kill to save her own soul.

In the distance, the sound of revelry echoed around the streets of London, but it was almost eerily quiet where she was stood, looking down at the black water that was catching the glint of the Embankment lights. Here and there, the coloured lights on the bridge shone down on the water, making a magical picture in the dark.

She took a deep breath and the cold air felt almost solid in her lungs. The peace she felt at that moment was total, no regrets at all. She was free and it felt amazing. The overwhelming joy lifted her heart and her eyes began to water, distorting her vision.

Several yards behind her and without warning, Big Ben began to chime. Being this close, the sound was deep and resonated through the air. As it struck the hour, each strike seemed to build on the one before, and by the time it reached twelve her ears felt muffled somehow. The ground beneath her feet had gently shaken and she had felt the vibrations in the cement she was leaning against.

As the sounds faded away, the old year died, taking away the past and promising a better future.

Just a quick word about editing and a wonderful tool called Grammarly.

If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should, for it found over 80 misused commas in this first book. Apparently, I sprinkle them around like they’re going out of fashion!

Just to convince you that I am totally insane, I am also working on my latest WIP… It seems my brain needs to keep busy… and I’m not about to argue with it!

This Amazon Link may not work… for I forgot to check!  myBook.to/Shstories

Our Review of The Box Under The Bed by Dan Alatorre @savvystories #Horror

 

51eRlHYLzJL._SY346_.jpg

Come along for a chilling ride on a ghost ship, experience eerie daydreams and psychotic killers, explore haunted houses, and send the deceased to their final destination.
And that’s just a quarter of the thrills.
Edited and compiled by Amazon bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of scary tales brings together the minds and pens of twenty authors, including bestseller Allison Maruska (The Fourth Descendant), bestselling author Jenifer Ruff (Everett), Lucy Brazier (PorterGirl), J. A. Allen, Juliet Nubel, T.A. Henry, Ann Marie Andrus, Heather Hackett, Barbara Anne Helberg, Scott Skipper, Joanne R. Larner, Christine Valentor, Adele Marie Park, Curtis Bausse, Annette Robinson, Frank Parker, Eric Daniel Clarke, and Maribel C. Pagan.

Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before walking alone on the beach at night, reading a diary, or innocently watching a train from your car.
Consider yourselves warned.

https://amazon.com/Box-Under-Bed-anthology-stories-ebook/dp/B075C9D7L1/

Our Review

We really loved reading this anthology. Each story is original and well written with a unique quality of its own.

From the bonus story, The Water Castle by Dan Alatorre, to The Blind Tattoist  by Allison Maruska , there is something here for everyone.

It would be hard to pick a favourite, for we loved them all. Some were scary, some mysterious, but every single one was a darn good read.

Not exactly bed time reading, unless you want to have nightmares!

 

Author Bio

71HEiaG7AaL._UX250_.jpg

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages.

From Romance in Poggibonsi, to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators. To comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heart-warming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series.  His knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry – or hang onto the edge of your seat – has been enjoyed by audiences around the world.
And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time.

“That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.”

Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe.

His unique writing style can make you chuckle or shed tears—sometimes on the same page (or steam up the room if it’s one of his romances). Regardless of genre, his novels always contain unexpected twists and turns, and his endearing nonfiction stories will stay in your heart forever.

25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew, co-authored by Dan, has been a valuable tool for upcoming writers (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping new authors is evident in his wildly popular blog “Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR.”

Dan’s success is widespread and varied. In addition to being a bestselling author, he has achieved President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies. You can find him blogging away almost every day on http://www.DanAlatorre.com or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week, Writers Off Task With Friends.

Dan resides in the Tampa, Florida area with his wife and daughter.

Rosie’s #Book Review Team #RBRT Blessedly Bound by Lucretia Stanhope @dianas58 #Supernatural

Rosie's Book Review team 1 (2).png

 

61CNXJJYcGL._SY346_.jpg

 

Suspense. Deception. Romance. A cozy start to the series that readers are calling addictive, spellbinding, and intelligent. The Elemental Witch Trials will take readers who are craving something deeper on an emotional journey.

Shielded from the adversity that reaching her magical potential would have attracted, elemental witch, Gwen Hensley, finds herself disadvantaged in a web of betrayal. As she seeks to untangle the mystery of who killed her grandmother, with the help of her familiar, Lewis, and the enigmatic next-door neighbor, Sebastian, Gwen starts on a path that will awaken a power within as dangerous as the secrets that kept her from it. The closer she looks, the harder it becomes to decide who is a friend and who might be the link between her family’s dark past and its tragic present.

The series begins on earth with largely human threats. However, as the series progresses, darkness and sorrow shape Gwen into a creature coveted by rulers of multi-realm kingdoms, while she fights to hold on to the light in her soul and protect her family.

Read the whole series and discover that when witches and vampires collide the ever after isn’t so happy.

Our Review

Blessedly Bound is such a different premise, an intriguing and unusual story.

I have never read an intelligent book about witches before, and found this one both well written and fascinating. I will definitely be reading more of the series.

The story begins with Gwen living an ordinary life and doing all the ordinary things, unaware of her destiny. She seems a very vulnerable and likeable woman, someone who cares about her family and loves to knit. Someone just like you and me, in fact.

This first book sets the scene for both the relationships and discoveries in Gwen’s life. She has to learn so much in the beginning about her life and her future .

When she meets Sebastian, her new next-door neighbour, I didn’t approve of the devastating effect he had on Gwen, but you couldn’t argue with the chemistry between them. I hoped she would fall in love with Lewis, as I had. He was so loyal to Gwen, but forced to compete with Sebastian on so many levels.

However, just who should Gwen trust?

I shall be reading the second book in the series to find out!

“She did not get a feeling of danger from him. Her instincts told her the opposite. She felt a natural pull toward him. It felt like she knew him. Like they shared a link already. She smiled, sat on the couch, and tried to resist the urge to ask him about magic. The look in his eyes as he watched her said he also had something on his mind that he held back.”

Thank you to the author and to #RBRT for my free review copy!

Biography

61TVtmXZJXL._SY200_

LUCRETIA STANHOPE is the Tombstone award- winning author of a lot of things, about a lot of things, hopefully fascinating to read things. She lives in a small town in Kansas. It’s the kind of town you are afraid to be stranded in after dark, in case the creepy locals are actually vampires or satanic corn deity worshipers. Yes, there are cornfields all around the town. Seriously, that part is true. There is also a not so used rail station, really! And tons of creepy empty brick buildings, which would be moody fodder, if she would leave the house.

Find me on Twitter @dianas58 and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/diana.stanhope

Our Review of The Lost Corner by Katrina Mountfort @curlycats #Fiction

 

 

 

Eve leaves behind her comfortable, suburban lifestyle when she discovers her husband’s infidelity, and returns to her Norfolk roots to rebuild her life. She feels instant belonging among the village pagans and eccentrics. But in a village of dark secrets and past tragedies, she finds more questions than answers:

Will enigmatic artist Lucas ever recover from the death of his wife eighteen years earlier?

What happened to troubled Justine’s mother, who disappeared around the same time?

Will Justine succeed in her bid to find the woman who abandoned her when she was a baby?

Why is charismatic local MP Sebastian being so friendly to Eve?

When tragedy strikes the community once more, Eve’s popularity plummets. Did she bring Black Shuck, the fabled harbinger of death, to the village? And is Eve’s involvement with the villagers a way of avoiding facing up to her own family troubles?

 

51PgBsXa14L._UX250_.jpg

About the Author

“I dreamed of being a novelist from childhood but my ambition was dented by a teacher who thought that handwriting was more important than creativity. Instead, the pyrotechnics of a mad nun who taught chemistry sent me on a scientific career path and I didn’t start writing until my fortieth birthday. After the death of a close friend, I realised that I couldn’t put off my dreams forever. Almost ten years later, Future Perfect was published by Elsewhen Press.”

“I was born in Leeds and have lived in Saffron Walden since 2006. After several years collecting qualifications, I’ve had a varied career including homeopathy, the civil service and forensic science research. I currently work as a freelance medical writer. My loves in life are my husband, family and friends, as well as my two occasionally criminal black labradors. I also love music, travel, wine, dark chocolate, Parma violets and daffodils.”

 

Our Review

This book opens with an earth- shattering discovery. Something Eve Murdoch cannot believe is true.

She tries to convince herself  that she is mistaken, her brain refusing to consider what common sense is telling her.

Unable to cope she runs away, back to her roots in Norfolk, a county known locally as ‘The Lost Corner of England, a place where all lost objects eventually turn up.’ The author makes Norfolk sound very Cornish, what with all the talk of folklore and pagan magic.

Instead of finding the peace she so desperately needs, Eve finds herself involved in another complicated situation. A dangerous situation that begins to veer out of control, as the locals blame her arrival for recent disasters.

There are so many interesting characters in this book, all vividly portrayed and all with secrets of their own. It was hard to judge who Eve should trust, and I was wrong several times. I won’t tell you if Eve finds her peace and happiness, but you will enjoy the journey!

The Lost Corner very nearly made it on Kindle Scout, and deserves to be read. I found it an easy read, a lovely, yet very complex story. I enjoyed following Eve around, trying to unravel the many mysteries.

 

Our Book Review of Parallel Lies by Georgia Rose @GeorgiaRoseBook

 

 

 

My name is Madeleine, Madeleine Ross. It is a name chosen with thought and because it is classy, and that is what is needed here…

Madeleine Ross has life exactly as she planned it.

Cosy cottage, friendly village, satisfying job.

Company… when she wants it.

It’s an enviable existence for an independent young woman, and one she’s keen to protect.

Enter Daniel – strong, dependable and a danger to everything she’s built. He’s not something she was looking for, but hearts can’t be controlled and maybe, just maybe he might be worth letting into hers.

But, all is not what it seems. Because Madeleine is hiding a lifetime of secrets. Deep secrets.

And they never stay buried for ever.

Her darkest secret returns, like the proverbial bad penny. He is her first love, shadowy, dangerous, the baddest of bad boys. No matter how far she runs, or how well she hides, she can never escape him.

Or her past.

Here he is, on her doorstep, with a proposition she is powerless to resist but which could devastate the future she hoped to have.

Can Madeleine satisfy the old love while keeping the new?

You can’t always get what you want but, desperate to preserve the life she has worked so hard for, Madeleine is willing to risk everything to prove that she can.

 

 

Our Review

Right from the beginning of what appears to be the idyllic story of  a woman’s life, you sense the ominous presence of a serious mystery seeping through the pages.

Maddy’s life seems perfect, but if you look closely you can see the joins. This is a woman with carefully guarded secrets. She is not what she pretends to be but gives nothing away. You sense how vitally important it is that it stays buried.

Slowly, almost teasingly, we start to learn the truth about Maddy. At first so proper, so delightfully independent, but as we begin to discover the truth, we find a very different woman. The more we find out, the more we know that what we are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg. She confides with the reader with candid honesty about the life she has so carefully constructed, and why it had been necessary.

As the skeletons of her life begin to show, we discover more grubby secrets, all alluding to something or someone so terrifying, she once ran away from.

The tension mounts as the past threatens to ruin all her carefully constructed peace, and I desperately wanted Maddy to rid herself of her demons and find happiness at last, but it looked hopeless.

I really enjoyed reading Parallel Lies, a beautifully written mystery with more twists and turns than a rattlesnake. Maddy is not your typical heroine, she comes with all manner of faults and failings. Some you won’t approve of, but you will understand them.

(Thank you to the author for my free review copy)

 

About the Author

613VT9v4iZL._UX250_.jpg

Georgia Rose is a writer and the author of the romantic and suspenseful Grayson Trilogy books: A Single Step, Before the Dawn and Thicker than Water. A short story, The Joker, based on a favourite character from the series followed and is free to download from Amazon.

Her fourth novel, Parallel Lies, a standalone, encompasses crime along with Georgia’s usual blending of genre.

Following a long stint working in the law Georgia set up her own business providing administration services for other companies which she does to this day managing to entwine that work along with her writing.

Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her passion for people watching and her overactive imagination!

Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire in the UK where she lives with her much neglected husband and dog. Their son, currently at university, comes and goes and their daughter, having delighted them all for long enough, has eventually moved out, got married, and is discovering the joys of being all grown up and having a mortgage.

 

Our Review: The Enhanced League by Craig Boyack @coldhandboyack

61dfzghv0BL._UY250_.jpg

The Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.
Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.
I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. – CB

 

Our Review

I love the way Craig Boyack writes, I swear he could make the phone book interesting, so I was keen to read his latest story, which is all about baseball!
Not that I know much about baseball, but I knew the author would have included amazing characters and serious twists into it. The Enhanced League is the story of a baseball league where someone has thrown the rulebook out of the window. Nothing is as it should be, but far from being far fetched, the story line is eerily acceptable thanks to the author’s persuasive command of his writing!
At first, I thought this would be a collection of short stories, as these are something the author does really well. Instead it was a fascinating blend of characters, highly unusual situations and a hidden plotline, at first separate, but melding into the whole at the end. This was altogether innovative and made for a fascinating read.

 

About the Author

image1.JPG

 

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

 

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.