Friday, 31 January 2014

Review - Sweet Lady by Elaine Spires




Wow! Not many books leave me seaching for words but this one sure did!
And right now as of today 3rd May 2014, this book is free to download right here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sweet-Lady-Elaine-Spires-ebook/dp/B009YJTB3A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399104929&sr=8-1&keywords=sweet+lady+elaine+spires

I read Elaine's first book What's Eating Me recently and my review can be found here.  It was fab! 

This book, which is her third, was completely different.  Set in both England and Antigua, where Eleanor is a well-known artist and Victoria, her daughter, is her PA.  Spending a winter in Antigua before Eleanor's latest exhibition, the two ladies live a chilled-out, relaxed life (one I could have quite happily joined in with to be totally honest!) until local beach-bum Tyrone enters their lives and their lives are affected in ways they never expected.  

This book had two massive twists, the first, really threw me, I was SO not expecting the plot to unfold that way.  The biggest twist however, in the final page or two of the book, left me completely and utterly gobsmacked! My feelings were all over the place. My emotions towards the characters I'd just lived with all the way through the book were up in the air and I didn't know if I now hated someone that I really liked! It was an incredible shake-up for me. Such a clever piece of writing by this fabulous author.  
From the way that Elaine described Antigua, I could tell that it is a country that she holds close to her heart and I know that she spends time each year there herself.  However, I do feel now, that I know what it looks like, how it smells, the colours, the people, the food, the weather.  I'm not sure I've ever wanted to visit a place more! Her vivid descriptions really brought the people and places to life for me and I found myself completely immersed in the story as if I were one of the characters.  I couldn't put it down.

There was one part of the book which made me cry, and I mean proper cry.  Chapter 9 picked out every one of my emotions and wrung them out to dry! 

I can't wait to read Singles' Holiday.  With these two books being so different, I have absolutely no idea of what to expect but what I do know is that I'll get it a top quality read that Elaine should be extremely proud of if these two books are anything to go by! 

Elaine Spires is an author, playwright and an actress.  She spends her time between her homes in Essex and in Antigua (I am sooooo not jealous!).  She has used her background in education and tourism to capture the quirky characteristics of people and humorous observations which she shares in her novels.

She is also an entertaining and informative after-dinner and motivational speaker and eulogist. 

You can find out more about Elaine Spires at her website 



Monday, 27 January 2014

Review - Little Book of BIG Wisdom by Debbie Huxton

This delightful little book is full of hugely inspirational quotes which make you think deeply! Some of them make you think very deeply indeed.  I felt like I "ummed and ahed" all the way through the first time I saw it. 

Seeing these quotes actually written down for the first time was a real revelation for me personally and also made me realise that I wasn't the only person in the world who was having those thoughts.   It made me think about times in my life when I wish Debbie had been sat on my shoulder whispering them into my ear! 

It is perfectly sized to fit in your handbag and is a book that will be permanently on hand for me to whip out each time either myself or one of my friends is having one of those days where a little pick-me-up is needed.   
This is a book that all my friends deserve and I shall certainly be getting some copies as gifts.  

I wish Debbie the best of luck with this book and her future journey inspiring and motivating many other people.  It's a pleasure to meet her.  She is one hell of a lady!  

Debbie lives in the West Midlands with has three grown-up children.

Debbie always knew she wanted to help people.  She began in emergency nursing, but the long, irregular hours and stress played havoc with her family life. It took her 17-year-old son’s attempted suicide to make her realise how unhappy they were.  This was the first BIG wake-up call that set her and her family on a journey of self-discovery.  Her second BIG wake-up call came from the most unlikely source. Whilst still working as a nurse, she befriended an alcoholic.  This friendship led her to make a life-changing pact over his death-bed, to turn her life around, leave nursing and do something that makes her happy.

Debbie has also overcome obesity, losing 6-stone in weight, and bankruptcy, after being sold a business that didn’t exist.

Through it all, she has remained positive and uses her intensely personal experiences to show people - no matter how low you go, there’s always a way up.

Learn more about Debbie’s at her website is www.debbie-huxton.com 
You can buy Debbie’s book by clicking here.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Need a new author pic? I know just the lady to help!

One thing I love when I'm reading a book is to picture the characters.  I also like to take a look at a picture of the author.  I love to see the person who has written the book.  Some author pictures are brilliant but I do have to confess that some don't do the author justice at all and some are pretty gruesome! 

My very good friend Sara Moseley (who just happens to be a brilliant photographer) has recently moved into a fabulous new studio in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands.   She's also got a special offer on at the moment for head-shots and the details are below.  (For more details about any of Sara's work or the photography workshops she runs, her website is www.saramoseleyphotography.co.uk).  


Sara has a knack of not only being a brilliant photographer, she is also amazing at making you feel relaxed and comfortable so that your photos are completely natural.  She has taken all the shots of me for my website and has also taken the most amazing pictures of my son Ollie and I which were taken on a gorgeous day at Cannock Chase and with which I couldn't be more delighted.   She's also been the chosen photographer of many of my friends, family and business contacts who have all been so pleased with the results.  


So if you're looking to revamp your social media and book site profiles or want some stunning pics for your latest novel or non-fiction book cover, then this could be the perfect opportunity for you.  

Check out Sara's website link.  Take a look for yourself at the photos on her site. She comes very highly recommended by both myself and by loads of other people that I know.  

Sara is also offering a family photo-shoot for up to 10 people and a 20x16 inch box frame (total package worth £194).  All you have to do is to like her facebook page, and share the post about this particular prize, then post a comment to say you've done it.  When the page reaches '400 likes' she will draw the winner from the people on the list of comments.  Good luck!

Here is this very special offer.  There are just a few of these packages available right now so you do need to be quick.  
The usual package is already great value with…
  • Pre-shoot consultation on how to prepare, what to expect and what to bring with you
  • Up to 45mins in the studio
  • Up to 3 changes of clothes and background colours
  • Your choice of 4 re-touched low resolution (72dpi – suitable for on-line use only) images (worth £25 each)
  • A secure on-line gallery to view your edited images, selected by Sara.
  • Total package value £125
£65.00
BUT buy the voucher below before January 31st (subject to availability as we only have 8 left to offer) and we will also include:
  • 2 of the 4 chosen as high res files (suitable for printing) with permission to re-print (worth £80)
  • PLUS your favourite of the 4 images printed as a 5×7 print in a presentation folder (worth £20)
AT NO EXTRA CHARGE!
The only conditions are that you purchase the voucher on-line and then call us when you are ready to book your photo-shoot in. We will advise you on how to prepare, what to wear and what to expect at this stage. Your photo-shoot must take place before the end of March 2014 at our studio and may be booked Tuesday-Fridays inclusive between 10am and 5pm (last appointment is 4pm). Don’t worry if you are feeling a little apprehensive….we’ve got you covered and will take you by the hand through the whole thing!
So let’s get this year off to a good start with a ‘new you’ and get people noticing you!
buy it now



Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards are accepted or you may use PayPal if you prefer.
Sara looks forward to photographing you soon!

Honor Guard Series - Resolutions by Teri Riggs

DEA agent Eve Taylor has had her fill of alpha males. When Resolutions’ operative and former lover, Dillon “Mac” McKenna, threatened her hard-earned independence, she ran. On a mission to gather evidence against a Colombian drug-lord, Eve discovers the drug-lord is helping terrorists plan an attack on American soil. Before she can escape with the vital information, she’s captured and comes face to face with her mortality…

As a teen, Mac watched his family fall apart after his mother died doing dangerous U.N. work. The possibility of losing Eve to a mission ignited an overwhelming need to protect her. When he forced her to choose him or her job, she walked away. Two years later, it seems all his nightmares have come true and he’s tasked with rescuing her from a Colombian prison. Mac has never stopped loving Eve, but does he dare risk his heart when he’s so terrified of losing…

On the run, Mac and Eve must learn to trust each other again in order to stay alive.

Note: Resolutions is a private black ops agency specializing in the near-impossible extractions of kidnap victims, hostages, and all forms of intelligence other agencies have failed to retrieve.
 

Resolutions
Romantic Suspense
Honor Guard Series

What Readers are saying:

"I love the sexual tension between Eve and Mac. The hot, steamy Colombian jungle makes a great backdrop for a love story that begins with two ex-lovers on the run."
-K. Kishpaugh, Amazon

"The action and suspense were nonstop. Eve was believable as a tough and persistent female protagonist. And I liked how she and Mac's characters developed throughout the story.”
-Marie, Amazon

“Nonstop action and plenty of sexual tension between the lead characters. A quick, suspenseful read. I would recommend this to my friends.”
-Lady A, Amazon

“A good read with plenty of action. I liked the gun battle scenes. They were well paced and for fairly accurate. Mendoza was played well and I enjoyed Mac and Eve's determination to stop him.”
-Cooper, Amazon


What I thought

A couple with a huge history who meet up again in this fast-paced dramatic adventure make an interesting storyline. Mac and Eve are great characters that are always in trouble. There are some hot, steamy moments too which make the story even more enjoyable. 

I enjoyed Teri's writing very much, the story was gripping, full of suspense and came alive very quickly and I look forward to reading more about these exciting characters in future books. 

About the Author:

Teri Riggs was destined to be a writer. As a small girl she didn’t read bedtime stories, she made up her own. Who needed Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Little Pigs when there were so many great tales bouncing around in her head? When she grew up and became a mother to three little girls, she continued the tradition of making up bedtime stories. On the occasions she chose to tell conventional fairytales, Teri usually gave them a bit of tweaking here and there or added a new ending. Her girls loved it.

After her daughters had the nerve to actually grow up and leave home, Teri discovered she had a passion for writing and jumped right in. It came as no surprise she chose to write mysteries and happily-ever-after’s since that’s the genres she loves to read.
Teri lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, one of her daughters and two dogs that seem to think they rule the world. And some days Teri thinks maybe they do.


Website: http://teririggs.com
Email: teririggs@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Teri-Riggs/329379907142621
Twitter: @TeriLRiggs



Enjoy the following excerpt for RESOLUTIONS:

Beefy hands wrenched Eve awake from a fevered sleep, pulled her from the cell, and shoved her into a musty-smelling hallway. I’m being moved? A guard pushed her with one hand, keeping a tight grip on an AK-47 rifle with his other.
Her shoulder throbbed in perfect cadence with the pains shooting through her broken wrist, and she had one badass headache from being punched in the face a few too many times. Using her good hand, she walked fingers across one cheek, then the other. The right side was totally numb. Her eye had swollen shut, and she couldn’t see a damn thing out of it. She ran her tongue across her teeth and tasted the tart, copper flavor of blood. Three teeth loose. Well, at least they’re still in place.
In spite of the relentless pain, she stayed determined to survive whatever Mendoza dished out. She wasn’t a quitter. No, sir. Duncan Falls, Iowa didn’t grow quitters. Eve ignored the constant ache in her ribs, courtesy of a guard’s overzealous kick, and took in a deep breath. She willed herself to stay alert, to keep pushing. Escape. Third times the charm.
Eve slapped the guard’s dirty hand. “Hey, Pedro, stop being so damned pushy. Where we going anyway? We got a hot date I’ve forgotten about?”
He looked puzzled then shoved her again.
“Don’t understand English, do you, Diego? Bet you understand this.” Eve drove her elbow into the guard’s face. Thick rubbery cartilage gave, and she whooped triumphantly.
Blood squirted from his nose and he screamed.
Eve stepped back. “Yep, I’m pretty sure you understand that.”
Unable to grab the guard’s assault rifle, she clutched her injured shoulder, and took off in a slow jog, no longer able to push any harder.
Her escape was short lived.
Price: 2.99

Resolutions was a finalist in the prestigious Daphne Du Maurier contest

Author Interviews:
Everybody Needs A Little Romance
The eReader Cafe




Review - What's Eating Me by Elaine Spires

I knew I was going to love this book when the very first sentence made me laugh out loud! 

Eileen is a 44 year old single mum who is overweight, works very hard in a stressful job to look after her boys and tries very hard to pacify her mother who is quite frankly a bit of a nightmare! 

Constantly trying to lose weight, her big chance arrives when to her surprise, she's chosen to appear on a TV show called Barbara's Beautiful Bodies, a show that promises to change her life for better and for ever.

Her life does completely change and she does lose tons of weight but she also finds out that being a reality TV star has its own trials and tribulations and the only way she knows how to cope with stress in her life is to eat.

This is the tale of her struggles, the prejudices she faced and how she discovered the reasons why she was a compulsive eater. 

Elaine Spires is a hilarious author. I read the majority of the book with a great big grin on my face. The way she writes is just so funny and entertaining, I could read her books forever!

It was however, a very serious topic and there were lots of things in the book that certainly hit home with me and I'm sure will with lots of other people who are constantly challenged to lose weight. 

I love the fact that Eileen is a brilliant mum and daughter. Her mother is an absolute pain in the backside but despite how much she upsets Eileen, she does not want to hurt her back. She therefore does lots of things in her life she does not want to do so she doesn't upset others. I personally believe that this is one of the job roles of being a mum. When she does start to be more assertive, nobody accepts the reasons why. Eileen is a delightful character. 

Elaine Spires has written two other books – Singles’ Holiday and Sweet Lady. They are both near the top of my to be read pile which is nearly toppling over, but I can't wait to read them. 

Reading this book was like getting not just a breath of fresh air but a huge gush!

Elaine Spires is an author, playwright and an actress.  She spends her time between her homes in Essex and in Antigua (I am sooooo not jealous!).  She has used her background in education and tourism to capture the quirky characteristics of people and humorous observations which she shares in her novels.

She is also an entertaining and informative after-dinner and motivational speaker and eulogist. 

You can find out more about Elaine Spires at her website 





Friday, 17 January 2014

Review - Where Petals Fall by Melissa Foster

Where Petals Fall


"With vivid prose and a tender heart, Melissa Foster has crafted a psychological and emotional mystery fueled by love in all its forms."
Jennie Shortridge
Author of Love Water Memory

On the surface Junie Olson’s life looks idyllic, from her handsome husband and beautiful daughter to her successful business, the bakery she always dreamed of opening. But in the past few months her world has slowly unraveled.  Her precocious child is withdrawing, showing unexplainable signs of emotional regression, a condition that frays the bonds of Junie’s once impenetrable marriage.  When her father dies suddenly of a heart attack, Junie packs up her daughter and goes home to help her mother.  Her homecoming stirs up memories of the nightmare she thought she had put behind her, the disappearance of her childhood friend, Ellen.  Haunted by recurring memories of what happened on that fateful day, Junie must gather the courage to revisit her past and untangle the secrets surrounding her missing friend, and the trauma that has caused her little girl to climb back into herself. As the pieces come together on the event that shook her small town, and at the risk of losing everyone she loves, Junie will question everything she thought she could rely on and everyone she thought she knew.

WHERE PETALS FALL is a gripping and emotional novel with an undercurrent of suspense, featuring a determined mother whose world slowly comes apart around her.  Where Petals Fall will appeal to fans of Lisa Scottoline's Save Me or Jodi Picoult's Salem Falls, who love an emotional and gripping read. They will root for Junie as they follow her transition into an indomitable heroine who must reconcile what she discovers about her husband and family’s tragic past, and find a way to put the pieces of her family back together and carry on.

WOW! What an emotional book! I've only recently discovered Melissa Foster and I think I would be quite happy to lock myself in a room and read all her books back to back.  This was totally different to the books I read and reviewed recently.  Here's my review of Destined for Love.  

Loved the characters, loved the emotion and loved Melissa's writing.  She's a very talented lady who seems to be writing quicker than I can read at the moment and through different genres too! I do feel that anyone reading this particular book may need a box of tissues at hand.  I know I certainly had a good snivel or two or maybe even more! 

It is also though extremely gripping and full of suspense and you become so involved in the characters lives that it is quite hard to get back into reality.  It's one of those books that leaves you thinking about it all the time you are not reading it and being worried about the characters as if they are your friends or relatives.

This was a very intense but brilliant read and I would highly recommend it.  

Melissa Foster is giving away 3 e-copies of her novel Where Petals Fall, so hurry and enter the giveaway below for your chance to win!

 
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About the Author 



Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author.  She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women's fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, and the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family. 

Visit Melissa on The Women's Nest, Fostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event. 

Authors Links: 

Website 

Twitter 

Facebook 

Pinterest


Authors Links:

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Review - Destined for Love - Melissa Foster

L

Think I'd like to emigrate to the States and live on a ranch!

Rex Braden is wealthy, hard working, and fiercely loyal. Sweat at his brow, he works the family ranch by day, then kicks back at night with part time lovers who require nothing more than his physical presence a few times each week. But that was before. Before Jade Johnson, the daughter of the man his father has been feuding with for over forty years, moves back into town.

After ditching a horrific relationship—and her veterinary practice in the process—Jade Johnson returns to the safety of her small hometown and finally finds her footing. That is...until her horse is injured and Rex Braden comes to her rescue. The last thing she needs is a bull-headed, too-handsome-for-his-own-good Braden complicating her life.

Despite the angry family history, sparks fly between Rex and Jade, and attitudes follow. Fifteen years of stifled, forbidden love stirs a surge of passion too strong for either to deny—and the rebel in each of them rears its powerful head. Loyalties are tested, and relationships are strained. Rex and Jade are about to find out if true love really can conquer all.

I'd not read anything by Melissa before and as this book was the second in the Love in Bloom series I decided to read the first book before this one. This is not necessary although I would recommend it because it is so good. 

Destined for Love follows the story of cowboy Rex who was a fabulous hero and Jade who was a feisty woman looking for love with a man she'd known all her life. I loved the way that Melissa created a family with amazing values, bonds and loyalties. There were some steamy sex scenes which fitted into the story really well and the characters came to life well through Melissa's writing. 

Rex seems a little too good to be true! Gorgeous and sexy but romantic and thoughtful and who will sacrifice everything so he can be with the woman he loves.  Qualities that I would think that most women look for in a man! 

This book certainly made me want to emigrate to the US and live on a ranch with this fabulous family, become friends with the characters and ride a horse into the sunset. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read and I'm really looking forward to reading more about this wonderful family. 



Purchase Destined for Love
Goodreads   |   Amazon   |   Barnes and Noble
Author Links
Website   |   Facebook   

This book is just one in a series of 9 books. More information about this series can be found here http://www.melissafoster.com/content/snow-sisters-bradens-love-bloom







Sisters in Love is free on Amazon US from now throughout January 2014.  

About the Author

Melissa Foster is a New York Times USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women's fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown MagazineThe Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, and the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on The Women's NestFostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Authors Links:



The giveaway  on this tour is 3 ecopies of Lovers at Heart.






Monday, 6 January 2014

Cover Reveal - Shannon's Law by Emma Calin

COVER REVEAL

SHANNON’s LAW
by Emma Calin



Delighted today to be included in the Cover Reveal for Emma Calin's forthcoming contemporary romance SHANNON’S LAW. Over to you Emma.

Thanks so much for hosting this cover reveal for SHANNON'S LAW.  This is the second in my ‘Passion Patrol Series’ - steamy action-romances that feature sassy female cops who solve crimes, catch crooks and always get their man.



Blurb

Wild child inner city cop Shannon Aguerri walks a dangerous line between her methods and justice. When the bosses lose their nerve, after yet another maverick mission, she is transferred to green pastures to play out the role of a routine village cop. When she encounters signs of people and drug trafficking she homes in on serious millionaire criminals.  As a loner she has attracted men but nothing has stuck. When she meets Spencer, the hunky and widowed Earl of Bloxington, there is an immediate rapport between them. Their social differences mean nothing to their passion and need.  Already in the mix is an upper class female rival – who has long plotted her way into the Earl's bed. The jealousy is an evil shade of green and the anger is a violent scarlet.  Often inhibited by a sense of duty and honour, Spencer is slow to reveal his feelings. When Shannon confronts him with the need to choose between her word and that of her rival, he does not immediately support her. All the same, when they are forced together to carry out a desperate rescue mission, their love is stronger than everything ranged against them.

(Pre-order paperback only at this stage)

Emma I will be revealing snippets from the story, photos of places and people that inspired the venues and characters on Pinterest during my pre-launch book tour.  There are already some scrap-book cuttings posted:

There is also news about the book on Facebook:
(‘Likes’ are always appreciated.....)

I’m having two launch parties “Afternoon Tea At Bloxington Manor”. The first is online on the 28th February on Facebook and the second is LIVE at the English stately home that inspired the home of my hero on Sunday 2nd March.  A local favourite venue for me, Avington Park in Hampshire is steeped in history and tradition. (Think genuine Palladian style rather than Downton Abbey neo-Jacobean). The private owners have kindly agreed to open up for us with a tour of the house and then tea and cake – oh and launch the book of course!

Shannon’s Law Cover Reveal Draw
$30/£20 Amazon voucher
A pair of tickets to my Avington Park Launch Party 2nd March (UK only)
3 Advanced Review Copies of Shannon’s Law

EVERY entrant will receive a FREE gift of an audiobook of my short story Escape to Love.



About Emma Calin



Emma Calin was born in London in 1962. She currently lives in France and the UK.
She has been writing since childhood and has won numerous local, national and international prizes for poetry and short stories.
"Knockout!" is the first of the “Passion Patrol Series” a stand-alone love story set against a backdrop of international gambling corruption and deception. Interpol cop Anna Leyton finds herself torn between love and duty when her professional and private life intersects.  This book is now available in both paperback and Kindle formats.
“The Love in a Hopeless Place Collection” is a bargain anthology of 5 short stories and novelettes, available in paperback and digital formats.
"Sub-Prime" is a prize-winning hard hitting short story about courage, exploitation and love. It is a raw and brutal exposé of life at the bottom in the aftermath of recession.
"The Chosen" is also a short story,  set in modern times where working people struggle to keep their dreams alive. A world where the promise of love motivates desperate measures.
“Escape To Love” is a 'novelette' (longer than a short story but shorter than a novella), a gritty urban romance with suspense and mystery but a love story at it's core. 
“Angela” a short story about a late-night taxi journey.

“Love in a Hopeless Place” a novelette about a middle-aged woman striving to find her true identity.


Amazon links to books by Emma Calin

(Pre-order paperback only at this stage)

 About.me page: http://about.me/emmacalin
Emma Calin Website:  http://www.emmacalin.com