#CoverReveal! #ThePerfectGirlfriend by Karen Hamilton @KJHauthor @headlinepg @wildfirebks

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
You should all know by now that TWG LOVES a cover reveal! Well, aside from the waiting for the book to be published once revealed, naturally. Small price to pay though, right? -bites nails and paces around house-. See, I can be patient! -paces the floor-. Can you do a better job of being patient than TWG?

Yes?

HA! You might be saying that now. You just wait until I show you this UH-MAZING book cover! Not only does the cover excite me in the only way books can, it also sounds like an ‘OMG I NEED TO READ THIS NOW’ kinda book.

Still think you that you can be patient?

I am over the moon that Becky from Headline Books asked me to help with the cover reveal today, thank you!

It’s time folks….

The Perfect Girlfriend cover

Karen Hamilton’s THE PERFECT GIRLFRIEND is a frightening depiction of unbridled obsession, where love and pure hatred grapple on a knife edge. The perfect new psychological thriller for fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl.

Juliette loves Nate.
She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight
attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.
The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing.
Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend.
And she’ll make sure no one stops her from
getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…

If you cannot wait until March 2018 to read this bad boy, the extremely generous team over at Headline Books have kindly allowed me to let you have a sneak peek at an extract of The Perfect Girlfriend!

Read an extract from ‘The Perfect Girlfriend’ now!

Pre-order ‘The Perfect Girlfriend’ from Amazon UK – now!
Pre-order ‘The Perfect Girlfriend’ from Amazon US – now!

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

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#CoverReveal! @SherylBrowne – Deadly Intent @Brookcottagebks @ChocLitUK

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
At TWG, we are quite partial to a cover reveal. Although, the temptation of a cover reveal is as excruciating as seeing a lemon meringue pie on the side which cannot be eaten yet due to it being STILL FROZEN. Trust me, the struggle is real. I am delighted to be taking part in today’s Cover Reveal Blitz Day for author, Sheryl Browne, and her brand new book; Deadly Intent, which is published today! Exciting! I hope you will all join me in wishing Sheryl Browne a happy publication day.

Keep scrolling after the cover reveal though, as a little birdy told me that there may be an extract for you to read….but you didn’t hear that from me!

Deadly Intent

Series: A DI Matthew Adams Thriller – Book #3 (can be read as a standalone)
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: September 6 2017
Publisher: Death by Choc Lit
18+ (some violence and language)

What if you and your family were at the mercy of a psychopath/a man with no conscience? Just when DI Matthew Adams thinks he’s left the past behind him, it comes back to haunt him once again; this time in the form of the Conner family.
Like Matthew, the Conners have lost a child in tragic circumstances – and they’ve also found themselves in the hands of one of the most depraved criminals to walk the streets: ‘Dead-eyed’ Charlie Roberts, a drug addicted low-life with a penchant for extreme violence. Matthew’s greatest affinity lies with Daniel Conner, the brooding father who still blames himself for his youngest child’s death. But when Daniel’s wife and daughter are tortured and tormented by Roberts, can Matthew prevent him from completely ruining his own life for an act of revenge particularly when, once upon a time, that’s exactly what Matthew would have done too?

Book links.

Amazon UK  // Amazon US  // Choc Lit

Extract.

Daniel’s eyes flickered away from Charlie for a second. ‘Come on, baby, come out,’ he said
to the daughter, who was standing hesitantly on the top step. ‘It’s safe now.’
‘Yeah, come on, baby,’ Charlie mimicked. ‘Come and join the party.’
Charlie stepped sideways, allowing the girl to exit, her eyes like a terrified Bambi’s and
shaking as much as Danny boy, poor cow. Must be hereditary.
‘Give me a shout if you fancy another quick shag, sweetheart,’ Charlie called as she stepped onto the towpath.
A tic went at the side of Daniel’s mouth. He walked calmly over to Charlie and smiled, which had Charlie momentarily flummoxed, then pulled back the gun and rammed it hard into his stomach.

****

Matthew flinched as Charlie doubled up. ‘Ouch,’ he said under his breath. ‘Okay, Daniel,’ he said carefully. ‘I know how you must be feeling but you need to let him go now. He’ll get what’s—’
‘You have no fucking idea how I feel,’ Daniel shouted, glancing quickly at Jo. ‘The only way that bastard goes anywhere is feet first.’ He raked a hand angrily though his hair. ‘Got that, Charlie? Now, get down on your knees.’
Charlie looked up, astonished. ‘You must be joking. I ain’t—’
‘Do I look as if I’m joking?’ Daniel asked, his eyes burning with hatred.
‘For fuck’s sake,’ Charlie uttered, turning to Matthew, his hands nursing his stomach.
‘On your knees, Charlie,’ Daniel repeated. ‘Now!’
Matthew dearly wished he could turn a blind eye as Roberts blinked at him beseechingly,
and scared witless, satisfyingly. Unfortunately, as much as he would relish seeing the
abusive piece of scum get a taste of his own, he couldn’t.
‘You need to drop the gun, Daniel,’ he said, moving cautiously towards the boat. ‘Leave him to me and get your wife and child—’
‘Don’t,’ Daniel warned, his eyes and the gun still fixed on Roberts. ‘Back off.’
Matthew hesitated, uncertain. God knows, the man had every reason to … But was Conner actually going to shoot Roberts?
‘I can’t do that, Daniel.’ Matthew stepped closer. ‘You know I can’t.’
‘Stay!’ Daniel shouted, swinging the gun around, then fast back to Charlie. ‘And you,’ he
grated, ‘down on your knees, while you still can.’ He aimed the gun lower, which had Charlie dropping to his knees, fast.

‘Get them out of here,’ Matthew shouted, indicating Jo and Kayla over his shoulder. Roberts had pushed Conner right over the edge. He bloody well was going to shoot him. Christ, hadn’t this family already been through enough?
‘Daniel …’ Warning himself to tread carefully, empathising with the man more than he could possibly know, Matthew tried again. ‘You can’t take the law into your own hands.’ He stopped and waited, wondering whether Daniel, who was now swaying on his feet, could even hear him. ‘You have to do this the legal way. Please, give me the gun, Daniel.’
‘Can’t.’ Daniel closed one eye.
Matthew took a breath and stepped closer. ‘Why can’t you, Daniel?’ he asked quietly.
‘Three, two, one,’ Daniel replied, nonsensically.
‘Right.’ Matthew was scared for him now. If he used that gun with police marksmen aiming right at him … ‘Which means what, exactly, Daniel?’
Daniel shrugged. ‘Bang.’ He concentrated his aim.
‘Fuck,’ said Charlie, turning a pale shade of white. ‘Don’t, Danny,’ he pleaded.
Daniel cocked the gun.
‘Look, I didn’t touch your daughter—’
‘Shut the fuck up!’ Daniel yelled.
‘I didn’t. I swear I didn’t.’ Perspiration broke out on Charlie’s forehead. ‘Danny, please. I’m sorry. Okay? I—’
‘The name’s Daniel, not Danny. Not fucking Danny boy. Daniel! Got it?’
‘Yeah,’ Charlie nodded quickly. ‘Daniel. Whatever. Just put the gun down.’
Daniel continued to stare at him.
‘Shit. This is nuts.’ Charlie looked desperately to Matthew. ‘Do something! Don’t let them
go!’ He nodded past him, to where the man’s wife and daughter weren’t being persuaded to leave. ‘He won’t do anything in front of them.’
That’s probably the first, and might well be the last, time you’ve said anything sensible in
your entire life, you piece of shit. Matthew looked him over derisively. Conner cared about his family. They’d endured too much to go through any more. He must know it.
Matthew drew in a breath and then took a gamble. ‘Okay, Daniel. Fine. Do it,’ he said.
Charlie gawked.
‘Go ahead. Blow his brains all over the boat if it will make you feel better.’ Matthew paused for an instant. ‘And leave your wife wondering why you did it in front of your daughter. Whether to visit you in prison, when you didn’t care enough about her, or Kayla, not to.’ Daniel tightened his grip on the gun.

His hands were shaking, Matthew noticed. Shaking badly.
‘I have kids of my own, Daniel,’ he said softly, taking another careful step towards him.
Daniel’s shoulders stiffened.
‘I know you lost your little girl, Daniel.’ Seeing Daniel reel on his feet, Matthew pushed on and prayed. He needed to get through to him. Had to.
‘You think I can’t know how you feel, but … I lost my little girl too, Daniel,’ he confided,
though it almost choked him to say it. ‘I do know at least some of how you feel.’
Still Daniel didn’t move, but Matthew saw a swallow slide down his throat.
‘That bastard has piled pain on top of pain, hasn’t he?’ Matthew kept going, touching raw
nerves, he was well aware of that, but what other choice did he have? ‘Persecuted Kayla
and Joanne? Taunted them. Touched them, Daniel?’
Daniel’s jaw tightened.
‘Dared you to do anything about it, so he could revel in his pathetic power and beat you
senseless? I know him,’ Matthew said forcefully. ‘He’ll get what’s coming to him. But you
have to stop this. Now, Daniel. For the sake of your wife and daughter. Show them you care enough not to put them through this.’
‘Jesus!’ Daniel leaned to wipe his perspiring face against his shoulder. ‘Of course I care!’ he raged frustrated, and obviously confused. ‘But he’ll get out, won’t he?’
A sharp cough rattled his chest.
‘Jo and my kids are my life. Jo and Kayla … Were my … I …’ Trailing off, Daniel closed his
eyes. And lowered the gun.
‘Hah.’ Charlie levered himself to his feet. ‘No bottle. Knew it. I’ll catch up with you when I’m out, Danny boy.’ He smirked, as Matthew climbed on board. ‘Keep that pretty wife of yours warm for me, won’t you?’
Daniel brought the gun back up sharp. ‘Say your fucking prayers, freak,’ he hissed.

Now that’s not all! If you fancy a chance at winning an e-copy of Sheryl Browne’s novel, Deadly Intent, all you need to do is click —> here! <—. Good luck!

About the author.

Heartache, humour, love, loss &amp; betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s
contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

CHOC

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Amazon US | Pinterest
Loveahappyending Lifestyle
Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association

#BlogTour! #Extract – 99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter (@LibbyCPT) @AvonBooksUK

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It’s TWG’s turn on Elisabeth Carpenter’s blog tour today, and I have the pleasure of sharing an extract from Elisabeth’s debut novel, 99 Red Balloons! Before I do that, here are the all important details and ‘to buy’ link for the book itself. Enjoy!

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Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

This is a gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist that will take your breath away.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Extract.
Chapter 10 p.44-45

Jim smiles at me kindly, like most people used to when I dared to believe Zoe was still alive. He looks up at the television.
‘It’s the appeal.’
A policeman in a suit is reading from a piece of paper. Next to him are, I presume, Grace’s parents. The mother has her head in her hands; the father comforts her, his arm around her shoulders. My heart beats too fast, I wrap my arms around myself – I’m so cold, I’m always cold.
‘They look young,’ says Jim.
‘People do these days. Must be in their early thirties, I imagine. Though I can’t see her face properly.My mother looked fifty when she was thirty.’ My mouth is talking without my mind thinking.
‘Those poor people.’
It cuts to a photograph of a school uniform laid out on a table.
‘These are the clothes Grace was wearing, although if someone has taken her, she might not be wearing the same ones.’
Jim tuts. ‘Course she wouldn’t be wearing the same clothes. But you know, Maggie, I know I shouldn’t say this, but what if someone’s taken her, and just killed the poor little mite?’
I sigh loudly in the hope it’ll shut him up. Even though I’ve thought the same thing myself.
The appeal must have been taped earlier as the news article cuts to a shot outside: a village hall or a community centre. I see the mother’s face for the first time – her friend, or perhaps her sister, holding her by the elbow.
I get up slowly and walk to the television. ‘She’s a bonny one, isn’t she?’
He doesn’t answer.
‘Would you pause it, Jim?’
He presses the button several times.
‘Come on!’
‘I’m bloody pressing it.’
He did it. The picture’s frozen. I get closer to the screen, bending down to look at her face. My knees go weak. I drop to the carpet.
I can’t breathe properly.
Jim’s at my side.
‘Have you had a turn? Shall I fetch the doctor?’
I take several breaths before I can speak and shake my head.
‘I’m fine. Pass me that picture.’ I point to the mantelpiece, but he picks up the one facing the wall – the one I rarely look at. ‘Not that one, the one on the right.’
He grabs it and hands it to me. I hold it next to the pretty face on the television.
‘Look.’
He squints.
‘Put the glasses on your face, man.’
As he does, he brings his head next to mine, just a few feet from the television.
‘Well, would you look at that,’ he says. ‘She’s the double of your Sarah. But that’s impossible, she’s—’
‘I know, I know. But it could be . . .’
Jim frowns. ‘What are the chances of that? It can’t be.’
My shoulders slump. ‘I know. But it might. It might be Zoe.’

#BlogTour! #Extract – Escape to Willow Cottage by Bella Osborne @osborne_bella @AvonBooksUK

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Delighted to be day six on Bella Osborne’s blog tour for her gorgeous looking books, Escape to Willow Cottage. Huge thank you to Sabah for inviting me to be involved in the blog tour (and of course the cake too). Today I will be sharing an extract from Bella Osborne’s book, alongside a huge pinky promise that the book will get read and reviewed as soon as possible!

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The Escape to Willow Cottage was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.

A cosy and heartwarming seasonal romance, perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley.

Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a warm, caring and safe place for little Leo.

When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.

Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose…

Escape to Willow Cottage was originally digitally published as a four-part serial under the title Willow Cottage. This is the complete story.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Extract.

Chapter 3 p.21-22

Beth woke early in the small twin room of the B&amp;B and pulled the pink candlewick
bedspread up to her chin. It was many years since she’d slept under sheets and although
she’d heard stories of bedspreads this was her first. She plucked at it as she listened to Leo snoring lightly. She hadn’t slept much, her mind full of buyer’s remorse. What had seemed a wonderfully romantic and spontaneous act at the auction now seemed like the epitome of stupid. Despite the state of the cottage, she had had a good feeling when she stood in the back garden with Leo. But her plan of buying something, doing superficial restoration, some painting and decorating and then a flourish of interior design before moving on to the next property was not likely to work with Willow Cottage.

It needed major renovations, shoring up most likely or possibly knocking down, and she didn’t know where to start. What was she doing? She was a Business Operations Manager. She knew about planning and executing efficiency strategies and adhering to compliance as well as how to cope in a male dominated world. She knew nothing about renovation and she feared the money she had would soon be gobbled up by this project. Most of her money was tied up in the London flat and discussing its sale with Nick was something she couldn’t face anytime soon. He had successfully blocked her access to their joint account so that didn’t leave her with much. Just thinking about him made her feel anxious. Leo stirred and Beth turned onto her side to look at him – her gorgeous boy. He had slept well. He seemed okay even though he was miles away from London but at least he was safe.

Maybe everything wasn’t such a disaster after all.

 

#BlogTour! #Extract – Crazy Stupid Love by Cassie Rocca (@cassierocca) @Aria_Fiction

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Crazy Stupid Love - jacket
Are there written rules on how to find a soulmate? Or is it better to trust the hands of fate? A hilarious romance perfect for the fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin.

After enduring a string of dead-end relationships, Zoe Mathison has made a decision – to find a man who truly appreciates her. But this is turning out to be more complicated than she expected. Fed up of being surrounded by insufferably happy couples in love, her mission to find the perfect man starts to become an obsession.

Eric Morgan is pushed to his limits. Hopelessly in love with Zoe, who sees him as nothing more than a best friend to lean on, he can’t bear seeing his hopes of romance crushed every time the sculpted pecs of a younger man comes along. But when a new girl appears on the scene, he is determined to prove that he can push his infatuation aside and move on. But is it as easy as it seems?

In the romantic and bustling city of New York, will Zoe and Eric’s hilarious misadventures attract Cupid’s arrow?

Buy links:

Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

Extract.

Eric was right. Who knew her better than him, anyway? He had been listening to all her complaints and putting up with her outbursts since university. Lately, though, he’d been a lot less patient with her and they seemed to be arguing for no reason at all.

Sometimes she thought it was strange that their relationship had lasted so long. They couldn’t have been more different from one another! But they had bonded immediately, no matter how strange it seemed: she was a pretty waitress, always surrounded by suitors, while he was a lonesome physics and informatics student, taciturn and shy. He had quickly become her best friend and the only one who had supported her on every occasion. He had consoled her when Stuart Harris, the only guy she had ever fallen in love with in her whole life, had broken her heart by cheating on her repeatedly with her best friend and since then had been putting up with her, and especially with her hysterical hunt for a man – an obsession that had led her into ruinous relationships with the wrong men.

Maybe he had finally had enough and didn’t want to babysit her any more. Was that the reason why he had been so touchy lately?

The idea was terrifying to her: Eric was the only person she trusted unconditionally. She didn’t get on particularly well with other women and apart from Clover and Liberty she didn’t have many friends, so losing Eric’s affection and support would have left her feeling desperately alone.

His unusual coldness and distance were hurting her. It wasn’t normal for him to be like that, and he would never usually have spoken about such delicate matters in public.

He seemed to have read her mind and gave her a rather contrite look. “Hey, sorry – I went too far.”

That made Zoe feel a lot better – how could she feel hurt by someone who would apologize for just telling the truth? Her good mood restored, she smiled at him brightly the way she always did – and the way that allowed her to conquer the heart of any man of any age. “I’ll accept your apologies when you do something for me,” she joked.

Eric suddenly raised his brown eyebrows. “Something like what?”

“Well, if I can’t find anyone to go out with in the next few days, you could take me to dinner on Valentine’s Day.”

Eric looked up to the sky. “Right, like I’ve never done that before.”

“Hey, don’t act so smart, it would be a mutual favor. It’d be a fun evening between friends and people would think that we were a couple, and that way we’d both save face.”

It was almost a tradition: when both of them found themselves single, they spent their time together. Zoe couldn’t remember how many times Eric had stepped in to stop her getting drunk alone. He had put up with accompanying her to family celebrations, stepping in for dates to take over from some partner who had stood her up at the last minute, to Valentine’s dinners all those years when they were both single, and they had even gone on holiday together! In other words, Eric Morgan was the man she had spent the most time with – he was her longest lasting relationship… and they hadn’t even slept together!

She felt the need to demonstrate her affection to him, so leaned down to kiss him on the cheek. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Eric pushed his glasses up his nose the way he always did when he was embarrassed.

“You don’t need to sweet-talk me – I’ll take you to dinner.”

Their conversation was interrupted by the sound of the bell indicating that someone had come into the shop.

Zoe raised her eyes and smiled at the new client, and when she saw that it was a handsome blond guy of about six feet tall, she immediately smoothed out her wool skirt and primped her dark bob haircut.

“God, look how cute he is! I’ll deal with him.”

Liberty sneaked out from behind the counter and headed to the upper floor. “We had no doubt that you would,” she giggled with a weird smile.

Zoe turned to the client. “Welcome to Giftland! How can I help you?”

The man looked her over from head to toe and smiled. “There are a lot of things you could help me with, but right now your smile will do just fine,” he said playfully.

Zoe chuckled and went into seduction mode.

“So I guess I’m going to be free the evening of Valentine ‘s Day after all,” muttered Eric as he walked past her on the way to his office.

Clover followed him.

“Let’s not make snap judgements – maybe she won’t like him.” But at the sight of the look Eric shot her, she sighed. “OK, I’ll just shut up.”

Zoe ignored her colleagues’ comments and stood in front of the new customer, smiling all the time. It had become a habit for her: she would feign interest in any attractive men who happened to enter the shop, flirting with them and doing her best to appear attractive. It was almost like a sort of hobby and a way of boosting her self-confidence. Lately, she’d really needed it.

The New Year hadn’t started out great, to be honest, and over the last few days she had felt really agitated and restless. New couples seemed to appear out of nowhere and seeing them everywhere made her feel lonely. And what was worse was that her relatives couldn’t stop congratulating her on the ‘fantastic new boyfriend she had found’, and it felt like an unbearable weight in her stomach.

#BlogTour! #Extract from Ideal Love – Alice Burnett @BurnettBooks @Legend_Press

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Delighted to be kicking off Alice Burnett’s blog tour today with an extract from ‘Ideal Love’, which was published on 1st August in e-book by Legend Press. Happy paperback publication day to Alice Burnett, however, as ‘Ideal Love’ is available to buy in paperback from today! I will be reviewing the book at a later date also; cannot wait to get stuck in!

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After an argument with her husband Gilles, Venus Rees is left devastated by his sudden death. But when she discovers that he
died of a treatable genetic condition she knew nothing about, she is haunted by
the thought that he didn’t love her enough to save himself. As time passes,
Venus looks set to be trapped between grief and distrust forever. Until she meets
the shy, good-looking and seemingly ideal Alex.

Intertwining Venus’s compelling attraction to Alex in the present with
Gilles’ enraptured pursuit of her in the past, Ideal Love is an intimate and
life-affirming novel about love, from its incandescent beginnings to its final
breath and back again.

Buy ‘Ideal Love’ now in e-book or paperback.

Extract of ‘Ideal Love’ by Alice Burnett.

1

‘Cheek To Cheek’ by Irving Berlin

It was 25 September 1997, I was twenty-six and I had no idea the evening ahead of me would change my life.

‘Gilles – ’ Tim Woodward was whispering at my office door.

‘Ah thank God, let’s go.’

We exchanged nods with my principal and I steered Wood out of the building.

He was slightly less miserable than when I’d first suggested tonight’s party. We had a laugh about a keen fellow trainee on our way to the tube and I got a glimpse of the Wood of old. But whatever else happened that night, one mission had been accomplished – Wood was neither at his desk nor at home listening to Mozart’s Requiem.

He’d been single for a year, I’d only had six days of it, but I was the one who couldn’t sit still. We went down the escalators and squeezed on to a carriage. He’d gone too far into the darkness. I hadn’t expected my girlfriend to call it off either, I’d been upset. But the two of us were like travellers who’d teamed up only to realise we’d arrived, nothing was keeping us together. She’d just bothered to understand that and take action. And with enough notice for me to hear about this party, get Tim invited and coax him into showing up.

We stepped out of Covent Garden tube and I told him to prepare himself. It was going to be a beautiful night.

‘So it’s all over with Anna then?’ he asked bleakly. ‘Yup,’ I said, walking on.
‘Sorry to hear that.’
‘No, she did us both a favour.’

‘She seemed genuine to me.’
‘Yeh, she was, the spark just went out.’
Tim sighed. ‘Gilles, I hate to break this to you, but at some point you’ve got to stop thinking with your dick and grow up.’

A group of girls paraded past, like an erotic pat on the back. I could sense them with my eyes closed.

‘Tim,’ I said as they walked away, ‘twenty quid says I leave with a woman and you don’t.’

Tim raised his eyes and went quiet. I didn’t speak.

‘All right, all right,’ he said as if I hadn’t stopped talking. ‘Done.’

We walked into the club entrance and down the stairs, pulled under by the waves of sound and body heat, until we reached a kind of massive volcanic cave which my friend’s sister’s twenty-first had filled beyond imagining. The DJ was charging it up with seventies funk – there must have been over a hundred women on the dance oor alone – not only that, the men were all at the bar, dutifully perpetuating that great English ritual of refusing to dance with the women. What was this if not the promised land?

It didn’t take long before I was mesmerised. I pointed out the blond woman with the incredible figure to Tim. Tim said she looked aloof, but that on the plus side, this would help her shake off lust-crazed French bastards like me. I brought his attention to a sweet-looking, dark-haired girl I thought he might like, but he wasn’t convinced. I finally got Tim to concede that the blond one was ‘superficially attractive yes, but nice, no’, and went over and bought her a drink.

Her face wasn’t quite so pretty close up, but then again I clearly hadn’t made her day. She wasn’t interested in conversation and when I asked her to dance she looked at me like I’d told her a bad joke. Did I still smell of rejection? Surely not, it had been nearly a week.

Then I got lucky. She liked lawyers, especially city lawyers. She made a remark about my hair, and I said it was straight before I saw her. She laughed, and looked at me and carried on laughing, beyond the time allotted.

I went from trainee solicitor to cash-laden hotshot in ve minutes. She became a stream of gazes, a sweetshop of breasts, waist and thighs, drinking with me, dancing with me, not objecting to the feel of my hands. At least an hour must have gone by. One of her friends interrupted to complain about a girl they both knew. I went to get drinks and came back into focus. I couldn’t see Tim anywhere and wondered if he’d left. He didn’t get it. You just had to throw yourself and see where you landed.

But waiting in the crush at the bar, I glanced over at the one I’d been with as she dished it out, her expression as cold and dismissive as when I’d rst asked her to dance.

Nice no, I thought.

Back together, we found a quiet spot on the other side of the dance oor, and she was all hospitality, the sweetshop door open, the jars within reach.

We left the club. Cooling off on the pavement, I found myself asking her to dinner the following Thursday. Did people do that? But within a minute, she’d accepted, I’d hailed her a cab, kissed her goodnight and lost myself twenty quid.

I went back in to look for Tim.

#BlogTour! #Extract – A Christmas Wish by Erin Green (@ErinGreenAuthor) @Aria_fiction

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A Christmas Wish - jacket

Flora Phillips has an excuse for every disaster in her life; she was abandoned as a new-born on a doorstep one cold autumn night, wrapped in nothing but a towel. Her philosophy is simple: if your mother doesn’t want you – who will?
Now a thirty-year- old, without a boyfriend, a career or home she figures she might as well tackle the biggest question of them all – who is she? So, whilst everyone else enjoys their Christmas Eve traditions, Flora escapes the masses and drives to the village of Pooley to seek a specific doorstep. Her doorstep.
But in Pooley she finds more than her life story. She finds friends, laughter, and perhaps
even a love to last a lifetime. Because once you know where you come from, it’s so much
easier to know where you’re going.
A story of redemption and love, romance and Christmas dreams-come- true, the perfect
novel to snuggle up with this festive season.

Buy links:

Amazon
Kobo
iBooks
Google Play

Extract.

Flora

My tea steams in a white polystyrene cup. I’d give anything for a Massimo latte with
chocolate sprinkles but I assume the beverage menu is limited at Pooley police
station. On arrival, they’d confiscated my tartan blanket as a personal possession and
provided me with a larger cream-coloured blanket, which remains draped around my
shoulders. They’d also confirmed the charge of assaulting a police officer so I’m not
about to complain about my tea.

My fingers gingerly lift the flimsy cup, squashing its wide mouth to a quivering
oval. I tentatively sip under the watchful glare of two officers: my arresting male
officer and a willowy framed female, whose strawberry blonde hair is snared in a
severe ponytail. The hot tea scalds my tongue so I quickly replace the wobbly cup on
the table top.

It’s as you see on TV: a room with minimalist decor, a black topped table, a few
hard-backed chairs and a recording machine. To my left sits the duty solicitor, a tiny
bloke in a cheap nylon suit, no taller than me, supplied courtesy of my rights. I’ve
never been involved with the police before so why would I have a family solicitor?
I refused my chance to call someone, I’m not selfish enough to ruin my parents’
cruise.

The male officer, whose lower jaw is defined by his shaving shadow, unwraps the
cellophane from two blank tapes before loading and pressing the machine’s record
button.
My stomach quivers with nerves.
Is this step one towards prison? A deadbeat life of slop buckets and grey boiler
suits? Or a life on the run with a mafia style existence in Marbella?
‘Officer Scott Hamilton and Officer Kylie Brown at Pooley police station
interviewing at 2 a.m. on the twenty-fifth of December 2016. The accused was
arrested for assaulting police officer Joel Kennedy in the vicinity of St Bede’s Mews
shortly after midnight. Duty solicitor Mr Jonathan Green is also present.’
The officer coughs and clears his throat before staring at me, his chest and biceps
strain against the fabric of his shirt.
‘Could you state your full name and address please?’

“Flora Eloise Phillips of thirty-one St Edith’s Crescent, Bushey, Hertfordshire,” I
answer, knowing full well that his official eyebrow should be raised given my
distance from home.
“Occupation?”
I cringe.
“I’m currently without employment.”
The male officer smirks, the female simply stares before writing notes on her lined
pad.
They think I’m a dosser, who can’t keep a job so I fill my time by head butting
coppers. Why couldn’t I be answering ‘a receptionist for the family furniture maker of
Wright, Wright and Wright?’ Ahhh yes, because their beloved son Julian Wright
cheated on me forcing me to up sticks and move on from relationship, residence and
employment – one stone, three direct hits.

‘What brings you to the area, Flora?’
I hesitate; pull the cream blanket tightly over my shoulders, nervously glancing
between his staring gaze and her bored expression.
‘I…’ In my head the words flow in neatly formed sentences which eloquently
explain everything but I know the reality will be a tsunami of stuttering. How pathetic
will I sound admitting to two officers and an aged solicitor that life’s not good.
Actually, I’m feeling a bit down. Not your usual everyday under the weather down or
an emotional wobble but a full-blown, life-long crisis that’s been on the cards since
1986. An emotional, deep-seated feeling of being unloved, unwanted and ashamedly
at thirty years of age, a total failure in the game of life. I can’t hold onto a boyfriend,
or a job and am currently staying at my parents’ house and kipping in their spare
bedroom. I can call it house-sitting while they’re on a cruise sunning themselves –
I’ve failed to create an excuse for the previous two months.
His dark eyebrow lifts, her nude mouth purses. My solicitor’s hand hovers, his biro
suspended in mid-air above his yellow legal paper – they’re waiting for an answer.
‘It’s private,’ I mumble, reaching for my tea.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Secrets of Villa Rosso by @LinnBHalton @BrookCottagebks

Secrets of Villa Rosso Tour Banner

Vill Rosso med
Escape to Italy for a summer romance to remember.

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate’s director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.

What does TWG think?

Whenever Linn.B.Halton releases a new novel, it’s as though all of my Christmases have come at once. Yes, that’s every novel.

Expect this review to be short and sweet because, any review that I write, will not do the storyline justice at all. Even when I say that I absolutely adored ‘The Secrets of Villa Rosso’, that isn’t doing the book justice either. In all honesty, there aren’t enough words in the English language that can describe how much I adored this novel.

Ellie Maddison had to go to Italy at very short notice (shame!) to do with work. Whilst she is over the moon to have a change of scenery and time away just for herself, her husband back home isn’t happy that she is doing something for herself. Well, I thought that anyway! Arriving in Italy, Ellie felt an extremely strong connection to the country, the villa where she was staying and, weirdly enough, a strong sense of deja vu towards the estate’s director. Why does Ellie feel as though she knows the man already?

‘The Secrets of Villa Rosso’ is such a majestic and thought-provoking read. I don’t know how the author manages to produce flawless storylines every single time, but she does. Although, I felt like we were seeing a different side to Linn.B.Halton’s story telling as the storyline itself came across a lot deeper than the authors previous novels, and not in a bad way either!

The Secrets of Villa Rosso aren’t my secrets to tell, they’re Linn.B.Halton’s, which is why you need to read this book for yourself and get lost in the Italian magic.

I loved this book from start to finish; every single is written beautifully which allowed me to be transported to Italy from the comfort of my own sofa. As for the main character, Ellie; she really is a diamond in the rough, yet she is one of my most favourite characters from all of the books I have read.

Enchanting, mesmerising and beautiful addictive; The Secrets of Villa Rosso really is a book to watch for 2017. If you haven’t read a Linn.B.Halton novel yet – you must, you’re missing out on some incredible literary craftsmanship.

Highly recommended, I loved it.

Thanks Harper Impulse.

Buy now.

Amazon

KOBO

EXTRACT

It isn’t just the sunshine and the electric blue sky, but the musical calls of the countryside that reach out to me. A chorus of low-level sounds play like a soft melody in the background. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and I feel like I’m watching a re-run of a favourite film. I could stand here for a long time simply taking in the detail and with each sweep of my eyes noticing something new. Spinning around I look back at the villa, taking in the rustic beauty of the stonework and the pale orange-red hue of the sun-bleached roof tiles. This is, quite simply, unreal. It’s a little piece of heaven and, so far removed from my daily life that it’s hard to believe this is on the same planet. The
sheer scale of the landscape literally steals your breath away. I’m a mere speck, small and insignificant in the grand scheme nature is presenting to me. But rather bizarrely, it doesn’t feel alien in anyway at all. The vastness isn’t overwhelming, but strangely comforting.

I walk back to a cluster of wooden tables surrounding a small fountain and take a seat. As I dive into my bag to extract some sunglasses, I hear a polite cough and look up at the face staring down at me.
‘Mrs Maddison? I’m Max, Max Johnson. Welcome to Villa Rosso.’
I stand, automatically plastering a pleasant smile on my surprised face as recognition kicks in. I know this man, I mean, I’ve met him before. At least I think I have, but there’s nothing similar reflected back at me, only a warm smile. The sort of smile that radiates out from mysteriously deep, hazel eyes. We shake hands. He’s younger than I expected, probably in his early forties and tall. Six foot something that’s for sure, because I feel he’s towering over me.
‘I’m sorry to disturb you. I just wanted you to know that I’m here at your disposal whenever you are ready to begin. Would you like me to fetch you a coffee so you can sit for a while and enjoy the view?’
Although I knew he was British, his tan and elegant demeanour lend an air of cosmopolitan sophistication. I would not have been at all surprised if he had been Italian. He’s hovering politely and I still haven’t answered him…

Giveaway!

If you live in the UK and fancy winning the beautiful prize below, all you need to do is…… –> Enter the giveaway!<—

Good luck!

VILLA ROSSO

#BlogTour! #Extract – The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne @Picadorbooks @DonShanaha

Upstairs Room Blog Post 880x440
Whilst Kate Murray-Browne’s ‘The Upstairs Room’ is still on my TBR pile (I will get to it, honest), I am still excited to share with you, an extract from the book. Big thanks to Don Shanahan for inviting me on the tour!

upstairs

Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show. Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie atmosphere in the house and becomes convinced it is making her ill. Whilst Richard remains preoccupied with Zoe, their mercurial twenty-seven-year-old lodger, Eleanor becomes determined to unravel the mystery of the house’s previous owners – including Emily, whose name is written hundreds of times on the walls of the upstairs room.

Released on the 27th July and available to pre-order here!

Extract.

They were silent in the car. Eleanor was anticipating the argument they were going to have. She felt helpless, defeated before they’d even begun. The four bedrooms, the outside space. The area, the schools. Transport links. It didn’t feel right. What does that even mean? There’s a housing crisis. Prices are rising every month, every week: they’re rising right now. I just didn’t feel comfortable there. We’re running out of time. The smell. The upstairs room! You have to look at the potential. We could make a fortune on that place. Acquisitive, greedy. Irrational. She felt empty. They were on the move now, however much she wished they weren’t. The house they’d moved to after they got engaged, where they’d brought their children home from hospital, was no longer theirs. The moment they’d given notice, it had lurched into the unfamiliar. Its flaws and eccentricities became unbearable when there was no point fixing or tolerating them. She had never felt less welcome than in the house they had seen that afternoon, but she was unwelcome in her own home now. And she knew their resources were slowly depleting – time, energy, childcare, love.

It was only when they were getting ready for bed that it surfaced, vivid and sharp: an image of the kitchen sink, surrounded by perfectly clear, sterile metal. She tried to picture the bathroom and was certain it was the same: she could see unbroken plains of enamel, unpunctuated by signs of life.
‘Think about it, Richard, there was nothing: no washing-up liquid, no toothbrushes, no soap. It was empty.’
Richard threw his shirt on the chair in their bedroom. ‘They were probably just tidying up before the viewing. Shoved it all in a cupboard.’
‘I don’t think they live there any more.’
‘He said they did, didn’t he? Michael, I mean.’ Richard got into bed. ‘If anything, it was too lived-in.’
As she brushed her teeth, Eleanor thought of those blank surface and; the deep, dark paint colours. The feeling of compression on the top floor; the writing on the wall. There was something not quite right, awry. She just didn’t know how to articulate it. By the time she came back in the bedroom, Richard had already turned out the light.

#BlogTour! #Review #Excerpt – Dying Art by @MHollingdrake @BloodhoundBook

BLOG TOUR (5)
Big thanks to BloodhoundBooks for inviting me to be involved in Malcolm Hollingdrake’s blog tour! I hope you enjoy my review of ‘Dying Art’, as well as the extract.

DyingArt hand.jpg

Following his recovery from a personal and professional trauma, Detective Chief Inspector Cyril Bennett has been declared medically fit to resume his police duties. He returns to discover a complex case involving the art world.

Soon Bennett unearths a dark side of the industry where greed, ambition and dubious practices thrive and, where there is money to be made, violence and murder are never far away.

Working their way through a maze of galleries, museums and the internet, Bennett’s team struggles to make sense of the evidence.

Can Bennett tell the difference between what is real and what is fake?

What does TWG think?

‘Dying Art’ is the fifth book in the DCI Bennett series and, whilst it had been confirmed that this book could be read as a standalone (my green light for reviewing the book), I completely disagree with that. ‘Dying Art’, in my opinion, cannot be read as a standalone novel. I felt as though I was missing out on a lot of information regarding Cyril Bennett, including both personal and professional relationships. I didn’t have the back story. I didn’t know what had happened in the previous books. If ‘Dying Art’ was meant to be read as a standalone, I should have been able to start the novel without feeling as though I was walking into an already half told story. But I didn’t.

However, the overall premise of Malcolm Hollingdrake’s novel was quite intriguing, as well as being full of a lot of promise. The storyline being centred around real and fake art was such a clever idea. So unique. I enjoyed how the history of said art was severely entwined, requiring a lot of chiseling away to get to the bottom of the investigation. Hats off to the author for keep the investigation consistent, especially as there were so many characters and different viewpoints involved, I was quite impressed at the ease of which they were described. How the author didn’t get confused is beyond me!

Personally, I found the heart of the investigation to be my most favourite part of the book. It’s unique approach made me sit up and take notice, securing my attention for the rest of the investigation. As for the overall novel; I did struggle with the majority of the book for reasons I mentioned above. ‘Dying Art’ as a whole didn’t blow me away, yet ‘Dying Art’ as an investigation itself; did.

Thanks BloodHoundBooks.

Buy now.

Extract.

The sun hung like a limp, yellow balloon in the early morning Yorkshire
sky; it was neither high nor low but at a height that was blinding both for the few
drivers and even fewer pedestrians alike. It would prove to be far from innocent.
For Nathalie Gray, it was a total nuisance. Each step of this part of her morning
run was becoming unacceptably difficult. The lack of suitable pavement was also
a hindrance.
‘Merde!’ she whispered under her breath as her foot dipped into the third
pothole within a hundred yards. She made a mental note to wear sunglasses on
her next run.
She had pounded the same route for four consecutive mornings and this
was the first day of sunshine; she was so ill-prepared. Within the hour she would
be back at the hotel, she would have breakfasted and be heading for the
Conference Centre and the Antiques and Fine Art Fair. It was the penultimate day
of her annual working pilgrimage to Harrogate. The songs of Jack Savoretti
caressed her ears, blocking out the surrounding sounds; there were few, not
surprisingly, considering where she was and the time of day.
The silver-grey Lexus had passed her ten minutes previously. The driver
knew Nathalie’s route, she had run a convenient distance behind her each day,
but today was to be different, very different. Monica parked the car at the side of
the road and waited. There was no tail of grey smoke from the exhaust of the
now stationary vehicle. The driver, ever alert, was sensing her pending and
approaching prey. The hybrid car sat ready to pounce; it would do so electrically
and silently. The driver checked the rear view mirror and yawned. The occasional early morning and late night were tolerable, but four in a row were
proving unacceptable, especially considering the exercise.
She lowered herself into the seat as the runner came into view. Pulling
down the sun visor with her gloved hand, she slipped on a pair of sunglasses.
Within seconds, Nathalie was closing on the car, now a dark silhouette ahead in
her path. The driver saw her turn her head as if checking there were nothing
approaching from behind in preparation for rounding the parked car, unlikely
considering the time of the morning, but it was more instinctive. She quickly
veered to the right and ran around the parked obstacle, unaware of the driver’s
presence. She checked her watch and in spite of the dazzling sun she was still on
schedule.
It was then, when she was a hundred yards past the parked car, that she
suddenly pulled up abruptly as a startled rabbit sprang from the hedge. It paused
briefly before darting, bob-tailed across her immediate path and vanishing
magically into the far hedge. Nathalie raised her hand, shielding the sun so as to
allow her eyes to focus on the white, swiftly-disappearing tail. A smile came to
her lips. It’s like ‘Watership Down’, she thought, her breathing slowly steadying as
she bent at the waist to take a deep inhale. It would be the last thing that would
pass through her mind as the blinding sun was swiftly snuffed like a candle flame
touched by wet fingers. Her breathing stopped seconds later.