Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Big Little Festival

The Big Little Festival 

Love happens when you least expect it…

Jodi is panicking. It’s only weeks until her little village in Devon holds its first ever festival and everything is falling apart.
Desperate to avoid disaster, she brings in notorious party planner Christian to save the day. Although she wasn’t prepared for just how gorgeous he would be!
Men are off the cards for Jody and surely Christian is the last man she would ever date? But with tensions rising – along with the bunting and home-made scones – she’s about to find out…
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Paperback: Amazon paperback link

One of the parts I loved most about writing Christian’s character was watching him transform from a man used to giving orders without having them questioned, to a man who had to learn to work in collaboration with others, to a man who had to learn how to let people in, and to trust them – even when they didn’t always make it easy for him…

Christian nodded his thanks and spooned the sugar into the coffee, hoping the women across from him, still snickering away, wouldn’t notice the trembling of the spoon, or the small granules of sugar that fell onto the table.
‘So, how is this going to work then?’ he asked. ‘Will I make suggestions and you poo-poo them?
Will you make suggestions and expect me to action them?
Am I to be your lackey?’
‘Ooooh, I’ve always wanted a lackey.’ Mrs Harper clapped her hands in delight. ‘Yes, I’m very happy with that idea of yours. Excellent idea. You do as we say. I could live with that.’
‘Now, now, Shirley.’ Mrs Hunter shook her head in mock despair. ‘Give the poor lad a break. He’s here to help us and he must have connections. Why don’t we let him find the musical acts and we can go about telling the Rotary girls what we need for the baking stall. We’ve got the Welly-wanging sorted; Jody had that well in hand. So that should be it. We’re done.’
Christian gripped the coffee cup with both hands, brought it to his lips and sipped, holding the rich and surprisingly delicious liquid in his mouth. Who knew a tiny town could do a better cup of coffee than any he’d had in the city? He swallowed and tried to process what he’d just been told. Did they think a baking stand, some Wellington throwing and a bit of music was all a festival needed?
It needed more. Much more.
But it wasn’t going to work if he didn’t have a team he could trust working with him. Mrs Harper and Mrs Hunter were loose cannons. They’d likely jeopardise plans rather than bring them to fruition. But Jody? There was something about her he felt he could trust. She was determined, yet centred. Solid. She’d make the perfect second-in-command.   But she’d quit.   Shit.
He took another sip of the brain-focusing liquid. No, he wasn’t letting these two women smash the career he’d spent his life building into smithereens. He’d left London with his tail between his legs; there was no way he was going back to face the music of his great mistake without a success under his belt.
He was going to make this work.
‘Ladies.’ The word came out with a squeak. Hardly the show of strength he’d hoped for. Still, it had caught their attention. He cleared his throat and tried again. ‘Ladies, I appreciate how hard you’ve worked on this festival. I can see how passionate about it you are. But to be honest, it’s not enough. A festival needs to be fun, it needs excitement, amusement, it needs to be something people talk about all year round as they wait for it to come around again. What you’ve planned is a start. But it’s not an end. No. We’re going to have to work together to make this bigger. To make it better than any other festival in the area. A festival people from other counties come to visit. We’re going to make this festival the biggest little festival in England. Are you with me?’

Author Bio:

At the age of five Kellie Hailes declared she was going write books when she grew up. It took a while for her to get there, with a career as a radio copywriter, freelance copywriter and web writer filling the dream-hole, until now. Kellie lives on an island-that’s-not-really-an-island in New Zealand with her patient husband, funny little human and neurotic cat. When the characters in her head aren’t dictating their story to her, she can be found taking short walks, eating good cheese and hankering for her next coffee fix.

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Twitter:  @KellieHailes

 What could be more fun than a festival to commemorate a HUGE event in the town's history - the town being Rabbits Leap (with no apostrophe) and the event, a passel of wild rabbits being run out of town by loud, BAD music! Who is up to celebrating with a round of Welly-wanging? 
A light hearted warm romantic read sure to make you smile.

As if single mom Jody doesn't have her hands full raising twin 9 year old boys, she wants to give back to her community so heads up the "committee" organizing the Big Little festival. Not that they can afford to (when in fact they can't afford NOT to) Jody hires a fancy event planner to take control of the festival, although giving up control is not easy for Jody.
The town and its people are unlike any Christian has encountered before. He feels like time in Rabbits Leap stalled in the early 1950s. But he has a secret and needs this festival to be more than successful.

I was already hooked before the end of chapter one but Kellie Hailes threw in cotton floss and a psychic!

Jody and Christian must work closely together to pull off organizing a festival in only three weeks.
Although each is attracted to the other from the start, past experiences have closed off their hearts to getting close to someone new. Can the main couple survive their feelings, keep their secrets and raise enough money to fix the town pool?
Having an American English ear I am delighted with the phrasing as well as the small town appeal. This is a fast paced novel, sweet but not sickeningly so. The characters are wonderful and full of life. I wish it didn't end!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Marked Beauty by S.A. Larsen

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.

Title: Marked Beauty
Author: S.A. Larsen
Publisher: Ellysian Press
Release Date: October 2017

Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras.
Not a welcome gift for a teenager.   Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.

Viktor Castle also has a secret.
He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.

After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only
to put her in more danger.

As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground.
For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.

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S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at

 What better way to celebrate a book birthday then by a giveaway! 
There are many ways to enter, which you'll find below. You can win an iTunes, Amazon, or Starbucks gift card, an authentic Vera Bradley Little Crossbody in Cobalt Tile, an assortment of bookish swag, and even a KINDLE Fire HD 7"! The giveaway runs from release day, October 17, 2017 to December 5, 2017. 
Winners will be announced via social media December 7, 2017.

*No purchase necessary to win*
However, if you have read Marked Beauty or purchase it and read you can earn extra entries by posting a review on any major online retail bookstore and Goodreads! All the information you'll need is in the form below.
BUT there's more...

Writers who enter can WIN a first five pages critique!
 Thank you for being part of #TeamBeauty and for helping me celebrate!  

Ready to start the party?

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Blog Tour Giveaway:

·        One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT) 

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Mr. Taken by Danica Winters

Mr. Taken
by Danica Winters
Series: Mystery Christmas, #3
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Paperback Release Date: October 17, 2017
Digital Release Date: November 1, 2017

In Mystery, Montana, a white-hot hunk fights fire with passion… 

Though he's ridiculously handsome and notoriously funny, it's Colter Fitzgerald's firefighting skills that are most needed by Whitney Barstow—at first. She's been traumatized by fire and terrified that the arsonist sabotaging Dunrovin Ranch is a madman from her past. She's also fearful that harm will come to any man she loves, so denies her attraction to Colter. Then why is she jealous of another woman's hands all over him?

On the eve of the ranch's Christmas festival, Colter wants no one but Whitney, body, soul and darkest secrets. But there's still an arsonist to stop…before what makes the season bright is Dunrovin in flames.

Around Mystery, Montana everyone loves the Fitzgeralds. They are a family who go out of their way to help others. Son Colter is a firefighter. While he Is never starved for women to pay attention to him, the woman he sets his eyes and heart on is a new hire at Dunrovin Ranch.
Whitney is nice enough and goes out of her way to be polite to everyone and make the ranch guests happy. That is not always an easy task. However, her past is something of a mystery.
When dangerous things start to happen around Dunrovin, which is already having financial troubles as well as PR difficulties,  everyone gets nervous about their future.
They thought that when recent murders were solved and criminals sent away things could get back to normal.
Can these two star crossed loners frind true love and some Christmas miracles?

The mystery holds and sweet romance takes its time to play out in this installment of the series.

Book 1: Ms. Calculation

Book 2: Mr. Serious

Book 4: Ms. Demeanor
Available November 21 - Pre-Order Now!

Danica Winters is a Nielsen BookScan and an Amazon bestselling author who has won multiple awards for writing books that grip readers with their ability to drive emotion through suspense and occasionally a touch of magic. Most recently, Danica was the winner of the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Paranormal Romantic Suspense Book of the Year Award and Chanticleer Media’s Paranormal Book of the Year for her novel Montana Mustangs.

When she’s not working, she can be found in the wilds of Montana testing her patience while she tries to understand the allure of various crafts (quilting, pottery, and painting are not her thing).  She always believes the cup is neither half full nor half empty, but it better be filled with wine.

Danica Winters is represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

This Time Is Different by Mae Wood

Title: This Time is Different
Author: Mae Wood
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 12, 2017


Life can change in a flash.

Marriage and a baby wasn’t Amy Forsythe’s college plan. After a shotgun marriage glued together by her son, she’s convinced that love isn’t meant for her.  Now nearing forty and single for the first time since her senior prom, her friends are pushing her to date.  Her teenager isn’t thrilled by the idea and neither is Amy.

Silver fox Thomas Popov isn’t looking for The One. He found her decades ago.  And fell apart when she died.  At fifty-three with a new job, a new city, and an empty nest, he’s focused on climbing the corporate ladder.

When a rec league softball accident lands Thomas in Amy’s dental chair, sparks fly.

Lightning doesn’t strike twice. But love might.
This time is different.

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Free in Kindle Unlimited


“Mr. Popov! I thought the appointment was for five,” I said, closing the door to my SUV after spotting him in the parking lot. He was leaning against his car and tapping on a phone, and his face was still a wreck.

“Yeah, it is. I wanted to beat traffic, so I’ve been taking some calls from your parking lot,” he replied, sliding the phone into his suit pants pocket. Silver hair, light blue dress shirt, rolled up at the sleeves, showcasing his muscular forearms. Someone plays a lot of softball.

“Okay, well, Jana should be here soon and then I can take a quick peek and you’l be on your way.”

“No rush. And please, call me Thomas,” he said.

“Only if you’ll call me Amy.”

“Nice to meet you, Amy.”

He extended his hand, a friendly smile lighting up his face. The bruise was healing nicely, but the impact point was still purple with a large halo of yellow. It was mainly obscured by his salt and pepper scruff. I didn’t blame him for not shaving. Except for his lip, the skin hadn’t broken. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t any less tender from the trauma. In fact, I was impressed that he was able to smile through the ache.

“And you, Thomas,” I replied, hoisting my purse up my shoulder and clasping his hand. I expected a couple of quick businesslike pumps. What I got was different. His hand was big and warm and soft, making me feel delicate, but before I could process what was different, before I could categorize it into neat little bullet points—

“I’m here already. Just noticed you. Y’all are early,” called Jana from the office’s bright red front door.

As I pulled my head out of the clouds, where I’d just begun to wonder how soft the rest of his skin was, I started to withdraw my hand. But not before he gave a little squeeze. Was that a wink?

“Amy, real quick.”


“Will you have dinner with me? I’ve got a table at Brooklyn Bridge at six thirty. And I hear good things about the lobster ravioli and tiramisu.”

The heat that had been building in me quickly cooled. I hated pity dates. I hated when my friends shoved men into my path and hoped for the best. The only one ever truly happy was the friend doing the shoving. And I’d had enough pity from men to last my lifetime. Being alone was better than being pitied.

“Did Diana ask you to do this?” I inquired, narrowing my eyes at him, trying to discern his true intention behind his offer of my favorite meal.

“No. Though she told me what restaurant. So, that’s a yes?”

She didn’t con him into asking me out? It just didn’t make sense. Men didn’t ask me out because they wanted to. Men asked me out because they were obligated to. “That’s a—”

“Yes. Let that be a yes,” he said, another gentle squeeze on my hand that I thought I’d pulled away. Maybe he honestly did want to go on a date with me.

“And tiramisu?” I asked, testing the waters with my toe.

“Of course. And whatever else you want.”

A smile tickled at the corners of my mouth. Was he propositioning me? God, really? Me, mother of a seventeen-year-old being propositioned?

“They have a nice wine selection,” I said, wading further into the waters to see whether his eyes fell—a clear sign that Diana had pushed him into taking me out—or whether they lit up because he wanted to have dinner with me. In the three years since I’d started going on occasional dates, I hadn’t seen much light.

“There you go. We’ll have wine.” And there was light in his gray blue eyes. “Thank you.”

“Thank you?” My head spun. He was asking me on a date because he wanted to. Not because someone had pressured him into it. Or that he felt like he had to take me out. I honestly wasn’t sure if that had ever happened to me before. And I meant ever.

“Thanks for taking pity on an old man.”

“Oh, hush your mouth,” I said, letting go of his hand, resettling my purse on my shoulder and turning toward the office. “Let’s see if you’re ready to eat that lobster ravioli.”

As I checked his teeth and gums and lips for healing, I got caught up in his eyes. Thick dark lashes rimmed the soft gray blue.

“Whaaa?” he asked, around my fingers, and I remembered where I was—paused with my hands in my patient-turned-date’s mouth. Blue gloves, yoga pants, a lightweight hoodie over a blue tank top, and whatever random pile I swept my hair up into for my post-Pilates shower at the gym. Yeah, no fairy godmothers here. But at least I’d taken that shower.

“Looks good, Mr. Popov. I mean, Thomas,” I said, swiveling on the stool, stripping off the blue gloves and tossing them in the bin. “The lip looks good. Your gums are healing nicely and the teeth have firmed up. No discoloration or signs of stress. You got lucky.”

He pushed up from the exam chair, swinging his legs to the floor. “I did,” he said, looking at me square in the face.

Am I blushing? My cheeks felt warm. Is it warm in here? Is this perimenopause? Is this a hot flash?  Because I hadn’t had a period in nearly two decades and was sneaking up on forty, every time I unexpectedly got warm, I wondered if I was entering menopause.

But I quickly realized that it wasn’t a life change. It was the big, handsome, and very forward man in my office. I didn’t know what to do because he clearly wasn’t talking about his softball accident. I spun around and typed a few notes into his record so that Diana could pull them up on Monday. I logged out of the computer, but not before taking a quick peek at the birthdate at the header of his profile. He was fourteen years and two months older than me to the day. May eleventh. He’d just turned fifty-three.

“Okay, you guys, let’s hit it. Thanks for coming in, Jana. I really appreciate it,” I said.

“Happy to, Dr. Forsythe. I’m going to go lock up,” said Jana, leaving the two of us alone.

“Am I cleared to eat?” he asked, standing up and offering his hand to me.

“Absolutely. As long as there’s no pain. Pasta would be a good starting food on the injured side.”

I placed my hand in his and it happened again. The warmth. The electricity. The parking lot wasn’t a fluke. 

Author Bio

Mae Wood is a mommy, bookworm, and lawyer (in that order).

A while ago Mae decided that she needed to give up the fear that she couldn't write "great literature" and write what she wants to read.

And she wants romance. And laughter.

She wants heroines who are brave. Brave enough to be themselves and brave enough to fall in love.

She wants men who are strong and kind.

Mae lives in the Southeastern United States and sets her books in hot and steamy Memphis, Tennessee.

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