The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

A Spell in Provence

A Spell in Provence

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

336 Hours by Rachel Cathan

Welcome to Rachel Cathan and 336 HOURS today, a book ‘based on the author’s true life experiences, and a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.’ Don't forget the giveaway at the end of this post!




Release Date: 13th February 2017

Publisher: SilverWood Books

The next 336 hours will be tough. No, the next 336 hours will be really tough…

I feel like an Olympian, waiting to see whether the years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication are finally going to pay off, or whether my body is about to fail me at the last hurdle and make me wonder why I ever hoped I could win.

My best friend is pregnant, my single friends are planning their pregnancies and, after five long years of tests and investigations, I’m coming to the end of my third – and supposedly final – IVF treatment. There are 336 hours to survive before I’ll know if I get to join the motherhood club. That’s 224 waking hours of pure psychological torture. 112 sleeping hours to stare at the ceiling and wonder, what the hell am I going to do with my life if it turns out I can’t have kids?

Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.


Extract: They should have IVF farms for women like me to book into at times like these; pretty padded cells with flat-screen TVs and row upon row of feel-good DVDs and relaxation CDs, and beautiful gardens and luxury bathrooms with hot taps that would never heat up to embryo boiling temperatures, and gigantic rocking chairs so that we could legitimately sit and rock ourselves backwards and forwards for hours on end without looking completely crazy in the process.
BUY LINK
RACHEL CATHAN is a writer from Bedfordshire. In 2001, a mutual friend introduced her to a part-time pub DJ in Southend-on-Sea. A month later, they had moved in together, around seven years later they tied the knot, and a little while after that – just like so many couples before them – they made the exciting and terrifying decision to start a family. And then, like a growing number of couples today, well...not a lot happened.
Throughout the subsequent years of fertility investigations and failed treatments, Rachel kept a diary of her experiences, and it’s from these first- hand encounters in the world of infertility and IVF that her first book, 336 Hours has been adapted.
GIVEAWAY
2 ECOPIES OF THE BOOK




Thursday, 9 February 2017

True Colours by Elly Redding


I am delighted to welcome Elly Redding with her contemporary romance TRUE COLOURS today. Don't forget to enter the great giveaway by clicking the link at the bottom of the post. Good luck!

TRUE COLOURS

BY ELLY REDDING

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 25 November 2016
Publisher: SilverWood Books

Could you ever trust again – the man who broke your heart?
Kate Fenton thought she’d got the answer to that question all neatly sewn up.  Ever since she went to Saul Preston’s London art gallery, a month before their wedding, and found him with his assistant – who looked as if she was in the middle of a game of strip poker.
Now, three years later, she’s no longer so sure.  Saul’s back in her life with a new proposition – accompany him on a trip to Majorca as his interpreter.  It’s an offer Kate can’t refuse, even though she knows she should.  Successful and rich, he’s just the sort of client her translation company is trying to attract – even if he is her two-timing ex!
Saul’s never gone in for second chances.  He’s never had the time, but he knows exactly what he’s doing when he suggests the trip to Kate.  As gorgeous and infuriatingly easy to fall for as ever, he’s determined to rekindle their past.  And he’s only got 3 days to do it…

‘True Colours’ – Winner of The Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award 2014

From award-winning author Elly Redding comes a fresh, effervescent, passionate romance that reunites Kate, a London career girl, with Saul, her seriously successful, rich and gorgeous, ex-fiancé.  He’s already broken her heart once, so maybe accepting his business proposition isn’t such a good idea.  But sometimes decisions just aren’t that easy.  As the chemistry between them bubbles with renewed vigour, Kate is sorely tempted.  Can a leopard really change its spots – or is she just deceiving herself, with the man who broke her heart?

“A wonderfully warm romance, with lots of emotion and passion, and a generous sprinkling of delicious wit.  I loved this story!” – Joanne Walsh, author

EXTRACT

“Go away,” she shouted frantically reassessing her options.

“I don’t really think you’re in a position to make demands, do you, trapped as you are?  Unless, of course, you’re thinking of taking up abseiling.  In which case, may I advise restraint?  You’re on the fourth floor.  You’re afraid of heights and I’m not standing in the right place to catch you.”

Good.  It would ruin the whole point of the exercise if he was.  She didn’t tell him that though.  Instead she suggested he make an appointment, that if he wanted to see her, he should do what everyone else did.

“But I’m not everyone else, am I?  I’m the guy who’s still considering suing you for breach of contract.”

“Contract - what contract?”

“Your promise to marry me.”

“You bastard.”   It was the first thing she could think of to say, but she thought it summed up the situation perfectly.  “In which case, may I suggest you contact my lawyer?  I think you’ll find I’ve a very strong case for a counter claim.  Or has something conveniently slipped your memory?  Let me give you a clue.  She had an amazing pair of breasts.”

BUY LINKS

Available in Kindle and Paperback!



ABOUT ELLY REDDING

Elly Redding was born in London but now lives in Bedfordshire with her husband. Having originally written screenplays, her first novel, ‘True Colours’, won the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award in 2014. She enjoys tap dancing and watching the waves, although not necessarily at the same time!

She keeps in touch with her readers on Twitter – @ellyredding, and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/EllyReddingAuthor/

Website: ellyredding.com

Giveaway
An ecopy of the book!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4be03017211/

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Escape to Africa by the World Romance Writers


Exciting news...I am delighted to announce that ESCAPE TO AFRICA, the new anthology of romantic short stories by The World Romance Writers, will be released at the end of March 2017.

I am very proud to have a story included in the anthology, together with authors Denysé Bridger, Lynn Crain, Alicia Dean, Gemma Juliana and Jenny Twist. All our stories have romance, suspense and adventure aplenty, and are set in various countries in Africa - from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, to Kenya.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
The Ravine of the Wild Woman, a tale of love and revenge, is set in Algeria in 1865. Those of you who read this blog or who read my historical romance THE LION'S EMBRACE might remember that I have always been very interested in the history of Algeria, mainly because it's where my mother was born and brought up, but also because it has stunning sceneries and fascinating people and cultures. My mother used to tell us lots of stories about her childhood in Algiers and a small seaside village called Suffren, as well as about various places she visited in Algeria. I still miss her very much, and I know that writing stories set in Algeria is my way of remembering her and staying close to her.

The Ravine of the Wild Woman is a real place in the suburbs of Algiers - Le Ravin de la Femme Sauvage, in French - is close to the Birmandreis Forest, and was named after a poor creature who lived there, alone and scavenging for food, in the 1840s. Who was she really? Some people said she was a melancholic young woman who had been abandoned by her lover, others claimed she was a mother who had lost her mind after her children got lost in the forest one day...

To know which of these two stories I chose, you'll have to read the book!



Here is the blurb

The Ravine of the Wild Woman

Algeria, North Africa, 1865.

Lenora Sharp is Azerwal's perfect woman. Brave, determined and unconventional, she is also related to the man who stole his name, his childhood and his identity - the very man and he has vowed to destroy, even if it takes him all the way to hell. Will love get in the way of revenge, and will Azerwal lose his heart before he loses his soul?


Thursday, 24 November 2016

SAVED BY THE FIREFIGHTER by Rachel Brimble


Genre: Contemporary romance

Release Date: Nov 1st

How can she forgive him for what he didn't do? 

Photographer Izzy Cooper feels as frozen as her pictures. Trent Palmer might be the hottest firefighter in Templeton Cove, but she can never face him again. Not after he failed to save her brother. But when they're forced together by a calendar shoot, the sparks between them are undeniable. 

Izzy knows it's not fair to blame Trent for the tragedy, but opening herself up to loss again isn't something she's prepared to do, no matter how determined Trent is to show her that pain is part of life and that love—their love—can make any suffering bearable.

EXTRACT

The security alarm chimed. Someone had stepped inside the studio. Exhaling a heavy breath, Izzy pulled back her shoulders, lifted her head and forced a smile.

“Hi, how can I…” Her heart stopped. Trent Palmer stood just inside the door. “Why are you here?”

His dark green gaze bored relentlessly into hers, his strong jaw set as he reached behind him and shut the door. “I came by to see how you’re doing.”

Traitorous attraction skittered over the surface of her skin before Izzy turned and strode toward the corner she used for staging portrait shots. The fluffy bunnies, huge furry dice and toys she’d used to relax a toddler earlier now felt macabre.

She spun around, clutching a teddy bear. “The same as I was doing yesterday and the day before. I told you I don’t want to see you. I don’t ever want to see you. Why do you keep coming back?”

He came closer, his gaze locked on hers. “You have to talk to me. I was Robbie’s friend. There was nothing—”

“You could do. Fine. I get it, but why do you feel the need to keep coming in here and checking up on me? What do you want me to do? Dance in the street? Kick up my heels at the fairground? God, just leave me alone.”

“There’s a beach party tonight. I want you to come with me.”

She stared. Why him? Why would a man she really liked—a damn firefighter­­—have to pursue her like she was someone worth pursuing? “No.”

He looked at the equipment covering the desk alongside him. He lifted and replaced a camera, the hunch of his wide shoulders indicating his discomfort. Izzy hated that she drew no satisfaction from that…only sadness.

BUY LINKS
AMAZON UK
AMAZON US
B & N
ABOUT RACHEL BRIMBLE
Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had six books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and recently signed a contract for two more. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!
Facebook:

Twitter:

Goodreads Author Page:

Blog:

Website:

GIVEAWAY!
A tote bag plus a signed copy of the book!



Monday, 21 November 2016

FROZEN MINDS by Cheryl Rees-Price


Hello Cheryl and welcome to the blog. The weather has been absolutely atrocious here in Lancashire these past few days. I hope it hasn't been quite as stormy where you are.

First of all, congratulations on the publication of FROZEN MINDS, the second novel in the DI Winter Meadows Mystery series. What an atmospheric cover!


Can you tell us a little about you?

I’m Cheryl Rees-Price author of the Winter Meadows Mystery series. I trained as an accountant technician and now work as a finance director for a project management company. To combat the boredom of number crunching I spend my evening plotting the demise of deserving characters.

I must say that numbers have always been my phobia. I can't even help my daughter with her maths homework! At least I have the excuse that we do see differently in France - even divisions! Tell me, where do you get your ideas for your stories?

Ideas come from all sources. The idea for the first Winter Meadows came from walking the dog up a disused quarry. I started to think about what would happen if I didn’t make it home. The idea for the second book came from a conversation with a relative. She was having trouble with her boss. To cheer her up I turned her boss into a character in the book. He ended up being the murder victim.

And what is the one thing you absolutely need to write? (quiet, music, an empty house, coffee or chocolate?)

Lots of tea. I work in the kitchen so I am close to the kettle. Unfortunately I have a habit of munching chocolate and biscuits so I’m always a few pounds heavier when I finish a book.

I know exactly what you mean...my big problem is cake and cheese.
I find promotion very daunting. In fact, if I'm honest I don't really know what to do when it comes to promoting my work. How do you promote your work? What do you enjoy the most? What do you find the hardest?

My work is promoted on social media and I also give talks at local libraries. The first time I gave a talk I was terrified. My daughter said I looked green before I left the house. After the first minute I started to relax and by the time I got to the Q&A session my heart rate had returned to normal. I enjoy meeting and talking to people but don’t like to be the centre of attention. 

What's your top tip for promoting your work?

Make friends with other authors and join some groups. The ones I have got to know have been so helpful and are always happy to give advice.

Good advice. I have made good friends thanks to Facebook, but I really don't 'get'Twitter. How do you pick the location for a story?

The Winter Meadows series is set in a fictional valley which is based on my local area. I used a fictitious setting so I would have the scope to add buildings and streets. 

I love naming my characters and can spend quite some time finding the name that feels just right. What about you? How do you chose the name of your characters?

I often use baby naming books or take a walk around graveyards and look at names that are popular for certain time periods. If it is a minor character I use the first name that pops into my head. My daughters often accuse me of using names of their friends.

And why not? Some names these days are very original. What comes first when you are thinking of a new story - the plot or the characters?

The plot usually comes first. I have an idea for a story line and spend a fair amount of time working out the plot. I create the cast before I start on the first draft. Each character is given a profile with description and back story, it helps me keep track as I write

And now for the word association fun test! Look at the words below and choose the first 3 words that come to your mind...

Sun: warm, sea, happy

Winter: snow, Christmas, hats

Writing: letters, stories, pen

Chocolate: Orange, cake, biscuit

Love: Family, friends, hearts

What lovely words you chose, Cheryl! I thank you for being my guest today and wish you lots of success with FROZEN MINDS.



Blurb for Frozen Minds

When a man is found murdered at Bethesda House, a home for adults with learning difficulties, local people start to accuse the home's residents of being behind the killing. The victim was a manager at the home, and seemingly a respectable and well-liked family man. DI Winter Meadows knows there's more to the case than meets the eye. As he and his team investigate, Meadows discovers a culture of fear at the home - and some unscrupulous dealings going on between the staff. Does the answer to the case lie in the relationships between the staff and the residents - or is there something even more sinister afoot?




Author Bio

Cheryl Rees-Price was born in Cardiff and moved as a Young child to a small ex-mining village on the edge of the Black Mountains, South Wales, where she still lives with her husband, daughters and two cats.  After leaving school she worked as a legal clerk for several years before leaving to raise her two daughters.

 Cheryl returned to education, studying philosophy, sociology and accountancy whilst working as a part time book keeper. She now works as a finance director for a company that delivers project management and accounting services.

 In her spare time Cheryl indulges in her passion for writing, the success of writing plays for local performances gave her the confidence to write her first novel. Her other hobbies include walking, and gardening which free her mind to develop plots and create colourful characters.


Sunday, 6 November 2016

A SPELL IN PROVENCE is awarded a CHILL WITH A BOOK Award


I was delighted to receive the news yesterday that my contemporary romantic suspense A SPELL IN PROVENCE had been awarded a CHILL WITH A BOOK Award.
This is an award given by readers who take account of the following five points:

1. Were the characters strong and engaging?
2. Was the book well written?
3. Did the plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
4. Was the ending satisfying?
5. Have you told your friends about it?

A SPELL IN PROVENCE got a YES for all five questions!

Blurb:
Passion and mystery in the hills of Provence when an ancient spell weaves its dark magic.

After losing her job in England, Amy Carter uses her redundancy payment to start a new life in France, turning Bellefontaine, an overgrown Provençal farmhouse, into a successful hotel. Though she has big plans for her new home, none of them involves falling in love — least of all with Fabien Coste, the handsome but arrogant owner of the nearby château.
As romance blossoms in the beautiful Provençal countryside, disturbing events at the farmhouse hint at a dark mystery — a destructive, centuries-old attachment between the ladies of Bellefontaine and the ducs de Coste. As Amy struggles to unravel the mystery, she begins to wonder if it may not just be her heart at risk, but her life too.

A SPELL IN PROVENCE is available from Amazon here both as ebook and paperback, and from Áccent Press Accent Press.


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Welcome to Lorna Peel and NEW BLOOD!

I am delighted to welcome Lorna today to talk about her latest release, NEW BLOOD. There is a great giveaway at the end of the post so don't forget to enter for a chance to win lovely prizes!
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: 3 November 2016
Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing
Suitable for 18+
Hello Lorna and thank you very much for coming on the blog today. What a stunning and atmospheric cover you have for NEW BLOOD. You must be delighted with it! 

What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you always know you wanted to write? 

I’ve always wanted to do something which involved writing. For a long time I wanted to be a journalist and I even did work experience on a local newspaper, but I realised I wasn’t outgoing enough for that so I started writing novels instead!

In three words - What kind of man is Thomas Heaton, your hero?

Shy, reclusive, workaholic.

And in three words - What kind of woman is Sophia Nelson, your heroine?

Inquisitive, thoughtful, practical.

What did Thomas think the first time he saw Sophia?

Thomas studied history of art at university and loves full-figured Renaissance women, so when he sees curvy Sophia Nelson walk into his library, he thinks all his birthdays and Christmases have come at once!

Lovely! And what did Sophia think of Thomas the first time she saw him? 

Thomas is tall, dark, and handsome and Sophia later admits that although he intimidated her, it was lust at first sight.

It sounds like you have the perfect chemistry between your protagonists here, Lorna! Tell me, what is the one thing you absolutely need to write? I need quiet, which I almost never get. What about you?

When I write the first draft of a novel, I need a comfy chair, my laptop, and no interruptions. When I edit, I can have music which isn’t too intrusive in the background.

I love choosing my characters' names. How do you pick yours?

I have a baby name book which I choose names from! I prefer to use traditional names like Robert and Jane (from Only You), Charlie and Kate (from Into The Unknown), Rachel and Matthew (from The Image of Her), and Sophia and Thomas (from New Blood).

Author Bio

Lorna Peel is an author of contemporary and historical romantic fiction. Her debut novel, ONLY YOU, a contemporary celebrity romance set in London, England, was published in 2014. INTO THE UNKNOWN, a World War Two romance set in London, the south east of England, and Ireland, was published in 2015 and reached Amazon’s top 20 best sellers in 20th Century Historical Romance. THE IMAGE OF HER, a romantic suspense set in rural England about a woman’s search for her birth mother, was published in May 2016. NEW BLOOD, a romantic suspense set in a stately home in Yorkshire, England, will be published on 3 November 2016.

Lorna was born in England and lived in North Wales until her family moved to Ireland to become farmers, which is a book in itself! She lives in rural Ireland, where she writes, researches her family history, and grows fruit and vegetables. She also keeps chickens (and a Guinea Hen who now thinks she’s a chicken!).

BLURB FOR NEW BLOOD

Sophia Nelson returns to her home town in Yorkshire, England to begin a new job as tour guide at Heaton Abbey House. There, she meets the reclusive Thomas, Baron Heaton, a lonely workaholic.

Despite having a rule never to become involved with her boss, Sophia can’t deny how she finds him incredibly attractive.

When she overhears the secret surrounding his parentage, she is torn. But is it the attraction or the fear of opening a Pandora’s box that makes her keep quiet about it?

How long can she stay at the abbey knowing what she does?

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01KW0I7P2

Amazon US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KW0I7P2

Universal Amazon Link - http://viewbook.at/NewBlood

Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124481051?ean=9781911381358

Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/660432

Kobo - https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/new-blood-18

iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/new-blood/id1147236157?mt=11

EXCERPT

She was at Michelle’s at eight o’clock on the dot that evening.

 “Come in.” Michelle smiled. “I’ve just put the kettle on.” They brought their mugs of coffee into the living room and sat on the sofa. “So what’s up? You sounded like you were about to strangle someone yesterday.”

 “Lord Heaton,” she replied simply.

 “What, he’s a pain in the arse?”

 “Yeah, and the rest.”

 “What?” Michelle’s eyes bulged. “Oh, my God, you don’t fancy him, do you?” Sophia looked away. “Sophia?”

 “I don’t know what to do,” she said miserably. “I need to leave but I can’t because I need the money and I need the flat but…”

 “Heaton,” Michelle finished and Sophia smiled sadly and nodded. “Okay, tell me what’s been going on.”

 “Everyone thinks he’s a recluse. He isn’t. I mean, he doesn’t go out much but it’s not like he never leaves the house or anything. I mean, we’ve been going walking together for weeks now—”

 “Walking?” Michelle interrupted incredulously. “Hang on. Hang on. Rewind. You go walking together?”

 “It came up that I go walking and I asked if he’d like to come. He said yes after a bit and we go walking on the moors. Stephanie comes too at the moment, though.”

 “His sister?” Michelle asked.

 Sophia swallowed. “Yes.”

 “Okay. Go on.”

 “I fancied him from the start. Bloody hell, it’s so corny but he’s tall, dark and handsome. But he’s got an awful temper and he smokes.”

 Michelle shrugged. “You can’t have everything.”

 “No. We just…talk. He’s shy and he’s lonely. He hates to admit it but he is. Everyone just treats him like ‘Lord Heaton’ and it’s like he’s become this character and has to keep on playing it. I mean, he continually calls me Ms Nelson. He’s never called me Sophia once.”

 “And what do you call him?” Michelle frowned.

 “Lord Heaton,” she replied. “It sounds ridiculous but he’s never once asked me to call him Thomas.”

And now for the Word Association Fun Test!

Please write the first three words that come to your mind...

day – light, work, eat

night – darkness, sleep, dreams

winter – rain, storms, darkness

summer – rain, humidity, midges

writing – concentration, typing, editing

How very interesting. I have never had these words about summer before...

Thank you for hosting and interviewing me, Marie!

You are very welcome, and I wish you lots of success with NEW BLOOD.

cotton tote bag, magnetic postcard, and a signed postcard
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