The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

A Spell in Provence

A Spell in Provence

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!
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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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