Blog tour ‘n’ Book Review – Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin

by Helen J Rolfe

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin

Do you believe in Christmas Miracles?

Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises.

Mitch does all he can to avoid human contact, spending his days in the little log cabin out in the woods behind Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track.

Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever?

Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.

Curl up this Christmas for plenty of snowflakes, roaring log fires, a marriage proposal, unlikely friendships and second chances as we return to the much-loved characters in the New York Ever After series.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Miracles-Little-Cabin-After-ebook/dp/B07HJ78RWY

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Miracles-Little-Cabin-After-ebook/dp/B07HJ78RWY

My Review

It doesn’t get much more Christmassy than this: snowmen, Christmas trees, a log cabin and a roaring fire at every corner. Then there’s a damsel (not quite in distress, but definitely on a discovery journey as she – Holly – sets out to prove herself as a freelance photographer) and a dastardly villain (the self-indulgent Pierre who is used to getting his own way), and finally the rough-and-ready Prince Charming (in need of a shave, a wash and brush-up, and a huge dose of self-esteem – Mitch.) Throw them all together in Inglenook Falls, the most idyllic setting you can imagine, and one brought stunningly to life by the author’s gorgeous descriptions and attention to detail, and – hey presto, you have a modern Mills and Boon story that you can’t help but get wrapped up in.

Easy to read, charming at every step, this story is filled with an abundance of interesting characters. I look forward to picking up the other books in this series and getting more involved in the lives of Cleo, Darcy, Dylan and Sarah; their backstories are hinted at here, and I’d love to explore their histories more. That’s not to say this cannot be enjoyed as a stand-alone – it most certainly can – but once you meet these folk, I’m sure you’d want to know more about them too.

A delightful, seasonal read fill that oozes with humour and charm, friendship and love: the perfect feel-good story for this time of year.

About the Author

Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community.

Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world.

So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

 

Social Media Links 

https://www.facebook.com/helenjrolfewriter

https://twitter.com/HJRolfe

www.helenjrolfe.com

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/helen-j-rolfe

For more news, reviews and posts, check out these blogs:

As always,

 

Advertisements

Sunday Serialisation: The Fifth Wheel

Today, we’re up to Chapter 4 in my Sunday serialisation of The Fifth Wheel.

And, just in time for tea as the girls meet Jorge for the first time 😉

 

Search for “Sunday serialisation” to find previous chapters.

One chapter each week – so ten in total, before moving onto the sequel Casualty of Court. I’m currently working on the next in this series (Heiresses & Heirlooms) and hope to have that ready for mid 2019.

Of course, you can still purchase a copy (links at the end)- but if you like your stories in short bursts, then stick around. After all, as winter draws closer, you can enjoy a touch of summer sunshine instead.

Here’s the summary:

Fern Mortimer has mastered the art of being invisible. Since a hit and run accident five years ago left her wheelchair-bound, she has become a recluse in her parents’ home. 
After finally venturing back into the real world, she struggles to make friends and trust anyone. Getting the nickname of The Ice Queen at her new place of work does little to build her confidence. 
However, one young woman, Nessa Sullivan, sees through Fern’s mask and is determined to be her friend. A mission that only months later sees Fern joining Nessa and three others on a well-deserved and much-needed holiday to the Portuguese Algarve.
During the holiday, Fern is seduced by a handsome restaurant manager, raising her mood and her hopes of a romantic entanglement whilst also robbing her of her usual common sense and sound judgement. 
So, why is her wheelchair now lying capsized in the infinity pool when a body is spotted out at sea? Where is Fern Mortimer?

Chapter Four

Selecting a restaurant for their first night out proved easy when one of the first leaflets in the information pack recommended a local restaurant within walking distance and offering easy access for Fern’s chair. The champagne flowed as they got ready whilst singing along to their favourite tunes.

Fern retreated to her room to change alone.

Nessa followed moments later, tapping lightly on her closed bedroom door, “You alright in there? Fancy another drink?”

The door opened.

“Wow! You look fab,” Nessa said as Fern manoeuvred through the doorway, beaming and sticking out her long, slim legs to show off her prized possessions. “Those shoes are gorgeous, more Louboutins?”

Fern nodded, her eyes sparkled with a hint of devilment. “What? These old things?” She giggled. “They make me feel like me again. Although I can’t walk in them now, nothing’s going to stop me wearing them.”

Audrey and Raven, on hearing Nessa’s exclamation, came running to see for themselves.

“You lucky sod. I couldn’t afford them, not on my salary, and those heels are to die for.” Raven’s brown eyes took on a green tinge as she appraised Fern’s footwear, her shoulders sagging with disappointment.

“What size are they?” asked Audrey, “if you’re a size six, don’t be surprised if they go ‘walkies!’” Her high-pitched impersonation of a famous dog-handler sent them into another fit of laughter. Even Fern acknowledged the joke with a smug smile.

Harriet came bounding up the hallway. “What have I missed? Bloody hell, Fern, those shoes are impossibly high. How will you manage the hills in those?”

Fern pressed the control panel on the arm of her chair, “Easy!” and poor Harriet blushed, her cheeks turning an intense shade of scarlet.

#

With steep inclines around every corner, the hills lived up to their reputation.

“Within walking distance? What are we, donkeys?” As usual, Raven couldn’t resist complaining, “This restaurant had better be good. Hey, Fern, how about a lift?” she called out, and in return received a withering glare from Nessa, who tutted, shaking her head.

Nonetheless, Raven’s comment had fallen on deaf ears as Fern was already out of earshot. Determined not to be a liability, she’d rushed on ahead to get a suitable table.

The main door was already open, so she drove up the ramp, taking stock of her surroundings and nodding with approval. A tall, young man strode towards her. With his dark, curly hair and bronzed skin, he looked the epitome of a Mediterranean god. He flashed a brilliant smile and his blue eyes twinkled as he spoke to her, his warm, rhythmic accent tickling her ears, rendering her speechless and staring pathetically at his handsome face.

He coughed, unaware of the havoc he was generating, “English, no? Deutsch?”

Startled, Fern snapped back to reality and stuttered a reply, requesting a table for five. He grinned and led her to a large table on an outside patio, where olive branches billowed in the breeze against the backdrop of the still, dark ocean. “Wow, look at that view!” she said, almost breathless. “This is perfect, thank you.”

“You’re welcome. I’m Jorge, the manager. Where are your friends?”

Fern turned to the doorway just as Nessa and Audrey stepped inside. “Here they are now.” She pointed at the girls who were scanning the place, like lost children looking for their mother.

“I see. I’ll bring them over. Do you need any help?” He approached her, his arms outstretched as if to pick her up and transfer her to a different chair.

“Oh, no, no, no! It’s fine. I can manage. Thank you,” said Fern, the words flew from her mouth as rapidly as her pulse raced at the idea of him touching her and a flush crept across her cheeks.

Jorge backed away, his hands up. “Okay, no problem. No offence intended.”

Moments later, gossiping about the gorgeous man who’d greeted them, the girls joined Fern at the table, her wheelchair pushed aside.

“Well, he’ll do for starters,” said Raven, seeing a sheepish grin form on Fern’s face. “Fern, are you blushing?”

Waving her hand, Fern laughed, “Now, now, Raven, he was just showing me the view.”

“Are you sure? He seemed quite flushed when he came over to us.”

Audrey elbowed Raven to shut her up, but to no avail.

“Whoa, he’s on his way back. I’m watching you Fern.” Raven’s stern gaze soon transformed into a cheeky grin. “Only joking,” she tittered as Jorge presented the menu and took their drink order.

“Talking of eye-candy, Nessa, when are you going to introduce us to your Steve? For all we know, he’s a figment of your vivid and naughty imagination.” Raven winked at Nessa.

“If you think I’m letting you loose on my Steve, think again missus!”

“So, is it love then?” continued Raven, determined to coax some juicy gossip out of Nessa, who then gave a dreamy sigh.

“You betcha! I’d do anything for him, anything.” Then she drifted off into her own thoughts, the others staring at her, making faces and hiding their laughter behind their hands.

After gorging themselves silly and consuming plenty of the local wine, the girls made to leave. As Fern lifted her tiny frame back into her chair, she spotted Jorge watching her from afar. Emboldened by alcohol, she raised her hand to wave goodbye and saw how he smiled in return.

The walk back to the villa was expedited by downward slopes and a booze-induced rush of energy, resulting in them staggering from side to side and stumbling into a drunken mess of limbs and screams. Fern rode up to the property, hampered by Raven squatting on the front of her wheelchair, determined to get the ride she’d requested earlier.

Nessa observed them, thankful that the coolness of their earlier encounter had disappeared.

See you next week for more 🙂

Purchase links:

Amazon (Universal)

Other e-retailers (Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, IBooks, etc)

Don’t forget to sign up to the blog to be sure of getting your weekly dose 🙂

 

As always,

 

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Facing a Twisted Judgment

Facing a Twisted Judgment

by K.J. McGillick

Facing A Twisted Judgment

What happens when tunnel vision clouds a police investigation? Is it true that once you are labeled a person of interest you really are the prime suspect? Can you trust the legal system? Probably not.
After a bitterly contested legal battle over inherited property, the hard-won art collection and its owner Samantha Bennington disappear. Both have vanished without a trace.
When blood spatter is discovered under the freshly painted wall of the room in which two of the paintings were hung, the theft becomes the opening act in a twisted tale of jealousy, revenge, and murder leading to a final judgment for all involved.
As the list of suspects narrows, the focus lands squarely on the husband. Some labeled Samantha’s husband a corrupt attorney, others an opportunist. Either way, he’s in the crosshairs of law enforcement and they are calling him a murderer. But is he the only viable suspect? What about the missing woman’s drug-addicted sister and her convicted felon brother? Both were furious over their loss at court and have more than enough reason to hate Samantha.
Guilty until proven innocent leaves Alexander Clarke facing a twisted judgment.

Purchase Links from Amazon US / UK or marked as “want to read” on Goodreads

My Review

I’ve read a few books by this author before, so I jumped at the chance to be on the blog tour for this one. I was not disappointed.

The story is told in first person, mainly from Dalia’s viewpoint (she’s the former ADA who is looking for a change of direction – and she visits friends only to get sucked into a mystery that could provide the very change she needs, both on the job front and romantically).

Occasionally, there are some chapters giving Alex’s viewpoint – as the main suspect, he offers the reader a chance to take in the facts, and unravel the clues for themselves. A proper “whodunnit”! For me, this was a treat of a book.

The characters here are lively – trust me – they will pull you in and engage with you as though you are a member of the investigation team yourself. I LOVE THAT!

Dalia joins Cillian and his team, and works closely with the police where a romance is in the offing, but never takes you out of the story. Watch out for Mary – she is a star and, even in her nineties, she is totally involved in the case – she knows somebody who knows somebody who knows someone who can … if you get my drift. (Some might say she’s running the whole thing 😉 – just don’t tell Cillian or Jackson I said that!) Her relationship with Jackson will bring a smile to your face – she is a no-nonsense lady, armed with an array of “hand gestures” reserved for him in particular.

My only criticism is that everyone is maybe a little too good-looking, rather like a glossy pilot show to attract your attention, but that aside, it’s a fast-paced and entertaining mystery. It’s well-written and although I did work out the who, where and how long before the reveal, it was engaging and interesting watching the team come to their conclusions.

The twist, while not unexpected, was cleverly woven in but did seem a little rushed at the end. I was pleased to see, however, that there is more to come from these characters. They promise to keep you interested, amused, captivated and wanting more.

Author Bio – K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right?
As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing.

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/KJMcGillickauthor/
Kathleen McGillick
@KJMcGillickAuth
http://www.kjmcgillick.com/
https://twitter.com/KJMcGillickAuth

For more reviews, excerpts and posts, why not check out these other blogs.

As always,

Blog Tour – Galaxy Girl (with Giveaway)

Galaxy Girl

by Bev Smith

You hate school. Your family is beyond annoying. Your only friend comes from a different planet, and she’s about to leave.

What’s a girl to do?

Fed up with life on Earth, Esme stows away on the spaceship taking Stella back to Planet Kratos.

So begins Esme’s adventure into a world beyond the stars. A world of strange creatures, thrilling journeys, heroic rescues and instant fame.

Oh, and school. Lots of school.

Along the way she discovers that friends may be greener on the other side, but they still can’t be trusted.

Millions and billions of light years away from Earth, she sets in motion a plan to escape. Unfortunately for her, they aren’t about to let their prize exhibit leave anytime soon…

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/galaxygirl-Bev-Smith/dp/1999311507

US – https://www.amazon.com/galaxygirl-Bev-Smith/dp/1999311507

But, if you’re not convinced just yet, check out this excerpt …

#galaxygirl features a series of blog posts written by Esme to help her mum ‘come to terms’ with her decision to run away and live in outer space.

Esme’s mum has a new boyfriend. Together they’ve been protesting for animal rights. By the end of the book Esme has an appreciation of her mum’s actions, but at the start she has little sympathy. In the following extract Esme explains the incident that made her decide to run away:

 

I do miss you but I wouldn’t have left if it wasn’t for your latest boyfriend. Since when did you care about animal rights? And, protesting with him about the new road in town is one thing, but to do it outside my school took it to a whole new level of cringe.

 In.

 Front.

 Of.

 Everyone.

 It’s completely beyond me why you would think holding some kind of ridiculous protest was a good way to solve anything. All anyone ever does is make a nuisance of themselves, shouting and wailing.

 It wouldn’t have been quite so bad if you hadn’t been waving a stupid placard around with ‘save the snails and other animals and stuff wot might be livin ’ere’ written on it. Everyone knew you were my mum – which obviously I tried to deny – and took the mickey out of me even more.

 Then you broke into the school, wrecking the science project we were working on. Just because we were dissecting frogs. I’d been paired up with Delicious Dylan too. Our work was completely destroyed!

 Of course the headteacher went on and on about it in assembly, not taking her eyes off me once. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole.

 When I got home from school I was gutted, and you didn’t even notice. I walked into the house expecting you to at least make some kind of apology, but you were in the kitchen laughing with The Boyfriend.

 ‘Anything we can help you with, love?’ he asked, like I was the one visiting.

 ‘Mum, do you have any idea what you’ve done today?’ I asked, not even looking at him.

 ‘Yes, darlin’, I… I mean… we’ve made a stand for all the creatures of the world that can’t stand up for themselves. ’aven’t we, poppet?’ you said, curling your arm around the waist of the latest intruder, smiling up at him dreamily.

 ‘We certainly made a point. I’m sure they’ll not be forgetting yer good self or me, Pete Wazzock, for quite some time.’ he said, smirking as he tugged you closer, the veins in his skinny arms bulging,

 ‘You’ve made a stand for some weird and highly unattractive species of snail, which nobody – apart from French cooks – has shown any interest in over the previous six millennia.’ I felt my face get redder and redder. ‘And as for the frogs… that was a project I was working on with the most amazing boy in school. Everyone knows it was you! You’ve ruined everything!’

The purchase links above are calling your name now, aren’t they?

But, let’s learn a little more about the author:

Bev Smith has been a secondary school teacher, saleswoman, waitress, wages clerk, youth worker and holiday park entertainments manager. She has scuba dived the Barrier Reef, lived in a village in Namibia, worked for a charity in Thailand, flown over Victoria Falls and paddled in the sea at Bournemouth.

Having single-parented her three daughters, she’s been ferociously playing catch up with this writing lark.  

She recently completed a Masters in Writing for Children at Winchester University.

#galaxygirl is her debut middle-grade book.  

Social Media Links: Twitter & Facebook

 

 

Giveaway – Win 2 x #galaxygirl Mugs and a signed copy of #galaxygirl (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

Good luck!

For more news, reviews & excerpts, come this way …

As always,

Sunday Serialisation: The Fifth Wheel

Today, it’s all about Chapter 3 in my Sunday serialisation of The Fifth Wheel.

Portugal – watch out! The girls are coming 😉

Search for “Sunday serialisation” to find previous chapters.

One chapter each week – so ten in total, before moving onto the sequel Casualty of Court. I’m currently working on the next in this series (Heiresses & Heirlooms) and hope to have that ready for mid 2019.

Of course, you can still purchase a copy (links at the end)- but if you like your stories in short bursts, then stick around. After all, as winter draws closer, you can enjoy a touch of summer sunshine instead.

Here’s the summary:

Fern Mortimer has mastered the art of being invisible. Since a hit and run accident five years ago left her wheelchair-bound, she has become a recluse in her parents’ home. 
After finally venturing back into the real world, she struggles to make friends and trust anyone. Getting the nickname of The Ice Queen at her new place of work does little to build her confidence. 
However, one young woman, Nessa Sullivan, sees through Fern’s mask and is determined to be her friend. A mission that only months later sees Fern joining Nessa and three others on a well-deserved and much-needed holiday to the Portuguese Algarve.
During the holiday, Fern is seduced by a handsome restaurant manager, raising her mood and her hopes of a romantic entanglement whilst also robbing her of her usual common sense and sound judgement. 
So, why is her wheelchair now lying capsized in the infinity pool when a body is spotted out at sea? Where is Fern Mortimer?

Chapter Three

The day of departure dawned. Nessa collected Fern and they travelled to the airport together. With Nessa pushing the luggage trolley, they headed for the designated meeting point. Nessa stood on her tiptoes and caught sight of her friends, waving to get their attention. When they spotted her, she abandoned both the trolley and Fern and ran screaming towards them, flapping her arms madly before they all collided into one huge huddle, giggling and screeching like a colony of bats. Gnawing at her fingernails, Fern shuddered as she observed their boisterous energy which both scared and overwhelmed her, and she felt more than ever like an interloper, an outsider.

When the caterwauling receded, Nessa ran to Fern’s side, eyes sparkling and her ever-present smile in full force. The chatter ceased as, one by one, their posture stiffened and they stared incredulously. Fern recognised the look instantly and swallowed back the lump forming in her throat. No matter how accustomed she had become to that look, it still distressed her each time, chipping away at her self-confidence. She prided herself on masking her true feelings, but sometimes the pain won through.

The auburn-haired girl was first to recover her composure and detect Fern’s discomfort. She strode over, her arm outstretched and an uneasy grin on her freckled face. “Hi Fern, I’m Audrey. Nice to meet you.” Fern shook her hand with a stiff formality and gave a quick, awkward smile in return.

Finally, Harriet and Raven approached too, offering lukewarm handshakes whilst casting questioning glances at Nessa, who was quickly grabbed by the arm and frogmarched across to the check-in desk.

Audrey felt compelled to fill the silence, “We were chuffed when Nessa said you’d be joining us.” Her gaze ping-ponged from Fern to Nessa and back again.

Fern stared at her. “Did she forget to mention my wheelchair would be coming too?” The bitterness in her voice was unmistakable.

Audrey forced a shallow laugh, but an atmosphere of extreme awkwardness now hung over them like a thick, debilitating fog, leaving them both rooted to the spot and gazing into space.

Meanwhile, Nessa was otherwise engaged, fending off a stream of questions from Raven, whilst Harriet hovered with embarrassment between the two groups. Raised voices were muzzled as Nessa shook her head repeatedly and, with a dismissive shrug, broke free from Raven’s hold and strolled back to Fern. In silence, they proceeded to the check-in desk. Audrey joined them and, seconds later, a sheepish-looking Harriet and a sullen Raven followed suit.

In the departure lounge, Harriet and Audrey strove to redeem themselves by involving Fern in their chatter. Raven continued to sulk, but the offer of wine and olives soon lured her into joining them in the cramped bar. Moods improved as the alcohol lessened the tension, so when Fern’s name was called for priority boarding, they accompanied her to the boarding gate. Not having realised that they could board with her, they cheered with appreciation when they had their pick of seats, having avoided the usual cattle-market jostling that came with the territory on budget airlines.

The flight passed without any further drama. Most of them slept, although Audrey did try to engage Fern in her crossword puzzle, with limited success.

Upon landing at Faro airport, they were asked to stay in their seats as the plane emptied. Raven huffed, “I knew it was too good to be true!” But the others were too excited and ignored her ill-tempered comment.

When they exited the plane, an attractive young man awaited Fern, helping her into a nearby buggy. He gestured for the others to climb in behind, and he zoomed off with them on-board, passing the other tourists on the moving walkway. Nessa whooped enthusiastically as the handsome driver came to a sudden halt at the luggage carousels; even Raven cracked a smile. Fern couldn’t resist laughing with them, their humour was infectious and even Raven’s frostiness seemed to be thawing.

After collecting their bags and Fern’s chair, they headed outside to wait for Nessa who went to collect the hire car.

The air, hot and still, hit them full on. “Phew!” moaned Audrey, fanning her face with her hand, and then rummaging in her bag for sunglasses. “I know they’re in here somewhere.” Minutes later she pulled them from her bag with a jubilant shriek, only to then spill half the contents onto the floor. “Oops,” she giggled and bent down to stuff everything back in.

“This is what we came for,” said Harriet, glaring at the cloudless sky, “Sunshine, come to Mama!” she beckoned, and then set about spraying sun-cream onto her pale skin.

A flustered Audrey, beads of sweat now forming on her brow, reached for Harriet’s hand and, like cheeky schoolgirls, they skipped across the road and plonked themselves down on the grassy verge, turning their exaggerated, childish grins towards the sunshine.

Raven stayed with Fern and the luggage mountain, shaking her head at their antics and looking everywhere but at Fern, who was on the verge of speaking when Raven lifted up a hand to halt her.

“I’m sorry, Fern. I’ve been a brat. Let’s start again, eh?” She offered her hand and the two exchanged mutual, yet genuine smiles.

A tooting horn broke the silence as Nessa pulled up in a huge people-carrier, beaming like the Cheshire Cat.

“One, two… ninety-nine,” joked Harriet as they loaded their bags.

Nessa lowered the automatic ramp and Fern drove into her allotted space. “How cool is that?” she said as the others clambered in and they set off for the villa.

“Great choice Nessa,” admitted Raven and began to twiddle with the in-built radio, much to the others’ displeasure.

“No! Not country music, please Raven, show some taste!” Audrey’s laughter filled the vehicle and at last everyone was in the holiday mood.

#

Once off the motorway, they marvelled at the passing coastline; a blur of white-washed houses, red, orange, and purple bougainvillea contrasting perfectly against the backdrop of the vivid Mediterranean sea and azure sky. Narrow streets peeped through the hilly countryside, winding up towards imposing village churches, like arteries leading to the heart.

The utter peace and tranquillity was mirrored in the girls’ sudden stillness.

Driving down a steep incline, they spotted their villa below and hoots of joy rang out, one after another, like contagion, until Nessa stopped the car outside the property.

Raven jumped out first, the keys already in her hand, and sauntered up to the ornate, white gates as if to the manor born. “Follow me ladies,” she said in her poshest accent, unlocking the gates and opening them wide. Her refined approach fell by the wayside though, when she proceeded to run through the well-manicured gardens, leaping over the flowerbeds and, after kicking off her shoes, jumped straight into the swimming pool.

Closely on her heels were Audrey and Harriet, whilst Nessa assisted Fern out of the car and came up the rear, towing a suitcase in each hand. Shrieks came from the pool as they splashed water in Nessa’s direction and begged her to join them.

“What are you waiting for?” Fern said to Nessa, who grinned back and ran to the edge of the pool, then sprang off the terracotta tiles into the water almost landing on top of Harriet, the unwilling recipient of a sudden dunking.

“Fern, the keys are in the gate still. Sorry!” Raven shouted, and then disappeared under the water.

Fern turned round to fetch them and made her way into the house. The temperature inside made her shiver, and the darkness of the hallway exacerbated the chill. She reached for the light switch and flicked it up, seeing before her the most tastefully decorated villa imaginable. On a slim table, just inside the doorway, lay a collection of instructions and brochures: how to open the automatic blinds, how to use the air conditioning units, where to shop and so on. She found the remote control that operated the blinds and, within seconds, the room was flooded with daylight. Knocking the lights off, she drove into the kitchen; the smooth, marbled floor made navigation easy for her chair, something that had weighed on her mind during the flight over. On a large, oak table sat a huge basket of fresh fruit and vegetables, beneath it a note confirming that the fridge was fully stocked and champagne was in the cooler, as per Nessa’s instructions. Fern clapped her hands; the holiday was improving by the minute. She spotted a tray, already laden with glasses, grabbed a bottle from the cooler and, balancing everything carefully on the front of her chair, she rode out to the pool, calling, “Champagne anyone?”

A mish-mash of positive retorts came back at her and the girls clambered out of the pool to join her on the terrace. Dripping wet, but totally uncaring of their appearance, they raced to pop the cork and enjoy the cool bubbles in the shade.

“Great job, Fern!” said Raven, causing the others to share a few raised eyebrows amongst themselves.

“Thank Nessa, everything here is because of her, even the fridge is full to bursting.” Fern sounded happy for the first time since their meeting and Nessa chuckled, acknowledging that her mission was going to plan.

They chatted for a while, taking pleasure in everything the villa had to offer them and discussing how they were going to spend their first evening. Fern said very little, content to listen for the time being. Nessa watched her attentively, her mind whirring as she considered her next move.

See you next week for more 🙂

Purchase links:

Amazon (Universal)

Other e-retailers (Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, IBooks, etc)

Don’t forget to sign up to the blog to be sure of getting your weekly dose 🙂

 

As always,

 

Book Blitz – Ginger Snapped

GingerSnapped BB

Congrats to Chloe Sunstone on the release of her exciting Cybercrime Thriller, Ginger Snapped!

Read on for more details, an exclusive excerpt, and a fantastic giveaway!

Ginger Snapped - eBook small.jpg

Ginger Snapped: A Cybercrime Thriller with a Shocking Twist

Publication Date: October 22nd, 2018

Genre: Thriller

How does an amazing professional opportunity descend into a living nightmare?

Carefree Ginger’s motto of “Work Hard, Play Harder” shapes her life. So when her husband, Jake, gets a job offer on the other side of the country, she is up for the adventure.

But after Jake accepts the promotion, nothing is as expected. While Ginger remains in Cleveland to sell their house, she is plagued by strange prank calls, premonition-like nightmares, and the feeling that she is being watched. Is Jake’s new job putting her in danger?

Unfortunately, she ignores her intuition and soon finds herself face to face with a ruthless killer. Trapped in a deadly world of corporate corruption and murderous greed, she must overcome her own fears and rely on her wits if she plans to survive.

Although the first in the Ginger Gibson series, this is a standalone book.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Oh No! I’m back. I am surrounded by inky black nothingness. The air is musty…damp, my nostrils fill with the smell of dank basement. Like in a haunted house, filled with saws and chains and bloody hooks, this is the perfect place for any psycho to hide his tools of the crazy trade. I’m trembling, from the all-encompassing fear, eating at every cell in my body.Where am I? My fingers search out for clues. Beneath me is a thin mattress on a hard surface. My head rests on a concrete-like pillow. My breathing escalates as the panic rises in my chest. I open my mouth to scream, but only a muted croak escapes. Over the thunder of my pounding heart, I hear a booming crack, a gunshot. I recognize the sound from a trip to the range with Jake years earlier.

I swing my legs over the side of my perch, thinking in my blind panic to run even though I cannot see. I can’t ignore this intense urge to flee. But my impulse is thwarted by an unknown restraint trapping my left arm, a rope? Panic has me in its grip. I gasp for air to fill my lungs but produce only whimpers and muted pleas.

A loud screech reverberates through the darkness. Rats? Oh, please, no rats! Could this get any worse? Hysterical, I yank relentlessly on the rope tethering me. With each tug, the line cuts deeper into my skin. My arm warms as blood seeps from the gouges, coating my hand and fingers. Behind me, the pounding sound of footsteps startles me. Before I can turn to confront my visitor, I feel the rush of air preceding the impact to the back of my head. A blaze of bright stars then, a different blackness envelopes me.

Available in Paperback & Kindle

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

About the Author

After over twenty years in Human Resources, Chloe decided to make a change. She returned to her first love of writing. She combined her corporate experience with her love for the written word to create engaging cyber-crime thrillers.

On a personal note, Chloe lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her loving husband, Mike. They spend their free time boating, scuba diving, and of course, reading. Her latest cybercrime mystery, Ginger Snapped, is available on Amazon.

Chloe Sunstone | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

For your chance to win a paperback copy of Ginger Snapped, click the link below!

*North America Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours