99p books · blog blitz · competition · Italy · romance · summer reading · women's fiction

Price Drop Blitz – Summer on the Italian Lakes

Summer on the Italian Lakes

Bestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling… Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.

So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?

Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…

Escape the January blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove.

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Italian-Lakes-bestselling-feel-good-ebook/dp/B07HPD2KNV

US – https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Italian-Lakes-bestselling-feel-good-ebook/dp/B07HPD2KNV

Price drop: only 99p – grab your copy now!

About the Author

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links 

Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LinnBHaltonAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanAuth

A note from the author

The fun part about being an author is that you get to spend your days in some wonderful locations, even if it’s virtually! But the only way to be able to sit down and really share with the readers what the experience is like, is to visit in person.

Lake Garda is a place I have visited several times over the years, and it will always be one of my all-time favourite holiday destinations. Whether you fly direct or are planning a grand European tour by road – it is a dream destination.

The villa featured in Summer on the Italian Lakes is fictitious but based on a composite of two properties in which I have stayed. But the descriptions of being up in the hills and the trips taken are real-life experiences.

Italy is an overload of stimuli – everywhere you look, every breath you take in, and everything you touch, fills your heart with love for the vibrancy and warmth of this beautiful country. It’s full of passionate people – for love and life. Fiery temperaments, fabulous food and wonderful wines; flavours that literally grab you with their freshness and taste. Wonderful music and art; scenery that will make your jaw drop; beautiful architecture around which to saunter and so many hidden gems to discover.

But up in the hills where it’s quieter, it’s the perfect place to reconnect with the inner you. For me a holiday has to combine everything – lots of exciting things to experience, but also some time to relax and chill.

So, it was the perfect setting for this book and the only sadness for me, was that I didn’t get to do a research trip! I didn’t need to as all of those memories are locked inside my head, and my heart – but, oh, Italy is calling me loud and clear! If you haven’t been, please do add it to your list of must-sees and Lake Garda is the perfect place to begin.

Do you love a competition?

Hello lovely readers and bloggers!

To celebrate the price drop to 99p I will be running a competition on Twitter for one lucky person to win some goodies – an Aria tote bag, two beautiful hand-made Italian soaps and a limited edition mug!

No purchase is necessary to join in – just RT one of my lovely blogger’s Tweets for the 99p promo including @LucyColemanAuth and #SummerOnTheItalianLakes, to take part.

If you have already read/reviewed Summer on the Italian Lakes and take a photo of it on your reading device and/or send a link to your review in your Tweet – IF YOUR NAME is the ONE drawn by the third party, I will add two signed paperbacks from my backlist to the prize!

Don’t forget to include @LucyColemanAuth and #SummerOnTheItalianLakes so we can include your Tweet in the competition. Thank you so much for dropping by and good luck!

Terms: Competition closes noon GMT 29 April 2019; international; anyone can enter; prize to be provided by the author; prize winner will be announced on Twitter by @LucyColemanAuth and on Lucy and Linn’s website (competition page) at noon on 30 April 2019 after being selected at random by a third party.

 

As a huge fan of Lake Garda, and these summery books, I’ll be entering. Will you?

As always,

 

adventure · blog blitz · fantasy

Fantasy Blog Blitz with Giveaway

The OnyxCrownBlitz

To celebrate the release of Alan Hurst’s debut novel, The Onyx Crown, we are having a week-long book blitz! There will be an exclusive excerpt reveal, and a chance to win a digital copy of the book at the bottom!

Front CoverThe Onyx Crown #1

Publication Date: January 27th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure

The Onyx Crown is an exciting foray into the world of African fantasy. From the searing heat of the desert to the vastness of the savannah, it tells the story of three children–Sania, Gesi, and Jorann who grow up in a pre-medieval era of wars and successions, not fifteen years after the greatest king in the history of the continent has been deposed and assassinated. They must overcome the traumatic circumstances of their birth as well as many dangerous trials to fulfill the destiny bestowed upon them as infants. Can mere children use their courage, wits, and uncanny abilities to defeat legendary warriors, entire tribes, provinces, and kingdoms–allowing them to lead the worthy to the greatest prize of all, the Onyx Crown?

Add to Goodreads

onyx crown poster - savannah

Excerpt

For the next few days, the three of them did virtually everything together, including games, horse riding, and spear training with the First Knight, who seemed to be getting sterner and tougher on them with every lesson. The First Knight, whose given name was Jorell Boro, was famed throughout the fourteen provinces as one of the best living warriors of all time. He’d made his name fighting for the upstart Regent Okon in his war of usurpation against the High King Toloron.

After Toloron was defeated, the regent rewarded Boro with the titles of First Knight of the Crown, Protector of the House of the First Prince, and the moniker “the Bloodless Death,” because supposedly his bladed spear could kill a person so quickly and with such precision that they would be dead before any blood was even visible.

Okon, along with the ruling conclave, also granted a treaty to Pala Jorell’s home kingdom of East Rhydor, including a guarantee that no Numerian troops would invade as long as the East Rhydor king or his son, the prince, were in power.

The First Prince had asked Pala Jorell to begin instructing Zadeemo in the ways of knighthood, and also Gesemni himself, most likely reasoning that Zadeemo would need a sparring partner when the First Prince was absent.

The First Knight had been reluctant to train a “commoner” in the higher arts of warfare but, at the insistence of both the First Prince and Zadeemo, had relented. Still, one could tell he took The Onyx Crown -26- great pains to make sure that Zadeemo understood some of the finer points of the moves he instructed, while not deigning to help Gesi.

Luckily for Gesi, he had tremendous aptitude and seemingly a womb-borne comprehension of instinctual combat. As such, he rarely needed the extra tutoring that Zadeemo couldn’t seem to do without. On this day, the two of them were instructed for quite some time on hand-spear counters, an ancient method of grappling that involved an unarmed warrior wresting the control of spears and other long objects away from their adversary. It was an extremely rough and unpolished method of fighting, and the First Knight took the better part of the morning explaining it to them.

Finally, the paladin suggested they work the puzzling elements out with a few rounds of sparring. Boro handed him a bladed spear and marked out a circle four en-yawo in diameter with his carving knife. Zadeemo was given a pair of lyocell gloves, which felt like silk but were made from the toughest fibers in existence. These were to be used to protect his hands from blade cuts.

Gesi shifted nervously. Always when they’d fought before they’d both been armed. Oddly, there’s a certain amount of safety involved when two weapons compete against each other. But with Zadeemo being unarmed, Gesi felt he’d have to be very careful. He was also very conscious of Zoe sitting on her tilbury, watching them both amusedly.

“Engage!” The First Knight’s voice rang out through the square as the boys stepped into the circle. Zadeemo immediately lowered his stance, thrusting the heel of his boot inside Gesi’s left calf to disrupt his balance, simultaneously snatching at the bladed spear handle.

Shuffle-stepping to counter, Gesi twisted the blade ninety degrees, forcing Zadeemo to withdraw his hands. He knew he was supposed to be nothing more than a punching target for Zadeemo, but in situations like this, his stubborn, competitive imoya always got in the way of things, and yes…he also wanted to show off a bit in front of Zoe.

Surprisingly, Zadeemo must’ve anticipated his counter because he nimbly moved to his left, crashing his knee into Gesi’s right thigh and causing him to grimace. Ducking underneath the spear, Zadeemo swung his right elbow fiercely into Gesi’s solar plexus. The few servants and townspeople who were looking on cheered loudly, including Zoe.

At that second, he felt like he was going to black out. Zadeemo may have been slower than a stuck rhino, but he had strength far beyond what most twelve-year-olds could muster.

Instinctively, he twisted his bladed spear to block the next grasping move he felt was coming, slid his left knee under Zadeemo’s right, and reverse-swung the spear in a sweeping arc toward Zadeemo’s chest. The cheering stopped, followed by a deathly silence as Zadeemo crashed down to the dirt awkwardly. Everyone was staring at Gesi. Some looked angry, some fearful, some puzzled. Even he didn’t know how he’d won.

*Available Now*

Amazon | Nook

For your chance to win a digital copy of this exciting new fantasy, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

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Alan Hurst is an author and entrepeneur. Hurst who spent most of his childhood reading Asian wuxia fiction, Marvel comics and encyclopedias is delving into trilogy territory with THE ONYX CROWN. He briefly studied religion at Harvard. Later, he settled in Washington, DC where he founded a software consulting firm, hosted the Urban Nation Radio podcast, and occasionally played the World Series of Poker. When not writing or enjoying time with his family, he prefers to take his Ducati motorcycle out for the occasional spin!

Alan Hurst | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Book Blitz Organized By:

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blog blitz · book review · multi-genre · short reads · short story

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Dark & Fluffy Vol II

Dark & Fluffy (Vol II)

by Janet Stock

Dark & Fluffy: Volume II

Following on from Dark & Fluffy, this collection is a further nine short fiction pieces. The title Dark & Fluffy II, reflects the general styles of the stories/prose in the book. Some are a bit darker, and may be a bit uncomfortable to read, Death by Testing and The Broken Arrangement fall into this category. Others are happier, feel good pieces like The Disney Club. Whatever your preference, I’m sure you’ll find something that will grab your attention.

Purchase Links

UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Fluffy-II-Janet-Stock-ebook/dp/B07LDRKL5D

UShttps://www.amazon.com/Dark-Fluffy-II-Janet-Stock-ebook/dp/B07LDRKL5D

My Review

If you’re looking for a fun mix of short reads, then you’ve come to the right place! As a collection of stories, this second volume offers up an abundance of entertainment for those times when you’re commuting to work, or when you just need a break from reality.

The first story – The Man Across the Street – drew me in straightaway with the line, “it’s not that I’m nosey, you understand …” and from then on I was intrigued to read on. The author built the tension up with subtlety  – which isn’t easy in a short story – and delivered a clever twist at the end. By then, I was ready for more.

The huge variety in story kept me reading on, moving from tension to sweet “Aww!” moments in the Disney Club, and lots of fun (at Dad’s expense) in That Steampunk Vibe.

The author mentioned she’s writing a novel, and introduced us to one of her character’s in the story entitled Gisella – if that’s indicative of the rest of the novel, then I look forward to the publication of The Wait’s Son.

Overall, an original, imaginative and enjoyable melee that you can dip in and out of at whim. 

Author Bio

I am married with one teenage son and have always been a keen reader and writer since being young. I was born in Lancashire but have lived in Lincoln for over 30 years.

Several years ago I decided to take my writing seriously. I completed an OU course in creative writing and a Writers Bureau course. Initially I concentrated on short story writing, and when I turned fifty this year, I self-published my first book, Dark and Fluffy.

I love writing short stories, but my main goal is to have a novel published. Ten years ago, I started the first book of a trilogy of novels called The Little Servant (The Wait’s Son). I am still working on this, but now I have a serious intent to get this finished this year.

My favourite genre is medieval fiction, Bernard Cornwell is my favourite author. I also like to read Edward Rutherford, Stephen King, and Dean Coontz.

 

Social Media Links

www.janetstockwriter.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/Janetstockwriter-1805728432810167/

For more reviews, head over to these blogs throughout the tour.

As always,

blog blitz · excerpt · mystery · psychological suspense · suspense · thriller

Blog Blitz – In Servitude (plus Int’l Giveaway)

Inservitude

I’m thrilled to share this gorgeous book today! In Servitude by Heleen Kist, has been blowing readers away in Europe since its release and now is taking North America by storm!

Today I will be sharing an exclusive excerpt, and inviting you to enter an international giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of this exciting thriller!
In Servitude is also available for review through R&R Book Tours. Find out how you can get a copy below!

InServitude_HeleenKist_Cover_.jpg

In Servitude

Publication Date: August 23, 2018

Genre: Thriller/ Suspense/ Mystery

Do you owe your family your life?

Grace thought her sister led a charmed existence.

She was wrong.

Now she has to pay the price.

When Grace’s beloved sister Glory dies in a car crash, her carefully planned life spirals out of control. She discovers Glory had been manipulated into illegal activities at her trendy vegan café. What’s worse, Grace finds herself an unwitting accomplice now forced to take over her sister’s shady dealings.

Determined to keep her fingers clean and protect those Glory left behind, Grace plots to escape the clutches of Glasgow’s criminal underworld. But her moral certainty is challenged when more family secrets emerge and her sister’s past intentions remain unclear.

Grace grows convinced Glory was murdered. Why won’t anyone listen?

Seeking justice, she finds betrayal…

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Paperback also available Barnes & Noble & other outlets: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-servitude-heleen-kist/1129418845

Excerpt

inservitude_heleenkist_cover_1.jpg

Blue pulled at the lead. I let him off once I’d scanned the area and noted no loose dogs. Only a lone figure loitering. His eye line crossed mine as he also examined the park, and paused on me long enough to raise a creepy sensation.

I moved to a bench by the play park and pretended to tie my laces. When I straightened up, the man was striding straight towards me. I searched for Blue, hoping for a semblance of protection, but he was nowhere to be seen. Nor was anyone else.

Before I could stop him, the man sat down next to me. He whistled and shouted, ‘Here boy!’ then faced me with a disturbing grin. As if he knew the dog wouldn’t come. I jumped to my feet and looked around. What had he done?

On the second blow of silent air through my dry mouth, Blue appeared from behind a tree thirty yard away. Safe. He showed no interest in me or the man, instead sniffing out the ground’s many treasures.

I turned back to the intruder. Standing over him gave me an edge—at least I thought it did—and I raised my chin and my voice when I asked, ‘Do I know you?’

He chuckled. ‘Nah, hen. I’m only the messenger.’

‘What?’

His smile faded. ‘We’re not very happy about you closing the café for so long. You need to open up again. There’s a delivery coming on Thursday.’

‘What do you mean? How do you—’

His eyes turned to ice as he grabbed my wrist in a flash. ‘We’ll be very disappointed if you’re not there to receive the goods. Ken what I’m saying?’

He rushed off, his dark coat billowing behind him like a cape, almost engulfing Blue who circled his legs, tail wagging, until he turned towards the road.

Available on Amazon (Everywhere)!

About the Author

InServitude_HeleenKist_Author

Heleen Kist is a Dutch businesswoman who lived all over the world while growing up and for her career. Then she fell in love with a Scotsman and his country, and now writes about its (sometimes scary) people from her garden office in Glasgow.

She was selected as an ‘up and coming new writer’ and awarded a Spotlight at Bloody Scotland 2018, the International crime writing festival.

Her debut psychological suspense novel ‘In Servitude’ was inspired by Heleen’s expertise in small business finance mixed with her friend’s courageous idea to open a vegan cafe in a city renowned for its dubious diet. She is currently working on her next book, which will be dark women’s fiction.

Heleen Kist | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

2 paperback copies of In Servitude by Heleen Kist are up for grabs!!!

Winners will be selected at random on 23 December and notified personally, only your initials will be used in the winner’s announcement.

Enter Here!

*For Bloggers & Book Reviewers

Please fill out the form below if you wish to receive a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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blog blitz · British · political · suspense · thought provoking · thriller

Blog Blitz ‘n’ Book Review – Divide and Rule

Divide and Rule

by Rachel McLean

Divide and Rule

Jennifer Sinclair’s fight to save her political career, her family and her freedom has failed. Traumatised by prison violence, she agrees to transfer to the mysterious British Values Centre.

Rita Gurumurthy has betrayed her country and failed the children in her care. Unlike Jennifer, she has no choice, but finds herself in the centre against her will.

Both women are expected to conform, to prove their loyalty to the state and to betray everything they hold dear. One attempts to comply, while the other rebels. Will either succeed in regaining her freedom?

Divide and Rule is 1984 for the 21st century – a chilling thriller examining the ruthless measures the state will take to ensure obedience, and the impact on two women.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

My Review

Another 5 star read from author Rachel McLean, and I’m not just saying that because I was so desperate to read this second book in the Division Bell Trilogy. In fact, I made myself wait until I could put everything aside and lose myself in this world. However, this is not a world I want to be lost in; unfortunately it feels all too close, too possible and way too scary.

Consider this as a premise: an erosion of rights in pursuit of an ideology framed as an act of loyalty to the sovereignty of the state.

Sound familiar? Heck, it does …and that is what makes it so chilling. Is this what we could become? This is a book that I both wanted to read, and also dreaded reading. When fiction blurs with a potential reality, we hope there’s a happy ending. This book will have you praying for that happy ending … This is fiction with one very scary foot in the door of a new world that might once have been labelled futuristic or dystopian. These days, such a story could all too easily be seen as prophetic. I live in hope that Book 3 of the trilogy will bring the cavalry to stop the madness – although, both in the real world and this fictional one, I have my doubts.

But, back to the book. This continues from where we left off, with Jennifer, once the Prisons Minister, now in the same prison where the death of a prisoner occurred on her watch. To say she is unpopular would be beyond exaggeration. Added to the very real threat now facing her, she is also left unaware of how the land lies for her son, who was arrested shortly before her.

When she is finally transferred to a new facility, she – perhaps naively – assumes there will be a logical and more reasonable solution available to her. At the very least, contact with her solicitor, an update on her family, and details of the charges against her.

These are the same assumptions held by Rita Gurumurthy, arrested in her classroom for not reciting the daily oath with her pupils.

Now, both women face the six step program to prove their loyalty to the state, to confirm their “British Values”, and – more importantly – to denounce their wicked ways. But, this is a place where lying is not an option. And if you fail the test twice, then release is no longer an option either.

With the odds heavily stacked against them, the story is told in alternating chapters, highlighting the differing tactics used to effectively ‘break’ each woman. Jennifer, a former cabinet Minister, an MP, a family woman who puts family and country before career and party, for whom principles mean more than policy. Rita, a strong-willed woman of principles, who believes in fairness and equality. Who is the stronger? Who has the best strategy? And, who, ultimately, will prevail?

While I need to know how this trilogy ends, I’m not sure I have the mental capacity to do so. I have to keep reminding myself this is fiction, but, damn it, that is a tough call to make.

Ah, what the heck … bring it on. Forewarned is forearmed, right?

An exciting, scary, chilling and thrilling read. McLean knows how to twist the knife, to ramp up the tension, and then … to leave you desperate for more.

About the author:

I’m Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I’m told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories – well, I’m sorry but I can’t help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They’re inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub.

Follow Rachel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

As always,