Sunday, 30 September 2012

A Shadow in the Past by Melanie Robertson-King

Sarah Shand had always some how known that she would someday she would live in Weetshill Mansion. Sarah didn’t know how or why, she just knew she would. The mansion was now an old abandoned ruin so how could she possibly ever live there?

When Sarah has an accident she finds herself at the mansion. The mansion is now fully restored to its full former glory. Sarah is injured and taken in by the aristocratic family that are living there now. Sarah gets on really well with the Laird’s grandson Robert. Sarah is even more dazed and confused when it would appear that she had travelled back in time to the year 1886. Can that be right or are all the people she has now found herself with completely mad? Could this be anything to do with the mysterious stone circle? A group of ancient stones that no one knows why are what their purpose is.

This is the debut novel from new author Melanie Robertson-King. The story is a nice light read, with a good storyline. I like a story set back in history, a period drama and I also like time travel stories and there is a touch of romance too. So I really enjoyed reading this book.  A great first novel and I will look forward to reading more books by Melanie Robertson-King in the future.

To buy this book from click here

To buy this book from click here

And now a word from the author Melanie Robertson-King.

How I went from working title to release title.

From the time I wrote the short story that later became my novel, it was always known as Sarah’ Gift. It wasn’t until I pitched the novel to an agent that I even thought of changing it. She told me, the title didn’t do the book justice. And even though she thought it sounded like a fun read, it wasn’t for her. But I digress.

So, I put a call out to members in my local writers’ group asking for input into a different title as well as the gal at the Ottawa Romance Writers who had been critiquing my early chapters. I got loads of suggestions back – some better than others – and that made the decision even harder.

I googled the title suggestions and searched them on amazon before eventually deciding that A Shadow in the Past was the best choice.

What title would you choose?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

You, and No Other by Cynthia Wright

This is a historical romance novel, set in the reign of King Francois in France in the sixteenth century.

To escape an arranged marriage Aimee De Fleurance runs away to join the court of King Francois. It was actually her sister Honorine who had been invited to court by the King and Aimee has sneakily taken her place. Once Aimee arrives she must try and avoid been discovered by the King. When Thomas (St Briac) recognises Aimee from an earlier meeting, he agrees to help Aimee, but when the King goes to her bed expecting to find Honorine, Thomas steps forward and tells the King that Aimee is with him and that they intend to marry. The couple find themselves betrothed. Sparks fly between the couple and Aimee thinking she will end up married to a man who does not love her comes up with a plan to get out of the marriage. But when unexpected circumstances happen what will become of her plan?

WOW! This is a fantastic story. With a really strong female leading character, heroine Aimee is a woman who is bold and rebellious, and she knows exactly what she wants and she is a very likeable character and so is the leading man Thomas. The love-hate relationship between the two characters is very entertaining and enjoyable and good fun at times. I am so glad there are more books about Aimee and Thomas and I can’t wait to read them. This is one of the best historical romance novels I have ever read.

Cynthia Wright launched her career as a bestselling novelist with the publication of CAROLINE, when she was twenty-three. She went on to write twelve more beloved and acclaimed historical romances set in Colonial America, Regency England and America, Medieval England and France, and the American West. Seven of these, the intertwined Raveneau Novels and Beau visage Novels, have special places on the keeper shelves of readers around the world.

Cynthia’s novels have won many awards from Romantic Times and Affaire de Coeur, but her favourites are messages from readers. After taking a break from writing for several years, Cynthia is excited to be back as an ‘indie’ author, bringing all thirteen of her novels back as e-books (newly edited, with gorgeous new covers!). She will also release a new Raveneau novel, TEMPEST, in 2012.

To buy this book from, click here

To buy this book from, click here

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

I would like to welcome, a very special guest on my blog, author D.S Ingram

I live in East London with my husband and youngest son. He is nearly eighteen, and studying for A levels in maths and physics. Not subjects that I know anything about! I have an Open University degree in Social Science. Women's studies, and social history fascinated me as part of my degree course, and it was these that motivated me to begin writing my first novel, Poppy Days.

My eldest son is now happily settled with his partner, and has a beautiful baby daughter. I am a grand mother for the first time! I have lived in East London for nearly eighteen years now, but was born and raised in Islington, North London, which is where both Poppy Days and Angel Girls are set. I was a teenager during the 1970's and wrote about that era in Poppy Days.It was an exciting turbulent time to be alive and living in London.

I am passionate about writing, and my dogs. I work part time as a play worker at an after school club, and during the day I work on my latest novel. I am working on my third book, which hopefully will be released in early 2013.

I love people who have a good sense of humour, who are able to laugh at life's absurdities and shares my love of crisps and chocolate. Cake lovers are also always welcome at my house. Especially if the bring one with them! xxxxx

Technology Scares Me!

Thank you Nikki, I am very pleased to be here, and a tad scared. It's the technology, you see. I am a techno wimp. The writing is not a problem, it's the sending that worries me. I am from the old school, you see, the paper, pen and lick the stamp on the envelope school. There, I've admitted it. I have come out of the cupboard! or if you prefer, the closet.At last, I have aired my deep rooted fear. My friends on facebook must think me very rude at times, or assume I am ignoring them. Nothing could be further from the truth, but I do not have the technical skills to tag, tweet, re tweet, copy paste or do any other jiggery pokery that my friends all seem to have got to grips with. The times have moved on, and I am still stuck in the dark ages when "booting up" meant pulling on my platform soles for another night out down at the disco. I am a Luddite.Yes, technology scares me. Yet, in contradiction, I publish my work exclusively on Kindle. I love my kindle. Nothing quite beats the thrill of reading and smelling a good book, turning the pages and fondling the cover, but I'll say it again, I love my Kindle. There are stairs and there are escalators. Stephen Fry said that "e Books are no more a threat to books than escalators are to stairs" and that is exactly how I feel. I do however, have to admit that the technology involved in eBooks boggles my mind. Good thing they are straightforward to use, or Mine would still be in it's box!

In my defence, I grew up in a household and a world where technology never really existed.I was a child of the 1960's. I always idly wondered how aeroplanes stayed air borne, and ships stayed afloat, but even when knowledgeable people tried to explain the laws of physics to me, I never really understood. I was nine years old before we had a telephone, for goodness sake, how was I meant to get to grips with mobile phones? And yet, my beloved sister is older than me, and she has remarkably grasped the mettle, so to speak, and copies and pastes and knows how to add links and send photo's and all sorts of other magical things that I don't even know how to describe. I can only gaze at her in awe, and nod stupidly as if I understand what she is talking about when she blithely says "It's easy, sis. Just press this button" My brother, even older than both myself and my sister, has a degree in applied mathematics, and writes computer programmes for a living. When he was at Uni, I remember him saying prophetically that "One day every home will have it's own computer and computers will run the world" oh, how our mum and dad laughed at that! He knew a thing or two, did my brother. Yet still this familiarity with technology passed me by.

I do try, honestly, I do. I watch attentively when youngest son's fingers fly over the keyboard and he remarks "there, mum, got that?", son. Mum has most definitely NOT got that. I may appear to know it, but remembering how to do it next time I need to? huh. No chance. I even had a few lessons at work, years ago. Humiliating, really, when the four year old's in the class where I worked at the time knew more than I did!
I think my problem is that I tend to over complicate things. Computers are very clever things. I am not. Well, okay, not to sell myself short, I can write and I can also paint sculpt and draw a bit. I manage. I do wish I could master my lap top, though. I suppose I'm making progress. It took my sister about two years to get me to sign up for facebook, and look at me now! I won't give up. I'm sure one day I will get there. If only I really understood exactly where it is I want to get to...

To buy Poppy Days from, click here:

To buy Angel Girls from, click here:

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Monday, 24 September 2012

The Darkman’s Son by Meg Whitlock

Jason Latimer is rescued from a mugging in a dark alley by a woman. Jason is shocked and surprised how this one woman could fight off his attackers who where three times as big as her. When the mysterious woman calling herself Alex tries to tell Jason the men who attacked him where actually demons and offers him protection. Jason thinks that the woman is crazy.

That night Jason dreams of a dark man who also offers Jason protection.  Unsure now about what is going on, a twist of fate brings Jason and Alex back together. Jason wants to find more about what Alex was talking about in the alley. Are her insane claims about Angels, Demons and Guardians true? Jason will have to face the truth, and his life is about to change forever.

The Darkman’s Son is an excellently well told story, by cleverly telling the story in the present day and going back in time to historical events. The story is also told using a journal which gives the reader a good background which gels the story together perfectly. This is a fantasy meets historical novel. There are some great characters good and bad or light and dark as the book refers to them. The story is very lively and entertaining and builds up to a real cliff-hanger of an ending, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.

Meg Whitlock has been writing nearly all her life, and she’s glad she finally got over her laziness and wrote the book she’s been dreaming about for years. She graduated from Queens University of Charlotte with a BA in Comparative Arts with an Art History specialization an Ancient History minor… which is a mouthful no matter how you say it. She has four cats (including an invisible one) a car named Babar, and a vivid imagination.

To buy this book from, click here:

To buy this book from, click here:

Construct a Couple by Talli Roland

Following on from Build a Man, we are back in the some what calamity of Serenity Holland’s life. Now settled in London with boyfriend Jeremy, Serenity has just started working on a great job at a well known magazine and things are looking good. Serenity thinks she has found the perfect story, a story that will help her move forward in her career and enable her to work with some of the best known reporters. However when she finds out that if the story breaks it could cause damage to the charity that Jeremy help set up, she must pull all stops out to prevent the story being published. But by doing this alone and not speaking to Jeremy could she be complicating her relationship?

Another fabulous fun novel from Talli Roland a romantic comedy full of humour and wit that make Talli Roland’s books enjoyable and entertaining. I am glad to hear that there will be a third book in this series, because I have come to like the character of Serenity Holland a lot, and can not wait to see what she does next.

Talli Roland writes fun, romantic fiction. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine).

Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories complete with happy endings. Talli’s debut novel The Hating Game was short-listed for Best Romantic Read at the UK’s Festival of Romance, while her second, Watching Willow Watts, was selected as an Amazon Customer Favourite. Her novels have also been chosen as top books of the year by industry review websites and have been bestsellers in Britain and the United States.

To buy this book from, click here:

To buy this book from, click here:

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Too Much Trouble in Paradise by Michelle Betham

Molly used to be married to professional darts player Paul Parker. Paul had been the perfect loving husband at first, when his career had taken off he had changed and given into temptation too many times. The quiet dependable Paul had turned and changed into a man Molly could no longer live with.

After starting a new life on the beautiful Island of Tenerife, Molly was now engaged to handsome Spaniard Antonio after a whirlwind romance, Antonio had helped to heal her broken heart. Molly had a whole new life mapped out in front of her now and she is finally moving on with her life. Then ex-husband Paul turns up in Tenerife declaring his undying love for Molly.

Now Molly must make a choice to go forward and marry Antonio or to go back to her past and go back to Paul.

This is a really entertaining romantic comedy. The writing is perfectly put together to build up the laughs, almost like a stand-up comedy routine such good comedy timing. Brilliant humour and a warm, witty way with words, this book is just a good fun read through and through.

To buy this book from, click here

To buy this book from, click here

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow by Lorin Barber

Copernicus H. Stringfellow or Nick for short is a very educated and intelligent man. When he takes a job at a hospital as a nurse and is given the job title Nurse at Large staff at the hospital become suspicious. There is something just not quite right about Nick and he is unusual. Nick does seems to generally like helping people and when patients who have been visited by Nick make miraculous recoveries this heightens his colleague’s suspicions and they want to know who exactly Nick is and what is he hiding?

I just could not stop reading this book. The more you read the more intrigued you become and the chapters are quite short too, encouraging the reader to read on and you get pulled along and into the mystery of Copernicus H. Stringfellow. Curious to find out just who he is and what he can do. You can not predict what will happen next in this story, it is a fascinating read.

Lorin Barber has an MBA from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in Japanese language. He has had a successful career as a manufacturing executive. He has six children and, so far eight grandchildren. He lives in a small town in the state of Washington with his wife of thirty-six years. In his spare time, you might find him panning for gold in the wilds of Washington. This is his first fictional work.

To buy this book from, click here

To buy this book from, click here

Real Made up Monsters by Scarlett Foxx

Real Made up Monsters is a fabulous collection of monster characters each with their own personality and names such as the Guggle-blug-blug and the Chuck N’ It, that children will love. With colourful bright illustrations and told with great humour that will keep children entertained. Real Made up Monsters will be a book children will want reading to them again and again.

To buy or preview this book, click here

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Edge of Extinction by Kristen Stone

Kianda Mala is the chief leader of a tribal village in the Amazon jungle. The tribe thought that Kianda was a god due to his unusual appearance, he has hair on his face and a tail like a monkeys. The tribe are natives who have never been civilised or mixed in civilised society.

When Kianda’s people begin to fall ill and start dying, Kianda sets off to find the cause of what is harming his people. He finds himself out of the valley and in a civilised mining community. He soon becomes friends with Jon, Hannah and Gordon who live in the community.

Fascinated and curious about how each other live, two completely different cultures must pull together to learn from each other to protect and not only save the environment but also to save many people’s lives.

Edge of Extinction is a beautifully told story about people who are almost living in two different worlds working together to protect and stop damage and harm from being done to the environment and people. This is an original story that does not come across in a strong eco warrior save the planet kind of way, but a wonderful gentle story about human beings and human nature. This book is certainly a lot different from any book I have read before and I consider myself to have been very lucky to have been able to read it. It is a book I would recommend all to read no matter what your favourite genre is.

To buy this book from click here:

To buy this book from click here:

Render Under Caesar by Paul A. Barron

When Gerry Cumiskey a journalist for the Correspondent, Texas Bureau Associated press is sent to the town of Mountain Springs Texas, he finds the town of little interest. But that is not why or what he is to report on. Just exactly why are a large crowd gathered in the town bearing banners such as Render Under Caesar?

This is a story that keeps the reader in suspense and mystery to what the story is actually about. Although I do admit I did guess the ending it did not disappoint me and I still enjoyed the story. This may only be a very short story, I read it in around fifteen minutes but it is a very well told story that does leave you wanting to find out more about the characters.

To buy this book from, click here:

To buy this book from, click here:

Monday, 17 September 2012

Cells by Harriet Grace

Cells tells the story of Martha and Grant who are a successful professional couple in their careers. Martha is a features editor for a national newspaper and Grant is a Psychoanalyst. The couple have been trying for a baby and after been told they are one of the ten percent of couples who have unexplained infertility they have now stopped trying for a baby and it has affected their relationship.

One day while at work Martha meets Jon who works as an editorial. Martha and Grant become close to Jon when Martha offers to give Jon an old computer of Grants and Jon starts visiting and spending time with the couple in their home.  Jon is a little strange a social misfit, but he gets on with the couple and they become friends.

Is stopping trying for a baby really what both Martha and Grant want? If the opportunity came for them to become parents again would they take it?

Cells is a touching and emotionally charged novel that keeps the reader intrigued. The story is told from all three of the main characters perspectives. It is really moving storyline and is creatively written.

Born in London Harriet was brought up in a small village called Inkpen (Inkpen features in the novel Cells) and now lives near Kew Gardens in London. For the last twenty years her working life has been divided in two both connected with people: writing fiction about relationship and professionally as a career counsellor or helping people through change or any kind of career problem. She has a MA Writing Distinction (Sheffield Hallam) and has had poems selected and published. Cells is her first novel and she is currently working on a new one.

To buy this book from click here:

To buy this book from click here:

The Woman by David Bishop

Linda Darby was just an ordinary woman, who lives in Sea Crest, Oregon a nice quiet sleepy town near the ocean. When Linda is attacked by two men a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue and drives her safely home. The stranger warns Linda not to go to the police, that the authorities can not be trusted. Later the taxi turns out to be stolen and it is reported that two men have been found murdered. Could this be the two men who attacked Linda? Just who was Linda’s mysterious hero? Did he kill the men?

Linda has no idea why she was attacked and when her good friend Cynthia disappears and is missing could this be connected to Linda’s attack and if so who would want to target her? What follows is a game of cat and mouse and Linda must stay ahead of the game if she is to survive.

This is a brilliant easy to read murder, mystery suspense thriller of a story that is written really well in a fast pace that keeps the reader intrigued. It is a real page turner.

David Bishop enjoyed a varied career as an entrepreneur during which he wrote many technical articles for financial and legal journals, as well as non-fiction business book published in three languages. Eventually, he began using his abilities as an analyst to craft the twists and turns and salting of clues so essential to fine mystery and thriller stories available for your pleasure reading. For more information on David and his other novels please visit his web site. He would appreciate hearing you’re thought on this or any of his novels.

To buy this book from click here,

To buy this book from click here,

Thursday, 13 September 2012

The Unexpected Life of Carnegie Lane by Virginia Higgins

Things do not seem to be going great for Carnegie Lane after her husband walks out on her and their four children to go set up home with his secretary. Carnegie and the children move away from the smart area of Paddington she lived in with her husband to a more humble setting miles away from anyone who knows her. Carnegie passes the time singing along to 80’s tunes while she does her housework. Carnegie dreams of being a rock star, she wants to get more out of her life.

One day Carnegie feels inspired to write a book, when she has finished writing it she sends it to a publisher. Katalie Bowman who is the agent in charge of fantasy fiction at the publishing company that Carnegie sends her book to, ends up taking her manuscript home. But it is Katalie’s brother Nate that ends up reading Carnegie’s manuscript. Nate is an international famous rock star and he really likes Carnegie’s book. So much so that he decides to contact Carnegie and an unlikely friendship develops between the housewife and rock star.  What is it that has drawn this unlikely friendship together?

I absolutely loved this book. This is a story that just oozes personality and it shines through on each and ever page, drawing the reader in until you are completely hooked. The unlikely friendship and relationship between the two main characters who on the outside seem worlds apart but who on the inside are a lot alike makes this a compelling read. At the end of each chapter there are lyrics and the name of the song are given, I really enjoyed trying to guess the name of the song from the lyrics and will later be on You Tube looking up the songs. There are some good songs featured. The main character Carnegie has a love of 80’s music and is a big fan of the band The Cure. I really recommend reading this book and if I could give the book more than five stars I would. It is a brilliant read.  Right time to blow the dust of my Cure CD’s I think and get them playing again!

To buy this book from click here,

To buy this book from click here,

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

I would like to welcome, a very special guest on my blog, author Darlene Jones

A long time ago, I lived in Mali. Every single day, I wished I could wave a magic wand to relieve the heart-wrenching poverty. The story line of my books reflects my desire to wave that wand and make the world a better place. If only wishes could come true. And of course, every novel needs its love story, so along with the sci-fi magic, I’ve added the requisite romance.

Initially, I intended to write “a” novel. The story and characters took over and the ending of the first demanded another. Two books became three and three became four.

I've always believed we can't be the only beings existing in the vastness of the universe. There must be others “out there somewhere” and I brought some of them along for the ride. The setting stays, for the most part, within the realities of our world, but I've found that I love the magic the sci-fi element of other beings can bring to the story.

EMBRACED by Darlene Jones

Miss D came to me one day with this page of scribbles. She thought it was some kind of communication from aliens and she wanted me and my buddies to try to figure it out. I like Miss D and all. She’s not bad for a school teacher principal type. You can talk to her and she doesn’t make fun. But, sheesh, a secret code from aliens? Anyway, to keep her happy, I said I’d help.

Thing is, once I started studying the scribbles, I could see messages. I told Miss D that Coder Guy (that’s the name Miss D gave to whoever was sending the messages) wanted her to fix things. Of course she asked what things? I didn’t know so I made up some stuff. Miss D wrote letters to newspapers and the things she asked for started to come true. She even let our class write letters on this special paper she had and the stuff we asked for came true too.

Now Miss D is in the hospital. She’s all screwed up by the aliens, and their messages, and the letters. This guy named Sam messed with her too. Miss D said he’s a war correspondent. I think she really liked him, but he dumped her or something and that sent her over the edge. I’m going up to the hospital to see her now.

My website:

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Bridle Path by Julia Hughes

Matilda Pendance is hoping that moving from London to Cornwall will be a great help and a new start to a new life for her twelve year old nephew Sebby. After a family tragedy two years ago Matilda is now Sebby’s legal guardian and she wants to do all she can to help him over come the tragedy.

They meet their new neighbours Mary-Jo and Greg on a bridle path that runs through their land. Greg is quite standoffish with Matilda at first, but when he gives Sebby a pony to look after they become friends. Matilda is about to embark on a journey of self-discovery and awakening that will hopefully changed her and Sebby’s lives for the better.

This is a book that can easily be read in one sitting. A touching story, all about coming to terms with tragedy and moving forward with life.

To buy this book from, click here:

To buy this book from, click here:

Role Reversal by Stephen C. Spencer

When Maria Rakosi and Felicity Carter are given tickets to go on a twelve day cruise commemorating the Centenary of the Titanic’s ill fated voyage in 1912, Felicity begins to have strange dreams. Could it be that Felicity is receiving messages from beyond the grave? Will visiting a hypnotist help her solve the mystery of her dreams?

This is a short story. I read it in about five minutes. The quality of the writing is excellent and although a very short story the story is very good and comes to a satisfying conclusion.

To buy this book from, click here:

To buy this book from, click here:

Monday, 10 September 2012

H.E.R.O Metamorphosis by Kevin Rau

This is the first novel in the H.E.R.O series by Kevin Rau.

The story focuses on three main characters, Stephanie Quinn, Lance Casey and Rael Stromm who are at first normal students who have been best friends for the last ten years. They all live in a place called Metrocity and in Metrocity ‘Supers’ which are super heroes are quite normal and they help and work along side the law enforcement, working through an organisation called H.E.R.O.

When a meteor storm hits the shopping mall that, Stephanie, Lance and Rael are shopping in, they are all turned into ‘Supers’ and the story is mainly about how the three main characters adapt to the change, getting use to their super powers and such dilemmas such as having to decide on their super name and choosing a super hero costume and them joining the H.E.R.O programme.

Good versus bad, heroes and villains all the ingredients in the mix for a good super hero story. I could not help but really like this novel. I just found it fun. The main reason I liked this book is although all the main characters all end up with super powers the author very much portrays the characters as normal human beings underneath all the super power and super hero bravado. You experience the feelings the characters have more on a human level experiencing the new situation the characters find themselves in. My favourite part of the book is when the characters can buy their super costumes on a payment plan!

This is a great idea for a series of novels. What the author has done is by taking an old idea of comic super heroes and built on the stories and made an old idea into an original idea. That comic and super hero fans will really enjoy. The novel is quite long but I was kept entertained and interested all the way to the end. Sometimes the story could be a little repetitive and at times too descriptive but that did not stop a good story shining through. There are some scenes of violence and sexual scenes so I would say that these super heroes are for adults only.

This will make a great read for all comic and super hero fans.

To buy this book from, click here: 

To buy this book from, click here:

Monday, 3 September 2012

I would like to welcome, a very special guest on my blog, author Anneli Purchase

A few years ago, while dry camping in Baja, our friends, veteran campers in this area showed us the way to a spring about a 45-minute hike from our camp. In this semi-desert landscape a spring of sweet water was a rare find.

Once away from the ocean, everything looked the same in the desert. I was glad of the friends’ experience, as it would be easy to get lost. The way to the spring was marked by cairns of rocks. It was a lot of faith to put into a pile of rocks, but it worked well enough that day.

Many types of cacti dotted the landscape, all of them prickly. Hidden dangers lurked all around. Coyotes and cougars prowled after dusk. Smaller creatures like tarantulas, snakes, and scorpions might be anywhere, just minding their own business, but terrifying me all the same.

We passed by an old dry well, not covered, or marked, or barricaded. In the dark anyone could walk right into it and drop thirty feet onto rocks below.

On account of the heat, sun hats, sunscreen, and bottles of water were a must.

The chances of stumbling onto drug dealers in those days were minimal, but things have changed.

When I told our host at the beach where we stayed that I’d been hiking in the back country, he warned me not to go again. It was no place for a woman alone.

With such a perfect setting, I couldn’t resist putting this spring into my novel, Orion’s Gift, about two young people who meet and fall in love in Baja. Sylvia, a beautiful California girl, leaves her upscale home near San Diego after receiving an upsetting letter. She meets Kevin, an Alberta man, who, after receiving a substantial inheritance from his father, leaves a bad marriage behind. Their love seems perfect until they learn that their spouses are tracking them down.

In this excerpt, against the advice of her host, Alfonso, Sylvia has gone to the spring for a quiet day of sketching.

Excerpt from Orion’s Gift

I was disappointed when I first saw the spring a few weeks ago, but I had my water bottle and didn’t need the spring water to be drinkable. The water level of the pool was even lower now and smelled a bit skunky, but it provided water for a good-sized palo verde nearby. The area to the back of the spring was a cool oasis on a hot day. Large flat rocks and smooth boulders under the tree made perfect tables and chairs for sitting and doing my sketching.

A light breeze made the late afternoon heat bearable, and I soon became absorbed in my work. I had a good collection of the various types of cacti in my sketchbook. I ran my hand over the book’s cover. Kevin gave me that. The first day I met him. Sweet of him. I closed my eyes to go back to that day. My brow furrowed and I opened my eyes again. What was that whiff of something in the air? An awful smell. Then it was gone. I looked around. Everything was quiet except for the buzzing of a few flies someplace nearby. Maybe it was the skunky water of the spring. Never mind. I picked up my pen to get back to my drawing. The beautiful palo verde took shape on my pages. I was happy with the results.

I took a break and ate my orange. Back to work again. But oops, sticky fingers. I could use my drinking water, but why waste it when I had spring water. I climbed around the boulders back down to the spring. It had a bit of green stuff growing on the surface, but there was plenty of clear water near the edge and I only needed a wee bit to swish the orange juice off my fingers. Actually, the water didn’t smell bad at all.

Back at my makeshift drawing station, I finished the last drawing. Twice more my nose wrinkled at some awful smell, always when the wind changed direction. Finally it wasn’t pleasant to stay there anymore. I packed my things. It was getting late anyway. Carefully, I picked my way among the boulders, back down to the spring. A gust of wind brought the most horrible smell my way. I almost vomited. Must be a dead animal someplace nearby. Curious now, I checked behind some of the bigger boulders. I found nothing, but the smell grew stronger. The buzzing of flies grew louder. Wings flapped past me and over my head. I ducked and tried to still my pounding heart. A second large bird flew up from a pile of rocks. What on earth was that heap of clothes doing out here? The smell was nauseating. I wanted to run, but I had to know what it was. The mound of clothes … had the shape of a man. A man without a head. My eyes widened and I clamped my hand over my mouth as I screamed. I wanted to let loose and scream out my terror, but I immediately thought, What if whoever did this was still nearby? Oh my God! A man’s body. I think! But there’s no head. It can’t be real. But the flies, the vultures. Then I saw it. A few feet away on a big flat rock lay the head, eyes gone, tongue hanging out, bloodied and torn. He looked familiar. I let out a shriek and, gasping for breath, I ran. I ran, not knowing or caring where I was, as long as it was away from the horror of what was once Manuel.

Orion’s Gift is available on and at

Also by Anneli Purchase, The Wind Weeps is available on and at

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Mark of the Loon by Molly Greene

Madison Boone is a real estate agent who since she lost her parents finds it difficult to stay in any house for long and lay down roots. So she buys properties and then does them up and sells them for a profit. Madison finds an overgrown 1940’s cottage and with the help of a friend she buys the cottage.

When Madison moves in she is amazed to find a lot of the previous owners belongings are still in the cottage and Madison makes some interesting discoveries when she is sorted the cottage out, including keys, a locked book that strangely none of the keys fit, as well as letters and journals.

Madison finds out the house belonged to an elderly couple Edward and Mallory Blackburne and she feels that there is a much deeper story to the couple. Madison sets out to solve the riddle and put the pieces of the puzzle together to find out more about the Blackburnes, she meets some interesting characters along the way, including an attorney called Levi Velasco who really wants his clients to purchase the house and is really put out when Madison buys the cottage.

Why is Velasco so desperate to get his hands on the property? Will Madison be able to find out led by curiosity the truth about the Blackburnes and their cottage?

This is a really well written and excellently thought out plotline, that is filled with secrets, suspense and suspicion and mystery the story is also about relationships, friendship and romance. You can not predict what will happen next in the story. The story has a cast of wonderful characters that really bring the story to life.  Keeping the reader guessing and in suspense until the very end. I could not put this book down, wanting to find out what Madison would find out next.

To buy this book from, click here:

To buy this book from, click here:

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Pulling Home by Mary Campisi

When Audra’s husband Christian suddenly dies, she finds herself back in their home town with their eight year old daughter Kara for Christian’s funeral. After living away for nine years and with only occasional visits back, Audra is disliked by Christian’s family who blame her for Christian moving away and when Audra faces Christian’s brother Jack it soon becomes clear that Jack and Audra share more than a history together when family secrets are revealed.

At first reading this book I felt overwhelmed by just how much tragedy happens so fast. I would have put the book down only the author writes in such a way that is filled with mystery and suspense that I had to keep reading on to find out what happens. Sadly what followed was more drama and tragedy like what you would find in an American soap but is just too much in one book. There is an audience for this kind of writing but for me personally it’s just not my sort of escapism that I enjoy, although other people may really enjoy this. On a positive the book did hold my attention until the end of the book and I saw potential that would have been a very good story if there were not so many characters easily killed off and tragedy surrounding most of the characters, which is what, spoilt the book for me.

To buy this book from, click here:

To buy this book from, click here: