Sunday, 25 October 2015

Forever Avalon by Mark Piggott

Twelve months after her husband disappeared at sea, Stephanie and their three children set of on a chartered boat trip off the coast of Bermuda to pay their respects at the spot he was last located. After a terrible storm they are left shipwrecked on an island and things go from bad to worse when they soon find out they are now in another world… On a mythical island called Avalon. A medieval time, which is ruled by the descendants of King Arthur.

Considered outlanders that can be punished by death, Stephanie and her children, Ashley, Rose and Hunter soon find themselves pursued by bounty hunters, but when the Gil-Gamesh steps in to rescue them the adventure as just begun.

I found myself lost in this novel and before I knew it I was almost at the end. A fantasy story that the author's imagination goes into full overdrive, that makes this book enchanting and addictive. A very intriguing story, that references every mythical and magical being you can think of and any missing I hope to find in book two. I was swept along into the adventure and colourful characters. I enjoyed the whole magical experience of the book.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Going To See The Elephant by D.M. Harrison

Rose has taken care of her family, two brothers since her parents passed away. When one of her brothers loses their home and land in a foolish gamble with the town's Mayor, in exchange for what seems to be a worthless piece of land at the other side of the country, after tragic events Rose has no choice but to go see the elephant and take the chance of travelling on the dangerous wagon trail. The journey is quite an adventure as well as avoiding Indians and dysentery, Rose finds herself trying to avoid the attention of two beaus, Cash and Boyd, when all she wants to do is find a safe place to settle.

This is my first Western book… I have ever read! Imagine that! How wonderful to finally after all this time to discover a new genre and what's more. I really enjoyed it. I like stories that have women as strong independent leading ladies and although this book is set in 1850 and most women in books of this era are usually in the background or just doing girlie things, it is great to see Rose as a feisty, young woman who knows her own mind. This is not a romance novel. This is a book filled with non-stop action and adventure. I will look forward to reading more books by D.M Harrison.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Thicker Than Water by Mary O'Sullivan

A small community of people who live on the Hawthorn Estate in the rural Irish town of Ballyderg, each with their own dark secrets. Four girls have disappeared without trace in the past eighteen months. Maeve, Linda and Jan are three friends who must face a storm that is coming... Which will change each of their lives for ever.

Thicker than Water is a chilling psychological crime thriller with murder and mystery that keeps the reader on the edge of your seat in suspense from beginning to end. I had chills running down my spine as the story is sometimes told from the murders point of view, captivating a very dark and unhinged mind that tries to rationalise the despicable acts that they are carrying out.

This is an intriguing and tense read from author Mary O'Sullivan. The words of the story really make the reader feel the emotion of the dark atmosphere to the story. I was guessing who did it right up to the end. I could in no way predict what was going to happen next and that is what I like in a book. I like books too that play out in your minds-eye because the characters are so real and this is what you will find reading this book. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Meet the Author – Sue Fortin

I was recently lucky enough to be able to give up my day job to fulfil my ambition of writing full-time. My husband has been really supportive and, it’s fair to say, that without him, this just wouldn’t be possible.

So, how was I going to fill my days as a writer? Cue rose coloured specs as I imagine myself with my own office, maybe even a summer house, typing away, only interrupted by telephone calls from my editor in London, long lunches discussing book signings, both London and New York, guest appearances on Richard & Judy’s Book Club, champagne swigging literary events and calling everyone ‘Darling’.

Yeah, well, as it turns out, it’s not quite like that.

I try to remember two pieces of advice. One from Nora Roberts about sitting down to write and getting on with it; the books aren’t going to write themselves. The other from J K Rowling, to guard your writing days. Don’t be tempted to accept invitations to coffee and shopping trips. Your writing days are precious and should be kept that way.

Of course, it’s easier said than done but I’m working on it and try to be at my desk by 9.30 every morning, attacking my To Do List.  I tend to break up the spells of writing with household chores that need doing, such as, washing, cleaning, tidying, shopping, cooking – all the usual stuff that, if I were at work, would have to wait until the evening.

If I’m working on promotional pieces or plotting, it’s easier to fit everything in as there are more opportunities to take a break but if I’m right in the midst of my work in progress, it’s harder, especially if it’s going well.

So, how does my day run as a full-time writer – definitely a lot busier than when I had a day job but I’m certainly not complaining as I thoroughly enjoy every minute of it.

Author Bio

Published by Harper Collins' imprint Harper Impulse, Sue Fortin writes romance, mystery and suspense.

Her originally self-published debut novel was awarded the INDIE Brag Medallion and later when published by HarperImpulse was short-listed for the Joan Hessayon Award (2014). Sue was also short-listed for the Festival of Romance, New Talent Award (2013). Her second novel, Closing In, reached number one in the Romantic Suspense Kobo chart at the end of 2014. Sue blogs regularly with the on-line writing group The Romaniacs ( and in 2014 they released a charity anthology 'Romaniac Shorts'.

Lover of cake, Dragonflies and France. Hater of calories, maths and snakes. Sue was born in Hertfordshire but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex.

Sue is married with four children, all of whom patiently give her time to write but, when not behind the keyboard, she likes to spend her time with them, enjoying both the coast and the South Downs, between which they are nestled.
You can catch up with Sue at

The French Retreat Blurb

With Christmas on the horizon, losing her job and her home wasn’t on Marcie Grainger’s wish list. In a bid to reassess her life, she heads off to the only place she has ever felt truly content - her brother’s farmhouse retreat in rural France.

Marcie isn’t the only one looking to escape. Ex-soldier Will hopes the gentle pace of French life will banish the ghosts of his past and offer him the fresh start he desires.

However, all is not what it seems at The Retreat. Fuelled by local rumours and strange happenings, Will and Marcie are pushed together as they try to discover who or what is behind it all. In so doing, they end up finding more than they bargained for.
The French Retreat is a story of human compassion, hope and love.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Racing Heart by June Moonbridge

Racing Heart is a romantic and deeply emotional novel about a young woman called Desiree and the heartbreak she is going through searching for her missing young son.

When Desiree is working in a perfumery in Monte Carlo and the Monaco Grand Prix is in full throttle, Desiree has a chance meeting with Formula One driver Lorcan Shore. The two get off to a shaky start, but fate is about to come crashing into them at full speed, taking them on a quite a drive of emotions.

Set with the backdrop of Formula One creating the setting for this this intense and beautifully told story. The motor racing is not the main focus of the story, so if like me you do anything to avoid the Formula One season when it begins, don't let it put you off reading this book. I found myself having   to pit-stop between chapters as they are quite long, but I liked the pace of the book with it's slow start building up to a satisfying finish. I do like to escape into a good romance and yes I admit I love scenes some may find a touch too sentimental than sexy, so if like me you like an adult fairy-tale… Then this is the book for you.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Special Guest - Carol E. Wyer

Any writer today knows how important it is to maintain a profile on social media and get those reviews to keep the reading public interested in their books. It can get very tiring and authors who notice a dip in sales can become disillusioned. It is then when they might turn to one of those adverts that have appeared in their inbox to advertise or promote a book or, to take a chance at winning a book award and earn an accolade that will help launch their literary future.

Take it from one who has learned the hard way, there are very few competitions you should enter. Many charge a fee but it does not end there. Surprise, surprise you will be short-listed along with many others in your category. For some awards there are loads of categories so it seems as if everyone who entered won a semi-finalist award. That earns you bragging rights—which only serve to further promote the award itself—and the opportunity to purchase stickers for your books, badge or medal should you wish.

In my salad days, I believed that winning an award would allow me to garner attention from the media and promote my book further. Grumpy was not happy. He did not want me frittering away my hard-earned money on awards. He took some convincing but I applied. I won three – two Indie medals – all bright and shiny—the size of dinner plates. I also won a gold medal from Readers Favourite where I got a wonderful review and jumped about the room in excitement. Grumpy remained unimpressed by the size of my gong. “How much did that lump of metal cost you?” he grumbled. He was right. I should have saved my money. Did they help? No. Journalists were interested until I mentioned my award. “What’s that then?” they replied just before they decided it was not newsworthy. When it is an award from some obscure site that is unheard of in the UK then just forget it. It is not worth your time, or your money.

It didn’t dampen my ardour and I continued to seek out well-known awards. One of my books, Just Add Spice was entered for the Costa Awards (Ha, even Grumpy had heard of them). Then, my publishers, Safkhet Publishing, put one of my books up for The People’s Book Prize Award.

Founded by Dame Beryl Bainbridge and with Frederick Forsythe as its patron, this is a superb platform for authors who wish to be recognised. Entry is free. If your book is selected from the many, you will be showcased for three months, during which time the voting public will be able to vote for it. If you are then one of the lucky three to go through to the finals, you will have one further week ahead of the award ceremony to promote and ask readers (or your family) to vote again.

The ceremony takes place in London. It is a glitzy affair with a touch of showbiz about it. Sky television film for the entire evening and all finalists get the chance to show off their books.

It’s not just about the award. You have a wonderful opportunity to write about your book on social media, show it off and attract more readers. The People’s Book Prize award is dedicated to promoting literacy and showcasing lesser-known authors. You can let local press know you are a finalist and you may well find yourself appearing on radio shows or television. All of which all leads to sales and the feeling you have climbed onto the bottom rung of Z-list celebrity fame.

Some of you many know I won the award last year for my non-fiction book Grumpy Old Menopause. I can’t tell you how thrilled (and surprised) I was. Sales for the book jumped that month and I had a few manic days where I felt I was achieving what I had always wanted. My book was being read. I was making people laugh. Grumpy managed a smile—yes, a smile!

Now my humorous travel guide, Grumpies On Board is up for voting. It was compiled over several months and we have been researching it for some considerable time. It is more than a travel guide. It will give you ideas and suggestions to change how you travel or indeed make you want to try out all sorts of previously unheard of stuff. It’s stuffed full of fun and laughs too. You can find out why Grumpy will not go Snuffle Trunting again.

Given my beloved Grumpy wrote all the daft comments in it, he is rather hoping to cajole a few votes for it. If you have five minutes, could you please head over to the website, register and vote for it. I would love to see him collect an award. Heaven knows what he’ll say if it happens but be assured Sky will be televising it and we’ll all find out.

Vote HERE:


Monday, 12 October 2015

Meet the Author - Jan Ruth

Wild, Dark and Silent.

Wild, Dark and Silent: A testimony to the Welsh Hills.

The close of July saw the re-release of WILD WATER.

Although this is the second title Accent Press have released, it’s actually my first novel, a book which has endured the longest journey of all to arrive fully polished and published. It began as a humble paper copy – remember those? – and went through several transformations before arriving in a much less frazzled state.

This is the story of Jack Redman, the wronged alpha male who’s trying to make the best decisions for his family but more often than not, gets kicked in the teeth. How often we read novels in the contemporary genres which consistently root for the female character – nothing wrong with a strong woman of course – but no one seemed to be telling these stories from the male viewpoint, at least not twenty years ago when I began my quest. Divorce still seems heavily weighted towards the partner with the children, and the mother is usually awarded custody unless there are extenuating circumstances which can be proved. Most of the time this is all well and good, but there are a great number of cases where our ancient system is fully exploited. Sadly, a lot of the initial storyline was prompted by real-life experience but there’s no better starting point than this for fiction in the family-saga genre. Jack Redman is a victim not only of the court system injustices but of its inability to deal with the speed and complications of contemporary family life.

The Wild Water series is strongly rooted in Conwy, a medieval town in North Wales. In the main I’ve used real places, and I do love the mix of historical buildings as a backdrop to a modern tale. Links to Welsh history and heritage are unavoidable in Wales and it’s the visible remains of quarries, castles and farmsteads which give the area a strong sense of the past. And there’s richness in the landscape here which has certainly inspired my writing. St. Celynin’s seventh century church in the hills for example, is an evocative piece of living history and a landmark which is included throughout the series. It’s exactly the sort of place Anna, with her natural spiritualism, might seek sanctuary. Nestled in the hills 927 feet above the sea, its pretty inaccessible and best approached on foot, but this is no hardship.

Some of the area is chocolate-box pretty, a lot of it isn’t. The struggle to make a living in this community is mostly based on farming or tourism, although the mussel industry is alive and well. Since I know little about these subjects, Jack Redman emerged as an estate-agent. I like to be slightly unconventional with my characters because another great killer of readability is sameness, and cliche.
It was both daunting, and a pleasure to write the follow-up, Dark Water; to be republished by Accent Press on October 8th.

The story picks up three years after the end of Wild Water and Jack is in for another bumpy ride. Dark Water is, as the title might suggest, a darker story partly because my writing style has changed over twenty years, but also because I introduced an element of crime. It’s too easy to become lazy with a sequel and repeat much of what has gone before. The resurgence of Simon Banks created plenty of tension, and a fresh challenge for me to write some of the story from his perspective. New characters such as Clarissa Harrison-Smith and Peter Claymore, breathed new life into the original cast. When I brought Claymore into the story, he had to have a purpose and a passion, and his persona took root in one of the most fascinating buildings in Conwy – sadly in a state of disrepair – but the real life situation fitted perfectly with what I had in mind for the plot.

This house was built in 1589 by the vicar of Conwy. Since then it’s been a pub, a tearoom and an antique shop. It’s full of spooky atmosphere with cellars, trap doors and secret passages, and apparently there used to be an escape tunnel which led to the quay. Haunted? Most certainly!

It’s exactly the sort of place someone like Claymore would want to renovate and bring to life, and the perfect setting for Anna to develop in her own right as a serious artist. Her portrait of Llewellyn the Great is the centrepiece of her launch but of course, this is fiction and nothing goes to plan! The comedy and tragedy of Jack’s life rumbles on. In his own words: ‘Raping and pillaging is still rife, even in the modern world.’





Wild Water 1:
Dark water 2:

Youtube trailer:

Friday, 2 October 2015

A Tiny Feeling of Fear by M. Jonathan Lee

Andrew Walker lets the reader into his life and talks to us about what is going on in his mind, the difficulties he faces suffering from anxiety and depression and how he sees the world around him and how on the outside he seems fine and successful in his career, but inside he is struggling and fighting a battle within himself.

Andrew Walker is a fictional character but with the story been told from his first person point of view he becomes very real and the lively, fast pace of the book draws you into Andrew's world. Here the reader becomes the confidant. This makes the book interesting and different and because it is so well written it really works and the reader does not become disinterested from this point of view. A lot of people will be able to relate to the circumstances Andrew is going through too.

Welcome to my special guest Mandy Baggot

Merry Christmas! Too much too soon? OK, well, in my opinion, it’s never too early for winter wishes and the excitement of life in New York City! Welcome to my brand new novel, One Wish in Manhattan.
The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish… to start over. 

With her daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for adventure. But there’s more to New York than twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has her own Christmas wish – to find her real dad. 

While Hayley tries to fulfil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked. 

Can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might turn come true – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever? 

Travel to the Big Apple this Christmas and join Hayley and Oliver as they realise life isn’t just about filling the minutes… it’s about making every moment count. 

A big warm-hearted story, full of Christmas sparkle that will delight fans of Jane Costello, Miranda Dickinson and Lucy Diamond. 
So grab yourself some buttered bagels and hot chocolate and curl up by the fire!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Meet the Author - Suzie Tullett

I was chatting to a lady recently who commented on how exciting my life must be. I smiled in response, pleased to know I wasn’t the only one with a furtive imagination. At the time, I’d just sent The Trouble with Words to the publisher. Having written, re-written, edited and re-edited, exciting wasn’t quite the word I’d have chosen. Even so, the lady’s enthusiasm reminded me how lucky I am to be able to write full-time in the first place.
Yes, as with all professions, being a writer has its ups and downs. However, the positives do out weigh the negatives. For example, we get to visit interesting places and meet fascinating people, all in the name of research. Depending what we’re writing, we get to fight pirates, solve murders, or fall in love with our heroes. We’re also able to work from home and mostly to our own schedule, something that, naturally, calls for a degree of self-motivation.
Thankfully, when it comes to the life of a writer there are lots of motivating factors to draw upon. Such as the sense of achievement we get when turning a grain of an idea into a full blown storyline, or develop an innocent mannerism into a well rounded character. Even the constant re-writing to make sure our work is as good as it can be feels like an accomplishment, particularly when we manage to get a difficult paragraph or chapter to finally convey what we intended.
Obviously there are times when our enthusiasm begins to wane, but by then we’re usually so far into a project we tell ourselves it would be ridiculous to give up on it now. Especially when we think about all the time and effort we’ve spent on it already.
However, one of the biggest motivating factors has to be our ability to communicate with people, many of whom we’re more than likely never going to meet. Again depending on what we write, we hope to make people laugh or cry, we hope to surprise or scare. And all of this in situations that we might never ourselves experience. And because our novels are being read on that particular beach or are sitting on that particular book shelf, it’s nice to think that a little bit of us can be found there too. 

The Trouble with Words by Suzie Tullett

Release Date:
October 1, 2015

Blog tour
September 21–October 11, 2015

Promises – easy to make, hard to keep.
Having long made a promise to her husband, young widow Annabel has no intentions of breaking it. What she does plan to do, though, is have a baby. Not the easiest of tasks for a woman with a deceased other half, and having explored all her options, her only choice is to take the unconventional route. Setting out to find her own donor, Annabel meets Dan. Single, fun-loving and definitely not looking for commitment, this unruly blonde, blue-eyed man seems perfect for the job.
Dan wants nothing more than to find his dream woman. But with a mother intent on sabotaging his every relationship, he can't help but think he's destined to remain single. Of course, he knows his mother doesn't really want him all for herself, why else would she keep insisting he meet Maeve? Why else would she insist Dan promise to find himself a wife before she meets her maker?
Forced to negotiate matters of love, life and death, Annabel and Dan seem the answer to each other's prayers. But will they really be able to keep the promises they made? And is having a baby really the solution?

Book Links:

Buy Links:

Author Bio:

Suzie Tullett is an author of contemporary humorous fiction and romantic comedy. As well as The Trouble with Words, her novels include Going Underground and Little White Lies and Butterflies, which was short-listed for The Guardian's 2013 Not the Booker Prize. She has a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist. And when she's not tapping away on the computer creating her own literary masterpiece, she usually has her head in someone else's.


Opening out the deckchair, she plonked herself down in it. “So how’s your week been?” she asked. She paused, not that she really expected a reply, but it was nice to know he was listening if nothing else. “Mine’s not been too bad,” she continued. “The shop’s still doing okay. Oh, and your mum called round the other day.” Remembering the visit all too well, Annabel tried not to scowl. “She said to say hello.”   
She reached down and dipped her hand into her bag again, this time pulling out a flask of coffee. “Caffeine, just what I need after the hassle of getting here,” she said. “As usual the traffic was horrendous.”
Pouring herself a drink, she knew her ramblings were an attempt at stalling the inevitable; that she was worried about Tom’s reaction once she’d told him what she was up to. While her plans for the future might be a positive move on her part, she certainly wasn’t daft enough to think everyone would understand. If anything most people wouldn’t, especially if his mother’s reaction had been anything to go by.
She thought it strange how everyone and their dog insisted she move on, yet the second she did they created such a song and dance over it. Although if Tom did choose to join in with the dissenters, then just like them he’d only have to get used to the idea; particularly when this was entirely his fault to begin with. Annabel didn’t want to play the blame game, but just like she’d said to his mother, she wouldn’t be in this position if he hadn’t upped and died in the first place. In her mind’s eye, she could see Tom sitting opposite, his hands clasped as he patiently waited for her to tell him what was really on her mind. The man always could read her like a book.
“Okay, okay,” she said. “Just give me a second.”   
She took a couple of sips of coffee, determined to reveal all. But, in spite of practicing her speech all week, now that it came to it, those well-chosen words seemed to fail her. Resting her cup on her knee and refusing to let her conviction wane, she realised she was just going to have to come out and say it.
After three, she told herself. One, two, three…
She squeezed her eyes shut, in anticipation of the lightning bolt no doubt about to strike her down.
“I’m going to have a baby,” she said.