Christmas Awards 2011

Saturday 26 December 2009

The Winners of the Christmas Award

The winner of the Main Christmas Award 2009 is Lindsay Townsend for Bronze Lightning, publisher Siren Book Strand.

The winner of the Short Award is Delilah K. Stephans for Sarah's Story, publisher Red Rose Publishing.

The winners will be notified and receive a prize.

The voting was keen but these two books won by several votes. Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to all the people who voted.

The voting winner is Pam Brooks - an ebook has been sent.

Wednesday 9 December 2009




















The list will stay up until Christmas Eve and the winners will be announced after Christmas this year. Don't forget, the winner of each group receives a prize and one lucky voter from each list will recieve an ebook free.

Please vote and make an author happy!

Featured Book

Miss Clemence Ravenhurst never expected to find herself dressed as a boy and fleeing through the night time streets of Kingston, Jamaica. Nor was being snatched by some of the nastiest pirates in the Caribbean the sort of thing a wealthy heiress expected to happen. But even worse than life on board Red Matthew McTiernan’s ship was the realisation that she was falling in love with Nathan Stanier, renegade naval officer, ship’s navigator and her only protector. Clemence finds herself fighting for her life and her love on both the high seas and the drawing rooms of fashionable England alongside a man with his own battle between his desires and his dut

Sunday 6 December 2009

Two Gentlemen From London

Two Gentlemen From London
Fenella-Jane Miller
Robert Hale
222 pages
ISBN 978-0-7090-8896-7

Colonel Robert Sinclair and Major Dudley stumble upon two ladies in distress when their carriage breaks down. Annabel and her mother are hiding from Lady Rushton's brutal husband. They ran away when Sir Randolph's depravity became too much, but he is still searching for them and he has Annabel in mind.

To keep her safe from this menacing predator, Robert is prepared to marry Annabel, though he believes at the start that he can never again give his heart. Can he forget the past and can she overcome her fear and find happiness?

This is a fast-paced Regency with many twists and turns. It is an enjoyable novel, amusing and lively. I recommend this popular author. Her books are always worth seeking out and reading. 4.5 red roses. Linda Sole

An Interview with Fenella Miller

Tell us a little about yourself

What do you write? Romantic historical fiction

Why do you write? Because I have to – it's what I am – a writer. However, my wish is for a reader to pick up my book and love it, to be transported to another world for a few hours.

What are you writing now? I am writing a romantic suspense set in 1940 in and around Debden airfield.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear? Casual - I wore a skirt the other day and my friend didn't recognize me.

Are you in love? Have you ever been? I have been in love - but fortunately that changes to loving someone in a different way. Although I love to write about passionate relationships.

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he or she look like?
My dream lover is a character usually, Richard Sharpe (played by Sean Bean of course) or the dishy doctor in Gray's Anatomy, known as Macdreamy.

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
I love chocolate – but have to limit myself to a couple of bits once a week. I avoid 'comfort food' as I'm gluten intolerant. Also have lost 18lbs and have no wish to put it back again.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
Sometimes a book makes me laugh out loud, but not very often. Usually a film, something like Mama Mia. I shed a few surreptitious tears when Didge died on Neighbours - when my last dog died, and at weddings and funerals.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
Writing is not working, as far as I'm concerned. I walk the dog twice a day, go to a French conversation class and meet up with other writers at least once a week. I also read a couple of books a week.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
I like a tall man, with a good head of hair and a charismatic smile. After that it's personality that counts.

What do you hate about life?
Nothing -why should I? I'm doing what I've always dreamt of doing, am a published writer, my children are happy, I'm happy - could do with more money, but who couldn't?

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I'm determined to become a successful writer, to have hundreds of thousands of eager readers rather than hundreds.

What are you going to write next?
When I've finished the current romantic suspense I will be back to writing Regency romantic adventure, my two publishers would be put out if they didn't get something new every year.

Saturday 5 December 2009

Featured Author/ Fenella J. Miller


'Miss Bentley, lawks a mussy! They're here. Young Fred saw the carriage turn into the lane not ten minutes ago.'

Annabel Bentley dropped the jar of bramble jelly she had been about place on the shelf in the pantry. 'After so long? I had thought Mama and I safe from him.' Stepping over the sweet mess on the flagstones she gathered up her skirts, calling over her shoulder as she ran. 'You and Tom know what to do; we have about thirty minutes before they arrive.'

How had he found them? They had been so careful these past years, had not even attended church or visited Ipswich themselves. Her heart pounding, she ran upstairs calling her mother.

'Mama, we are discovered. We must get organized or it will be too late.' She had hoped never to be reminded of that black time again.

Lady Sophia appeared from the south facing chamber she used for her studio, as usual she had paint streaks on her face and fingers. 'Are you quite certain, my love? I can hardly credit that monster has been able to find us.'

'Well, he has. Mary and Tom are putting on the holland covers, we have to clear your studio.'

In the beginning they had practiced this exercise several times, but as the months, and then the years, slipped by they had stopped rehearsing. However, the boxes were ready and it was the work of moments to fill them with the paraphernalia.

'Quickly, open the panel and I'll start taking things through.' Annabel tried to recall how long it was since she had checked their intended hiding place. It must be almost a year, the two secret rooms would be dust covered, but it was too late to worry about that. There was the clatter of footsteps and their servants arrived to disguise the bed chambers they had been occupying with covers.

'Miss Bentley, everything's ready downstairs, we shall have your rooms done in a trice. Fred is moving the horses, I reckon we'll be prepared in good time.'

'This room is finished; all we need is sufficient food and water for today and tomorrow. No doubt you will be obliged to offer accommodation tonight, but when he finds he's mistaken, he will surely leave first thing.'

'He'll not get a meal he'll enjoy tonight, I'll make sure of that.'

'Thank you, Mary. I cannot imagine why the three of you have stayed with us so long in this isolated place, but we could not have managed without you.'

'Bless you, miss, it's been our pleasure. You mustn't worry. If you and Lady Sophia get settled, we'll be up with what you need as soon as we've done here.'

Annabel stepped into the hidden passageway, relieved to see her mother had not been idle, the sconces were burning and she had sufficient illumination to fasten the panel behind her and to pick up one of the remaining boxes.

The passageways and narrow staircase led from top to bottom of the ancient mansion. The place had once been used by smugglers and although the exit to the beach had fallen into disuse years ago, it was still possible to get from the kitchen to the hidden apartment in the attic.

She followed the twists and turns without hesitation, it was fixed in her mind. She could hear her mother moving about ahead of her and guessed she would be setting up her easel.

'There you are, my love. I shall run back and fetch the last box whilst you check we have everything we need up here. I fear the bed linen will be damp after so long.'

Annabel didn't bother to argue that she was younger and fitter and should be the one to go back, for it would be untrue. Her mother was barely eight and thirty, and she nineteen on her last name day, they would be taken for sisters if ever they appeared together in public.

These secret rooms had been constructed when the house was built. There was no way to enter them via the attics, the only panels that opened were in the room that had been used as a studio and the boot room in the basement. She walked across to the low doors that opened onto the roof.

She pulled them back and stepped out, knowing she could not be seen from below. Brandon Hall, originally built in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, now had a false edifice making it appear what it was not. Behind the brick frontage, hidden between two chimney breasts, was a space more than large enough to walk about. She carefully removed the brick that filled the peephole.

Her throat constricted and her hands clenched. Fred had not been mistaken. Already half way down the long curving drive was a smart, black travelling carriage. They had not received a visitor since they had joined Great-Aunt Beth, nobody knew they were there. It could only be her stepfather, Randolph Rushton, and his loathsome man of affairs.

A vivid flash of lightning split the sky. She counted, had reached five, when the thunder followed. The storm they had been anticipating all day would be upon them within the hour. She prayed the river that ran parallel to the lane would not flood, the last time it had done so it had been a week before the road was passable.

Her mother appeared at the door, her face pinched and pale. 'Come in, my dear, we must get ourselves settled whilst it is still light enough to do so. You know we cannot risk more than a single candle once it is dark.'

'Very well, Mama, the carriage will be here imminently. We can't move about once it arrives, you know how sound echoes down the passageway.'


The coach rocked violently. 'God's teeth! Sinclair, are you certain we have taken the correct turning?'

Colonel Robert Sinclair grinned at his companion. 'The yokel the coachman questioned a while ago directed us along this godforsaken track. It's your family we're visiting, Dudley, not mine, remember.'

'My sister said she lives in rural splendour, not that she lived somewhere as inaccessible as this.'

The horses slowed to a walk and Robert lowered the window. 'I can see something carved into the gatepost.' He leant out and could just make out some letters under the verdigris. 'Yes, it's definitely Brandon Manor.' He shouted up to the coachman. The groom sitting next to him on the box, hung precariously over the edge to listen. 'This is it. The drive is in no better state than the lane. Take it carefully, I don't want my horses lamed.'

'Very well, Colonel, we'll take it steady.'

The driver waved his whip in acknowledgement and Robert resumed his place on the squabs. This was turning out to be a more interesting excursion than he'd anticipated. When Dudley had suggested a visit to darkest Suffolk to see his sister Amelia, he had agreed. Since Waterloo, and reduced to half pay, even a sojourn in the country seemed preferable to kicking his heels in town, and having too much time to dwell on his loss.

'I know your sister has been widowed, but surely her finances are not so parlous that the estate has fallen into disrepair?'

'To tell you the truth, I know little about Brandon Manor or her dead husband. She met and

married Sir John Barton whilst I was on the Peninsular with you fighting Napoleon. She has two

children, I misremember their names, but from what I recall, Barton was a young man with deep pockets. Amelia wouldn't have looked at him otherwise.'

Robert smiled. 'She always said she would marry money; but I'm surprised she chose someone who lives so remotely. I doubt she has much social life stuck out here in the back of beyond.'

The sky was rent by a sheet of lightning closely followed by the rumble of thunder. 'That's all we need, a storm. The going is too poor for us to make faster progress; I fear we're going to be caught in a downpour.'

'At least we will be well looked after when we arrive. Amelia keeps a good table. This journey has been beyond tedious, I cannot wait to stretch my legs and enjoy a decent meal.' Simon Dudley shuddered. 'The repast we were given last night beggars belief.'

'It didn't prevent you from finishing it,' Robert said dryly. The carriage dropped into another pothole tilting dangerously; he was catapulted from his seat. 'Dammit! That's the axle gone. God knows how we're going to get it fixed out here.'

He untangled himself from his friend and reached up to grasp the door which was now above his head. 'Did I hurt you?' Major Dudley shook his head. 'I must get out and help Jethro with the horses. We're still a mile from the house; I fear we're going to have to walk.'

The team might be in imminent danger of entangling themselves in the traces. He prided himself on having four incomparable matched bays and had no intention of letting any one of them injure themselves. Heaving himself upright he smashed the door open; he thrust through the opening to roll down the carriage to the ground.

His driver was before him and had his knife out to slice through the leather. There was no sign of the groom. He ran to take hold of the bit of the lead horse, he pulled the animal's head down and spoke soothingly until it calmed. 'Where's Billy?'

'I ain't had time to check, sir, he went over the side and I've not seen him since.'

There was the thump of boots as they hit the ground behind him. 'Dudley, my groom's hurt. Check on him.' He knew his friend wouldn't question his orders; after all he'd been following his commands during the years they had served together in the same regiment.

'A concussion, he's out cold, but his pulse's steady. How the devil are we going to get him to the house?'

'I can see help arriving; there's a pony and trap heading this way. I find it decidedly odd that Amelia can provide us with nothing better than that.'

Dudley shrugged. 'I suppose it might have been sensible to have informed her of our coming.'

'Good God! How did the regiment survive with you in charge of transport? I should not have agreed to accompany you, or use my carriage, if I had known we were not expected.'

The trap clattered to a halt beside them and an elderly retainer scrambled out, a younger version, obviously his son, close behind. 'It's going to rain something heavy any time now, sir, so we best get you to the hall before it do.'

Robert nodded. 'My groom is injured, take him and our bags. Major Dudley and myself will ride.' The man touched his cap and vanished to the far side of the tilted carriage to collect the patient. He was about to swing up on the horse he was holding when something the man had said made him stop. 'Is this Brandon Manor?'

The two servants staggered around, the comatose body between them. The older man answered. 'Bless you, sir, no it ain't. This is Brandon Hall. Brandon Manor is ten miles away, at Upper Brandon. This here place is Lower Brandon.'

Fenella Miller is a popular author who writes unusual and well researched Regency novels.

In Miss Bennet and Mr Bingley Fenella J. Miller returns to Jane Austen's best loved novel, Pride and Prejudice, giving an insight into both Charles and Jane's private thoughts through that difficult year.
We discover what changed in London and how Charles filled the days until he was able to return to Netherfield. This book takes you past the wedding -- located then it becomes the heroine of the hour.

"Jane Bennet is in the spotlight in Fenella J. Miller's delightful novel. We see Jane's growing love for Bingley as well as her view of Elizabeth and Darcy's unfolding relationship, and we find out what happened to her in London when she thought all was lost. Humourous, engaging and true to Jane Austen's world, this is a charming read for all Austen fans." Amanda Grange

Wednesday 2 December 2009

An Interview with Linda Acaster

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Linda Acaster, I live on the coast in Yorkshire, England, and I’ve been writing on and off since my teens. I’ve always enjoyed history, especially Dark Age and Early Mediaeval. I’m fascinated by the lives of ordinary people, how they lived and worked, and the fact that they occupied the space in and on which I now live my life, so often even my contemporary fiction is influenced by aspects of the past.

What do you write?
I tend to write a bit out of left field. For instance, my Romances don’t necessarily follow the usual path for love stories – “Torc of Moonlight” is about the power of women but the main viewpoints are male – and I like a good dose of high adventure mixed with gritty realism. Even when I was writing Historical Romances for Harlequin I was always teetering on the edge. My editor balked at my casting a Viking hero as an historically sound werwulf. Perhaps I was just ahead of my time and I should resurrect him.

Why do you write?
Oooh, there’s a question for the psychiatrist’s couch. I enjoy exploring the dynamics of relationships, the sometimes fine line between the dark and light emotions and the influences that can make a person lean, even temporarily, to one side or the other. For instance, in “Torc of Moonlight” I have two sets of characters in parallel: one couple make love, the other couple has sex. Current society tends to consider these terms interchangeable, but they’re not.

What are you writing now?
With “Torc of Moonlight” just out I’m cogitating, letting a scenario and a set of characters foment. I feel that the follow-up should be another Paranormal, but even though there is a romance at its heart, what is rising seems more like Gothic Horror. Like I said, left field.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Slender, well-cut, elegant outfits that carry a sense of the tactile. Unfortunately I don’t have that sort of lifestyle, so I’m more often seen in jeans and flat boots. Well, you try walking down a muddy track to view a historical site in killer heels.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
Of course. Dear Reader, I married him.

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he or she look like?
Hubby, still. And he’s tall, dark and handsome complete with velvet brown eyes. Didn’t I do well?

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
If I’m relaxed it’s canned tomato soup; if I’m stressed it’s dark chocolate Hobnobs and coffee so strong it would melt silver.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
Laugh: a good comedy or a deeply layered joke.
Cry: another’s sacrifice; watching on television the silent people gather at Wootton Bassett

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
Research tends to be viewed not as work but as a day out. Enjoying the company of friends over a home-cooked meal and a bottle of wine.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
Looks initially – I still go for the tall, dark, handsome type – but it is that indefinable extra, not so much charisma, more an aura that is carried, that makes the difference.

What do you hate about life?
I don’t hate anything. Life irritates me. It keeps getting in the way.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
Phew, if I had that taped I probably wouldn’t need to write!

What are you going to write next?
It might be my Romance that’s trying to be a Gothic Horror, if I can pull it into some sort of order. I’ve a non-fiction writers’ manual that should take precedence as it is nearing completion, and I’d like to rewrite that historically sound Viking werwulf. Decisions, decisions…

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Devilish Lord, Mysterious Miss

Devilish Lord, Mysterious Miss by Annie Burrows
Mills and Boon Historical Romance
4 Stars

Annie Burrows' latest Regency for Mills and Boon is an enthralling and suspensful romantic tale which will keep you engrossed until the final page!

Christopher, Lord Matthison, had fallen head over heels in love with Cora Montague, his best friend's younger sister, from the very first moment he laid eyes on her. Despite the difference in social classes - and his need to marry an heiress - Lord Matthison had been determined to wed Cora. But just days before the wedding, he had disappeared off the face of the earth...

Lord Matthison had searched high and low for the woman he loved more than anything else. But Cora Montague was nowhere to be found. Sinking slowly in a cycle of degradation, dissipation and gambling, Lord Matthison wasted his life drinking and raising hell. But one night, on his way home after yet another session at the cards table he finally spots her; the woman who is the mirror image of his beloved Cora. But, he is shocked when he confronts her and realizes that she has no recollection of him... or of her own past.

Mary is a simple seamstress at Madame Pichot's boutique who had come to London seven years ago and who is unable to remember a single thing about her past...but one kiss from Lord Matthison's lips and she is utterly enchanted. As Mary slowly falls for Lord Matthison, she cannot help but wonder whether she is setting herself up for heartbreak...or whether Lord Matthison's love will unlock the secrets of her past..and her heart.

Devilish Lord, Mysterious Miss is an absolutely fantastic read that will captivate and enchant romance readers everywhere. Full of intrigue and romance, Devilish Lord, Mysterious Miss is a captivating Regency historical romance fans just shouldn't miss.

Featured Book/Linda Acaster

TORC OF MOONLIGHT explores the controlling influences of current and past relationships: person to person, person to place, the past to the present.

Nick Blaketon came to the University of Hull to play rugby, drink beer and get laid. Now into his second year, none of it is going right for him. Alice Linwood escaped a claustrophobic home-life full of unresolved trauma, only to bury herself in restrictive research so as to uncover the shrine of a forgotten Celtic water goddess. To Celtic Briton Ognirius Licinius Vranaun, who betrayed his name, his ancestry and his people's religion for the trappings of a Roman lifestyle at Derventio (Malton), the goddess of the pool is not forgotten, nor forgiven. Is this why universities surround the North York Moors as once did mediaeval seats of learning? Why does tutor Leonard Harkin continue to search for his soulmate, despite his reputation among female students and warnings to leave from his estranged partner? Nick takes none of Alice's theories seriously - until the trees crowd in and he realises that his training regime is not to hone his rugby skills.

Author's Note:
The places in TORC OF MOONLIGHT are real and are described as true as fiction allows. The county of Yorkshire, once home to the Celtic Parisi and Gabrovantices, has more ancient springs known enigmatically as Lady Well than anywhere in England.

Alice dipped her fingers in the beaker. ‘Most often the water from these springs was used medicinally for joint problems, eye ailments, that sort of thing.’
Her hand reached for Nick’s face. Water dribbled down his torn cheek, first paralysing the scar tissue and then searing it with heat. Icy fingertips painted lines across his forehead and over one eye, following his facial injury. Nick leaned into her delicate touch, his breathing growing shallow, his gaze intent on her face, tracing caresses of his own. Her auburn hair was lost to the rock’s leaching colour, her pale eyes to the silver cascade.
‘Will... Will it heal bruises?’
‘I’m hoping so.’
With trembling hands he reached for the buttons of his shirt. Alice’s calm expression changed to one of dismay as his chest and ribs were freed of the garment. The beaker slipped in her hand, spilling the last of the water.
‘Nick... Nick, what happened to you?’
He didn’t want to explain. He wanted only for her to touch him with her ice-bound fingertips, anoint him with the fire-filled water.
‘Why didn’t you say? Nick, you must be in awful pain.’
The only pain he felt was an ache within his soul that only she could soothe. He dropped to his knees, reaching out a hand to lift water from the shallows. The cold clamped about his wrist, striking up his forearm in an attempt to drag him further in. The temptation to submit was strong, but he resisted, lifting his numbed hand to Alice’s face to smooth away her frown.
‘I’m not hurt,’ she murmured.
‘Yes you are, I know you are.’
Heat lit in his fingers as he touched her skin. It built to a fire along his knuckles and in his palm as he traced her cheekbone and her chin, easing to a tingling as the paralysis faded and his fingers caressed down her throat and over her collarbone.
She dipped between his reaching hands to rise again, and his body shuddered beneath the onslaught of liquid ice as it cut over his shoulders and down his back, over his shoulders and down his chest, the anaesthetizing cold penetrating each aching muscle, each bruised rib. In its wake the fire came, scorching impressions of her fingers into his flesh, and into his desire.
As his mouth sought hers, her name eased from his throat, a sibilant invocation, and he fed his fingers through her auburn hair and inside the neckline of her top to ease it from her shoulders.

Comment. This looks like being a fantastic read Linda

Monday 30 November 2009

An Interview with Anne Herries

Tell us a little about yourself

I write as Anne Herries for Harlequin Mills & Boon and under various other names for different publishers. I am married and live in Cambridgeshire in England.

What do you write?
I write historical and quite a few Regency Romances

Why do you write?
Because I love it and the stories just keep coming. If I didn't write them down I would have no room in my mind for anything else, but once they are told I can put them aside.

What are you writing now?
I have just started the first of a new Regency trilogy, but I am also writing a big Medieval story and there are some sagas on the go too.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
I like to dress up when I am going somewhere and have a favourite brownish silk dress in a pattern with a dipped neck and loose sleeves that I wear with a beige silk jacket. For everyday it is usually jeans and a top depending on the weather. I've worn cut offs a lot this summer.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
Very much so. With my husband – but also with life and the house where I live, Spain and my squirrels

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he or she look like?
Oh yes, he is a handsome, Regency gentleman and very gallant and brave. Just like my husband would be if he had lived in those times. Once for a fancy dress he wore Regency clothes and a long wig – and that was it, dream come true!

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
Chocolate and strawberries and ice cream

What makes you laugh? Cry?
I love a good comedy sketch, like Dad's Army or the early Fools & Horses, but in real life I think watching the squirrels at play brings the biggest smile – and my husband makes me laugh all the time.

I cry at injustice, at seeing people ill or in trouble and losing someone you care for is the worst.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
When was that – oh yes, I seem to remember I had a day off last Christmas. Seriously, I love to watch a good film, walk in the sunshine in Spain, watch squirrels in the garden or go out for a delicious meal.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!

I like nice hands – and they should smell pleasant too.

What do you hate about life?

Unfairness and injustice. I get angry when people try to impose unfair laws or arrest someone just because their skin isn't the same colour as their own.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?

I would love to get another book into mainstream paperback, but apart from that I am pretty happy with the way things are. As long as the people I care for keep well and things don't go pear shaped, I think life is as good as it gets.

What are you going to write next?

Lots more Mills and Boon romances. Perhaps a few sagas and fingers crossed on the big medieval. That could change everything.

Featured author

One of Anne's favourite books from Harlequin Mills and Boon is
An Improper companion

The cover for an audio book from soundings and Severn House

An Improper Companion
(Hellfire series)What should we have done without you, Miss Travers?

'You make too much of my part...' Elizabeth said, but then her breath caught as he moved towards her, looking down at her with such intent that she knew what he meant to do even before he reached out for her. 'Cavendish...'

His lips stopped her words. For a moment she stood stiffly within his arms, but then something opened up inside her and she melted into him, her warmth flooding through in the kiss she returned without restraint.

In that moment Elizabeth forgot prudence, forgot her mama's teachings and her notions of propriety. She would at that second in time have granted him anything he asked of her and considered the worls well lost for love.

Published by: Harlequin Mills & Boon ( Historical Romance )
ISBN Number: 978-0263846836
Available from:

Featured books

Spring 1557

The man walked away from the hostelry on the waterfront deep in thought. He had booked passage on a ship bound for France and it might be many years before he returned home. His thoughts were regretful and angry for he had parted from his father with bitter words.
‘You take the word of others above mine, Father – you would believe a stranger above your own son.’
Justin Devere’s blue eyes had flashed with pride, making Sir John snort impatiently. ‘You were a damned fool, Justin. By God, sir! There is no excuse for what you have done. You are the great grandson of Robert Melford and a more devoted supporter of the Crown could not be found. Your grandfather was much favoured by King Henry V111 – and my own family has always been loyal. By becoming involved in this conspiracy to murder Queen Mary and replace her with the Princess Elizabeth you have let your whole family down. I am ashamed of you!’ ‘No, sir. You wrong me…’
Justin raised his head defiantly. He was a handsome devil, with pale blond hair and deep blue eyes; reckless, arrogant and dismissive of rules, he stood head and shoulders above most men, including his father. His grandfather said he was a throw back to Robert of Melford in temperament and build, though not in colouring. He was also fiercely proud and it pricked his pride to hear his father call him a fool.
‘You have spoken treason against the Queen and that cannot be tolerated.’
‘It was no such thing, sir!’ Justin declared passionately. ‘I will grant that some hotheads have talked of such a plot in my hearing but I am innocent of any conspiracy – as is the princess herself. She was gracious enough to grant me an audience for many of us wished her to know that we support her and if any attempt were made to disbar her from inheriting the throne when the Queen dies we should rise to her…’
‘Be quiet!’ John Devere thundered. ‘Do you not realise that that in itself is sufficient to have you arrested for treason?’
‘I shall not be silent, sir. I am as loyal an Englishman as any but I cannot love a Catholic queen who puts good Englishmen to the fire in the name of religion.’
‘It is not so many years since we were all Catholic and proud of it,’ Justin’s father reminded him. ‘King Hal saw fit to break with Rome and we were all forced to follow or lose our favour at court but that does not mean…’ He broke off for the anger was writ plain on Justin’s face. ‘While the Queen lives ‘tis treason to speak of her death and well you know it.’
‘We did not plot to murder her, merely to protect our own Elizabeth.’
‘Surely it is enough that talk of your conspiracy has reached Her Majesty? The Princess has herself faced questions from the Queen regarding treason and was lucky that Her Majesty was in good humour because her husband has promised to visit her soon. Had it not been for that fortunate circumstance she might have found herself in the Tower once more.’ John placed a hand on his son’s shoulder. ‘Go to France or Spain, Justin. I know that though you have done wrong your heart was good. You have my blessing. Send me word of your situation and as soon as I think the coast clear you may return.’
‘You would have me flee like a coward?’ Justin’s face reflected his disgust.
‘I would have you live, sirrah! Stay and I may have no son to inherit my estate – and you will break your mother’s heart.’
Lost in the memory of the bitter quarrel with his father, Justin did not notice the shadows behind him. Not until it was too late did he realise that he had been followed from the hostelry. Even as he turned, about to draw his sword, a crashing blow to the back of his head sent him to the ground and he lost consciousness as he was carried aboard a ship, not as the passenger he had paid to be but to serve before the mast.

Across The Sands Of time

Across the Sands of Time
By Pamela Kavanagh
hardback £18.99
Published by Robert Hale on 30th September 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7090-8863-9

Thea Partington is more than happy with her lot. She has just got engaged to Geoff Sanders, loves her job as a school teacher and enjoys success with her beloved show ponies. Life couldn’t be more perfect, but then it is all turned upside down when Irish vet, Dominic Shane joins the local veterinary practice. Whether they know it or not, Thea and Dominic are attracted to each other at their first meeting, but Thea continues on the path already laid out for her. At her mother’s suggestion, Thea and Geoff decide to make a property on the edge of Partington land their future home. Thea begins to renovate The Harbour House, but whenever she is there, visions of its history and the life of Polly Dakin take over her mind. It is not long before Polly and her family begin to haunt Thea’s dreams and she becomes pre-occupied with The Harbour House’s past. Unfortunately, Thea’s relationship with Geoff begins to suffer because of her interest in The Harbour House and her friendship with Dominic Shane and, much to Geoff’s amazement, Thea ends the engagement when she sees Geoff lunching with her sister, Bryony, at their special place. Following the break-up, Thea and Dominic’s relationship begins to develop, but mystery surrounds the reasons why he left Ireland and a seemingly dream job as a resident vet at Ferlann Ridge Bloodstock Sales. Then, just as Thea feels she is ready to commit to Dominic, he returns to Ireland, promising to keep in touch. Is this the end of Thea and Dominic’s relationship, before it has even begun or is their attraction strong enough to overcome the obstacles that are now about to be thrown in its way?

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and the diversions throughout from Thea’s life to Polly’s life, which despite the number of years between them, are very similar in that they are both separated from their true loves because of circumstances beyond their control.

A very good read, for which I award five red roses.

The Loveday Conspiracy

Kate Tremayne
The Loveday Conspiracy
ISBN 978-0-7553-4767-4
468 pages

From the master storyteller, Kate Tremayne, comes a new episode in her epic tale of the Loveday family. Anyone who has read any of Tremayne's powerful Cornish sagas will have eagerly awaited this latest.

Tristan, the outcast, grandson of a rogue and despised by his superior cousins, now has the upper hand. Because of Adam Loveday's twin's perfidy, the home Adam adores – Trevowan Manor - now belongs to his hated cousin and his twin brother is in his grave. Adam thirsts for revenge, while all Tristan wants is to be accepted by the proud family who once threw him back into the gutter from whence he came. Yet he too dabbles in things that may lead him into danger.

Adam and Japhet, his more favoured cousin, both have enemies and they meet regularly to practise their deadly skills so that when the time comes they will be able to engage and kill their foe. However, as the twisting tale of love, hate and revenge winds on, a very different fate awaits the cousins. Caught up with French spies and the rescue of a beautiful lady, they may find themselves temporarily on the same side.

Tremayne skilfully juggles a large cast of characters, each with their own enthralling story, keeping the reader eagerly turning the page and although the book reaches a satisfactory conclusion, we know that this tale does not end here. This quarrelsome, powerful family will continue to delight and engross thousands of readers for a while yet.

This author deserves a bouquet of red roses for her wonderful sagas.
Linda Sole

Saturday 28 November 2009

An Interview with Jane Jackson

Tell us a little about yourself: My name is Jane Pollard but I write as Jane Jackson. I live in a small Cornish village at the head of a creek that flows into the third largest natural harbour in the world. I grew up in the village and went to school here as did my three children. My husband has just retired after twenty years of self-employment and is busier than ever. He’s a passionate gardener and also has an allotment so we eat well, and the furthest our fruit and veg travels is three miles! I’ve been a professional writer for over thirty years and consider myself truly blessed to have been able to make a living (some years better than others lol) doing something I truly love. My daughter lives just a few miles away and works part time as office manager for a Community Centre. She has two gorgeous daughters of 18 and 16, both talented artists, and a son of 8 who like his nanny (me) is a voracious reader.
My elder son lives in Australia with his wife and assorted animals. They love travelling and have come home twice via most of Europe. My younger son is senior application engineer for a German company in Lichfield. He and his wife have two lovely little boys aged two and seven months.

What do I write? My first book was a romantic thriller. I followed that with two Cornish-based historical romances. Then as Dana James I wrote four medical and ten contemporary romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon. I loved writing them and they were published in 23 countries and 19 languages. But history has always been my first love, so I returned to that and have written eleven to date. In fact the eleventh, Heart of Stone, was published this month.

Why do you write? Because it’s as natural and necessary to me as breathing.
It’s part of who I am. I started when I was four years old. I love writing romances in which both hero and heroine are fighting demons from their past while facing difficult situations that force them to overcome antipathy and work together. When they finally acknowledge their love, they have earned happiness, and no matter what life throws at them they will survive it.

What are you writing now? The story of a character I left two books ago. She lost her widower father, her home and her status in a terrible fire, and broke off her engagement to a man who had lied to her. The theme of the story is trust. Jenefer has never lacked courage. So she makes a leap of faith and allows herself to fall deeply in love only to learn he has been keeping a devastating secret. It’s a powerful dramatic story and I race through the chores each morning so I can get to my office and pick up where I finished the previous evening.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear? Comfy and casual: trousers, polo shirt, sweater or fleece. But when the occasion calls for it I enjoy putting on a long black skirt and jewel-coloured silk blouse with ropes of beads. With my white hair (I started going grey at 16) I can look striking. I can also – on a bad day - look like the wicked witch of the west. Lol

Are you in love? Have you ever been? I certainly am. I love my husband dearly. He’s my closest friend, my confidante, and the comforting shoulder I cry on. That’s not to say he doesn’t occasionally make me mad. But then, I expect I do the same to him. He’s very practical whereas I’m emotional. He works on logic, I’m instinctive. Our differences complement one another, and our similarities bind us closer. I like that old saying: if you never argue, one of you is unnecessary.

Do you have a dream lover – what does he look like? Every time I create a new hero I fall headlong for him. His colouring may vary, but he’ll be tall with broad thickset shoulders and long muscular legs. His pride and cynicism mask vulnerability, he’ll be articulate and have a way of looking into my soul. Oh yesss!

What kind of comfort food do you like best? Thick homemade soup with a salad sandwich, a Cornish pasty from Warren’s bakery – they are the best!
Flapjacks made with honey, oats, ginger and masses of mixed dried fruit.

What makes you laugh? Tales of work and school my children and grandchildren tell me. But my main source of amusement is my husband. He’s Cornish, with a very dry quick wit, and his take on things often has me doubled up with laughter.
Cry? News stories about cruelty to children. Heart-wrenching books and movies.

What do you do to amuse yourself when you’re not working? Read. Husband and I go for long walks and talk non-stop. We might drive to West Cornwall and walk along cliffs that border the Atlantic. When the water’s calm we take out our Mad River canoe. We have a little electric motor that works off a battery and this removes all the hard labour. Because the motor is silent we often attract attention from people aboard their yachts. There we sit, not a paddle in sight, with the canoe skimming along. In the evenings we might watch a DVD.

What is it about a man that turns you on? The clean version please!
I don’t mind casual, even scruffy, but he must be clean, with a direct gaze and genuine smile. Someone who is comfortable in his own skin whatever shape or colour that might be. But what really matters to me is personality. Kindness, honesty, courtesy and a sense of humour are far more important – and last a lot longer - than mere good looks.

What do you hate about life? I don’t hate anything. Hate takes too much energy, achieves nothing, and only hurts the person who feels it. My life has had its fair share of bad times, but I learned a lot from them and am, I think, a better person for having had those experiences. I dislike dishonest politicians, cruelty to children, intolerance, and bad manners. I try always to treat other people as I’d like to be treated. I look for the best. If someone is unkind or unpleasant I shrug. It’s their problem, not mine. If, as I believe, what you give out is what you get back, I’d rather be upbeat and positive.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know if you have been a success? I have a happy marriage and three happy, well-adjusted successful children who have themselves produced healthy happy well-adjusted offspring. What greater success could I aspire to? To have achieved moderate success doing a job I love, one that allows people to escape for a few hours into a world I have created, is the icing on my cake.

What are you going to write next? I still have several months work ahead on the current book. But once that is completed I plan to write what may turn into a series about a Cornish brewing family.

Friday 27 November 2009

Featured Book/ Heart Of Stone

Jane is a popular author of Regency and historical books.

Heart of Stone

In 1840’s Cornwall, 25-year-old Sarah Govier supports herself and her illegitimate son, Jory, on the income from Talvan, the granite quarry she inherited from her father. But businessman Kinser Landry has good reason for wanting Talvan and will stop at nothing to get it. Her problems mounting, Sarah turns in desperation to James Crago, a gunpowder manufacturer who owns land adjoining hers.
After twenty years as soldier and diplomat in India, Crago, 37, returned home, his face horrifically scarred, a wound sustained during his attempt to help the girl he loved escape a despotic raja. Local reaction to his appearance has turned him into a recluse.
Rejected by society, emotionally bruised and deeply wary, neither Sarah nor James is prepared for the powerful attraction that erupts between them. Will they survive the plots against them? Can they overcome the past? Find the courage to love again?

Heart of Stone by Jane Jackson will be published on 1st November 2009 by Severn House Price £18.99 Available direct from Severn House or

Excerpt from Heart of Stone

Crago came towards her, his soft boots silent on the beaten earth. His black hair was thick and shaggy and clearly needed the attention of a barber. As he approached through a shaft on sunlight, she realised why.
Warned what to expect, she had believed herself prepared. But for once, rumour and gossip fell short of reality. The white scar crossed his sun-browned face like jagged lightning. Struggling to hide her shock, Sarah felt unexpected and wrenching sympathy.
How many times must he have met quickly averted gazes or horror-filled stares, awed whispers, children pointing? Good manners demanded that she look away so as not to embarrass him. But she was all too familiar with turned backs and cold shoulders. She would not do to someone else what caused pain in her.
A muscle pulsed in his jaw and his lips tightened. Beneath black brows his eyes were the same colour as the surrounding bluebells and as cold as a quarry lake. He had seen her reaction, must have observed it countless times on other faces. He lifted his chin: the small movement a declaration that he despised her shock and rejected her pity.
It stung, but she understood. Did she not meet rejection and contempt every time she ventured into town? Becky’s description of him as “some great streak” was fairly accurate. But what she had failed to mention was the impact of his physical presence.
Over six feet tall, wearing a workman’s check shirt and coarse dark trousers tucked into the strangest boots she had ever seen, he had the powerful shoulders, deep chest and muscular build of a man familiar with hard manual labour. Yet the rumours declared him wealthy, and they had to be true. For without money, how would he have been able to restore the house or establish his business?
“Well?” he snapped. “What do you want?”
Sarah stiffened. “Such rudeness does you no credit, Mr Crago.”
“I owe you no courtesy, madam. Not only are you trespassing on private property, your presence here is a danger to us all.”

This sounds exciting Jane!

Monday 23 November 2009

An Interview with Sarah Mallory

Tell us a little about yourself
I am a British writers – born in the West Country but now living in Yorkshire, high on the Pennine moors with my husband. The family have grown up but they are still very much around!

What do you write?
I write Georgian and Regency historical romantic adventures. I am passionate about history, but I like to add a little touch of humour, too. After all, life shouldn’t' be dull.

Why do you write?
It's an obsession. When I finish one book I tell myself I am going to take a break, but there are always fresh stories and characters in my head just begging to be let out!

What are you writing now?
I have just finished writing a Regency romance which starts on the battlefield at Waterloo. The hero returns to carry out a commission for a colleague who died in the battle, but the widow is nothing like the shy, demure little creature he had been expecting! It is a story about new love and old loyalties, strong ties that are very difficult to break.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Black! I love all things black, in fact I have found that the happier I am, the more black I tend to wear! Living up on the moors I wear trousers most of the time, but love to put on a party frock occasionally (especially for attending the Romantic Novelists' Association parties – they are the best!)

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
Yes. I have been in love and married to the same man for over thirty years (I think that's why I like writing romance, lots of chances to fantasize about hunky men and no danger of upsetting a happy marriage!)

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he or she look like?
Oh, my dream lover changes depending upon which book I am writing – he is always the hero. For the Wicked Baron he was dark haired but with a wicked glint in his eyes.

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
Dark Chocolate. Or warming casseroles. I prefer savoury foods to sweet things.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
Witty comedy makes me laugh, but not if it is at someone else's expense. Weepy films or musicals sometimes move me, but I have to be really swept up in the story for that to happen, I don't cry easily.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
When I am not writing (which isn't often) I love theatre, music, walking and all things historical. I also play the piano- very badly (and this isn't in the Elizabeth Bennett "very badly" way, I mean badly. I only play when I am alone. I really, really admire anyone who can perform in front of an audience.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
Intelligence and wit! I find funny, clever men extremely attractive. Of course if they can combine that with a great body and good looks then that's an added bonus! There are a couple of historians who appear on TV occasionally that I could be persuaded to run away with!

What do you hate about life?
Intolerance, injustice, unkindness – all human traits, I am afraid. Thankfully this is balanced out by the good side of humanity – the people who work hard to make life better for others, and little everyday acts of kindness, but these rarely make the headlines.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I still have so many books inside me that I hope I get a chance to write, . I have three wonderful grown up children, so that is my success.

What are you going to write next?
I have just started thinking about my next book – a stage I really love, because I can go anywhere, do anything I like! I am playing with the idea of a northern hero, a product of the Industrial Revolution, He is tall, dark, rugged and a little rough around the edges. It will take a very special woman to tame him!

Sunday 22 November 2009

The Wicked Baron

This is a brilliant book by Sarah Malloy. I've read it and enjoyed it.

The Wicked Baron. Sarah Mallory

When he returns from his lavishly opulent lifestyle in Paris, Luke Ainslowe’s reputation as an expert seducer of women precedes him. The ladies of the ton are torn between scandalised outrage and the desire to become mistress to the most dashing rake London has ever known…

Innocent Carlotta Durini refuses to become the Baron’s next conquest. For she lost her heart to Luke once before, and now believes herself impervious to his lethal brand of seduction. But what if the Wicked Baron refuses to take no for an answer?

Thursday 19 November 2009

Featured Author Jane Odiwe

Jane Odiwe blogs at UK Historical. She is also a brilliant artist and produces beautiful cards with imges of the Regency period.

Her latest book is featured here.

Willoughby’s Return

From the publisher Sourcebooks:

A lost love returns, rekindling forgotten passions…

In Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, when Marianne Dashwood marries Colonel Brandon, she puts her heartbreak over dashing scoundrel John Willoughby in the past.

Three years later, Willoughby's return throws Marianne into a tizzy of painful memories and exquisite feelings of uncertainty. Willoughby is as charming, as roguish, and as much in love with her as ever. And the timing couldn't be worse—with Colonel Brandon away and Willoughby determined to win her back, will Marianne find the strength to save her marriage, or will the temptation of a previous love be too powerful to resist?

When Marianne Dashwood weds Colonel Brandon both are aware of the other’s past attachments; Marianne’s grand passion for the charming but ruthless John Willoughby and, Brandon’s tragic amour for his lost love Eliza. Three years on Marianne is living contentedly with her husband and child at Delaford Park, although Marianne's passionate, impulsive and sometimes jealous behaviour is an impediment to her true happiness. News that John Willoughby and his wife have returned to the West Country brings back painful memories for Marianne and with the demise of Mrs. Smith of Allenham Court comes the possibility of Mr. Willoughby and his wife returning to live near Barton and the surrounding area of Devon and Dorset, a circumstance which triggers a set of increasingly challenging, yet often amusing perplexities for all concerned.
At eighteen going on nineteen, Marianne’s sister Margaret is all set to become a heroine in her own right. The stories of two heroines are woven together against the backdrops of Delaford in autumn, London and Lyme in the winter, re-visiting the scenes and characters from Sense and Sensibility that we love so much.

John Charles - Booklist

Odiwe’s elegantly stylish writing is seasoned with just the right dash of tart humor, and her latest literary endeavor is certain to delight both Austen devotees and Regency romance readers. John Charles - Booklist

Wednesday 18 November 2009

An Interview with Jane Odiwe

Tell us a little about yourself

I’m an English author, an artist, and a wife and mother to three children. I live on the edge of London and enjoy indulging my passions of reading Jane Austen, writing and painting.

What do you write?

I write books inspired by Jane Austen’s life and works. I’ve written and illustrated a book about Jane and have also written three novels, Lydia Bennet’s Story, Willoughby’s Return, and Mr Darcy’s Secret.

Why do you write?

I love escaping into a different world and the sheer pleasure I get when I write is something I’ve enjoyed since I was a little girl. I like the fact that each book is like a puzzle waiting to be worked out with ideas coming to life on the page with my words.

What are you writing now?

It’s another Austen sequel. I’ve just finished another Pride and Prejudice sequel – Mr Darcy’s Secret, which Sourcebooks Inc. is publishing in Spring 2011.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?

I live in jeans, trousers and tops, though I do enjoy wearing dresses now and then. I like soft, colourful fabrics and I have a weakness for accessories, necklaces, scarves and earrings.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?

I am in love with the man I married twenty five years ago.

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he or she look like?

I do – it’s my husband. I still get goosebumps when I look at him and when he kisses me….

What kind of comfort food do you like best?

A bowl of soup or a tasty stew with mashed potato is my favourite comfort food – something savoury and warming!

What makes you laugh? Cry?

Family mealtimes are hilarious in my house – I sometimes wonder what my neighbours think at the noisy laughter they must hear, especially on a Sunday when everyone is at home.

Hearing about suffering of any kind makes me cry – the injustices that some people have to suffer in their lives through illness, death or misfortune.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?

I love spending time with my family, reading, going out to watch music gigs, cinema and the theatre. I really love dancing – I studied ballet for years and I am often to be found twirling round the kitchen.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!

A man who really listens and makes you feel as if you are the only person that matters in their world is a turn on for me.

What do you hate about life?

Nothing – my mother died when she was very young, and it’s made me appreciate every second. There’s too much to love to waste time thinking negatively.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?

I’ve achieved my dream of becoming a published writer. The only other ambition I have is to feel satisfied that I’ve done all I can to make those around me happy – I’m not sure if I shall be able to say when or whether I’ve been a success!

What are you going to write next?

I’ve got at least two more Austen sequels I’d like to write, but I also have ideas for other historical books I want to write. My daughter wants me to write down the book I used to tell them as children a few years ago – I’d just like more time to do everything I’d like to accomplish!

Jane's book will be featured tomorrow

Monday 16 November 2009

The Perfect Match

The Perfect Match
Raven Starr
Red Rose Publishing
138 pages

Kiora, often known as Key to her friends works for Mr Ross in an old-fashioned book store. She is a shy girl, lonely at times, though she has good friends, and she does not have a boyfriend until she meets Donovan. Donovan is the kind of guy who thinks all girls the same until he gets knocked off his feet by a special girl.

He makes a bet with his friend Kevin that he can get Kiora to sleep with him, and when Kevin tells Kiora in a fit of spite she tells him their friendship is over. Donovan has fallen in love with her and he fights with Kevin but is knocked unconscious. His brother Demitri intervenes and begs her to visit his brother at the hospital. Donovan responds to Key’s entreaties to recover and things look good but there is a big surprise in store for all of them.

This is a delightful love story written by an ever popular author. If you need cheering up, this is the book to go out and buy. I enjoyed it and the surprise ending was lovely. The book is part of the excellent calendar series. 4.5 stars. Morna

Sunday 15 November 2009

Featured Books

One of Raven's wonderful books from Red Rose Publishing.

You can find more exciting sexy books at

After returning home, Raine Matthews’ fantasy writer extraordinaire decides to take a short vacation from her woes and flies off to Miami for her cruise. What she thought was going to be a quiet, relaxing trip ended up transforming the wall-flower in to a sex-craving machine.

Will all it be is sex or is there more to it than that?


Kiora Webb is a typical Pisces woman. Independent, creative, and romantic, but she just couldn't meet the right guy. Working at Caper's New and Used book store; was the perfect place for her. For an early birthday present her friends treat her to a girl's night out to Club Fusion where she meets slick talking Donovan Black. From his self-assured stance to his lame, run-down pick up lines, she dismisses him swiftly.

Donovan Black has never been turned down before. When beautiful Kiora Webb doesn't fall head over heels for him, he's crushed. Taking his failure as a game Donovan's buddies persuade him into thinking he could never have a woman like her. Donovan set out to prove them wrong. But what started out as a ploy turns into something that not neither one of them could foresee.

What can that ploy be?

The Perfect Match/Excerpt

"Donovan!" Demitri grabbed his shoulders. "Calm down. Don't lose control."

Donovan shrugged away from Demitri's embrace and stormed outside to cool off.

"You alright, man?" Demitri asked, holding out his hand to help Kevin stand.

Kevin shoved Demitri's hand away, stood up and followed Donovan outside.

"Oh damn," Demitri shook his head and chased after Kevin.

"Yo!" Kevin called. He stalked towards Donovan.

"Don't fuck with me right now, Kevin, alright?" Donovan's icy tone sent shivers through Demitri.

"Guys, let's not do this." Demitri positioned himself in between the two males.

"Naw," Donovan tossed away his lit cigarette, cracked his neck and stood his ground. "If he wants to roll, we can do that. I have no problems breaking him down now, anyway."

"Think you're a bad ass now, Dono? Got to taste some chocolate ass and now you think you're Don Quan?"

Donovan pointed at Kevin. "Don't you dare disrespect her again, Kevin, you don't even know her. I'm trying real hard to keep myself from knocking you off the damned pedestal you think you're on. Last warning, call her a name again, we ain't brothers, we ain't boys and we ain't friends. I will knock you on your ass and there's nothing my brother can do to stop me." He glared at Kevin.

"That's how it is, bro?" Kevin sidestepped Demitri. "We've been through a lot and you're gonna let some whore…"

As soon as the words left Kevin's mouth, Donovan's punch knocked Kevin in the slushy pool.

"I told you, Kevin!" Donovan yelled.

"Donovan!" Demitri fished a dripping and shivering Kevin from the pool.

"You alright?" Demitri asked, but it was no use. Kevin dashed after Donovan. Kevin dove for Donovan's legs, knocking him to the ground. Kevin used his brute strength to pin Donovan's chest to the ground while delivering a few quick jabs to his ribs.

With a quick burst of energy Donavan slugged Kevin on his left temple with his elbow point.

As Kevin swayed, Donovan threw Kevin off, then stood. Donavan's dark blue jeans were caked with mud and wet from the melting ice and snow. His white turtle neck was ruined with rips and ground-in stains. He spat crimson drops on the ground. Donavan wiped the blood from his lip on the tip of his sleeve.

"I don't wanna do this, Kevin. Enough. Take your ass-whippin' like a man. Get the fuck out!" Donovan snarled. His blood felt as if molten lava flowed through his veins. His anger erupted like a volcano.

Donavan wanted Kevin so he could figure out how to get Kiora back. Tomorrow was her birthday and…

Donovan was so consumed by his thoughts, he'd blocked out his brother's warning until he was too late. Kevin picked up a large rock and hurled in at Donovan. He felt the impact of the rock against his skull. It made a sickening cracking sound echoing in his sub-conscious. It was last he remembered before darkness engulfed him.

Raven's Wolf Story in the full Moon Sanctuary series in aid of the wolves.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Ice Angel





ISBN 978-0-7090-8784-7.

Married at a very young age to a man chosen by her father, because he knew he was dying, Lady Isabella Vane has a very dark secret. Her marriage to Lord Vane was very unhappy and at times intolerable; the only good thing coming from her marriage was her young son Dominic. In the latter part of her marriage her widowed Aunt Harriet had been living with her and together they had managed to shield Dominic from the horrors that had occurred in their home.

When Isabella is widowed she is desperate because there will be no money left when the estate is sold, as her husband had many gambling depts. But luckily she finds that a great Uncle has left her a large old house and also enough money to keep them all in, if not luxury, very comfortable for the rest of their lives and will provide for Dominic’s education. Because the house which she has inherited is very run down, her Aunt suggests that they rent a house in London until the repairs are done. Isabella only agrees because she realizes that her Aunt has herself missed the parties and life in the city since going to live with her and Dominic.

Isabella has no intention of entertaining in London and does not wish to socialize she has a very tight reserve and shows little interest in worldly entertainments, thus earning herself the name of Ice Angel. Isabella does not realize what a stir her ethereal beauty and reserve are causing in polite society.

One gentleman who is extremely taken with her is the Earl of Bramwell, he sees great beauty and great sadness in her eyes and determines to find out the reason for the sadness.

Do read the story and find out if Isabella can overcome her fears and find happiness again. She has much to overcome before the tale is told her road is not an easy one to travel and she has several setbacks before it is over.

I really enjoyed this book and it is a good read for lovers of this Genre; I give this book 5 Red Roses and look forward to the next one from Elizabeth Hanbury

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Desperately Seeking Santa

Jane's wonderful new book for the Christmas Season from Red Rose Publishing.


Jane Beckenham

Holiday/ Contemporary
ISBN: 978-1-60435-249-8

Santa leaned against a railing of silky teddies and thongs, all pink fluff and feathers along with black lace and faux fur. Mandy blinked several times. The guy didn’t move. The look on his face, humor and downright daring indicate he knew exactly what he leaned against. But still he stayed there. His arms crossed his chest, pulling the red suit across his broad shoulders. The fabric stretched and Mandy’s eyes widened. This was no weasely old man Santa and she wondered for the first time, what lay beneath all that fake Santa stuff?
“The phone lines are down,” he said, suddenly breaking into her heated thoughts.
Mandy shook her head, tendrils falling loose across her face. It tickled and she roughly brushed it away, tucking it behind her ears.
“Don’t do that.”
Her hand stalled, a strand of hair still between her thumb and forefinger. “Pardon?” Had she heard right, the guys voice was kinda muffled beneath all those whiskers.
“I liked it like that.”
Her brows puckered. Liked? Mandy snapped her thoughts closed. “The phone,” she prompted.
“The phone lines are out. Must have hit the mobile phone tower too, because can’t get a signal on my phone. The storm has struck so it looks like we’ll have to stay the night.”
“You want to what?" Shocked, Mandy gaped at Santa. "Sleep here?” She took a quick inventory. Not a bed in sight. “You've got to be joking. Besides, it's Christmas Eve."
"Got anywhere else to go?"
Mandy’s jaw dropped, but no words came out while a stain of heat scalded her cheeks. She didn't have anywhere else to go No family. No life. Christmas as far as she was concerned was a non-event. But she wasn't about to admit that. She tucked her suddenly fidgeting hands behind her. “Don't you?” she questioned as a counter-defense.
Desperation hiked up ten-fold. “But we're locked in, everyone's gone home. What'll we do?"
“Told you. Sleep."
Mandy stared into the dimness all around them, expecting, praying a security guard would walk out of the increasing darkness. “"You can't sleep here. This is a department store."
“Sure I can. There's a bed, isn't there?" he said pointing towards the Santa grotto.
“That's Santa's sleigh!"
“Bed, sleigh, what's the difference?" He shrugged and his bushy white brows wiggled. “You're a mite picky for someone stuck in a department store, don’t ya think?" He strode towards the sleigh and without thinking she found herself following him. Santa was in full force tossing out presents...well boxes of various sizes and colors intended to grant every child's desire, as she side-stepped the elve’s mushroom stand.
“Which side do you want?"

Happy reading

Sounds like fun Jane!

Monday 9 November 2009

An Interview with Jane Beckenham

Tell us a little about yourself
Hello everyone, I’m Jane Beckenham and I live down under in New Zealand, a country also known as Aotearoa, translated to mean the land of the long white cloud, which today is a misnomer as the sky is a perfect blue and cloudless. I live in Auckland the City of Sails as we’re surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and on one side, and the Tasman Sea on the other.

What do you write?
I write contemporary romance, but also time travel and historical.

Why do you write?
Because I have to. Because the characters in my head give me their story. I’ve been writing for about 11 years now. I love writing, couldn’t imagine my life without it. And it sure beats housework.

What are you writing now?
I’m in the editing stages of 2 contemporary stories and in the first 3 chapter stage of a Regency

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
I live in jeans and shirts. But I’ve just started dressing a bit more girly, with dresses. I love jewelry and buy quite a bit of fun necklaces, actually I have a big tie wrack in my wardrobe that I hang all my necklaces on!

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
I’ve been married for 26 years, so yeah, I guess I still love the guy…but I do wish he’d put away stuff and not leave it lying around…grrr! When I am in the first throws of love I always lose my apetite, but how I wish that was the other way around and that once over that flush I didn’t eat, then I would be waif like!

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he or she look like?
George Clooney!

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
Chocolate, but I’m a cake/cookie kinda gal

What makes you laugh? Cry?
Sad movies always make me cry, things that pull at the heart strings, tales of courageousness. Laugh…things that are quite off the wall.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I am a decorating nut, I love decorating magazines and I am never more happy than browsing different rooms in the glossy magazines.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
When I first met my man (on a blind date too!) I thought he had a really cute butt and nice legs – strong/muscular. Kindness turns me on too. When my man does something nice for me that I wasn’t expecting.

What do you hate about life?
Honest??? Well, I have a disability. And quite honestly, I’ve had it for 43 of my 52 years so I’m over it now. I really would like to just give it away. Most of my life it hasn’t held me back, I’ve backpacked all over the world, lived in many places, but it’s slowing me down now, and I’m really not happy with that.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I’m a success already. I’m a nice person, kind, loving, and that is the best kind of success don’t you think. I would like to say when I lose about 15lbs would be a success, but reality is that isn’t really important. I like to think that each time I finish a book that I’m really happy with it, and that is a success.

What are you going to write next?
I have a contemporary in mind with a hero whose father was a King/Prince and who never acknowledged him, but the exciting thing is that this book hopefully will actually spurn a few others as I write the stories of his siblings.

Friday 6 November 2009

Seducing Sir Gwain

Seducing Sir Gwain by Shari Dare

Red Rose Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-60435-955-8


Pages: 184

Modern Day & 1470 Scotland

Denise and her friend have fun on the Ouija board but they never have really taken it seriously. Denise finds it a fun way to pass the time now that her husband of almost 40 years is gone. But this time something very strange happens. Instead of the usual women that usually give general answers a man tells them that his name is Gwain and that he was Denise’s lover in a past life. That is just strange enough for the friends to stop playing.

Denise is having a great erotic dream and really doesn’t want to wake up to her ordinary life. When Denise finally gets up she gets the shock of her life. Instead of being in the modern day she seems to have traveled to the past. Only now she is no longer the same person in the same body. She is a young woman again by the name Davida in 1470 Scotland. At least she has all the knowledge she has gained over her lifetime. Denise sees this as a chance to have a second chance at life even if it is in a different century. Now she just has to figure out who she is supposed to be and what she is doing in the past.

Denise is thinking that all the creature comforts she so enjoyed in her time may not be able to compare to what she has found in the past. She is getting a second chance at youth and a chance to live a more exciting and fulfilling life than she ever thought would be possible. Now if she can just figure out a way to hang on to Gwain her life will be perfect. All the dreams from her youth are coming true in the past.

This is a fascinating time travel book. I love how you get transported to the past with Denise and get to see history come to life. It is a wonderful mix of the past and the present and was a wonderful story from start to finish. I think even those that are not really into time travel stories will greatly enjoy this tale.

I give this one 4 red roses.