Exclusive Excerpt

#BlogTour | Whitsborough Bay Series by Jessica Redland; Feature, Excerpts and Exclusive Author Interview #WhitsboroughBaySeries #BoldWoodBlogger @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks

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Hello Sunshines!! Have got a mega post for you all today? I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this epic blog tour for the whole; Whitsborough Bay series by Jessica Redland. Not only will I be sharing exclusive excerpts for each of the books, but I also have an exclusive to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals interview with Jessica, where will be chatting all about books, writing and my favourite topic; chocolate. So pull up a seat, grab that cuppa and enjoy.

Frankie: Hi, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.

Jessica: Thank you so much for having me

Frankie: Firstly, what five words would you use to describe yourself?

Jessica: Snuggly, imaginative, caring, fun, organised

Frankie: Can you tell us a little about your latest/up and coming release?

Jessica: Coming Home to Seashell Cottage is the final part in my ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series. The series is made up of four books, each centring around one main female protagonist:

Book 1 – Making Wishes at Bay View – This is a prequel to the series, introducing Callie who works in a care home and tends to make very poor relationship choices involving much older men. Her favourite resident, Ruby, thinks Callie would be better off with her grandson, Rhys, but Callie is worried that Rhys might be a figment of Ruby’s imagination. It’s a lovely story of intergenerational relationships and how it’s never too late to give up on a wish for a happy ever after.

Books 2-4 are set chronologically, each one picking up where the last one left off, and they follow three friends – Sarah, Elise and Clare. Each book is a complete story with one of the women as the protagonist but we get to know and find out about the others.

Book 2 – New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms – This is Sarah’s story. After being unexpectedly gifted her auntie’s florist shop, Sarah returns to her hometown of Whitsborough Bay, licking her wounds after a bad relationship. When packing to move, she finds a clairvoyant reading from when she was 18 and everything has come true except one prediction: she’s about to meet the man of her dreams. And his name is Steven. Best friend Elise is convinced it’s going to come true but her other best friend, Clare, thinks it’s a load of rubbish. Who’s right?

Book 3 – Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove – We’re focusing on Elise now. Her 12-year marriage has unexpectedly broken down and she’s facing a divorce yet has two weddings to attend as bridesmaid. Not easy! Gary was her one and only relationship so she decides that she needs to get back out there and recently-divorced Daniel may be just what the doctor ordered. Or is he?

Book 4 – Coming Home to Seashell Cottage – The final part of the series is Clare’s story. So much has changed for the three women that the dynamics of the friendship have shifted massively. We find out why Clare is so cool and spiky and why she doesn’t talk about her past. There are lots of secrets and demons to face as Clare discovers that she can run from the past but she can’t hide from it.

Frankie: When not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

Jessica: I really wish I had an interesting answer but I’m afraid I don’t get any time to relax. I have a full-time day job so I fit writing around that on evenings and weekends. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to write full-time and have a bit more me-time. In rare moments off, I enjoy watching romcoms or reading, and spending time with my family and dog, but these moments are definitely too few!

Frankie: If you could have a holiday home anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Jessica: I’d want it to be somewhere close enough to home that I could visit regularly. Last May, we had a family holiday in Portugal. It’s the first time we’ve been there and we absolutely loved it. The scenery was stunning and the people were so friendly. We’re going back this May because we loved it so much.

Frankie: If you could have one of your books made into a film, which book would it be and who would play your lead character’s?

Jessica: I would love the whole of the series to be made into a Netflix series! If it was just one book to be made into a film, I’d probably say The Secret to Happiness which is a standalone novel which was released last September. It’s the story of three women – Karen, Alison and Danniella – who need to say goodbye to someone/something but are struggling to do so. When they meet at a bootcamp run by Karen, can the power of friendship give them the strength to do what they’ve been unable to do alone? I would struggle to say who the main characters would be, though. I have a Pinterest board with inspiration for my characters but they’re not necessarily famous people. I struggle with picking celebs because I watch so little TV (back to earlier question about never having time to relax!)

Frankie: When writing, do you plot or do you go with the flow?

Jessica: Pantser. All the time. I know my characters very well and I know where the story is going to end but I let the journey unfold as I write.

Frankie: What three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?

Jessica:

  1. If you want to write, write. You may not be great at it but you’ll never know unless you try
  2. Learn how to write. Being good at writing in day to day life v writing a book are two very different skills. There’s a lot to learn but there are some amazing self-help books, courses, and qualifications out there to help. I spent ten years learning my craft whilst writing my debut. To be fair, I had a lot of years where I didn’t write anything as I married, had a baby, opened and closed a business and changed job several times during that time, but I never lost sight of that goal and never stopped learning
  3. Take the NaNoWriMo approach of just getting on with it. You can edit it later. You might ditch a lot of it later. But if you don’t get the words down in the first place, you’ll have nothing to edit

Frankie: If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite?

Jessica: The famous person answer would be Dawn French, Chris Hemsworth and James Corden.

The non-famous answer would be my good friends Susan, Jackie and Catryn who I hardly ever get to see because we live so far apart.

Frankie: Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, Jessica! I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun; What is your favourite snacking food?

Jessica: Chocolate. Nom nom. Specific favourite at the moment are Teasers (Maltesers). Ooh, salivating right now!

Frankie: Oooh, yes!! You are certainly talking my language with Teasers, thank you! xx

Jessica: Thank you so much for your fabulous questions. Jessica xx

***

Whitsborough Bay Series

Making Wishes at Bay View: The perfect uplifting novel of love and friendship for 2020 (Welcome To Whitsborough Bay Book 1)

This book was previously published as two novellas – Raving About Rhys and Callie’s Christmas Wish.

Never give up on a wish for a happy ever after…

Callie Derbyshire has it all: her dream job as a carer at Bay View, finally she has found the love of her life. Everything is perfect.

Well, almost.

Ex-partners are insistent on stirring up trouble, and Callie’s favourite resident, Ruby, hasn’t been her usual self.

But after discovering the truth about Ruby’s lost love, Callie is determined to give Ruby’s romantic story the happy ending it deserves. After all, it’s never too late to let love in again. Or is it?

A heartwarming and uplifting novel of finding love and friendship in the least expected places from top 10 bestselling author, Jessica Redland.

Amazon

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New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms: The perfect uplifting page-turner for 2020 (Welcome To Whitsborough Bay Book 2)

Sometimes love can bloom where you least expect it…

For Sarah Peterson, it’s time for change. Coming out of a dead end relationship and having had enough of city life, she just needs to escape and have a fresh start – a new job, a new home and a new lifestyle.

So when her Auntie Kay unexpectedly offers her the opportunity to take over her flower shop, Seaside Blooms, the timing could not be more perfect. She could escape to the beautiful seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, start a new chapter in her life – and learn how to run a business!

But, as she packs up her life in London, she isn’t prepared for the discovery of a clairvoyant reading that’s been missing for twelve years. All of the predictions have come true, except one: she’s about to meet the man of her dreams. Oh, and his name is Steven…

As she prepares for the biggest move of her life, Sarah can’t help but wonder if Seaside Blooms could be a new beginning for love too?

A warm, uplifting novel of love, friendship and destiny from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.

New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms is a new, revised and updated edition of a novel previously published as Searching For Steven.

Amazon

New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms; Excerpt

Come on, Jason. Ring.’ I frowned at my iPhone as I paced up and down in the lounge, my stiletto heels echoing on the wooden floorboards. ‘Or text. I don’t care which. Just make contact. Please.’

My heart leapt as the phone beeped, but the text was from one of my best friends instead.

From Elise

Happy birthday Sarah! Last year in your twenties so make the most of it. Wish you weren’t so far away so I could give you a birthday hug so sending one by text instead. I’ve hopefully timed your present to arrive today. Hope Jason’s got you a fab gift… proposal maybe? Have a great evening xxxxxxx

I stretched out my arm to admire the sparkly silver bracelet she’d sent.

To Elise

Just got home and your parcel was waiting. Way too generous as usual… but absolutely gorgeous! Thank you so much. Not sure where he’s taking me but hopefully it’s somewhere nice this time. I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go! Would be lying if I said a proposal hadn’t crossed my mind. EEEEEEKKKK!!!! You’ll be first to know if he does xxx

My hands shook slightly and I felt a flutter in my stomach as I typed in the words. Could tonight really be the night? Maybe. The timing felt about right and he’d been talking about making plans for the future. We’d been together for two years and two months and had lived together for most of that time. Aside from occasional bouts of thoughtlessness on his part and a tendency to drag me to the gym or on a twenty-mile hike way more often than a person should have to endure in a lifetime, we were very happy together and I assumed that a proposal wouldn’t be too far away.

Another text arrived but it still wasn’t Jason.

From Clare

Sorry for not texting earlier. Dim Daz borrowed my phone then drove to Essex with it. Bloody muppet. Anyway, better late than never… happy birthday you old fart. Can’t believe you want to spend the evening with your eejit flatmate rather than me. Hope it’s not McDonalds this time! Maybe he’ll really treat you & do Pizza Hut?! Keep Saturday night free if you want your card & gift or I’m keeping them xx

She’d added several laughing emojis to the end of the text.

Your Auntie Clare is being very rude, as usual,’ I said to one of our kittens, Kat, who’d appeared to demand a fuss. ‘Flatmate indeed.’ But I couldn’t help smiling. Only Clare could get away with a comment like that.

To Clare

Thanks. Was beginning to think you’d forgotten me! I promise to keep Saturday free for you. Dread to know what sort of abuse I’d get if I don’t. Not sure where MY BOYFRIEND is taking me. Still waiting to hear. McDonalds was a misunderstanding and you know it! Laters xx

From Clare

Misunderstanding my arse! My final guess of the evening… The Griffin

I shook my head. So our two-year anniversary hadn’t gone quite to plan, but it was my fault really. I should have known that saying, ‘I’d love to go out for a meal to celebrate; how about The Kam Po? I could meet you in The Griffin after work,’ was far too vague for Jason. I ended up nursing the same glass of Pinot Grigio for ninety minutes before finally accepting he wasn’t coming. Trudging home, I found him in his gym kit playing on his Xbox. ‘You been working late?’ he asked. ‘You should’ve texted me. I got you a McDonalds on the way home, but it’ll be cold now and there’s nothing else to eat.’ He returned to his game and I went to bed hungry. I kept hoping he’d realise his mistake but he never did and, by then, it felt too late to say anything.

I checked my phone again now. Nothing. It couldn’t happen twice, could it? No. It had been his idea this time. Some of my friends from work had suggested a birthday meal, but Jason had insisted on taking me out himself. I’d gently reminded him a couple of days ago and he’d assured me it was in hand and I wasn’t to quiz him any further or I’d spoil the surprise. He said he’d contact me last minute with a location to meet him so I could enjoy the excitement of speculating about where we were going. This was certainly last minute and excitement wasn’t quite the feeling I’d describe.

It was now after half six. Sod it! I couldn’t do this anymore.

To Jason

This is killing me! Where are you taking me? I’m all ready and awaiting my instructions! Please tell me you haven’t forgotten xx

***

Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove (Welcome To Whitsborough Bay Book 3)

When it feels like everything is against you, sometimes you just need a little bit of hope…

Married to her childhood sweetheart for over twelve years, Elise feels like starting a family is the next natural step. However her husband, Gary, has other ideas…

Suddenly single, Elise is completely heartbroken and struggling to start over on her own. But when she’s enlisted to be bridesmaid to her best friend, Sarah, she has to put on a brave face, put her own feelings aside and find a way to get over Gary. Fast.

So when she meets handsome, recently-divorced, Daniel, she thinks he could be just what she needs. But why can’t she shake the feeling that he must be too good to be true?

Will she ever be able to take that leap and trust again?

An uplifting read of love, loss and finding yourself from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.

This book was previously published as Getting Over Gary

Amazon

Finding hope at Lighthouse Cove; Excerpt

Li! Are you ready yet?’ Gary shouted up the stairs. ‘I thought we were meeting them at seven.’

I glanced towards the digital alarm clock: 18:28. Still twelve minutes till we needed to leave. I took a deep, calming breath then called, ‘Just a few more minutes. We won’t be late. I promise.’

Squirting another mist of hairspray on my loose auburn curls, I blew a few flecks of make-up off my new teal dress, then pulled on a pair of black strappy, sparkly shoes. Grabbing a black pashmina and clutch bag off the bed, I took a quick glance in the full-length mirror on the wall. Not bad. Perhaps a little over-dressed for a meal at The Bombay Palace with my sister and her fiancé, but surely Gary would be impressed with the effort, especially as the dress was his favourite colour on me. Maybe he’d even pay me a compliment. I shook my head at my reflection. I wouldn’t get my hopes up on that one. I’d be lucky if he managed the ultimate cop-out non-compliment of, ‘You look nice.’

I paused at the top of the stairs and gazed down at my husband tapping something into his phone, a deep frown creasing his brow. Even in a mood, he was still irresistible with his dark hair, dark eyes and tall, athletic build.

I’m ready,’ I called, preparing myself to do a little twirl so he could appreciate the tightness of the bodice clinging to all the right places – a daring move for someone who normally wore long skirts and maxi-dresses – but he barely managed a cursory glance as he pocketed his phone.

About time too,’ he said. ‘I’ll get the car started. Can you lock up?’ Without waiting for an answer, he went outside.

I reached for the banister and clung onto it as I took a few deep, shaky breaths and willed myself not to cry. It was fine. Timekeeping stressed him out and, even though we weren’t actually late, he was understandably tired and irritable. He’d been working long hours with the surgery expansion recently and seemed to be permanently on edge. He’d likely skipped lunch again so was bound to relax when we ate.

Would you like me to drive back tonight so you can have a drink?’ I asked as Gary backed his Lexus off the drive. I reached across to give his thigh a gentle stroke but withdrew my hand when I felt him tense under my touch.

I’m fine, thanks. We’ll stick to the rule.’

Okay.’ Gary’s ‘rule’ was that if it’s your family or your friends, you drink and the other drives. I rarely drink so was happy to be the designated driver most of the time, but Gary refused to deviate.

I stared out of the window as he drove along Abbey Drive then guided the car out of the small new-build housing estate where we’d lived for the past six years. Glancing across at his tight jaw as we joined the main road into Whitsborough Bay, he certainly looked like a man who could do with a relaxing drink. Perhaps I’d have one more try at breaking the rule.

Are you sure? You know I’m never bothered about drinking when we’re eating.’

We stopped at the traffic lights, but Gary still didn’t look at me. His hands tightly gripped the steering wheel. ‘I’ve already said I’m fine. She’s your sister so I’m the driver. Can we just drop it, Li? Please?’

Okay. Sorry.’ I turned to look out of the window again, blinking back tears. He’d come round when he saw Jess and Lee. He loved their company, even if he didn’t seem to love mine at the moment.

***

Coming Home To Seashell Cottage (Welcome To Whitsborough Bay Book 4)

*Winner of Chill With a Book Book of the Year 2019 Award as Dreaming About Daran*

For Clare O’Connell, home is where the heart aches…

Since the age of sixteen, Clare O’Connell has lived her life by four strict rules:

1. Don’t talk about Ireland

2. Don’t think about Ireland

3. Don’t go to Ireland

4. Don’t let anyone in

And so far, it’s worked well. She’s got a great career, amazing friends, and she’s really happy. The future is all that counts, isn’t it?

However Clare is about to realise that you can run from the past, but you can’t always hide from it…

When her boss insists she travels to Ireland for work, Clare finds herself drawn back to the village of Ballykielty – the home of her family, and the home of her secrets. The one place where vowed never to return to again…

With the door to her past now wide open, the first three rules have gone out of the window. Will Clare stick to rule number four?

Can she be brave and face up to her family and the demons of her past?

An emotional novel of family, friendship and dealing with your past from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.

This book was previously published as Dreamg About Darran.

Amazon

Coming Home to Seashell Cottage; Excerpt

Late September

What the hell is that in the fruit bowl?’ I cautiously leaned forward on Ben’s sofa to get a closer look, hoping it wasn’t an enormous spider about to scuttle over me.

Apples, pears, kiwis and bananas,’ Ben said. ‘Don’t tell me that you’ve reached the grand old age of thirty-three and you still can’t identify your basic fruits.’

I raised my eyebrows at him. ‘Ha ha! You’re hilarious. You should be on stage, so you should.’ I reached my hand out towards the object.

Argh!’ yelled Ben as I was about to touch it.

I snatched back my hand, screaming.

Sorry. Couldn’t resist.’ He rolled around on the sofa, laughing hysterically.

You eejit!’ I whacked him with a cushion. ‘You scared the life out of me! Is this what it’s going to be like living with you? Because if it is, I can check into a hotel for the next few months instead. Are you ready to say goodbye to that new kitchen?’

I worked for a company called Prime PR, managing public relations campaigns for large corporates. Having recently been promoted, I needed to relocate from London to Leeds. Ben – or Saint Ben, as I called him – was the brother of my best friend, Sarah, and he lived in Leeds so I’d adopted him as my meal buddy for the past few years every time I visited on business. Meeting up with a friend for some good craic was far more appealing than dining in a hotel restaurant surrounded by suits staring into space, eating meals for one. On my last trip, I’d moaned about the prospect of living in a hotel for a month or two while I found somewhere to rent and, being the saint he was, Ben immediately offered me his spare room. Grand idea. It meant I could pay Ben rent using my allowance for not staying in a hotel, giving him the funds to refit his prehistoric kitchen. Win-win. Of course, he refused to accept payment, but I wore him down eventually.

Ben put his hands up in surrender as I lifted the cushion to whack him again. ‘Sorry. But you’d have done the same if it had been the other way round. You know you would.’

Perhaps.’

Definitely.’

I smiled. He was right. ‘So, what is it, then?’

Ben reached into the fruit bowl, then held out the black object in the palm of his hand.

It’s a chess piece,’ I said, looking at the black king. ‘Why’s there a chess piece in your fruit bowl?’

He shrugged. ‘I came home from work last Tuesday and, quite randomly, it was on the front doorstep.’

With a note?’

No note. Just the king on his own.’

And it’s yours?’

Nope. I don’t play chess.’

Oh. Very random. But do you know what’s even more random? Why the hell it’s in your fruit bowl instead of the bin.’

It seemed like a good place for it.’

But you don’t know where it’s been. It could have been peed on by a dog. Or worse.’

Ben looked at the king thoughtfully. ‘Good point. Just as well it was between the bananas and kiwis, then, wasn’t it? They’ve got skins.’ He leaned forward and put it back.

Ben! Put it in the bin.’

No.’

Ben!

I reached forward but he grabbed me and started tickling me, which he knew was a pet peeve of mine. I squealed, leapt to my feet and darted past him into his kitchen. Thankfully, I was saved from another attack by the arrival of our Indian takeaway.

Get your hands washed before you touch that food,’ I ordered Ben.

He winked at me. ‘I love it when you’re bossy.’

I dug out some plates and we busied ourselves dishing up the food.

Shall we watch a film while we eat?’ Ben asked. ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’s on TV and I’ve never seen it. My mate Pete said it’s really good.’

Is that the one with Jim Caviezel in it?’

I think so. And Guy Pearce.’

Ooh, two hotties. Grand. Count me in.’

***

About the Author

Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Website / Instagram / Facebook / Newsletter

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Blog Tour Schedule

#BookFeature | Impassioned Deceit by Faye Hall #ImpassionedDeciept #ExclusiveExcerpt @FayeHall79

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Hello, Sunshines! Today I have the huge pleasure to be featuring this gorgeous book on the blog today; Impassioned Deceit by the very lovely Faye Hall. Not only will I be telling you all about the book, but I also have an exclusive excerpt, which is amazing and will make you want to read more. So sit back, grab that cuppa and enjoy. 

Would you risk your life for the one you love?

At thirty-two, Hannah Wagstaff’s scandalous past, and the scar it left her with, has made her a spinster, scaring away any offers of marriage. She had given up on love until by chance she was reunited with Patrick, a man who had lit a flame in her heart years ago before disappearing from her life.

Patrick O’Doherty couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw Hannah. He had been certain he would never see her again, but there she was, and this time he would do anything to keep her in his life.

Things take a drastic turn when Patrick’s vengeful stepfather starts demanding ownership of the cattle station that was left to Patrick by his father. Suddenly, Patrick finds himself on the run for his life, trying to uncover the secrets of his stepfather’s past and the reason he would be willing to murder for a cattle station.

Hannah is distraught when she’s told Patrick died in a fire. Her grief continues when her sister is kidnapped without any clue to who could have taken her. Months later, when her sister returns, Hannah goes looking for the culprit. What she finds is Patrick, alive and working as a bartender at a hotel.

Passionately reunited with Hannah, Patrick discovers that not only is his life under threat, but hers as well. What secrets tie their families together? Will he be able to protect Hannah, or will his love for her ultimately cost him his life?

Content Warning: contains sex, strong language, and some violence

Beach Walk Press / Kobo / Amazon

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Exclusive Excerpt

Patrick walked toward the waterhole, the sound of his father’s departing carriage drifting off in the distance behind him. He had come here to swim several times over the years, finding it a welcomed solace from the heat in this country. Was that why Hannah had invited him here? He could think of no other reason. Even if his assumption was wrong, and this visit was brief, he was just happy to be seeing her again.

As he neared the water, his gaze went to the dark-haired woman sitting on the bank, her feet dangling in the water. He was going to announce himself, but in truth, he didn’t know what to say. He cleared his throat nervously, hoping that would be enough to draw her attention.

She turned to look at him, a huge smile filling her face. “I feared you wouldn’t be able to come.”

My father dropped me off on his way to deal with some business in Inkerman,” he explained. “He’s going to collect me on his way home.”

She stood and stepped toward him. “How long can you stay?”

He shrugged. “Maybe an hour. Maybe longer.”

The pair stood there, their gazes joined. He wanted to ask her so many questions, hungering to know just who she was.

Can you swim?” she asked. “Or we could just go for a walk around the area.”

Her uncertainty confused him. “Why did you ask me to meet you here?”

She bent down and slipped off her shoes. “A swim seems like a better idea in this heat.” Her hands went to the buttons on her blouse, unfastening them.

What are you doing?”

She giggled. “You can’t expect me to go swimming in this. I’ll drown from the weight of it.”

Patrick watched as she stripped down to her chemise and drawers before turning and running into the water. Hesitating only a moment longer, he took off his shoes, then his shirt, throwing it beside her clothes.

Is that all you’re taking off?” she asked.

He walked toward her and waded through the water until he was only a few feet from her. “I think it’s for the best.”

She began to giggle. “Are you shy?”

He shook his head, sharing in her humor. “I just think what lies beneath my trousers is a bit too much of an introduction given we only met an hour ago.”

Her laughter began to fade, and he watched as a cheeky grin spread across her lips. “I’ll take my chemise off if you take your trousers off.”

He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You can’t be serious?”

She raised her brow. “What if I am?”

The pair waded in the water, their gazes joined, each wondering if Hannah would indeed go through with her side of the bargain. Patrick knew he shouldn’t encourage such behavior, but the thought of being so close to this woman—and so revealed—both thrilled and scared him. Never had he met a woman so forward, and he needed to know now more than ever if she was serious or just all bluff.

You have yourself a deal,” he finally said.

***

About The Author

Faye Hall spent her early years listening to stories about the families – including her own – who settled townships in and around her hometown in North Queensland, Australia. The local townspeople, including her own parents, told her stories of corruption and slavery, along with family secrets and forbidden love.

Desperate to remember what she’d been told, along with her already growing love of writing, Faye began to write about the history of her local area. Never could she have imagined the history of her small home town in Australia would become a growing list of published books.

Faye’s passionate stories combine controversial subjects and provocative encounters as her characters struggle to survive the lifestyle in early rural townships throughout Australia. She explores slavery and abortion, drug addiction and murder, as well as forbidden love and passionate affairs of the heart.

When she’s not writing, Faye enjoys sharing a bottle of wine with her husband in their ever-growing garden, and encouraging the varied interests of their combined family of nine children.

Explore the world of Faye Hall, Australian Historical Romance Author at her website.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / BookBub / Tumblr / Pinterest / Instagram / Youtube

#BlogTour | The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo #TheBorgiaConfessions #ExclusiveExcerpt @AlyssInWnderlnd @StMartinsPress

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Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo I didn’t have time to write my review of this incredible book before the blog tour began – typical me, I didn’t plan ahead properly – but I can guarantee my review will be coming shortly and I can’t wait to share it, as this book is amazing! But, I do have a brilliant exclusive excerpt for you all which I know you will love, so grab a cuppa and let me tell all about this amazing book.

The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo

‘Under Palombo’s skillful hand, the entangled world of the Borgias comes vividly to life, exposing the dark facets of class structure and the all-consuming greed that comes with ambition–and love.” – Heather Webb, internationally bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris and Meet Me in Monaco

During the sweltering Roman summer of 1492, Rodrigo Borgia has risen to power as pope. Rodrigo’s eldest son Cesare, forced to follow his father into the church and newly made the Archbishop of Valencia, chafes at his ecclesiastical role and fumes with jealousy and resentment at the way that his foolish brother has been chosen for the military greatness he desired.

Maddalena Moretti comes from the countryside, where she has seen how the whims of powerful men wreak havoc on the lives of ordinary people. But now, employed as a servant in the Vatican Palace, she cannot help but be entranced by Cesare Borgia’s handsome face and manner and finds her faith and conviction crumbling in her want of him.

As war rages and shifting alliances challenge the pope’s authority, Maddalena and Cesare’s lives grow inexplicably entwined. Maddalena becomes a keeper of dangerous Borgia secrets, and must decide if she is willing to be a pawn in the power games of the man she loves. And as jealousy and betrayal threaten to tear apart the Borgia family from within, Cesare is forced to reckon with his seemingly limitless ambition.

Alyssa Palombo’s captivating new novel, The Borgia Confessions, is a story of passion, politics, and class, set against the rise and fall of one of Italy’s most infamous families–the Borgias.

Amazon

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Praise for Alyssa Palomo and The Borgia Confessions

“[A] vivacious tale of power and love set in 1492… Excavating the personal relationships and petty disagreements that fueled Pope Alexander VI’s controversial reign, Palombo’s enticing tale will please fans of Sharon Kay Penman.”

Publishers Weekly

“Readers looking for an immersive, light, romantic read will enjoy this book.”

Booklist

“Under Palombo’s skillful hand, the entangled world of the Borgias comes vividly to life, exposing the dark facets of class structure and the all-consuming greed that comes with ambition–and love. I was utterly engrossed from page one. A colorful and suspenseful novel, The Borgia Confessions is packed with complex characters and political intrigue, and will leave readers hungry for more.”

Heather Webb, internationally bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris and Meet Me in Monaco

“Palombo has crafted a sweeping and surprisingly sympathetic portrait of Cesare Borgia, one of history’s most notorious “bad boys,” and the world surrounding him. [A] dark Renaissance parable about the intertwining of lust and power. If you’re as fascinated with all things Borgia as I am, you won’t want to miss this one!”

Kris Waldherr, author of The Lost History of Dreams and Bad Princess

“Handsome. Intriguing. Dangerous. Seductive. [This] is everything you want in a book–it’s a romance, a page-turner, and a ride deep into the sumptuous and tumultuous time of Renaissance Italy.”

Crystal King, author of The Chef’s Secret

“Alyssa Palombo’s deft and delicate prose makes a gorgeous contrast against the visceral and cutthroat world of the Borgias. Dark and decadent, THE BORGIA CONFESSIONS is mesmerizing from start to finish.”

Meghan Masterson, author of The Wardrobe Mistress

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Exclusive Excerpt

Chapter 3
MADDALENA

Not much changed for those of us in service at the Vatican Palace when the new pope took over. There were still the same tasks to see to, the same rooms to be cleaned, the same floors to be scrubbed, and the same laundry to be washed. The Holy Father was to be obeyed whoever he was, and his earthly house was to be kept clean and running smoothly so he could attend to far more lofty matters. One morning I was returning to the kitchens with an empty tray from one of the cardinals’ rooms—the new Vice-Chancellor, Ascanio Sforza by name—when I passed a man heading for the

Holy Father’s audience chamber. He was rather garishly dressed, in brightly colored hose and tunic with a huge codpiece, and wear- ing a hat with a large feather in it. He winked and leered at me as I passed, and I cast my eyes down. Surely such a man was not fit for an audience with the Holy Father?
I caught up with one of the other maids, Fabrizia, at the end of the hallway. “Fabrizia,” I murmured, my voice low so my words would not echo off the marble floors and walls, “who is that man?” I jerked my chin toward the man’s retreating back.
She snickered. “That’s Juan Borgia. The pope’s son,” she confided. I gasped. All of Rome knew of the existence of Cardinal Borgia’s children—Pope Alexander, I corrected myself. It was no secret that many of the other cardinals had mistresses and bastard children as well. But for a pope to acknowledge such children . . . “He brings his children into the Vatican?” I asked, shocked. “He allows them to be
known as such, even now that he has been made pope?”
Fabrizia nodded. “It is unusual, indeed. No referring to them as his nephews or nieces, as popes usually do. And you know he keeps a mistress, yes?”
I gasped again. I had heard the whisperings, but I tried my best to close my ears to such things. Gossip—especially gossip about the Holy Father—was a sin.
Yet my curiosity rose, despite my pangs of guilt. I shall confess this sin after Mass on Sunday, I promised myself. “I . . . he does?” I asked.

Fabrizia’s eyes gleamed, and she drew me into a small alcove. She was well and truly settled in to gossip. “Oh, yes. Honestly, Maddalena, even for a country bumpkin you seem altogether too innocent sometimes—and you a widow, no less. Her name is Giulia Farnese and she is the most beautiful woman in Rome. He keeps her with his cousin, Adriana, and his daughter, Lucrezia. Can you imagine? And La Bella Farnese is married to Adriana’s own son! They were just married when Giulia La Bella caught Cardinal Bor- gia’s eye, and so Donna Adriana banished her son to the country estates to get him out of the way—before the cuckold’s horns were even properly affixed to his head, they say.” She snickered. “If the stories are true, Cardinal Borgia—Pope Alexander—has rewarded Adriana and her family richly, including the poor cuckolded son, which is exactly what she was hoping for.” She leaned closer and lowered her voice further. “He is said to be moving them to the pal- ace of Santa Maria in Portico. He wants La Bella Farnese nearer to him—they say there is a secret passage that connects the Vatican Palace to that one, so he can visit her in secret.”
I crossed myself automatically. “God forgive him,” I said. “He has been led astray by a harlot.” Immediately I regretted my words—he was the Holy Father; he could do no wrong. Who was I to criticize, when I could not understand the ways in which God spoke to His representative on earth? “But that is not for us to say,” I added hastily.
Fabrizia rolled her eyes. “Indeed,” she said. “All I know is men do what they want, whether they wear hose or a cardinal’s robes. Or a pope’s, even. I don’t know that God has much to say about it. But his son, that Juan . . .” She nodded in the direction from which we’d come. “They say Pope Alexander has big plans for him, and for his other son, Cesare. He’ll not let his children fade into the background, not the Borgia pope.”

It was some weeks before I saw the other son, Cesare. It was late evening, and he looked to be heading in the direction of the pope’s private rooms. I curtsied to him as he passed in the darkened hall- way in his purple archbishop’s robes. I felt his eyes on me as I curt- sied, and when I rose our eyes met briefly. Goodness, but he was handsome, with his head of thick, dark curls under his cap and his dark eyes and the stubble lining his cheeks and chin, which looked like they belonged on a statue in the Vatican gardens. He was much more handsome than his fop of a brother, that was for certain. His eyes turned away, forward once more.
My cheeks burned with shame as I continued on, back to my cot in the bowels of the palace where I shared a room with three other maids. Cesare Borgia was a man of God, an archbishop, no less—it was not meet that I should think him comely or attractive.

I crossed myself, whispering a silent prayer of forgiveness. Back in my room, I bent over the handkerchief I was embroidering, squinting at it in the dim light, and recited a prayer with each few stitches to keep my thoughts from wandering where they did not belong.

*Excerpt provided by the publisher to be used with this blog tour.

***

About the Author

ALYSSA PALOMBO is the author of The Violinist of Venice, The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence, and The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel. She is a recent graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, respectively. A passionate music lover, she is a classically trained musician as well as a big fan of heavy metal. When not writing, she can be found reading, hanging out with her friends, traveling, or planning for next Halloween. She lives in Buffalo, New York, where she is always at work on a new novel.

Website / Instagram / Twitter

#BlogTour | Fair Weather Enemies by Sawyer North #FairWeatherEnemies #Excerpt #HFVBTBlogTour @MrDarcyExplains @hfvbt

Posted on Updated on

Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the brilliant blog tour for; Fair Weather Enemies by Sawyer North, this book looks amazing is heading right to the top of ‘Next to buy’ list, I have an excellent exclusive excerpt to share with you all. As always, sit back grab that cuppa and enjoy.

Fair Weather Enemies by Sawyer North

Publication Date: February 10, 2020
Publisher: Entangled Publishing/Scandalous
Format: Paperback & eBook; 270 Pages

Genre: Historical Romance

 

 

The Hancocks and Ashfords have had a long-standing feud between their families long before Miss Jane Hancock couldn’t stand the sight of gentleman farmer Adam Ashford. But after both families fall on hard times and an unscrupulous creditor forces Jane and Adam to sign a devil’s bargain, they’ll finally understand the true meaning of keeping your enemies close at hand.

The terms of this bargain? Locate a lost treasure shrouded in deception and mystery.

The catch? Only one can claim it to win…the loser is left to ruin.

As Jane and Adam embark on a trek throughout England they plan to hate their adversary, no matter how attractive, generous, and kind they are.

Sometimes, plans change…

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

***

Exclusive Excerpt

Adam settled into distraught silence as the full force of the quandary hit home. Ashford land had remained intact for nearly two centuries, and he would be the one to lose it. His head fell into his hands and he squeezed his temples. Why hadn’t his father, apparent giver of sage advice, prepared him for this? Why had he not been more forthcoming about the family’s tenuous financial position?

If only the letter had been right,” he mumbled mournfully. “Glasgow and Edinburgh, indeed.”

He heard Miss Hancock rise from her chair but didn’t lift his head until a touch on his shoulder caused him to flinch. He looked up to find her peering at him with narrowed eyes and a fine crease between her sweeping eyebrows.

Mr. Ashford. What do you mean regarding Glasgow and Edinburgh?”

The question perplexed him further. How could she not know his meaning? What was her game?

Glasgow and Edinburgh,” he repeated with mild mockery. “From the first line of the letter.”

The surprise that lit her face erased some of his doubt. She appeared thoroughly confused. He stood to face her.

What is it, Miss Hancock? What do you know?”

She stared at him for several seconds before reaching into her reticule. Her hand emerged clutching a familiar folded paper.

Your copy of the letter?”

Perhaps not a copy.” She opened the document. “Mine is entitled ‘Initium’. The first two lines read, ‘Liverpool, Leeds, a fortress unseen. A cross to denote the point to set sail.’”

Adam’s breath caught. Without thinking, he reached into his jacket to produce his family’s copy of the letter. He carried it with him always since the day his dying father had bequeathed it to him. He opened it carefully and read the first two lines.

Mine is entitled ‘Sequitur’. It reads, ‘Edinburgh, Glasgow, the castle between. An arrow revealing the start of the trail.’”

He glanced up to find Miss Hancock’s features wracked with injured betrayal. She shook her head slowly. “The letters are a lie. A ruse intended to keep us from the gold.”

Adam numbly agreed with her assessment. “It would seem so. We have been duped twice over and ruined as a result.”

Mrs. Byrd’s whispering drew his attention. She stared fixedly at the ceiling, her lips mouthing the lines from the letters. Then she erupted to her feet.

No! Not a lie! Not a ruse!” Her voice quivered with epiphany.

Miss Hancock grabbed her hand. “Auntie. What do you mean?”

Don’t you see, Jane? The letters are not fabrications. They are two parts of the same letter! In Latin, initium means start and sequitur means follow.”

Adam’s curiosity drove him toward Jane’s aunt. “Please explain, Mrs. Byrd.”

Hester began reciting breathlessly, interleaving lines. “Liverpool, Leeds, a fortress unseen. Edinburgh, Glasgow, the castle between. A cross to denote the point to set sail. An arrow revealing the start of the trail.”

Adam’s stomach flipped as chaotic thoughts rampaged through his mind. The lines rhymed. Two parts of the same letter. Four cities, not two. Dared he hope? Miss Hancock seemed just as taken with the notion as she whispered the lines. Then her hand flew to her mouth in astonishment. She knew something. He gripped her wrist most indecorously.

What are you thinking, Miss Hancock?”

She peered up at him with wide eyes. “A map. We need a map of Britain.”

Barlow pointed to the wall. “Just there.”

Without a word, she stripped away the pair of ribbons holding her hair in place. Long locks unwound to drape across her back and shoulders, full and soft, the color something akin to intractable mud. No, he amended. More like freshly turned earth left in the wake of the plow before spring planting. He shook his head vigorously to remind himself that she was still a Hancock, and therefore, quite beneath his attention. Meanwhile, she hurried to the map.

Mr. Barlow, if you please.” She offered the solicitor a ribbon. “Stretch this between Edinburgh and Liverpool.”

Barlow accepted the ribbon and did as she instructed. Adam stepped nearer, his curiosity raging. Miss Hancock wove her arms between Barlow’s and stretched the other ribbon between Glasgow and Leeds. Then she cocked her head toward Adam triumphantly.

Where do the ribbons cross?”

He stepped toward the map, incredulous. “Carlisle.” He glanced at her and then the map again. “A cross to denote the point to set sail!”

***

About the Author

After self-publishing science fiction novels over a period of years, I made the truly odd move into historical romance. Although romance is a strong thread in nearly all my works, I came to straight-up, nothing-but-romance only after turning fifty. Since then, I am plagued by the question, “What took me so long?” My awakening began rather innocuously when I casually watched the 2015 version of Poldark. Before I knew, I was falling headlong into the abyss of historical romance and read fifteen such novels over a three-month span. However, no number could sufficiently scratch my itch for more, so I did what any writer would do and began constructing stories of my own. In April of 2019, I received my first contract with Entangled Publishing.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

Dogo and visit the other blogs on this blog tour.

Monday, February 10
Review at Historical Romance Lover

Tuesday, February 11
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, February 12
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Saturday, February 15
Review at Historical Graffiti

Sunday, February 16
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, February 18
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, February 19
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Saturday, February 22
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch

Monday, February 24
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 25
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

***

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Fair Weather Enemies

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

#BlogTour | The House By The Sea by Louise Douglas #Excerpt #BoldwoodBlogger @LouiseDouglas3 @BoldWoodBooks

Posted on Updated on

Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; The House by The Sea by Louise Douglas. Not only will I be telling you all about this wonderful book, but I also have an exclusive excerpt which I know you will love. So settle in, grab a cuppa and enjoy.

The House by The Sea by Louise Douglas

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Format: Paperback/Ebook/Audiobook

Genre: Women’s fiction

The new chilling and captivating novel from the bestselling author of Richard & Judy pick The Secrets Between Us.

When Edie’s mother-in-law, Anna DeLuca, dies, she is relieved. Edie blames Anna for the accident that destroyed her family. So, when her will lures Edie to Sicily and the long-abandoned Villa della Madonna del Mare, she sees through Anna’s games.

Suspecting Anna is meddling from beyond the grave to try to reunite her and her ex-husband Joe, Edie is determined to leave Italy as soon as possible. But before she can, the villa starts to shed its mysterious secrets.

Who are the girls beside Anna in her childhood photos, and why has one of them been scratched out? Why does someone, or something, want them to leave the past untouched? The villa is a place where old ghosts feel at home, but does their legacy need to be laid to rest before Edie and Joe can move on…

Bestselling author Louise Douglas returns with a captivating, chilling and unforgettable tale of betrayal, jealousy and the mysteries hidden in every family history.

Amazon

***

Praise for Louise Douglas

Kept me guessing until the last few pages and the explosive ending took my breath away.’ C.L. Taylor, author of The Accident on Your Beautiful Lies

Beautifully written, chillingly atmospheric and utterly compelling, The Secret by the Lake is Louise Douglas at her brilliant best’ Tammy Cohen, author of The Broken

A master of her craft, Louise Douglas ratchets up the tension in this haunting and exquisitely written tale of buried secrets and past tragedy.’ Amanda Jennings, author of Sworn Secret

A clammy, atmospheric and suspenseful novel, it builds in tension all the way through to the startling final pages.’ Sunday Express, S Magazine

***

Exclusive Excerpt

The aircraft tipped to begin its descent and through the porthole I watched the southern side of the island of Sicily emerge from the glare of the sun. Beyond the breaching wing lay a hazy, mountainous land surrounded by turquoise water. Wispy clouds bunched around the summit of Etna, the shadow of a forest creeping up her flank. I saw the sprawl of cities, the pencil lines of motorways, the meandering loops of a river and the brilliant blue rectangle of a reservoir. My journey was almost over and Joe was somewhere down there, waiting for me. The last time I’d had a meaningful conversation with my ex-husband was ten years previously, and on that occasion, I’d told him I wished he was dead, and I’d meant it and he knew that I meant it. I’d watched him implode, emotionally, in front of my eyes. I’d turned away. I didn’t know how I was going to face him again. I didn’t know how either of us were going to cope.

It wasn’t as if we had anything in common any more, save memories too painful to revisit. I knew very little of Joe’s life now and I didn’t know how much, if anything, he knew of mine. He probably didn’t know that home, for me, was my friend Fitz’s two bedroom house in Southville and work, the Special Educational Needs department of St Sarah’s school, South Bristol. In my spare time, I walked Fitz’s dogs or went to the Watershed cinema to watch European films with subtitles. Sometimes I meandered around St Nicholas’ Markets and treated myself to a Caribbean wrap and a ball or two of knitting wool; some second-hand books. Most of my energy was taken up with keeping Daniel’s memory alive, that was my raison d’être; I would not let my son be forgotten – never. It might not look much of a life, but it was mine and I was happy with it. I felt safe and I didn’t have to worry about the worst happening because the worst had already happened. I was doing fine and if Joe thought I wasn’t, well, he’d be wrong.

All this anxiety was his mother’s fault. Anna DeLuca was the reason why I was on this plane and why Joe was waiting for me at the airport in Sicily. She was behind this, she couldn’t leave us alone, she had to be interfering in our lives, pulling our strings, moving us around like the pieces on a chessboard, even now, months after her death. Hadn’t she ruined our lives enough already? Hadn’t she caused enough heartache? Martha had said Anna’s death would be a line drawn in the sand for me, but Martha had been wrong. I thought of Anna’s small, heart shaped face, her black hair, her pretty brown eyes and little white teeth, the peppermints she used to freshen her breath, and the old fury began to rise in me.

***

About the Author

Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author of 6 novels including The Love of my Life and Missing You – a RNA award winner. The Secrets Between Us was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. She lives in the West Country.

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Boldwood Author Page / Newsletter  

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Blog Tour Schedule

#BlogTour | Metropolis by Ellie Midwood #Metropolis #Excerpt #HFVBTBlogTours @hfvbt

Posted on Updated on

Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be todays stop on this brilliant blog tour for; Metropolis by Ellie Midwood, not only will I be telling you all about this wonderful book, but I have an exclusive excerpt which you will love, so settle back grab a cuppa and enjoy!

Metropolis by Ellie Midwood

Publication Date: January 31, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 238 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Weimar Berlin, 1924

Unemployed actors, profiteers, cabaret girls, and impoverished aristocracy – out of this wild set of characters populating Weimar Berlin, Margarete Gräfin von Steinhoff belongs to the latter category. Having lost everything due to hyper-inflation, she considers jumping into the freezing waters of the Spree rather than facing the humiliating existence shared by millions of her fellow Germans. However, a chance meeting makes her change her mind at the last moment and offers her a chance to rely on the help of the metropolis itself, where anything can be sold and bought for money and where connections are everything. The bustling nightlife of cosmopolitan Berlin, with its casinos and dance halls, brings good income for the ones who don’t burden themselves too heavily with morals.

After a New Year’s Eve party, Margot finally meets her ever-absent and mysterious neighbor, Paul Schneider, who makes a living by producing a certain type of film for his rich clientele. Under his guidance, Margot discovers a new passion of hers – photography and soon, her talents are noticed by the prominent newspaper, Berliner Tageblatt itself. But being an official photographer of the most celebrated events of the La Scala and most famous Berlin theaters no longer satisfies Margot’s ambitions. As soon as the chance presents itself for her to get involved with the cinematography on the set of “Metropolis” – the film with the highest budget ever produced by the UFA – Margot jumps at it, without thinking twice. At the same time, Paul becomes involved with a rival project, “The Holy Mountain,” which stars an as yet unknown actress and an emerging director in, Leni Riefenstahl. As the two women meet, professional rivalry soon turns into a true friendship, fueled by their passion for cinematography. However, due to the economic woes facing Germany, both projects soon run out of money and now, both film crews must go to extreme lengths to save their respective productions.

Set against the backdrop of a decadent, vibrant, and fascinatingly liberal Weimar Berlin, “Metropolis” is a novel of survival, self-discovery, and self-sacrifice, in the name of art, love, and friendship.

Available on Amazon

***

Exclusive Excerpt

Before the end of summer, Paul packed his well-traveled trunks and was gone to Austria. On the platform of the Lehrter Bahnhof, he kissed Margot ceremoniously on both cheeks, like a French general, looked at her long and hard, squeezed her shoulders, wished her only the best, and jumped on the train without a second look. Ernst also spent most of his time with Altendorf in their new headquarters and Margot was suddenly all alone; alone in the city with myriads of faces around her.

She had not much to do with all that free time and began going to the theaters during the day; watched rehearsals and chatted with the directors, who puffed out their chests and bragged about selling out an entire place for two months in the row – and in such times! – in order to impress her. Margot listened politely but disappeared backstage as soon as the opportunity presented itself and sat at a table in the room filled with cigarette smoke to such an extent that it made her eyes water and listened to actors rehearse their lines, in affected voices.

She sat and observed and took photos from time to time – of the conservatory girls who wore expensive silk stockings and sat separately from the drama school girls, who spoke with broad Berlin accents and quietly hated the conservatory girls because the conservatory girls always got all the good lines and could recite Hamlet in its original English and had long ago mastered the outburst technique. Sometimes, she ventured into the corridor where male extras consulted rehearsal schedules and gossiped about the leading actor’s new flame, the lucky sod, not even a Berliner, a provincial kind, wherever they found him and now he dines at the Resi while they eat at the Troika and that’s on the opening nights only.

The stage and the new actors were for the Tageblatt; the backstage photos were for her eyes only. In Margot’s opinion, they were the ones that ought to have been printed, and not that staged boredom that Paul had taught her well to despise. The true-life was there, behind the scenes, stretching and exercising at the bars and singing on top of each other and singing even louder and lifting legs even higher when the director would venture into their little kingdom and observe them with a mildly disapproving look before marching straight to the leading actress’ room to puff out his chest even more and smile and ask whether the champagne was cold enough and the light wasn’t too bright.

Margot observed it all and took more photos and sent some of them – her most interesting ones – to Paul. From him, an envelope would arrive a week or so later, with photos he took. He was excited; they were filming in Zermatt now, supposedly, the most beautiful mountain landscape in the whole of Europe. Weisshorn, Monte Rosa, Matterhorn – the picturesque mountain peaks and an unfamiliar, bearded man gazing up at them, shielding his eyes from the sun with his hand. Must be Fanck, Margot decided, the director. For some reason, she was relieved that it wasn’t the leading actress that Paul was taking photos of.

It was sad and amusing, the fact that they hardly exchanged a few words apart from a couple of lines jotted down on the back of the photos and a rare phone call – Margot was almost always gone at night and Paul was always in the mountains during the day. But then one morning, Dora brought her a particularly thick envelope. Enclosed in it, Margot found all of the clippings from the Tageblatt, every single photo of hers that they published and a small card from Paul with ‘I watch Berlin dance through your eyes – it has never been more beautiful,’ and Margot arrived at the Scala late and with red eyes and couldn’t remember the name of the new gymnast she was there to film, for the life of her.

***

About the Author

Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, “The Girl from Berlin.” Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.

In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.

For more information on Ellie and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.

***

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, January 31
Review at Passages to the Past
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Monday, February 3
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, February 4
Feature at Comet Readings

Wednesday, February 5
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, February 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Saturday, February 8
Excerpt at Robin Loves Reading

Wednesday, February 12
Review at Books and Zebras
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Thursday, February 13
Review & Guest Post at Tales from the Book Dragon

Friday, February 14
Review at Clarissa Reads it All
Feature at I’m All About Books

Sunday, February 16
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, February 17
Review at Nurse Bookie

Wednesday, February 19
Review at Historical Graffiti

Thursday, February 20
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, February 21
Review at YA, It’s Lit
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

***

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Metropolis! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Metropolis

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.


#BlogTour | The Children from Gin Barrel Lane Lindsey Hutchinson #TheChildrenOfGinBarrelLane #Excerpt #BoldwoodBlogger @LHutchAuthor @BoldWoodBooks

Posted on Updated on

Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; The Children from Gin Barrel Lane Lindsey Hutchinson. Not only will I be telling you all about this wonderful book, but I also have an exclusive excerpt which I know you will love. So settle in, grab a cuppa and enjoy.

The Children from Gin Barrel Lane Lindsey Hutchinson

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Format: Paperback/Ebook/Audiobook

Genre: Saga

Ten-year-old Jack Larkin has seen more than his fair share of shocking sights, growing up in the notorious Crown Saloon.

Broken hearts and broken bones are just a fact of life in a Gin Palace, but for orphan Dolly, the Crown is her last hope.

After the death of her mother, Dolly ran away from her sleazy step father Arthur, only to find herself living on the streets. When Jack discovers her hiding in the back yard of The Crown, he persuades his mother Nellie Larkin, to take Dolly in.

But Dolly has a secret – a very valuable secret – and Arthur is determined to get his clutches on her at any cost. And when local hard-man Ezra Morton joins in the hunt, the Larkins may have to risk everything to keep Dolly safe…

The Queen of the Black Country sagas is back with a page-turning, heart-warming, laugh-out-loud story to remember. Perfect for fans of Val Wood and Lyn Andrews.

Amazon 

***

Praise for Lindsey Hutchinson

A great story with a great mix of characters, well written and keeps you hooked with each page turn!’ Sarah Davies, NetGalley

A wonderful read … The author writes so well, it’s a really hard novel to put down!’ Grace Smith, NetGalley.

Make sure to read this book where you won’t be disturbed because once it gets going, you won’t want to put it down’ Andrea Ruiz, NetGalley

A very poignant, feel-good-factor novel’ Shelia Easson, NetGalley

Excellent story!’ Stephanie Collins, NetGalley

The story will linger in your mind long after you finish it’ The Avid Reader.

***

Exclusive Excerpt

Gin – the opium of the masses. With a smile, Jack’s attention was caught by a small hand tapping a coin on the counter. Standing on the sturdy wooden box that ran the full length of the bar, Jack leaned forward.

Hello Ginny – usual is it?’ he asked with a grin.

Yes please, Jack,’ the little girl said, passing over her money and a jug.

Filling the jug, he handed it to his small customer. ‘You want me to see you home?’ he asked amid the noise of the bar.

No, s’all right, I can manage,’ Ginny answered.

Jack nodded and watched her thread her way through the crowd being careful with her important cargo. He knew if she dropped it she would be given the hiding of her life.

Stop lollygagging and get serving!’ Nellie’s voice soared over the hubbub of the bar.

Jack took a deep breath and closed his eyes tight for a few seconds, trying to hold on to his temper. As he went back to his work, he recalled the last time he had stood up to his mother. They had argued about Jack needing new boots. Nellie was loath to part with her money, even when Jack had showed her the soles he had fashioned from waste cardboard and tied on with string to cover the holes. With the profit she was making, Jack could not understand why he couldn’t have a couple of pennies to buy second-hand footwear from the market. He had protested loudly at her refusal to provide the necessary funds which had subsequently earned him a sound beating. To add insult to injury, Nellie had battered him with the very boots they had disagreed about. With a few bruises and no money for arnica to ease them, Jack had fumed in silence for days. The question he kept returning to was – did his mother love him? Because, if he was honest, much of the time he felt unloved and only wanted for the work he could undertake.

Just then his attention was drawn to two burly men in the corner, their raised voices heralding an imminent fight. Jack glanced at Nellie who jerked her head towards the crapulous men and he sighed. Climbing over the counter he jumped down and pushed through the throng of unwashed bodies, all the while thinking, ‘I shouldn’t be doing this – I’m only a kid!’

Walking over to the men, he shoved himself between them. Looking up at the first one and then looking to the other Jack yelled, ‘Nellie sez to take it outside or shut the hell up!’

Simultaneously, the men glanced over at the large woman behind the bar and were immediately cowed by her frown. Jack nodded and returned to his post behind the bar wincing at Nellie’s look which he was certain could sour milk. He heaved a sigh of relief when he saw those same men laughing and clapping each other on the back. He hated being sent to break up fights or disagreements; he could be hurt badly if one of those big blokes turned on him. So far he’d been fortunate, but how long would his luck hold out? One of these days he’d find himself thrown out onto the streets with his brains mushed from a pounding.

When a toothless old woman called Aggie picked up her skirts and began to sing and dance, Jack knew it was going to be a long night.

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About the Author


Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury, and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson.

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