**Event** ~ Twilight Tales, Saturday 29th October, Tamworth, Staffordshire (organised by Tamworth LitFest)

#literaryfestival #bookfestival #authorsigning #event

twilight-tales-header-1

As the days become shorter, the nights longer and a certain crispness pervades the air why not visit Tamworth to celebrate stories designed to delight, excite and even provoke a frisson of fear?

I’m looking forward to attending Tamworth Literary Festival’s Twilight Tales event on Saturday 29th October. There’s something for all ages: authors reading from their own work; informal meet the author sessions and writing workshops. You can also meet the team at Midland Paranormal Investigations and quiz them about their ‘ghostbusting’ experiences – all in the name of science of course!

The event brings together a super collection of talented authors celebrating the art of storytelling (scroll down to find out more about them). Authors will be reading from their own work, which includes ghostly tales, horror stories and true crime. Writers and budding writers can attend workshops suitable for all ages and you can meet the authors and if you wish purchase signed copies of their books. Midland Paranormal Investigations will also be on hand to talk about their services and offer free Investigations.

Drop by St Editha’s Church Hall anytime to hear the storytelling sessions. The event is FREE, but booking is required for the workshops (priced £2 -£3) as places are limited. Donations to Tamworth LitFest gratefully received. The programme for the day is set out below and for more information connect with Tamworth LitFest:

facebook.com/TamworthLiteraryFestival/  tamlitfest.wordpress.com/twitter.com/TamworthLitFest

If you’d like to take part or want to volunteer to help email tamlitfest@gmail.com

St Editha’s Church Hall

10.30am-11.00am Giselle Thompson reading The Bones of a Plot, a light-hearted theatrical ghost story with a romantic element. Set in the Commedie Italienne in Paris in 1716.
11.00am-11.30am Pat Spence reading from her forthcoming collection of Urban Ghost Stories (suitable for teenagers)
12.00pm-12.30pm Moya  Green, Tamworth Writers’ Group reading The Ghosts of Grimleigh Hall (suitable for ages 8/9 and above)
12.30-1.00pm Gareth J Wood – reading tbc
1.00pm-1.30pm Maithreyi Nandakumar reading No Rest for the Wicked
1.30pm-3.00pm

 

New St Authors: Lee Benson, Guy Etchells, Andy Conway, Martin Tracey and David Wake each reading one of their own ghost or horror themed stories PLUS AA Abbott reading First Blood, a tale of horror in a Bristol cider pub.
3.00pm-3.40pm Andrew Sparke – Bella and the Wych Elm (true crime)
3.40pm-4.00pm Overview and conclusion

Tamworth Library

Tickets for the writing workshops (£2 – £3) and Midland Paranormal Investigations (£3) available from Tamworth Library.

library-flyer-for-twilight-tales

About the Authors

Giselle Thompson

Giselle Thompson is a writer of short stories, a collection of which has been published in ‘A Receiver of Stolen Words’ – fifteen short stories, formed of words stolen from different places and from different times. Giselle is currently working on her first novel. 

Moya Green

Moya is a member of Tamworth Writers. She writes mainly short stories, particularly of a humorous or fantastic nature. Her published work includes a comic novel ‘The Apotheosis of Jabez Pigstock’, a collection of ghost stories ‘The Little Snakes of Sliver Throat’ (both available on Kindle) and a short story collection ‘Dogsbody’ (paperback). More may be found on her own website www.allwritemoya.com

Pat Spence

pat-spence-imagePat Spence is a freelance writer and ex- magazine editor. She has worked as a copywriter in advertising agencies, a freelance trainer teaching personal development and a massage therapist/aromatherapist. Books include: ‘Abigail’s Affair’  a quirky love story about a woman coming to terms with having an affair, set against a colourful Australian backdrop. ‘The Blue Crystal Trilogy’, (comprising ‘Blue Moon’, ‘True Blue’ and ‘Into The Blue’) a supernatural love story about a strange family, with an ancient secret, that arrives in a Midlands village to renovate an old manor house. Pat is currently working on a collection of Urban Ghost stories.

New Street Authors

New Street Authors is a writers co-operative and support network for indie publishing and marketing our work. A number of currently published members are participating in Twilight Tales: AA Abbott, Andy Conway, David Muir, Andrew Sparke, Martin Tracey, Lee Benson and David Wake.

Andrew Sparke

Andrew was once Chief Executive of a large local authority in the West Midlands. During andrew-sparkethat time he was involved in writing or editing several public sector textbooks but everything else got put on hold. Now he plays at management consultancy and only agree to do different and interesting work for people he enjoys working with – things as diverse as bio-fuel projects in far-flung places, helping dis-engaged young people with the Leaps & Bounds (Inspiring Change) Trust, acting as an adviser to Public Sector plc, being a trustee for Young Orchestras.com and for The Mariposa Trust (which organises the Saying Goodbye services for grieving parents) and running an Amazon trading business called Sparkys. And around it all he writes constantly.

Lee Benson

Lee was the owner of a successful contemporary art gallery in  Birmingham called Number Nine. Since closing the doors of his gallery he has concentrated on using his creative capabilities. ‘Never too late’ is Lee’s battle cry and he’s exploiting all his talents as a painter  photographer, musician and poet. His first collections ‘Failing To Be Serious’ and ‘Meandering With Intent’ are already available as Kindle eBooks. He is also the author of the Henry Egg books for children and is working in a comedic fictionalisation of his career ‘So You Want To Own An Art Gallery’. 

Guy Etchells

Guy Etchells is a teacher, writer and keen gardener living in Birmingham. Born and raised in the Black Country, Guy’s Christmas and birthday lists always consisted of pens, pencils, bumper packs of coloured felt tips and heaps of paper. According to his family, Guy spent hours upon hours on characters, plots, and stories. After having his short story, The Peppermint Mouse published, Guy realised he wasn’t using his imagination or creativity. He enrolled on an MA in Writing at Birmingham City University in 2014 and was introduced to the world of screenwriting and indie publishing. Guy is currently working on his first adult screenplay and novel Listeners.

Andy Conway

Andy Conway is a novelist, screenwriter and filmmaker based in Birmingham, UK. He publishes prolifically across a range of genres, the most popular being his Touchstone series of time travel historical novels. His first feature film, Arjun & Alison, a campus revenge thriller, hit the international film festival circuit in 2012, and had a UK cinema release in 2014. He was commissioned to write it by a director-producer and appears several times in the film as an extra. He has also written many other feature film screenplays, some commissioned, some on spec, and has had a few short films produced, including The Secret of Year Six, starring Dexter Fletcher. His next feature film will be Long Dead Road, another revenge thriller, which is also out as a novel.

When he isn’t writing, he teaches screenwriting at Birmingham City University, and he also runs the Shooting People Screenwriters Network bulletin, which goes out to 11,000 writers worldwide every day. 

David Wake

David Wake was the Chairbeing of the Birmingham Science Fiction and Fantasy Society at the University of Birmingham. It was during his time at University that he created ‘drabbles’, stories of exactly 100 words.  He’s been an active member of science-fiction fandom since the 80s. He started writing for the theatre in 1998, with 18 plays produced, winning awards and taking two shows to the Edinburgh Fringe. It was while taking an MA in Creative Writing at Birmingham City University that he was introduced to Indie Publishing.

He’s published four novels: I, Phone (Eastercon 2013), The Derring-Do Club and the Empire of the Dead (ArmadaCon 2013, where he was a Guest of Honour), Hashtag (Eastercon 2014) and the second in the steampunk series, The Derring-Do Club and the Year of the Chrononauts (Worldcon 2014). He co-founded New Street Authors with Andy Conway.

A.A. Abbott

helen-282x300AA Abbott, also known as Helen, writes crime thrillers set in Birmingham. Having lived in Harborne for many years, she was tempted south to Bristol for work. “I didn’t realise then that jobs come and go,” she says. “These days, I do temporary work in large corporations and take long breaks to write, getting back to Birmingham as often as I can – it’s where my heart lies.” Helen’s books include: Up In Smoke  After The Interview  The Bride’s Trail Read free tasters of Helen’s writing at http://aaabbott.co.uk/free-stuff and find her on Twitter @AAAbbottStories and Facebook

Martin Tracey

Martin Tracey is an author who likes to push the boundaries of reality. He has a passion formartin-tracey The Beatles & Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club. Both music and football often find their way into his stories, as do elements of the supernatural – a topic which has always fascinated Martin.

A proud native of Birmingham, Martin tends to set his books in and around his home city or other English settings. His working-class roots are reflected in the edginess and honesty of his writing enabling the reader to connect with his gripping stories. Although specialising in tales of chilling suspense, Martin is a versatile writer and does not necessarily wish to be restricted to one specific genre. He keeps an open mind about tackling almost any subject providing there is a good tale to tell. Martin loves to engage with his community and his readers. Here are just some of the events where he has featured: Waterstone’s and Library book-signings, Beer and Books at The Gunmakers Arms and various ‘Meet the Author’ events across the UK, including Liverpool home of his beloved Beatles.

Gareth J Wood

gareth-j-woodGareth J Wood was born in Birmingham and, barring spells in Wales and the Far East, he’s lived there ever since. He went to university in Birmingham and Lampeter, completing a degree in literature, after which he went over to Taipei with his partner, Claire, and tried teaching. Sadly it didn’t work out. He and Claire now share their home with two angry terriers. Gareth used to perform live, forming a collective called The Blue City Project. He has written many short stories and completed two full-length novels, The Malignant Man and The Master’s Marionettes. He writes all the while and can often be seen riding on late-night buses grumbling into torn notepads.

Julia Ibbotson

Julia Ibbotson lives in the heart of England in a renovated Victorian rectory. She read 6017965English and Sociology at Keele University after a gap year in Ghana. She was a school teacher, before gaining her PhD and becoming a university lecturer. Apart from academic research texts, Julia has written a memoir, The Old Rectory: escape to a Country Kitchen (with recipes), a children’s book S.C.A.R.S, and her Drumbeats trilogy. She is currently completing a new novel, A Shape on the Air, a historical/romance time-slip story. Apart from reading, she loves travel, singing, swimming, yoga, Pilates, and walking.

Mel Starkey

Melody (Mel) works part time as a teaching consultant in Primary schools in Coventry, mel-starkeyspecialising in dance and P.E. This followed a long career teaching full time as a Primary School teacher in Birmingham and Coventry schools; also as an AST for Coventry – helping to inspire young teachers especially in dance. She has also worked at Warwick University with trainee teachers.

The stories were first started to provide a resource for Mel’s literacy lessons and then continued just for fun. Mel wanted to write stories that could be told or read in 10 minutes. More importantly she thinks that they are good fun to read and will appeal to boys and girls of KS2 who have been told to put down their computer games for 10 minutes.They have all been inspired by real events and observations of teachers and children and that Mel has taught. The endings are quite strange and leave the reader thinking. Maybe a children’s version of “Tales of the Unexpected”

The Illustrator Beth Blake

Beth currently works as a teaching assistant at a Coventry School where she and Mel first met. Mel was impressed by her obvious talent and asked her if she could find time in between her full time job and raising her family to produce some illustrations to help bring the stories alive; after asking children in her class whether they thought the book should be illustrated; which they responded to with a resounding “yes”. The result is a delightful book cover guaranteed to attract attention and a series of super illustrations which really capture the mood of each story. 

Shelley Wilson

shelley_wilsonShelley Wilson divides her writing time between the fantasy worlds of her young adult fiction, which she writes as S.L. Wilson, and her non-fiction self-help books for adults. Shelley Wilson’s love of fantasy began at the tender age of eight when she followed Enid Blyton up The Magic Faraway Tree.Inspired by Blyton’s make-believe world, Shelley began to create her own stories, weaving tales around faeries, witches and dragons. Her fantasy books blend a love of the supernatural with strong female protagonists. Shelley’s non-fiction work is rooted in a passion for helping women to believe in themselves and become strong, motivated individuals. Can you spot the common thread between the two genres?

As well as writing, Shelley is an obsessive reader and book reviewer. She lives in Solihull in the West Midlands, UK, with her three teenage children, a kitten called Luna, and a fat fish. Shelley describes herself as a teetotal, pizza-loving, Facebook addict with a preoccupation with list writing. She would love to live in the Shire but fears that her five-foot-ten-inch height may cause problems.

Heide Goody and Iain Grant 

heidy-and-iainHeide Goody and Iain Grant write comedy novels together, including the bestselling Clovenhoof series. They are both married but not to each other. 

Maithreyi Nandakumar

Maithreyi Nandakumar writes fiction and is a journalist working in print and sound.  She has worked for the BBC in radio and television and has recently moved to London after many years in Bristol. Her short-stories have been published in anthologies (Bristol Tales), broadcast on radio (BBC World Service), online (Over the Red Line, Toasted Cheese) and made the last 16 for BBC Opening Lines 2014. Her completed novel ‘Stirring the Pot’ is awaiting fame and fortune.

Connect with Tamworth LitFest:

facebook.com/TamworthLiteraryFestival/  tamlitfest.wordpress.com/twitter.com/TamworthLitFest

https://tamlitfest.wordpress.com/

If you’d like to take part or want to volunteer to help email tamlitfest@gmail.com

 

*Promo* ABOUT WRITING by Suz deMello

Perfect for the advanced or aspiring author, ABOUT
WRITING includes both Write This, Not That! Suz deMello‘s bestseller, and the
newer Plotting and Planning, a primer on the basics: conflict and character,
point of view, scene and sequel…plus much, much more, written in deMello’s
engaging style.
 
ABOUT WRITING: your essential writing manual!
About Writing by Suz deMello is a small, but powerful
book for beginners and experienced writers alike. This little book is an
excellent reference to remind all authors of the goals of becoming a better
author.
I love that Ms. deMello started with this quote,
“There are three rules to writing a novel.  Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
Somerset Maugham.
Is this not the truth?
How many times have we endeavored to learn the correct way to write and
then we pick up a best seller and the author has broken all the rules?  This being said, Ms. deMello explains in
clear language and with excellent examples the building blocks of writing.  She offers excellent ideas for developing
characters, plot, conflict, and even how to stir up an author’s creative juices.
I believe the most important message in this book is “everything in a story
should contribute to it, from the biggest monster to the tiniest comma.”
I highly recommend this book to anyone
interested in improving their writing. Keep it close and read it often.
Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue
Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including
erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of
short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s
held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms
as Totally Bound and Ai Press. She also takes private clients. Her books have
been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a
contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller
lists. A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US
over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now
writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.
Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com
For editing services, email her at suzdemello@gmail.com
Befriend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SuzDeMello
She tweets @Suzdemello

Celebrating World Teacher’s Day – 5th October

Today we are delighted to highlight the importance of teachers on WORLD TEACHER’S DAY. This is a great celebration and acknowledgement of just how much teacher’s are needed, wanted and appreciated. From our very first nursery days, right through to even post-grads, we all rely on them to educate us in all areas.

And, maybe there was always that one teacher in particular who could always get through to you, when others couldn’t? Today is that day to thank them, think of them, take the time to appreciate what you have learnt because of them.

Grammarly have put together a fantastic post, with the infographic below, that really shines a light on teacher’s all over the world. And we thought it would be fantastic to share with you!

grammarly world teacher's day

Ways to get involved:

Thank a teacher who made a difference in your life.

Consider donating to a non-profit organization that supports educators, such as Teachers Without Borders or Teach for America.

If you have any stories you’d like to share about your favourite teachers, please do so in the comments box below, or you can share directly with Grammarly, or on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Grammarly.com is a super site, concentrating on proofreading, writing tips, providing support for professional and non-professional writer, and providing support and awareness to those who need literacy support.

You can now check out Grammarly’s Plagiarism Checker, which will check your text with over 8 billion web pages in the help to prevent sections of your work that have been published elsewhere from being duplicated.

We hope you can all share this post, and help where you can to raise awareness for literacy.

Celebrating the International Literacy Day (Sept 8th, ’15)

Tuesday 8th September was International Literacy Day, and to help Grammarly celebrate and promote awareness we are sharing their infograph (below). The International Literacy Day was first celebrated in 1966, but there is still work to be done in all corners of the globe, both in the developing and developed countries. You can check out Grammarly’s full post here.

Literacy Day

Ways to get involved:

Donate books

Donate money

Volunteer as literacy coach – check local libraries, possibly schools

Grammarly.com is a super site, concentrating on proofreading, writing tips, providing support for professional and non-professional writer, and providing support and awareness to those who need literacy support.

You can now check out Grammarly’s Plagiarism Checker, which will check your text with over 8 billion web pages in the help to prevent sections of your work that have been published elsewhere from being duplicated.

We hope you can all share this post, and help where you can to raise awareness for literacy.

**SPECIAL REPORT** SECOND CITY SIGNING – 18th July 2015 (St. Andrews, Birmingham, UK)

11230913_10205037181464531_3591040816230334150_nWow! Wow! Wow! And, wow! What a day! Tina and myself had been excited about this day to come for many months. And with us never having been to an event like this before we weren’t entirely sure just how amazing it was going to be. It met our expectations and so much more – I still can’t get over the buzz and sheer excitement of it all. So many like-minded people in one place certainly created the electric atmosphere we could have only dreamed of had it not been for the fun, friendly authors, assistants, readers, bloggers, models and staff!

Contemporary and erotic romance readers were in their element here! It was very interesting to see that there were YA, horror, poetry and crime writers too! Just perfect for what our blog covers. Authors were from local areas, such as Nuneaton and Leamington Spa, and from as far afield as Eastern Europe and the US. There was plenty of swag, books and competitions, as well as one of the highlights – the cover models!!

SCS

swag

Yes, we were welcomed at the door by no other than the Scott King – it’s amazing how shy some of the ladies get when he’s there in the flesh – Tina and myself included! Then there was the cheeky photo we had with Rick Fitt from Uncovered Models (here’s mine, Tina’s is further down). My only regret is that I didn’t get a signed postcard from him!! I loved how the models, many of whom are featured on books whose authors were present, mingled and were available for photo’s and signings.

Rick Fitt cb

CAKEIt was an absolute pleasure to meet YA paranormal author, Pat Spence (below centre right), after reviewing her Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal trilogy #1) last year (beautiful cake of Pat’s Blue Moon, left), and her assistant, Tracie Smith-Band (below far right) who also runs a blog at Vampy and Racey Bookblog.

Pat Spence Tracie Smith-Band twcb

Holly J Gill (below 1) has been a great online friend for some time, retweeting us very often – thanks, Holly! We are also pleased to say that C.P. Mandara (below 2) was also well known to us and Amy-Beth when we have featured her release of Wyatt.

Holly Gill tw

CP Mandara twcb

With over 50 authors to visit, it was fairly clear from the beginning that there was no way we would get to meet every single one. But, with our signature sheets (below) we did manage to get 43!! Not bad!! And we did try to spend some time with each author we met. (A list of the authors can be found at the bottom of this post, along with links to their site!) This little, fun game of collecting each author’s signature was a cute idea – just too little time. I’m sure we could have stayed for at least another couple of hours, despite our feet and backs needing a good rub!!

signature sheet

Tina’s Thoughts on the Day

Ten awesome stars for Second City Signing!

Second City Signing was a fabulous event which far, far exceeded all my expectations! Thank you so much to author Cassandra P Lewis and all those involved, including the super team of volunteers. It was my first signing (yes I popped that particular cherry) and what a blast! I advise book lovers everywhere to give events like this a go – I’ll be scouring the internet for my next event as soon as I’ve caught my breath. Highlights for me included:

Going with my BFF and co-blogger Caroline, who is always such good company and knows how to have fun.  😉

Chatting to some of the authors, bloggers and reviewers I already knew on social media, but hadn’t met in person, including Holly J Gill, Isobelle Cate (below 1), Christina P Mandara, Pat Spence, Tracey at Tracey’s Vampy and Racy Book Blog and CJ Fallowfield (below 2).

Isobelle Cate tw

CJ Fallowfield twcb

Meeting authors that were new to me and finding out about them and their books. They were all so, so friendly and I now have even more reads to add to my ever expanding ‘to read’ list!

Coming away with bagfuls of books for me to stroke, sniff and read, including works by Tracie Podger (below 2), Holly J Gill, Nikki Blaise, C.P. Mandara, LP Lovell (below 3), Alina Popescu (below 4), S J Warner (below 5), Krissy V and Isobelle Cate!

Books

Tracie Podger

LP Lovell twcb

Alina Popescu

SJ Warner tw

The hotties! The male cover models. Of course being the shy and retiring type I only managed one close encounter (a photo), but a girl can dream!

Rick Fitt & tw

Last but not least, the swag, which added all the more to the fun and frolicks! My ‘Swag Bag Award’Spoon 2 goes to CP Mandara, who included  a spanking spoon, for very good girls and a pair of pink, fluffy handcuffs. The spoon is on display in our kitchen and I’ve informed hubby that I am on my best behaviour for the next few days. 😉

Look out for some super swag giveaways on our blog soon!

Lessons Learned

1. Take male assistant/slave to carry books and swag (or failing this a trolley with wheels), to prevent injury to back.

2. Attend party on night to extend fun and frolicks into the small hours!

Will I be going again?

You bet – fingers crossed that there’s one planned for next year! ❤ – Tina

Yes, I have to agree that it was a regret to not go to the after event party – something we will hopefully be doing next time round! However, we can use the time in between to hopefully build on those new friendships we have found. We are planning to host an individual post on each author and their work to date – watch out as some may be with offers to win some swag, author interviews, excerpts, and more. Not to mention the reviews too!

Authors we were newly acquainted with are SJ Molloy (below 1), RJ Sable (below 2), Carrie Elks (below 3), Sarah Elizabeth (below 4), Lisa J. Hobman (below 5), E.J. Shortall – whose book I have on order for review (below 6), and V.L. Moon (below 7).

SJ Molloy

RJ Sable twcb

Carrie Elks twcb

Sarah Elizabeth twcb

Lisa Hobden Lissy Jay

EJ Shortall tw Brit Babe

VL Moon

Nicola C Priest is a star in our eyes as she is currently organising an author signing event in Chester for April 2017. You may wish to put your name down if you are interested in attending – you can contact Nicola at this site.

Nicola C Priest

It was an absolute pleasure to have so many authors give us so much of their time. I’m sure everybody felt well loved and appreciated. Jessie Courts, Hemmie Martin and J. G. Clay were also fun to chat with – thank you!

It is with regret that we didn’t have chance to visit every author attending. However, we will still be following their work and contacting them shortly. It would be fantastic if we could do this all over again. Again, thank you to all those who set up this brilliant event, all of the volunteers, staff, authors, assistants and models. This has made our year, and we absolutely, certainly, definitely have the bug. You are all an inspiration! Thank you!!

Caroline & Tina ❤

And, finally, here is a list of all the authors attending. Please click on the links to check out their websites/Facebook pages 🙂

Alina Popescu

Amy-Beth

Bethan Cooper

C.A. Ellis

C.J. Fallowfield

C.P. Mandara

Caroline Batten

Carrie Anne Ward

Carrie Elks

Cassandra P Lewis

Claire C. Riley

Courtney Cross

E.J. Shortall

Elena Matthews

D. Breeze

Frank van der Kok

G.G. Carver

Hemmie Martin

Holly J. Gill

Isobelle Cate

J.A. Heron

J. G. Clay

Jessie Courts

Jodi Ellen Malpas

Ker Dukey

Keren Hughes

Kirsty-Anne Still

Krissy V

Kyra Lennon

L. Chapman

L.A. Cotton

L.P. Lovell

Laura Morgan

Lisa J. Hobman

M.B. Feeney

Marie Coulson

Nicola C. Priest

Nikki Groom

Pat Spence

R.J. Sable

Rebecca Sherwin

S.J. Molloy

S.J. Warner

S.M. Phillips

Samantha Fontien

Sarah Elizabeth

Sophie Jackson

Sydney Jamesson

T.L. Messruther

Theresa Sederholt

Tracie Podger

V.L. Moon

& Uncovered Models

 

 

Be a Dork and Celebrate Your Inner Geek this week at Grammarly.com

This week is a special week for dorks and geeks, and Grammarly are celebrating in style! On Monday, July 13th, Grammarly were celebrating Geekiness Day, and today is Dork Day. Finally, a chance to let our nerdy minds shine!

To help celebrate, Grammarly have prepared a Geekiness Quiz!!!

There is also The Anatomy of the Grammar Nerd, which is also great fun!

Anatomy of a Grammar Nerd Infographic

Be sure to check out Grammarly and all the help they can provide with your writing at https://www.grammarly.com/grammar-check/1

It’s a great site and fun too!!

 

*Promo with excerpts* RSVP From Heaven by Marie Saint-Louis

RSVP from Heaven falls in the nonfiction spiritual genre. Although controversial to some, this is the true story of psychic medium Marie Saint-Louise as she shares guidance with those searching for answers regarding life’s important questions. The stakes are high as Marie battles anxiety, rejection, and skeptics along the way bringing her spiritual gifts to the mainstream.

RSVP from Heaven is filled with memorable scenes from the most remarkable parties and unique social events around!

RSVPfromHeaven-CMYK

Synopsis/Blurb:

This is the true story of psychic medium Marie Saint-Louis as she shares guidance with those searching for answers regarding life’s important questions. Along with powerful healing messages from loved ones that passed away, she shares remarkable details which can only be verified by those who come to her.

Told in a down to earth and often intimate style, RSVP is filled with memorable scenes from the most remarkable parties and unique social events around. You will sit table side during readings at an Arizona casino swap meet and experience front row seats with costumed guests during three nights of dazzling Hollywood Halloween parties. You never will know where Marie will show up next!

The stakes are high as Marie battles anxiety, rejection, and skeptics along the way bringing her spiritual gifts to the mainstream. Her passion is simply to assist those looking for comfort and clarity in their own hectic lives.

Looking to have a meeting with a psychic or a medium? By following Marie’s easy to use tips she’ll show you how to prepare for a more fulfilling experience.

RSVP from Heaven is a fresh new approach in spiritual books that will entertain and captivate readers around the world.

Marie Saint-Louis is a psychic medium who has been embracing her spiritual gifts since childhood. She treasures a “word of mouth” international client list which includes celebrities. Marie resides near Phoenix, Arizona with her two rescued cats, numerous house plants and visiting spirits from the afterlife.

Author Bio:

PictureMarie Saint-Louis is a psychic medium with an international cliental with a growing celebrity list. She has read at parties sponsored by major corporations and frequently appears at events and private parties around the Phoenix area and other cities. 

My story all begins when I provided guidance and connected deceased loved ones for people at a radio station sponsored swap meet located in a casino parking lot. This was a challenge since I

was battling social anxiety, lifelong depression, and rejection.  Just months earlier, I won a large jackpot on a nickel slot machine and decided to bring my spiritual gifts to parties and events. The winnings allowed me to pay the vendor’s fees to get started. I’ve never looked back since”.

She believes that “no event is too small or location too far” for her to share her gift with people looking to connect with deceased loved ones or receive guidance about their lives.

“Since childhood, I’ve talked to those who have passed on and was able to tell people detailed things about their lives that couldn’t be explained. I’ve never read a book, or studied how to be a psychic medium….I was born this way.”

Marie lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her two rescued cats, numerous houseplants, and visiting spirits. Marie is presently writing her second book in the RSVP from Heaven series and other creative projects.

Excerpts:

CHAPTER THREE

LADIES NIGHT AT LIPSTICK LOUNGE

rsvp heaven ex sunflowerMy first client, Sophia, was a dangerously curvy woman in a lemon zest wiggle dress, with a sunflower silk scarf around her neck. She was fully embracing the style of a 40’s pinup girl with a modern twist.

“You’re a psychic? Awesome! A psychic medium even better,” Sophia said, extending her hand and formally introducing herself, her other hand holding a frozen key lime martini.

She brushed the curtain aside and slid into the circular booth. A Jimmy Buffet “vinyl record” purse leaned against her hip.

How can I help you tonight?” I said.

Meeting new clients, even the benevolent ones, still made me tense. My heart pounded and I was sweating anticipating the worse, which for me, was not being able to pass on accurate spiritual messages. My spirit guides must feel they need to give me a “pep talk” now and then.

I want to know about my love life. I was in this relationship. You know, a long term thing. Well, at least I thought it was.”

A question about love tonight, one of my favorites,” I said.

Here’s the kicker, it ended up badly,” she disclosed, “What can you tell me?”

My spirit guides were busy relaying messages as I wrote down each letter, number, and swirl to share with her. I pushed a new notepad across the table, encouraging her to take notes.

You were engaged but I sense the ex-fiancé did not want the breakup,” I nervously smiled, “His mother comes across bossy, overbearing, and pushed to end it with you out of jealously.”

Marie you’re right. Every time we drove over to his mother’s house she was always giving me this smug head to toe look. I never did anything to the woman.”

Sophia stretched out her hand, clenched the glass, and took a sip from her martini. She wiped liquor from the corners of her lips.

Were you aware his mother was dominating? A real momma’s boy who made her son’s decisions?” I asked.

Doesn’t surprise me because Alexander is always going to be her little boy. What can I say, it’s the truth. I feel she wedged herself in-between me and my fiancé.”

EXCERPT FROM: RSVP FROM HEAVEN

CHAPTER SEVEN

HALLOWEEN: HOLLYWOOD STYLE

ch 7 rsvp ex picShe looked ferocious.

Ten airbrushed black jagged stripes on each leg, plus two diagonally on her butt made it twelve. Various shades of orange liquid latex covered a sculpted body and a tousled mane of long wavy golden brown hair hung down past her shoulders. My eyes traveled the length of her back stopping at the stripe encircled tail.

When she turned, an intricately painted tiger’s face smiled back at me. Jagged stripes crossed a white painted chest, traveling down to her navel followed by a barely there, black string bikini.

Finishing off her unbelievable costume was a pair of stilettos covering her feet, resembling feline paws.

She was truly a work of art.

I was given the best seat in the house; an elevated raised area, where arriving joyful costumed guests glided along the red carpet among flashing bulbs as photographer’s cameras captured the excitement.

The attendees were adorned in spectacular costumes apparently created by professionals; Mad Scientist, Circus Ringleader, Warrior Princesses, Knights, and an assortment of sexy storybook characters. Last but not least, recognizable horror figures and superheroes from popular movies.

As I waited for my first client, I reflected on a journey beginning at a swap meet parking lot to reading at three glitzy Hollywood parties. It couldn’t have been accomplished without those opening the door to opportunities and the individuals who pulled up a chair to my card table.

Excerpt from: RSVP from Heaven

Tina’s Top Reads of 2014

Phew! 2014 was such an exciting year of reads for me – I have been totally spoiled with all of the fabulous books to choose from and I have found it extremely difficult to come up with a list of top reads. Here it is at long last! I’ve included the link to my review, where you can also learn more about the book and the author and find the purchase links. Tina ❤

rain-book-coverRain, by Nicole Hurley-Moore – Sensual Fantasy/Fairy Tale Romance

A magical read with all the elements of a fairy tale for adults. It has well defined and believable characters and a strong plot set in a world akin to that of European folk lore and fairy tales of old. In it Nuri is caught between Heaven and Hell as two men fight for her love and her soul.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/01/25/rain-by-nicole-hurley-moore-synopsis-trailer-review-author-bio-and-giveaway/

Blood Mate, by Kitty Thomas – Paranormal Literary Erotica, 18+/adult read81nn3uns8ol-_sl1500_

A Dark and Intense Fairy Tale – another mind blowing and deeply psychological read from this author. It contains a powerful and ancient vampire, August, condemned to drink the blood of his terrified human victims night after night. The only way that his torment can be assuaged is to find his one and only blood mate. Yet when he finds her, she is already truly, madly and deeply in love with another. The ensuing drama is bloody and compelling and is far far removed from a vampire romance!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/02/18/blood-mate-by-kitty-thomas/

20504754 (2)Transcendence, by Shay Savage – Time Travel Romance, adult read

Totally, Utterly and Completely Spellbinding! When Elizabeth finds herself transported from the modern world to prehistoric times how will she survive? The story is told from the POV of Ehd, the man who claims her. The tale of how they overcome the obstacles of prehistoric times and develop their relationship when one of them simply doesn’t have the ability to form and comprehend language is unique.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/03/20/transcendence-by-shay-savage/

Crimson Sins, Madeline Pryce – Erotic Paranormal Romance, 18+/adult read21947832 (2)

Deliciously Dark and Decadent. The book introduces us to a world of magic, necromancers, zombies, ghosts, and more and contains a heady and combustible mix of smokin’ hot romance between the hero Bastian and heroine Morgan. Contains scenes of horror.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/07/16/review-of-crimson-sins-by-madeline-pryce/

17562987-2 (2)Wind Haven, by Charlotte Boyett-Compo – Dark Erotic Fantasy/Futuristic Romance, 18+/adult read

A Light in the Darkness – a real treat for lovers of dark erotic fantasy. The power of love and healing does battle with unimaginable acts of depravity and evil. The novel unapologetically grapples with subject matter which includes scenes of sexual torture, enslavement of the male lead, imprisonment and physical, mental and psychological abuse.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/11/05/review-of-windhaven-by-charlotte-boyett-compo/

Too Much to Lose, by Samantha Holt Sensual and Suspenseful Contemporary RomanceSexy young couple playing in love games in a bedroom.

An edgy and oftentimes dark read, featuring Hunter, a Private Investigator who is in desperate need of money and Jess, an ex porn star, who is equally desperate to forget her past. The chemistry between them sizzles and I loved the suspense.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/09/20/too-much-to-lose-dirty-little-secrets-by-samantha-holt-book-tour-review/

doublealchemy_final1Double Alchemy, by Susan Mac Nicol – Erotic Paranormal mm romance, adult read/18+

Sizzling and Original, full of raging desire, humour and suspense, which pulls no punches in terms of passion or plot. It encompasses magic, warlocks and witches, fey, witchfinders, immortals and more. The romance bewteen Cade and Quinn is, well, super hot and the complex plot brims with danger, violence and suspense!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/04/30/blog-tour-review-giveaway-double-alchemy-by-susan-mac-nicol/

Restoring Lady Anna, by Em Taylor –  Sensual Regency Historical Romancerestoring-lady-anna-cover

Passionate and Compelling Regency which examines some heavy issues – kidnap, mental health and social mores – in particular the expectations imposed on women by the Ton. At the centre of the tale is the romance between Anna and James. Fate has now reunited them but their current circumstances could not be more different and there are moral as well as social dilemmas to overcome if they are to secure their HEA.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/06/26/restoring-lady-anna-by-em-taylor-blog-tour-and-review/

weeping_angels_coverWeeping Angels. By Crisy Rey – Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction

A Beautiful, Raw and Intense Love Story – an intense journey embarked on by two lost souls and deals with the raw emotions of grief, guilt, anger and pain. It is also a beautiful inspirational love story, unlike no other I have read. I am awed by the versatility of this writer.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/07/25/weeping-angels-by-cristy-rey-blog-tour-review-and-giveaway/

Irrevocable, by Skye Callahan – Dark Eroric Romance – 18+/adult Readirrevocable

Freakin’ Brilliant! This dark read is deeply psychological as it examines the themes of domination, submission and sadism. It also contains a heart rending love story spotlighting how far would you submit to survive and in doing so could you preserve your sense of self? Loved it!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/07/24/irrevocable-by-skye-callahan-blog-tour-includes-review-excerpt-and-giveaway/

PP Cover.3838236-Primary Fault CVR UBC-ps4NEWBCT-FIN-12X18-06141Primary Fault, by Sharon Kae Reamer –  Fantasy Romance

Absorbing and Original  – A clever and original read which merges mythology and magic with a heady mixture of romance, science and suspense. It is full of mystery and secrets with a complex plot and superbly well drawn characters, which drew me in from the off. Awarded a B.R.A.G. medallion.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/08/31/review-of-primary-fault-by-sharon-kae-reamer/

Pepper Winters, Indebted #1 –  Dark Erotic Romance, 18+ /adult read21400356 (2)

Deliciously Dark – a world where innocence is consumed by darkness and depravity, the first instalment of Pepper Winter’s Indebted series. I am addicted to the story of Nila, the sheltered heroine and  Jethro, the anti-hero, who is out to break her. A fantastic and sometimes chilling dark read and I adore the battle of wills between the central couple.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/08/23/debt-inheritance-indebted-1-by-pepper-winters/

20800676 (2)Unlovable, by Cynthia St Aubin – Paranormal Romance

A Panty-Wetting, Laugh-out-Loud Read, which contains a love-sick Cupid, a sex obsessed demigod, in the form of Crixus and a dark and dangerous hit-man cum kidnapper, with his own psychological issues. All three burst into the well-ordered life of Dr Matlda Schmidt, a sexually repressed/control loving kinda girl and chaos reigns big-time!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/08/16/unlovable-the-case-files-of-dr-matilda-schmidt-paranormal-psychologist-by-cynthia-st-aubin/

Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal, by Amy Rose Bennett – Erotic Historical Romance 18+/adult readEdinburgh castle over dramatic clouds, Scotland, UK

Gothic Inspired Regency Noir par excellence – A powerful and emotionally charged dark and angst ridden Regency romance. Full of secrets and suspense and brimming with raw sensuality and has a real taste of the gothic about it. A strong heroine and a swoon worthy hero!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/10/12/review-lady-beauchamps-proposal-amy-rose-bennett/

mistunveiled_hires (2)Mist Unveiled, Nancy Corrigan – Erotic Paranormal Romance, 18+/adult read 

Sizzling and Emotional! Nancy Corrigan has not only done her homework on Ragnarok (the end of the world), but given it a fresh twist in her release of Mist Unveiled, book 1 in her new series, Elemental Desire. This novel just sizzles and the romance between Cat and Rune could well ignite your reading device!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/11/29/review-mist-unveiled-elemental-desire-book-1-by-nancy-corrigan/

Darker Shadows (The Ghosts of Ravencrest Book 1), by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross, Paranormal/Horror Erotica, 23510454Adult/18+ read

Gothic Erotica to Delight and Entertain the Senses!  – a top notch quality erotica, a fantastic foray into the world of an innocent who quickly succumbs to the temptations on offer at the infamous and allegedly haunted Ravenscrest Manor and her own burgeoning carnal desires.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/11/01/review-the-new-governess-1-and-awakening-2-in-the-erotic-adventures-of-belinda-by-tamara-thorne-and-alistair-cross/

sheikh-boxed-web (2)Taken by the Sheikh, Mel Treshco, Christina Phillips and Cathleen Ross, Erotic Romance, 18+/adult read 

A collection of delicious captor/captive fantasies – Hostage to the Sheikh (Mel Teshco), The Sheikh’s Mistaken Bride, by Christina Phillips and Sold to the Sheikh, by Cathleen Ross. I have just finished reading this smexy collection of sizzling but sweet romances and my review is in the making, but I will say that it is one of my favourite reads of the year. Each interconnecting tale (which can be read alone) is very different, as are each respective hero and heroine, but all three are super reads to escape into!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/12/22/release-blitz-for-taken-by-the-sheikh-boxed-set-by-christina-phillips-mel-treshco-and-cathleen-ross-includes-giveaway/

Tempting His Mistress, by Samantha Holt – Sensual Historical Romancetemptinghismistress800 (2)

A Sensual Delight! This page turning read has a strong hero and heroine in Lily and Evan and a sensual and suspenseful plot. It also touches on a number of burning social issues of the day pertinent to women and their role in society and how much their lot in life was controlled by men. this is Samantha Holt’s first Victorian romance and I loved it as much as her contemporaries and medieval romances.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/12/18/review-tempting-his-mistress-by-samantha-holt/

22883671 (3)Red Wolf’s Prize, by Regan Walker, Medieval Romance

A fantastic read, full of passion, deceit and adventure! Following his invasion of England, William stamps his authority on his new vassals by confiscating lands from English thegns, gifting them to his loyal knights and constructing castles to intimidate and control. Sir Renaud de Peirrepont is gifted the demesne of Talisand and its lady Serena as his bride, only the good lady will do her utmost to escape her fate…..

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/10/01/arc-review-the-red-wolfs-prize-medieval-warriors-1-by-regan-walker/

30 Days to Syn, by Charlotte Boyett-Compo, Contemporary Erotic Romance, 18+/adult read30daystosyn_3

Sizzling and Emotional – it contains Synjyn, a tortured alpha male, Lina, a sassy and selfless heroine, panty drenching sexual tension and sizzling love making scenes. There is also drama, emotion and humour and super supporting characters.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/06/16/review-30-days-to-syn-by-charlotte-boyett-compo/

 

~ **Recommended Festive Reads** ~

 Fun, Flirty and Dirty Reads!

Between us we have put together a list of fun, flirty and downright dirty  *cough, cough* festive reads, from across the sub genres of romance and including all heat levels. Some of these we have reviewed and others are on our reading list. If you have any recommended seasonal reads we would of course love to hear from you too! Tina and Caroline ❤

8691521 (2)All I Want for Christmas by Amy Silver, seasonal contemporary romance, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: It’s Bea’s first Christmas with her baby son, and this year she’s determined to do everything right. But there is still so much to do: the Christmas menu needs refining; her café, The Honey Pot, needs decorating; and she’s invited the whole neighbourhood to a party on Christmas Day. She really doesn’t have time to get involved in two new people’s lives, let alone fall in love…

When Olivia gets knocked over in the street, however, Bea can’t help bringing her into The Honey Pot and getting to know her. Olivia’s life is even more hectic than her own, and with her fiancé’s entire family over from Ireland for Christmas, she shouldn’t be lingering in the cosy warmth of Bea’s café. Chloe, on the other hand, has nowhere else to go. Her affair with a married man has alienated her friends, and left her lonelier than ever.

But Christmas is a magical time, and in the fragrant atmosphere of The Honey Pot, anything can happen: new friends can be made, hearts can heal, and romance can finally blossom…

A True Alpha ChristmasA True Alpha Christmas by Alisa Woods, New Adult paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

STAND-ALONE NOVELLA – best enjoyed after reading the True Alpha Box Set (Vol 1-6)

Blurb: Shifters live in the shadows of Seattle, just under the skin of the alpha male, dot-com entrepreneurs who are building a new Silicon Valley in the Emerald City. Mia is your everyday college girl, trying to earn her business degree—and a shifter who’s long hidden her identity from everyone, including her mother, who believes shifter is synonymous with criminal. Six months ago, sexy and powerful alpha-male Lucas rescued her in an alley and claimed her for his mate. Now Mia’s heart belongs to Lucas, and everyone in the world of shifters understands the magic of their mating has bonded them for life. But in the human world, there’s no wedding ring on her finger to show for it. With Christmas looming, Mia’s mother wants to finally meet Mia’s mysterious and high-powered live-in lover. With her human and shifter lives about to irrevocably collide, Mia fears there will be nothing but broken hearts in the end.

A True Alpha Christmas is 80 pages or 20,000 words. This novella can be read as a standalone, but readers will enjoy it more if they read the True Alpha serial (Vol 1-6) first.

CANDY CAIN by C.L. Scholey - Click Image to CloseCandy Cain (short story) by C.L. Scholey, seasonal HOT romance, erotic (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Candy is on top of the world. She’s a high priced corporate lawyer with expensive cars, time on her hands, and money to burn. Although, she has no one to burn it on, except for a yearly ritual of buying toys and treats for the needy at Christmas time.

Cain is an egotistical enigma. A very deprived and hurting enigma, who feels wishes are for fools. A car accident leaves them stranded together, and the two have no choice but to warm each other’s cold bodies, lest they freeze to death.

As the temperature dips outside, the heat begins to sizzle inside. Candy and Cain, though worlds apart in society, begin to feel perhaps they have more in common than either could ever wish for.

Will they both discover the miracle of Christmas wishes isn’t just for the very young? 

PastelsJingleBellsPastels & Jingle Bells (a Heavenly Bites novella) by Christine Feldman, seasonal contemporary romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Trish Ackerly never expected to cross paths with Ian Rafferty again, but when she spots the former bully of her childhood years through her bakery window, she thinks she may just have been given the best Christmas gift ever: the opportunity to finally give Ian the comeuppance he deserves.

But clearly she does not have a knack for this whole revenge thing, because before she can make good on her plans, Trish gets inadvertently drawn into Ian’s life in an unexpected way that lets her see just how different the man is from the boy he used to be. In fact, much to her astonishment, she actually starts to like the guy. A lot.

Trouble is, Ian doesn’t know who she really is, and explaining it to him is going to be a little difficult now—which is bad news, because Trish is starting to realize that all she really wants for Christmas this year… is Ian.

HarkOfficialCoverHark: A Christmas Collection by Justin Bog, contemporary seasonal short stories (to be reviewed by Caroline)

Book Description: A beautifully written collection of short stories from critically acclaimed Pacific Northwest writer Justin Bog, Hark explores the range of emotions surrounding the holidays. From melancholy to madness, loss and despair to hope and forgiveness, these six tales shimmer with feelings, some we’d rather stuff away, that Christmas can evoke.

Set in colorful locations around the United States, from Anacortes, Washington, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Sun Valley, Idaho, each tale focuses on people who struggle to make good choices, learn lessons, and maybe even find peace during the holiday season.

A bonus story, Poseidon Eyes, from Booktrope’s upcoming reissue of Sandcastle and Other Stories—The Complete Edition, is included.

It’s A Vampire Christmas, by Lia Davis, Erotic Paranormal Romance (recommended by Tina) 23286346

Blurb: Alasdair Morgan, vampire lord of the south Atlantic region of the United States, and his mate, Gideon, are on the search for an ancient journal. The secrets the book holds within its leather binding can be used to destroy their race’s queen, Lilith. When they finally find the journal, they discover it has been sold to an antique store. However, a female with her own agenda has her sights set on possessing the book.

Some gifts come in twos…

Being a half-breed living among humans, Rhianna Howell knows the importance of secrecy all too well. When she discovers one of the lost vampire artifacts, she doesn’t waste time in collecting it before it falls into the wrong hands. But keeping the journal safe from evil will put her in the seductive path of two vampires who claim to be her mates.

The days and nights heat up this Christmas as she discovers a fiery passion she can’t deny or run from.

23607358The St Nicholas Day Wager, by Em Taylor, sensual Historical Romance (recommended by Tina)

Blurb: As the clock in White’s hallway chimes midnight on St Nicholas’ Day morning, Lord Nicholas, Viscount Eastden makes a stupid wager. Somewhat foxed, he agrees to a wager which states that he can marry the spinster sister of the Earl of Thornwich by Christmas eve. If Thornwich wins the wager and Eastden fails in his quest to marry her, he will get ten thousand pounds and vice versa. Having grown up on neighbouring estates, Nicholas can’t figure out why a nice girl like Gabriella failed for so many seasons on the marriage mart.

Gabriella appreciates the viscount’s honesty when he explains the wager. Knowing the dire straits of her family’s finances and her brother’s addiction to gambling, it seems that marriage to Nick may be the only option. But can she overcome his cruel words from their childhood when he taunted her about the strawberry birthmark on her face which blights her appearance?

After such a rocky start, can the Spirit of Christmas find its way into the lives of Nick, Gabriella and their families or will injury and grievances from the past keep them apart forever?

Christmas Seduction, by Samantha Holt, sensual Historical romance novella (recommended by Tina)

Blurb: In a time when marriage had little to do with love and everything to do with money, Alexander Fenhurst, Duke of Wyndbourne, 23638480never expected a love match. But he also didn’t expect his wife to run into the arms of another man only a month after their nuptials. Having discovered her in the embrace of another man—and well aware of her dislike of him—he did what any self-respecting man would do. He left his Scottish estate and spent almost a year climbing the Alps and indulging his passion for adventure.

But no amount of adventure will change the fact he needs an heir. Resigned to the knowledge he somehow needs to win over his wife enough to allow him in her bed, Alex returns to Scotland for Christmas to celebrate… and seduce.

Emma Fenhurst, Duchess of Wyndbourne, has spent almost a year alone and miserable. She hadn’t expected much from her marriage, but she had at least expected a child or two, and Alexander had never seemed a cruel man. But after their fleeting first month of marriage, he tired of her and fled to France. Lonely and desperate for a child, the news of her estranged husband’s return summons her courage and determination. By the end of the Christmas celebrations, she will be with child and intends to do all she can to draw her husband into her bed. However, while she means to share her body with him, some secrets must remain just that—secret.

Will the festive period bring them closer together or will their plans draw them further apart? Is there any chance for an arranged marriage to bring happiness… and maybe even love?

Naughty List, Boxed set of Erotic Romances, by the Naughty Literati, a group of authors who’ve come together to showcase their epic talents in stories filled with powerful 516RdlENJcL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX318_SY318_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA318_AA300_SH20_OU02_eroticism and satisfying romance. Our tales range from heartwarming and sweet to scorching hot erotic, medieval to futuristic, humans to aliens and shape-shifters, vanilla committed couples to kinky ménage fun. (Recommended by Tina)

Blurb: THE NIGHTWIND’S VISIT, by Charlotte Boyett-Compo: Be careful what you wish for. The NightWind hears every whisper, every sigh, every need and he’s coming to grant your every wicked, wanton desire. DEAR SANTA…I WANT A MAN FOR CHRISTMAS , by Marianne Stephens: Frustrated with untrustworthy men, Melissa orders a man doll. When delivery guy, Nick, shows up, she has second thoughts about how to satisfy her needs. PRELUDE TO A MOST UNUSUAL MARRIAGE , by Katherine Kingston : Guilty secrets torment widowed Elizabeth Fitzhugh. A Christmas visit to the Earl of Chisenholm offers redemption, if she can find the courage to grasp it. NO GENTLEMAN, by Francesca Hawley: Librarian Abby Kelly comes west finding a roguish shapeshifter who desires her. Will Goldwolf is no gentleman, but Abby discovers he’s just what she wants. JEWEL’S MENAGE CHRISTMAS, Berengaria Brown :
The excitement has left Jewel, Donovan, and Oscar’s relationship. Jewel plans to spice things up, but will Donovan and Oscar rise to the challenge? TUNE ME UP, by Lainey-Jo Charles: Jason catches Dani having an intimate moment with a recording of him singing to her, and is ready to move them from friends to forever. ON THE EIGHTEENTH OF JANUARY, ’78 OR, A NIGHT AT VALLEY FORGE, by Regina Kammer : During the infamous winter of ‘77-‘78 at Valley Forge, two soldiers fanboy over their
charismatic leader, General George Washington. THE CHRISTMAS LEOPARD by Lynne Connolly: Two gorgeous Italian hunks save art restorer Sandi when she accidentally summons an ancient evil from a mosaic. Their methods are unconventional—and scorching hot! CHRISTMAS BAD GIRL , by Trinity Blaico: She only had one wish this Christmas. To find the one man who was strong enough to master her in bed and out. HOW THE ALIEN STOLE CHRISTMAS by Belle Scarlett: On board a deep space station Christmas Trent learns her sexy cyber lover, who may not be human, wants to steal her for his own. MERRY CHRISTMAS, KITTEN by Nicole Austin: Sirena Petra wants one thing for Christmas—an orgasm. And sex toy expert Kenyon Fort has exactly what the lion shifter needs to find more than just her happy place. VIKING IN TARTAN by Suz deMello :
Medieval romance from the Highland Vampires series. A Viking raider brings change to little Clan Kilbirnie, especially to the chieftain’s daughter, Rhona. HOLDIN’ ON by Alexa Silver: Rock star Max is terminally ill. When Aislin falls into his life, rocking his world, everything changes. Is she his Christmas miracle?

Caroline’s Top Reads 2014

Hi readers, it’s that time of year again when Tina and myself have lots of fun going through our reviews of the past year and choose our favourites to share with you! And, wow, there are so many it is difficult to narrow them down!Australian xmas card (2)

This is the end of our second full year and we cannot thank you all enough for following us and sharing our posts. We have made so many friends, be they authors, bloggers, agents, publishers and more, it has been overwhelming. We have received our first Christmas card from Australia (pictured), which was an absolute pleasure to receive. It’s amazing to see the sun and summer holiday reminders when the usual card for us is full of snow, log fires and dark evenings.

We hope that you have had a great year and are looking forward to the festive season. We are looking forward to sharing it with you. And I hope that you enjoy us sharing our favourite reads. Tina’s Top Reads will also be coming your way very soon. And here are mine!

Please click on the titles for my full review and much more info!

Contemporary Romance

Books of this genre and some contemporary rom-coms have been a big hit for me this year, and Helena Fairfax’s The Silk Romance was an absolute pleasure to read. It was written so beautifully, powerfully and thoughtfully, and certainly a read you will not forget! It is a Cinderella-type story that is highly intense and completely grips the reader. I have also likened it to some high-profile romance movies in my review as some aspects are similar and captivating!

TheLoveofMarisol_WP2014The Love of Marisol by Christos Toulouras is a short story of love and loss, but with the possibility of finding new love after. It is, again, very powerful and emotive, beginning as quite a dark and realistic read (although fiction). Taking only around an hour to read, it was one of my favourite reading hours of the year!

Contemporary Rom-Coms

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda's Story)As well as the serious side of romance, it is always uplifting and refreshing to read some fun reads, even though they still hold a serious undertone. The book that enlightened me in this manner is C.J. Pinard’s Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) (Duty & Desire #3). It is my favourite book of the Duty & Desire series. It is a light-hearted, fun and cheeky read. And I love how C.J. Pinard follows both Miranda’s career, as well as her romances, and at the same time the reader sees a different side to the friendship that Miranda has with Cara.

An Autumn CrushWanting to read a seasonal book at the time, I thoroughly enjoyed An Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson. It was a Bridget Jones style read, with plenty of humour and a real feel-good and refreshing feel that really captured the time of year. And with some sombre storylines for some characters it has an awful lot going on, but is still relaxing and fun to read.

Historical Romance

Summer in RyeLucy Oliver’s novella Summer in Rye is an incredibly intense short story, with power and the ability to grip the reader. Following a new governess to children that have been badly affected by smallpox, and a master that is tyrannical, Eva only has one choice: to turn to the master’s brother, who was once engaged to her. Passion reignites between these two, but after he lied before, can Eva really accept him back?

Paranormal

Vampire Flappers (Samantha Carter #1.5)To top off my favourite paranormal reads is Tim O’Rourke’s Vampire Flappers (Samantha Carter #1.5). Last year the first of the series, Vampire Seeker, was one of my favourites, and again this series has really thrilled me. It has everything from vamps, shifters, action/adventure and time travel! The romance and passion is also very intense, making for a very HOT read! This is a series not to be missed, and I cannot wait to review Vampire Watchmen (Samantha Carter #2) in the new year!

And, not always a huge fan of short stories, this year has certainly changed my point of view. I used to think that to create great characters that full novels would be more fulfilling. However, there are a number of short stories in my top reads this year and a certain series of short stories really blew my mind – Alisa Woods’ True Alpha series. There are six shifter stories, which follow Mia and shifter Lucas, their attraction and heat for each other! Yet, the dilemma is that Lucas lost his last mate, and being to close to another is just not an option. But, when rival shifters kidnap Mia, Lucas has to face his true feelings. Each story is complete with action, heat and intensity. Shifter fans will LOVE this series. Here are the links to each review:-

Desired (True Alpha #1)

Guarded (True Alpha #2)

Hunted (True Alpha #3)

Captured (True Alpha #4)

Sacrificed (True Alpha #5)

Claimed (True Alpha #6)

I am also hoping to review another short A True Alpha Christmas over the coming days before the big day. And, in the new year Alisa Woods will be releasing her Dark Alpha short story series!

Soul RebelNow, for my second entry of author C.J. Pinard we have Soul Rebel. This is my favourite novel of C.J.’s. With plenty of action, suspense and romance it really does have it all. The characters and storyline are brilliant. Nolan loses his soul during a kiss with a female succubus in a nightclub and he only has 7 days to claim his soul back! Time constraints cause the tension and really make the pace quick. Plus there are many surprises which make it an exciting read.

Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #1)Recommended for the younger adult (15yrs+) Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal trilogy #1) by Pat Spence is an enchanting and fairytale-like read with supernatural mystery and horror. It is highly recommended to fans of the Twilight saga, but without the vamps. It follows the idea of eternal youth, ancient links and an attraction between Emily (17) and the handsome Theo. It is highly emotive, with a great eerie atmosphere as the reader gets sucked in to the mystery. Blue Moon is a fantastic beginning to this trilogy.

Horror

Moonshine (The Moon Trilogy, #3)This year saw the final instalment of Tim O’Rourke’s Moon trilogy, Moonshine (The Moon trilogy, #3). A paranormal horror series that has it all; action and adventure, vamps, weres, heart-warming moments and plenty of surprises. The running theme through the trilogy is whether or not vamps and weres can exist in peace together. Or, will they both have to try and annihilate each other? Will the love of Winnie be enough to hold it all together? (Clicking on the links for books 2 and 3 may spoil the storyline for those who haven’t read book one.)

Moonlight (The Moon Trilogy #1)

Moonbeam (The Moon Trilogy #2)

Crime Thriller

COLD CALL BOOK COVER - with blood SAFE COPYCold Call by Colin Llewelyn Chapman, was an instant like for me. After being likened to author Martina Cole, Luther (BBC tv series) and with a pinch of Fifty Shades, Cold Call proved to be a gritty, well-planned read that follows both the suspect and the police with their investigation into the deaths of several women from seedy backgrounds. This is another read with surprises along the way that will keep you gripped until the end.

21 Hours - Dustin Stevens_1Dustin Stevens’ 21 Hours is full of action and suspense as an uncle and ex-con is attempting to save his two year old niece after she has been kidnapped. Being an ex-con he is not entirely trusted by the authorities, but he is so desperate that he will do anything! I have likened it to some action movies, such as Lethal Weapon, Commando, Ransom and Con Air as there are some elements of these in the book and especially in they way it left me feeling after I had read it. It is also another read that is quick-paced, partly due to the time that it is believed that the young girl has left!

Ooh, and now for some Festive Contemporary reads

As an added treat, and because they were brilliant reads, I thought I would share the following two festive reads:

CANDY CAIN by C.L. Scholey - Click Image to CloseC.L. Scholey’s Candy Cain is a short 55 page read that is festive, hot and full of suspense. After being snowed in during a blizzard and left on a desolate road, with only the stranger that she dislikes after briefly bumping into him earlier, the only way they can keep warm is by body heat! Hmm, I wonder where this will lead and what the outcome will be for them? There are also heart-warming moments and an underlying storyline about helping those in need.

All I Want for ChristmasAnd finally, a full-length story with a Christmas build-up, new friendships and a new romance in Amy Silver’s All I Want for Christmas. Beginning from the fourteenth of December, the story is written with each chapter being a new day in the lead up to the big day, when there are plans at The Honey Pot café for people of the neighbourhood to meet for a party of food and friendship for the lonely.

I have read many more great reads that I cannot possibly add due to the amount I have here. Crossing many genres, I always hope that there are reads in here to suit many, and I feel that there is a great mix of both published and indie authors.

I hope that you enjoy our posts and would like to thank each and everyone of you for following and supporting us. I sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas and an absolutely brilliant New Year!

Caroline Barker 🙂

If you would like to check our Top Reads of 2013 to recap on our previous year, you can do so here:-

Caroline’s Top Reads 2013

Tina’s To Reads 2013