*AUTHOR POST* ~ JANE FENWICK, AUTHOR OF NEVER THE TWAIN (INCLUDES GIVEAWAY)

I Could be Dancing by Jane Fenwick @jane_fenwick60 #neverthetwain #historicalcrimenovels #romance #victorianwhitby

I love to dance and when I was younger I would go to night clubs and dance two or three times a week. Now that I am a little, shall we say, more mature I still love to dance so I go to classes to get my fix.
As a writer I spend a lot of time at my desk so it is imperative that I get up and move. I have Scout my Patterdale terrier to walk so that helps my step count but I am the sort of walker that likes to walk for a purpose; there usually has to be a coffee shop or a pub at the end of the walk to motivate me. I’ve never been a “gym bunny” and swimming bores the life out of me (unless it’s in a warm sea!). Dancing gets me moving and as it doesn’t feel like exercise it is never a chore.

I first got into dancing by watching musicals. Fred Astaire was my hero. His partnership with Ginger Rogers was spectacular. I can’t remember how many times I have watched Top hat and Flying Down to Rio. I’m not saying Astaire was a good actor but he could certainly move. More recently I have loved Strictly Come Dancing. The show really makes it clear how athletic dancing can be. I know it gets my heart rate up, helps with balance and keeps me supple. I was a yoga teacher for over twenty years so I’ve always been flexible but dancing really helps tone muscle too, especially the legs and back. As I sit for a lot of hours a day back ache can be a problem, but dancing and stretching irons out the kinks.

I also used to sing and dance in a local amateur musical theatre group performing in such shows as Oklahoma, My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music. Dancing to a choreographed routine is harder than it looks but good fun. I‘ve done a bit of ballet and tap in the past so that helped; muscle memory is useful! Dancing and singing was great exercise and enjoyable. Sadly as I was teaching fulltime, I had to give up performing as the rehearsals took up too much of my time.

I love most types of music – anything that I can get up and dance to and I’m on my feet. Fast, slow, with a partner or freestyle, in a group or singly. I’m usually the first on the dance floor at weddings and parties. Even if I don’t know the steps I will be embarrassing myself throwing some shapes! Recently I went to a Ceilidh with a friend. Despite the height difference –he’s 6’ 4 and I’m 5’3 – we had a great time. The dances were ‘called’ so they were easy to pick up but exhausting. Who knew you could get so out of breath dancing. The experience reminded me of when I was in my twenties and my best friend was Irish. We used to go to an Irish club where they did traditional Irish dancing. My friend’s mum was a ‘grand’ dancer and despite getting on in years she could give the young ones a run for their money. There was a dance called The Siege of Ennis that she was particularly good at. It involved spinning around in a circle which after a Guinness or two made the dancers a bit dizzy. We would watch as a young lad would ask the ‘old’ lady to dance and scream with laughter as she spun him round so fast he was almost off his feet!

As I mentioned I love most types of music but I never thought I would enjoy dancing to country music. A friend who knows I like to dance invited me to a line dancing class. At first I was a little cynical – I couldn’t really see me in a Stetson (I still can’t) but I gave it a go and I’m hooked now. Far from dancing in a line the routines are based on ‘walls’. Each dance turns so that they have two or four walls. In the beginning mastering a wall is easy until you have to turn – that’s usually when the wheels come off! I think I probably know about 30 line dances now, some more complex than others.

I also go to a musical theatre dance class run by an ex ballet and tap dancer. She devises routines and we attempt to follow them The dances can be based on anything; jazz, Fosse, Hot Gossip… anything goes.

My favourite dance class however is the Latin American class – the music just makes me want to dance, it lifts my spirits. For a couple of hours I can forget everything and concentrate on moving to the music. Not only is it good for my body I’m convinced it’s good for my brain too. We know about 25 different routines from tango to mambo and it is impossible to think about anything else but the music and the steps. The teacher is inspirational – she picks some great tracks to dance to; everything from Santana to Ricky Martin, from Cuba to Rio. The class is for people of all shapes and sizes, all ages and backgrounds. I’ve met some lovely people at dance classes and some have become friends so it’s not just about the dancing it’s the social aspect as well. The important thing is to leave your inhibitions at the door and well, dance!

Never the Twain: A twin tale of jealousy and betrayal, love and murder.

The year is 1890. The port of Whitby is heaving with sailors and where there are sailors there are brothels doing a roaring trade. Beautiful identical twins April and May are in desperate straits. They have been abandoned by their actress mother and are about to have their virginity auctioned off to the highest bidder by a notorious brothel madam.

Their fate is hanging in the balance when Captain Edward Driscoll a handsome, wealthy shipping tycoon from Glasgow saves them before they can be deflowered.
But have they exchanged one form of slavery for another?
April, reluctantly swept up in her twin’s secrets and lies unwittingly becomes embroiled in a murderous conspiracy. Is May’s jealousy stronger than the twin bond which has always connected them?

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Jane Fenwick lives in the market town of Settle in Yorkshire, England. She studied education at Sheffield University gaining a B.Ed (Hons) in 1989 and going on to teach primary age range children. Jane decided to try her hand at penning a novel rather than writing school reports as she has always been an avid reader, especially enjoying historical and crime fiction. She decided to combine her love of both genres to write her first historical crime novel Never the Twain. Jane has always been a lover of antiques, particularly art nouveau and art deco ceramics and turned this hobby into a business opening an antiques and collectables shop in Settle. However her time as a dealer was short lived; she spent far too much time in the sale rooms buying items that ended up in her home rather than the shop! Animal welfare is a cause close to Jane’s heart and she has been vegetarian since the age of fourteen. For the last twenty years she has been trustee of an animal charity which rescues and rehomes cats, dogs and all manner of creatures looking for a forever home. Of course several of these have been “adopted” by Jane!

Jane has always loved the sea and although she lives in the Yorkshire Dales she is particularly drawn to the North East coast of Yorkshire and Northumberland. This coastline is where she gets her inspiration for the historical crime and romance novels she writes. She can imagine how the North East ports would have looked long ago with a forest of tall masted ships crammed together in the harbours, the bustling streets congested with sailors, whalers, chandlers and sail makers. These imaginings provide the backdrop and inspire her to create the central characters and themes of her novels. As she has always loved history she finds the research particularly satisfying.

When she isn’t walking on Sandsend beach with her dog Scout, a Patterdale “Terrorist” she is to be found in her favourite coffee shop gazing out to sea and dreaming up her next plot. Jane is currently writing a historical saga series again set on the North East coast beginning in 1765. The first two books are being edited at the moment; My Constant Lady and The Turning Tides. Look out for My Constant Lady in 2020.
Find her on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook , Pinterest or Web.

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*ARC REVIEW* ~ Dark Matters (Class 5), Book 4, by Michelle Diener

#space-opera #scifi #romance

Blurb

DARK MATTERS . . . taking matters into her own hands

A time bomb, waiting to go off . . .

Lucy Harris is on the run, not sure where she can turn to for help, or if help is even available. But even as her abductors chase her down, she realizes they don’t just want to recapture her, they want to erase her.

When your very existence puts a planet at the risk of war, there’s no choice but to do everything in your power to stay out of your enemies hands.

A predator . . . waiting for the chance to pounce

The powerful AI battleship, Bane, is accompanying the United Council envoy to Tecra to mete out the punishment the Tecrans have earned for breaking UC law. He revels in the power he’s about to have over his old masters. But his mission isn’t only to rain down retribution on the people who kept him chained for years, he’s also looking for a human woman his fellow Class 5 thinking system mentioned in the final seconds of his life. Paxe admitted to taking Lucy Harris from Earth, and Bane has been looking for her ever since.

A warrior conflicted . . .

Commander Dray Helvan thinks the Grih made a mistake in not pushing for war with the Tecran, but he’s had to accept the compromise, that he and the other envoys from the United Council will go to Tecra and dismantle its military from the top down. His mission is not one of his choosing, but when he and his team arrive, he’s handed a very different job. While he distrusts Bane on principle, when the thinking system tells him there’s a woman running for her life on the planet below, he will do whatever he has to to see her safe. And if that means war for Tecra, well, then it means war.

This is book 4 in the award-winning Class 5 series.

My Review ~5 stars

An action-packed and suspenseful read

Dark Matters contains plenty of action, suspense and also a sweet romance between the heroine Lucy and Commander Dray Helvan, who is tasked with retrieving Lucy from the planet Tecra before her enemies can destroy her.

The book is the latest in Michelle Diener’s excellent Class 5 series and this instalment once again delves into intergalactic politics, the use and abuse of advanced AI battleships and the fate of the human women who are unwillingly thrust into the centre of this world. This is Lucy’s story.

I enjoyed how the author wastes no time in thrusting the reader straight into the action, leaving us under no illusions as to the danger that Lucy finds herself in. The stakes are certainly high, with Lucy’s fate a pivotal one in the fragile interplanetary peace. I liked that Lucy is a strong character psychologically, given all she has been through. That said, the situations she finds herself in as she attempts to survive on a hostile planet and flee her abductors mean she has to constantly challenge herself which requires much courage on her part. Dray, the fearless and intelligent commander, is the perfect mate for her. I enjoyed their evolving romance which was interweaves seamlessly with the developing plot and I was rooting for their HEA.

The influence of the AI battleship Bane is ever present and although he is committed to ensuring Lucy’s safety he is also seeking revenge against his old masters, their common enemy the Tecrans. This provides plenty of tension as he is literally a loose cannon whose actions could jeopardise peace at any moment. Bane is very much a main character in his own right. I read with interest his growing bond with Lucy in particular and how his character develops throughout, particularly as he gets to know the human Lucy and learns to reflect further on his own feelings and motivations.

Thoroughly recommended for fans of space opera and sci-fi who enjoy a strong and thought provoking plot, excellent character development and some romance with their read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams
Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me by the author for a fair and honest review.

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*ARC REVIEW* ~ Unintentional Obsession (Lotus Adaamas Series Book 2), by Layla Stone

#scifi #scifiromance #romance

Book Blurb

Make a deal with the wrong Demon and you’ll always be in his pocket.

Nara made a deal with the wrong Demon and now he’s forcing her to do something she can’t do without getting sick. When she can’t deliver, she’s given over to another Demon for safe keeping. She shouldn’t hate Shine as much as she does. It wasn’t his fault the Demon planet is run by a horrible person who refuses to listen to her when she says she’s not a doctor.

Shine shouldn’t hate the female that was thrown at his feet and told to keep an eye on her. It wasn’t her fault a black hearted Demon runs the planet and thinks he can do whatever he wants to whoever he wants, but there’s something about her that gets under his skin.

Two people who couldn’t be more different find out they have more in common then they expected. When the time runs out, will Nara be able to do what it takes to keep Shine alive?

My Review

Faced paced and sexy sci-fi romance ~ 5 stars

If you are after a fun and sexy read with suspense and danger thrown in then this page turning read definitely ticks all the boxes. It is the second book in the Lotus Adaamas Series (the first being Unintentional Addiction which I have also read and recommend). Although the book refers to events and characters in the first book it can certainly be read as a standalone.

The book contains a strong female lead, the Numan Nara, and the Demon Shine, who we met in the first book. Both are forced together by the evil demon Karr who controls much of what happens on the planet. Nara and Shine have interesting if heart breaking back stories and on the face of it have little in common. Yet as circumstances get ever more dire for the couple they form an attachment and I was soon keeping my fingers crossed for their Happy Ever After.

I enjoyed the humour as well as the sexy scenes which were balanced by the danger and suspense represented by the heinous actions of Karr. The read also contains some clever world building through the descriptions, language and concepts introduced by the author.

Recommended for readers who love sci-fi romance containing quirky but loveable characters with a dose of danger.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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*REVIEW* ~ Breeder; Planet Athion (Tradrych Strain #1), by Marissa Farrar

#reverseharem #dark #scifiromance #planetathion

Book Blurb

Sent in a worldwide asteroid strike, the alien race, the Trads, sneaked onto Earth to steal women away to repopulate their own planet. I, Tara Chase, am one of those women. I believed my lover to be a gorgeous human man, only to be shown the most terrible of truths… He’s anything but.

Now I’m on his planet of Tradrych, and after a three month stint in cryostasis, I’ve woken to find myself a prisoner on the verge of birthing his child. And I’m not the only one. I share the facility with numerous other women, all close to giving birth. The aliens who tend to us look like handsome demons, with scales, horns and even a tail. There are multiple Trads to every human woman, and I know once this baby is out of me, I’ll be handed back to them to impregnate again. I see the way the Trad males working at the facility look at me—with hunger in their flame-filled eyes.

When the time comes for us women to give birth to the aliens inside us, we’re taken away and never seen again.
My time is close now, but I won’t give up without a fight.

This is a dark sci-fi romance and is reverse harem. It is also part of the Planet Athion multi-author reverse harem sci-fi world.

My Review

Great start to Tara’s story – 4 stars

This is a great start to Tara’s story set in the Planet Athion sci-fi world. The tale is a harrowing one –  the heroine Tara finds herself imprisoned on the planet Tradrych, about to give birth to an alien offspring after being tricked into becoming pregnant by its father who took the form of a human when he seduced her on Earth.

The author does a good job of conveying the reality of the horror Tara and her fellow prisoners are compelled to endure and how they each deal with it in their own way. The descriptions of the cruel and aggressive race that has impregnated and kidnapped them, beings complete with horns, scales and tails, is a terrifying one and their situation  seems all but hopeless. Their immediate and long term future as breeders to the Trads is heart breaking.

It is here that the story takes off as we are introduced to Trads, Nad and Miko, and the slave Athion, Diarus, who are not at all what they first appear. I will not reveal any more but suffice to say that Tara’s future is one which is very much tied to these three males – it is a reverse harem story after all! However, the plot is fraught with plenty of tension and danger as well as some inter-species lovemaking scenes that I enjoyed immensely. Will throwing her lot in with the three males help her situation or will things only get worse?

I admired Tara’s strength of character in how she coped with her situation and reacts to the three very different sexy males who are attracted to her.

Recommended for lovers of erotic sci-fi romance who enjoy a diverting storyline and inter-species loving within the context of a reverse-harem theme.

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*REVIEW* ~ Touch of Smoke, by Karissa Laurel

 #Romance #Paranormal

Book Blurb

Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of a supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she’s the only one who believes Mina’s death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina’s death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen’s past, the more she’s torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she’ll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.

My Review ~ Riveting second chance romance with a paranormal twist

5 Stars *****

I hugely enjoyed Touch of Smoke, by Karissa Laurel, a flawlessly orchestrated second chance romance with a paranormal twist. It is the first book that I have read by the author and I found it to be a compulsive read.

The story commences in the present day when the heroine Rikki, plagued by nightmares of what happened in her home town, returns there, after an absence of three years. She vows to find answers. Her quest compels her to confront Owen, a young man whom she was once very close to. It soon becomes clear that she still has strong feelings for him, however, it is Owen whom she fears is the source of her nightmares. Can she trust him? Is Owen the monster? What really happened the night Mina died?

I was glued to my Kindle throughout this read. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the way the book was constructed, using flashbacks to progress the story and link the present to the past. Both the central characters, Rikki and Owen have considerable baggage from their past: Rikki through personal loss, which has resulted in trust issues, and Owen through the trauma of having served in the US military. Rikki is a strong character, despite her inner fears and self-doubts and Owen is a real hottie, whose secrets the reader wants to get to the bottom of!

The couple has many hurdles to overcome, even without the increasing menace of evil the reader senses as the book unfolds. I was rooting for the couple throughout and once Owen’s secrets were out of the bag I was on tenterhooks as to how the story would play out. Once more, the weaving of the paranormal element into the story and their relationship certainly added to my enjoyment of the read.

I’d recommend this read to lovers of romance and the paranormal.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author for a fair and honest review.

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*ARC REVIEW* ~Trailblazer (Verdant String #3), by Michelle Diener

#spaceopera #scifiromance #suspense

 

Book Blurb

He’s on a mission . . .
She’s running for her life . . .
And if they get off-planet alive, she’ll have to trust he won’t reveal her darkest secret.

Tally Riva is not what she seems, and even she’s not happy about it. Infected, invaded, she’s not quite sure how to describe it, but on a disastrous mission to a ghost ship, something burrowed its way into her body. Into her mind.

When her commander decides the best cure for what he thinks is Tally’s trauma is to send her on the famous Veltos Trail, Tally goes without revealing what’s really behind her mental anguish. Anything to be seen as normal again, anything to ignore what she’s afraid is happening to her.

But Veltos isn’t the safe place it seems. The chosen military personnel lucky enough to be offered the chance to walk the Trail are supposed to be the only people on Veltos. But Ben Guthrie, a captain in Arkhoran Special Forces, knows they’re not. He and his team have been on Veltos for a month already, tracking suspicious enemy activity, and he’s gone undercover on the Trail in search of a satellite his superiors are sure has been shot down.

When Ben’s worst fears become reality, and they find themselves hunted by a cunning enemy through the thick forests of Veltos, Tally and Ben fight together to survive. And Tally has to decide if accepting the changes inside her will save them both, or be her doom.

TRAILBLAZER is a standalone novel, and the third full length book set in the world of the Verdant String.

Books in the series are: Interference & Insurgency (Two Novellas of the Verdant String), Breakaway, Breakeven, Trailblazer.

My Review – 5 stars

Suspenseful and adventure packed

This is an expertly crafted and suspenseful read with plenty of action and also a romance for the central character Tally. I was so engrossed in the story that after a while I felt as if I was living and breathing alongside Tally and her fellow trail walkers on the planet Veltos where much of the book is set. The story worked well for me as a standalone, although I feel that if I had read the earlier books in the series they would have only added to my enjoyment.

I loved Tally the central character. She is one strong woman despite the trauma she has recently endured of being the sole survivor on a ghost ship, where an alien entity has invaded her body and mind. This makes her vulnerable as she finds herself at war with herself. For although whatever it is that has burrowed inside her is determined to protect her, its host, from harm, she is sometimes compelled to act in ways that are at odds with her free will.

Sent on the Veltos trail to aid her recovery from what was a disastrous mission, she is at pains to conceal what has taken up residence inside her and her oftentimes new abilities. However, she finds it increasingly difficult to keep her secret from fellow trail members as they find themselves the quarry of an enemy who is stalking them. It is especially difficult to hide the truth from Ben Guthrie, a member of the special forces who is on a mission to find out what really is going on on Veltos. Ben too is a strong character and a worthy mate for Tally.

I found the whole premise of the book, combined with the central characters of Tally and Ben and the secondary characters, made for a cracking scifi adventure. The read has plenty of tension and suspense as the plot develops and truths reveal themselves. I was on pins with how far Tally could control the entity inside her and how others would react when and if its presence was revealed. and also whether they would survive the enemy stalking them.

Thoroughly recommended for lovers of sci-fi and space opera who also love romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that an ARC of this book was given t me by the author for a fair and honest review.

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MARCH 2019 SALE – RED RIVER VALLEY BOOKS 1-4 BY SHELLY ALEXANDER, 99p EBOOK SALE

Amazon UK Sale, Red River Valley Series by Author Shelly Alexander

hosting RRV MARCH 2019

A sweet, stirring romance series with just enough steam and chemistry to make you swoon. It’s set against the charming landscape of the Southern Rockies, where the nights are cool and the romance is hot.

Books 1 – 4 in Red River Valley Series ONLY 99p each on Amazon.co.uk.

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In a close-knit small town like Red River, keeping your business—and your heart—to yourself is next to impossible. Neighbors become friends, and friends can sometimes become much, much more. Against a backdrop of stunning mountains and quirky businesses, locals and visitors alike discover soul mates, second chances, and new beginnings. Shelly Alexander’s sweet and steamy Red River Valley series offers compelling characters grappling with contemporary issues in emotion-packed stories tinged with wit and warmth. Red River: an unforgettable small town that romance readers will want to visit again and again.

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It’s In His Forever

Release Date 11 March 2019

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Shelly Alexander’s first published novel was a 2014 Golden Heart® finalist. She is an Amazon #1 bestselling author in numerous categories, including contemporary romance, contemporary women’s fiction, and romantic comedy.

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Shelly grew up traveling the world, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and worked in business for twenty-five years. With four older brothers and three sons of her own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance novels…and has been hooked ever since. Now, Shelly spends her days writing novels that are sometimes sweet, sometimes sizzling, and always sassy. She lives in the beautiful Southwest with her husband and toy poodle named Mozart. Visit her at www.shellyalexander.net

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