Rosie’s Book review Team #RBRT Alison reviews The Girl In Blue by Barbara J Hancock


Today’s book review is from Alison, she blogs at


Alison chose to read and review the Harlequin boxset, today’s book is The Girl In Blue by Barbara J Hancock


The Girl in Blue by Barbara J. Hancock

This was a fairly quick read, but on the whole an enjoyable one.

Trinity returns to Scarlet Falls looking for answers to the tragedies that have followed her all her life and that have marred the town and its residents. She is surprised to find Samuel living in her parents’ home; the two are connected by the past and by Samuels’ brush with death. He, like Trinity, is looking for answers and they join forces to track down what’s behind the mysterious girl in blue who has been haunting Trinity for as long as she can remember.

There is some great scene- setting in this – creepy moments and creepy places, and the relationship between Trinity and Samuel works well.

My only gripe is that it was too short – I wanted to know more about Trinity, about Samuel and about what really lies behind Scarlet Falls. That said, it’s a great creepy read and if you love gothic and romance then it’s definitely worth giving it a go.

4 out of 5 stars

Now available as individual books

Find a copy here from or

Guest Author Barbara J Hancock

Today our guest is Barbara J Hancock, author of yesterday’s book “Darkening Around Me”, here is a link to the post.


Let’s Find out more about Barbara.

1) Where is your home town?

I was born in Roanoke, Virginia a very green but growing city in the southwest part of the state in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

2) How long have you been writing?

Writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. The first writing I sold was a Nocturne Bites to Harlequin. I sold a gothic vampire romance to Samhain Publishing soon after. To my surprise, no one wanted to buy the Beauty and the Beast fan fiction I wrote when I was eight years old!;)

3) What genres do you enjoy writing most?

Unusual works for me. Out of the ordinary. I like elements of the supernatural or paranormal. When Harlequin E announced the modern gothic Shivers line, I found the perfect place to play…because shadows, mysterious heroes, danger and larger-than-life passion!

4) How long have you been writing for Harlequin?

I sold my first novella to Harlequin in 2008.

5) In Darkening Around Me the statues in the garden were quite haunting, what’s the best bit about writing scary parts?

Sensation! I love to feel what I write and I to try to pass along those feelings to readers. If your pulse picks up, if your breath catches, if your heart flutters…I’m doing my job. If you’re completely taken away from workaday worries and consumed by the suspense or danger or passion I’m creating with my stories and characters, then there’s nothing that pleases me more. Because it’s about escape really. We all have ordinary every day right outside our windows. I write to experience something beyond ordinary and to share that experience with readers.

6) I like the scary dolls that Mary made, what gave you the idea for them?

Dolls are one of those classic horror elements that has always worked to make me nervous whenever I’ve encountered them in stories or movies. Is it their lifelike qualities that make them seem to have a potential for movement? Is it the flutter of those blink-y eyes? In Darkening Around Me a spirit is communicating by causing obsessive compulsive behavior in the people it haunts. For me, the scariest part about Mary’s dolls was the repetition and the fact that even though she obviously spent a lot of time making them, she didn’t take care of them after they were made. They were left to rot in a room full of identical dolls. <pardon me while I cross the room to turn on the light>

7) Tell us about “Lost in Me” your first Shivers book for the HarlequinE series.

Lost in Me was such an exciting opportunity. I’d written the first scene with Chloe in St. Mary’s painting the nearly forgotten man and set it aside years ago. I didn’t know her story yet, but I knew it was going to be powerful. Sometimes an idea has to sit and steep. When my editor asked if I’d like to do a Harlequin Free Online Read to promote the new Shivers line, I knew right away that it was time for Chloe’s story to come to life!

Released from hospital into the care of the man whose eyes have haunted her for a year, a troubled artist returns to Belle Aimée. The antebellum New Orleans mansion is the site of a tragedy Chloe’s mind will not disclose. It’s also home to an unseen presence that traces her steps, visits her studio and lingers near her bedroom.

Waking and sleeping, Chloe grasps at scraps of memory that flutter about her, alighting eventually on her countless canvases. Only under the stormy eyes—and electrifying touch—of Jonathan La Croix does Chloe begin to remember what they once were to each other. What they could be again. Such a man cannot be forgotten forever….

8) I featured Unforgiven book 2 in your Raveneaux series in my April A to Z Challenge, can you tell the readers a little about the plots?

Hunger is book 1 in my Raveneaux gothic vampire series. It tells the story of a golden girl whose life changes in a bloody instant and the hunter who doesn’t give a damn about saving her…at first. The question of Hunger is…What if beauty is the beast?

Unforgiven is Book 2 and it’s the story of the vampire who ruined the heroine’s perfect life in book 1. To this day, Dillon is my most compelling antihero. The question of Unforgiven is…What if the beast is beautiful?

9) Ghost in the machine is described as a Gothic Cyberpunk Romance, that seems to cover several genres, how does that play out?

While Gothic is a genre, it’s also a feeling and a tone. It’s eerie and beautiful. It’s dark and emotional. It can be powerful and transcendent. Woven throughout a gothic is fear of intimacy and whether or not the heroine will have the courage to face that fear. Cyberpunk is often noir or gothic in tone because there’s usually a surreal element of mystery and otherworldliness in cyberpunk stories. Blade Runner would be a well known example of this type of blending. To add another genre to the mix, Ghost in the Machine is Post Apocalyptic as well!

Ghost in the Machine was a first for me in so many ways, but it was also a glimpse into the deepest heart of what I should be writing.

10) Tell us about the other books you have coming out for Shivers Box sets, this year.

I have two kinds of stories coming from Harlequin E Shivers this year. I have standalone novellas and I have a series called Scarlet Falls that takes place in a haunted New England town.

Darkening Around Me is now available as a single title.

Seized by a dark genius, Miles O’Keefe has shut himself away in his ancestral mansion for more than decade. Driven by an unquiet spirit called The Thornleigh Bride, he sculpts masterpiece after masterpiece—and edges ever closer to madness.

His decadent prison is finally breached by Samantha Knox—a woman who has been to the brink of hell and back. She wants—needs—Miles to sculpt her scarred yet strong and beautiful body, to prove she has survived. She sits for him. His hands shape every curve of her body, indulging passion by proxy. Every glance, every word that passes between them brims with desire. With a single touch, it spills over.

But their ecstasy inflames Miles’s ghostly muse, as well. The Bride will neither share her house nor relinquish its heir, whom she has possessed for so long. Not without revealing her deadly secret. Before the end, Samantha will stand once more at the edge of the abyss….

Silent is the House is part of the Volume 2 Box Set released on April 1st

Grief-stricken Angelica Peters finally visits Allen House, the crumbling mansion she once stood to inherit. She’s immediately drawn to the new heir-the family lawyer whose unearthly obsession soon has her questioning reality…and her sanity. Is it Angelica he desires? Or is he only fascinated by her resemblance to the tragic apparition that haunts the estate?

And then my Scarlet Falls series starts with The Girl in Blue which is in the Volume 3 Box Set coming in July

The unexplained is commonplace and everyone fears the dark in Barbara J. Hancock’s SCARLET FALLS.

A secluded hamlet ablaze in autumn splendor, Scarlet Falls is seemingly an idyllic manifestation of the New England countryside…  But Trinity Chadwick knows better.  The town is undeniably beautiful, but haunted to its very core.  For Trinity there has been no escape from the specter of the girl in the blue dress.  Her laughter still rides on the mist of the town’s eerie lake. And tragedy always follows in its wake.

Constant vigilance against malevolent forces have worn Trinity down driving her back to the last place on earth she ever expected to step foot again.  Hillhaven—her childhood home.  Only to encounter Samuel Creed.  The last man she ever expected to confront.  A long-ago kiss of life kindled an obsession at once sensual and macabre.  Trinity is tortured by the memory of her warm lips against his cold ones as she saved him. Or was he forever damned, after all?  Trinity finds Creed is as tempting as ever, a man she can neither forget nor entirely trust.

Thank You Barbara and good luck with the books.

Darkening Around Me

Find a copy here from or


Darkening Around Me by Barbara J Hancock

Darkening Around MeDarkening Around Me by Barbara J. Hancock

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s September in the Pacific Northwest and Samantha is driving to Thornleigh, to meet Miles O’Keefe who is going to create a clay likeness of her, which will help her move on with her life.

Samantha has her own horrific past and her strength to overcome it helps her face “The Thornleigh Bride” who haunts the house and lives of those who live there. No visitor is safe if they stay longer than a week from the madness which takes hold.

Passionately drawn to Miles, their lust seems forbidden. With a garden full of haunting statues, and employee living in a house full of scary dolls and time running out, will Samantha survive the wrath of the ghost?

This book may well send a shiver down your spine.

Find a copy here from or

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Barbara is joining us on the blog tomorrow as our guest author, do come back and find out more about her and her writing.

Reflections on the April 2014 A-Z Tour

The 2014 April A to Z Challenge, had over 2000 bloggers taking part this year it was an awesome tour to get involved in. If you’ve not heard about it, nip over to the April AtoZ Challenge website after you’ve read this post.

Firstly I want to thank Arlee Bird for continuing to organise the annual tour. Secondly A REALLY BIG THANK-YOU to all the authors who let me use their books for my challenge, without you and all your support sharing the posts it just wouldn’t be the same.

So how has it all gone? For me it’s all about planning. I began my journey at the end of January, I knew it would takes weeks to gather all the authors and the information I would need for the tour. I contacted friends and fellow authors and I sent out Tweets about my tour offering FREE advertising of work for authors. I even ended up stalking authors and inviting them to take part.

So what did we all get from the tour? Well hopefully readers were introduced to new books and new authors, TBR piles are now groaning under the weight of all the books on readers bookshelves. I’m hoping that the authors got some new sales and I, made some new blogging friends and supporters. At the bottom of this post I’ve highlighted bloggers that I’ve been particularly impressed by with their own tour. If you’ve not visited their blogs yet do take a moment if you can. I’ve been all over the world visiting bloggers taking part in the challenge. Each day I made a point of promoting up to 5 bloggers from the sign up sheet, some days I found they were no longer able to do the challenge, but people seemed to have had great fun. There really are some amazing bloggers out there.

On April 16th, this day in the tour also coincided with the end of a year long challenge which began this time last year. During last years challenge I set about reading a book called “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. This wonderful lady spent a whole year doing good deeds. I decided to try it for myself. An enormous challenge I began with tiny steps, if I could make it to the end of April, then I would carry on. My deeds may not have been as great as Judith’s but I have made it, I’ve collected my small change, donated money, given books and clothes to charity, I volunteer at a local school, I pick up litter, bake cakes, send gifts and thank-you notes and letters to friends plus I’ve done a whole host of other deeds. AND I’m going to do it all again! YES I’ve decided to carry on, you can follow my challenge on Sunday’s when I blog about my latest weeks.

My own April A-Z tour was set around the theme of books, here are a list of books and authors who featured on this tour.

Top posts during the tour which had everyone talking were letter B – Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb, letter G – The Georgie Connelly series by E.L.Lindley, letter N – Nobody’s Fault by Terry Tyler and letter T The 20’s Girl, the Ghost and All That Jazz by June Kearns.

A – A World Apart by Camelia Miron Skiba

B –  Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lanb

C – Coronado’s Treasure by Randy Mixter

D – Derek’s Revenge and the Derek series by Mac Black

E – Everlasting by Candace Knoebel.

F – Finding the Right Time by Stephanie Hurt

G – The Georgie Connelly Series by E.L. Lindley

H – Hidden Heart by Camelia Miron Skiba

I – The Imdaland Series by Rebecca Etherington

J – Jaded by Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

K – The Bench by Sue Koenig

L – Legends of Windemere – Family of the Tri – Rune by Charles E Yallowitz×9

M – My GLR by John W Howell×6

N – Nobody’s Fault by Terry Tyler×4

O – The Orphan and The Thief by M. L. LeGette×2

P – The Potter’s Daughter by Daniel A Smith×0

Q – Quentins by Maeve Binchy

R- Red Clay and Roses by S. K. Nicholls

S – Silk, Spice and Furry Dice by Andy N Robinson

T – The 20’s Girl, The Ghost and All That Jazz by June Kearns

U – Unforgiven by Barbara J Hancock

V – Victoria by Stephanie Hurt

W – What it Takes by Terry Tyler

X – X by Jack Croxall

Y – Over Odyssey – Yellow by Tony Carnival

Z – Zen Master Next Door by Edward Kardos

During the tour I met so many great bloggers, here are some of the blogs which really impressed me.

Susan Scott at The Garden of Eden blog

Vikki Thompson at The View Outside

Hilary Melton-Butcher at Positive letters  Hilary

Co-host Damyanti at Daily (w)rite

So it’s with a little sadness that I wave Goodbye to another year of the A -Z, but not without thanking, once more, all the hard working hosts and co-hosts who helped make it all happen.



All through the tour we’re asking readers to leave as many comments as possible on blogs, all supportive comments are much appreciated, thank you.

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April A-Z Tour Round up of letters A-W

Well we are nearly at the end, over 2000 bloggers signed up and started out on the month long challenge, here is a round-up of all my posts so far.

April 1st – A world Apart by Camelia Miron Skiba

April 2nd – Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

April 3rd – Coronado’s Treasure by Randy Mixter

April 4th – Derek’s Revenge (The Derek Series) by Mac Black

April 5th – Everlasting by Candace Knoebel

April 6th -Round up of the tour so far

April 7th – Finding the Right Time by Stephanie Hurt

April 8th – The Georgie Connelly series by E. L Lindley

April 9th – Hidden Heart by Camelia Miron Skiba

April 10th – The Imdaland series by Rebecca Ethington

April 11th – Jaded by Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

April 12th – The Bench by Sue Koenig

April 13th -Round up of the tour so far

April 14th – Legends of Windemere series – Family of the Tri-Rune by Charles E Yallowitz×9

April 15th – My GRL by John W Howell×6

April 16th – Nobody’s Fault by Terry Tyler×4

April 17th – The Orphan and the Thief by M L LeGette×2

April 18th – The Potter’s Daughter by Daniel A Smith×0

April 19th – Quentins by Maeve Binchy

April 20th -Round up of the tour so far

April 21st – Red Clay and Roses by S. K. Nicholls

April 22nd – Silk, Spice and Furry Dice by Andy N Robinson

April 23rd – The 20’s Girl, The Ghost and All That Jazz by June Kearns

April 24th – Unforgiven by Barbara J Hancock

April 25th – Victoria by Stephanie Hurt

April 26th – What it Takes by Terry Tyler

All through the tour we’re asking readers to leave as many comments as possible on blogs, all supportive comments are much appreciated, thank you.

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Letter U on The A to Z April Challenge 2014

Today it’s letter U on the A to Z Challenge. My book today is Unforgiven by Barbara J Hancock. Genre – Romance.


Barbara J. Hancock UNFORGIVEN

The problem with fighting evil is it often comes in a very attractive package. Orphaned when vampires massacred her family, Jade has been trained as an elite Haven’s Warrior. She is pure, untouched and focused on revenge. Sheltered in a remote mountain temple, Jade has known nothing but discipline her entire life.

Dillon is as undisciplined as they come, a rogue vampire with rock-star style and a cowboy’s whisky-kissed drawl. He’s been through hell more than once in his one hundred and fifty years, but this is the cruellest blow of all—to become a monster who craves a woman’s trust.

Life’s a bitch and then you don’t die.

This is the Raveneaux Vampires Book 2, “Hunger” is the first in the series.

Barnes and Noble:



Goodreads/ blog

Barbara is back with us on the blog in early May with a review of another of her books “Darkening Around Me” and guest author interview, do come back and find out more about this romance writer.

Here are some randomly selected links to other bloggers who are taking up the challenge, please find time to visit them too.

During the challenge we are asking bloggers to leave as many comments on blogs as possible, all supportive comments are very much appreciated thank you.

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