X by Jack Croxall

XX by Jack Croxall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What would any of us do if our lives were turned completely upside-down? Imagine if in a matter of two months you lost all your family and friends and you were left to fend for yourself. Just how feral would we all go?

This is what happens to 15 year old “X”. Hidden in a cellar in rural England she writes the last few days of her existence in a journal for someone else to find. Once she had a Mum, a Dad, a Sister, a boy she liked at school and an ordinary life. Now she must scavenge for food, water and protection. She is alone and knows her days are numbered.

In just a few pages we meet “X” we read about what her life has become, how she copes and what she knows will happen. Jack Croxall has written a very dramatic short story which may leave you asking yourself just what you would have done in the same situation.

Find a copy of X here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
View all my reviews on Goodreads

Jack will be our guest here on the blog tomorrow, do come back and read more about him.

Legacy of Darkness by Jane Godman

Legacy of DarknessLegacy of Darkness by Jane Godman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Legacy of Darkness is a Gothic romance from the Harlequin range. It is full of dark secrets, dramatic scenes and has a stunning setting on the rugged Cornish coast. A young Queen Victoria has just taken the throne of England. Uther Jago and his sister Demelza live with their nephew Earl Tynan. They oversee the running of Castle Athal or Tenebris as it is known in the family until Tynan comes of age.

Lucy Alleyne has recently lost her father and has returned to England from India where her father worked for The East India Company. Having used all her money to bring her father’s ashes home, Lucy has found a job as a ladies companion. She is quite shocked and surprised when Demelza rescues her and claims kinship, whisking her away to Cornwall to the family home.

Tenebris holds dark secrets and has been home to centuries of family members who lived with their own dark pasts. Now it hides one last member of the family who lives his own horror. But who should Lucy be most afraid of? Strong, sexy, sensual Uther whose eyes make her want to melt into them. Or Tynan who must be kept at a distance for her safety? And what are the haunting screams and noises which make Lucy lock her bedroom door each night?

This book delivers forbidden fruits from the Gothic period with twists and turns, set in a delightful and favourite part of England.

Legacy of Darkness is currently available as part of The Shivers Line Box set from HarlequinE, released in January and available until the end of March.

Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk


From April Legacy of Darkness will be available to purchase as a single title, and the box set will be disbanded.

The Sequel Echoes of Darkness will feature in the second Shivers box set available from April 2014.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Jane will be our guest author on the blog tomorrow, come back and read more about her and her writing.

Guest Author kit Bakke

Today our guest is Kit Bakke, author of yesterday’s book “Dot to Dot”, here is a link to the post if you missed it. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-4Lc

Kit Bakke

Let’s find out more about Kit and her writing.

1) Where is your home town?

Seattle, Washington

2) How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing books for about fifteen years.

3) What was the key inspiring for this book?

DOT TO DOT started out very differently. At first Dot was an adult and her problems and challenges were quite unlike our Dot’s. That version was also written in the first person, not the third. So a lot changed. The part that stayed the same was the setting in England.

4) Before this edition of the book, you wrote it with 2 other main characters , who were they?

The adult Dot had a husband, whom she thought was being unfaithful but he actually wasn’t and they had two grown sons, one of whom needed a kidney transplant, and Dot had a best friend who was sometimes helpful and sometimes not. So you see it was a much more complicated story—in all honesty, it was more complicated than I could handle. I did a lot of interesting research on kidney transplants, though.

5) What research did you do to get the accuracy of the descriptions of Alton and Keswick particularly?

I spend as much time in England as I can. I love the countryside and I love London. I am a long-time Jane Austen fan, so have spent a couple of weeks in the Alton area, soaking up the atmosphere and visiting the sights. A few years ago, I walked the Coast-to-Coast footpath, so was introduced to the wonderful Lake District. Seeing all the Wordsworth and Coleridge-related places got me reading about them, and I realized that Dorothy Wordsworth was an important part of their lives, and, as usual, the woman doesn’t get the credit she deserves. So I tried to fix that. And as for Mary Wollstonecraft, how could a person not be drawn to her courage, her politics and her sad, sad death. And then to have her daughter grow up to run around with (and eventually marry) Shelley and write Frankenstein was such an incredible bonus.

Our heroine Dot finds a lot of resonance in Mary Shelley’s life, and in the Frankenstein story.

6) How did you find writing the English words and mannerisms?

Love it. I love finding the differences between English English and American English. I especially like the way the English use the word “keen” to mean “like” or “looking forward to.” And I love tea—I love the idea that tea solves problems.

7) Did Aunt Tab believe in life after death?

Good question. Sometimes she certainly seems to, like when she says “Thea, Thea, here you go, but you will never be gone,” or when she speaks directly to the ashes. But I guess I’ll leave the final answer up to the reader.

8) What was Nick’s surname?

I don’t think I had that figured out. What do you think? Probably something like Weston or Smithfield or Leigh or Scofield…( ooh a part of me wanted you to say “Shelley”, but it may have sounded too corny)

9) What year did you have in mind for the setting of the book?


10) What are you working on at the moment? Do you have an expected publication date for fans?

I’m working on a nonfiction book about the anti-Vietnam war protest movement in Seattle in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some of my friends and I were very active in the anti-war demonstrations and such, and I want to tell that story to kids today. Don’t hold your breath, though; it’s probably at least a year or two away.

Dot to Dot

Find a copy here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Thank you Kit, and Good Luck with the next book.

Dot to Dot by Kit Bakke

Dot to DotDot to Dot by Kit Bakke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dot to Dot is a tale of discovery for 12 year old Dorothy Mary-Jane. Finding herself an orphan when a freak accident kills her Mum before her very eyes, Dot’s world falls apart. Everything becomes BT (Before Truck) or AT (After Truck) in Dot’s grieving life.

Aunt Tab comes to the rescue, and takes Dot on a trip to England in the hope of laying a few ghosts to rest and spreading Thea’s ashes in a few memorable places. She explains who Dot was named after and their trip follows 3 famous ladies. Dorothy Wordsworth, Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen. They travel around London, Alton in Hampshire and Keswick in the Lake District.

If you believe in ghosts or not, Dot meets these inspiring ladies and follows her own path of discovery whilst remembering the words of her mother “Be daring, Be inventive, Be loyal”. By the end of her week in England Dot finds hope for the future, deciding not to run away but by remaining loyal to her family.

Find a copy here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Greening of A Heart by Stepheny Houghtlin

Greening of a HeartGreening of a Heart by Stepheny Houghtlin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Greening of a Heart is a delightful tale of journeys of discovery for many of the characters. The story is set in Burford which sits in the Cotswolds in England. I know the place myself, there is a lovely street lined with buildings made of the delightful pale yellow Cotswold stone, an absolute tourist delight.

Hannah Winchester is the wife of the Vicar of Burford, they live next to the Norman church and have a wonderful garden designed by Robert Myers, a nineteenth century Vicar who once lived there. Hannah wants to return the gardens to their former glory and in so doing finds herself on her own road to discovery. Its going to be a bumpy road, Hannah and Martin are going through a bad patch in their marriage and Martin is struggling with his role as husband and vicar. The Bishop insists that Martin travels to Jerusalem to St George’s College on his own pilgrimage to save himself and those around him.

We meet the delightful Henry Bernard, a gardener from Kew who is researching clerical gardens as well as his own past. He has applied for a job to help Hannah with her garden. There is Christine, Hannah’s neighbour, who has her own reasons for disapproving of Hannah’s garden plans, plus a whole basket of freshly prepared characters waiting in the wings to give you a mouth-watering taste of English plants, gardens and rural village life.

The book is about finding yourself, believing in what you do and living your dream, a gentle easy read and one to put a smile on your face.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Stepheny returns to the blog tomorrow for a guest author interview.

Guest Author Elaine Jeremiah

Today our guest is Elaine Jeremiah, author of yesterday’s book review The Inheritance, here is a link to the review http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-4oH

Elaine (449x800)

Let’s find out more about Elaine and her work.

1) Where is your home town?

I live in Bristol, UK but I grew up in Hampshire near Southampton.

2) How long have you been writing?

I’ve been doing some form of writing most of my life.  I always loved doing creative writing while I was at school as well as at home.  Unfortunately being in education for so long (I studied English at university) meant that for a while my creative writing was put on the back burner, as I was doing a lot of studying.  But since leaving university I’ve been able to concentrate on my writing again and now I’m writing more or less every day.  I’m writing more now than ever.

3) What was the inspiration behind “The Inheritance”?

Well question no 7 pretty much answers this one!  I was searching for inspiration for a story I could write.  I hit on the idea of retelling the parable of the prodigal son for a modern audience.  I thought it would be interesting to tell it from the point of view of two sisters and ‘The Inheritance’ was what I came up with.

4) Do you come from a farming or rural background?

No I don’t.  I had to do some research on farming as I don’t know a lot about it.  It was interesting to me to find out a little about how dairy farms are run.  I have always loved being out in the countryside in England though, and I know parts of Cornwall as I have a lot of family living there.  So using my knowledge of Cornwall and researching the parts I didn’t know seemed to work well.

5) Would you like to live in London as Emma did?

Again, no!  I like to visit London, I find it’s incredibly fascinating as a place, but I would hate to live there.  The reason being it’s just so huge and busy as well as being a bit impersonal.  My sister lives and works there and I have yet to visit her at her new flat, so I’m planning on doing that soon.  I think there are various sides to London; it’s incredibly big as I’ve said and you can have different experiences depending on where you live.  If you’re very wealthy as my character Emma’s best friend is that potentially affects how you see it, I should imagine.

6) Tell us more about Steven’s brother Dan.

He’s been difficult for Steven as a brother because he’s always on the wrong side of the law and trying to get Steven involved in his schemes.  He’s not really interested in Steven as a person, certainly not in a brotherly way.  He just sees him in terms of how he can be useful to him in his dealings with other criminals.  So not a nice man.

7) I’m not the first to mention that the story reflects the parable of the prodigal son, was this your intention?

Yes, this was my intention (see above).  But I wanted to put my own slant on the retelling of it, particularly by having it be about two sisters and set in modern England.  I hope I’ve achieved that.

8) What’s your favourite genre and why?

Oh that’s a hard one.  The truth is I don’t really have one favourite genre; I have lots.  I’ve read a lot of historical fiction, some crime, romance, thrillers…  I could go on.  I think for me to enjoy a novel when I’m reading it, it has to grab me and be gripping no matter what genre it is.

9) What are you working on at the moment?

My current work in progress is called ‘Reunion’.  It’s a romance about a young woman who goes back to her school for a reunion.  Her schooldays were not happy ones and she’s only gone because her best friend thought it might be good for her.  It’s about the consequences of her going to it and what happens to her as a result after that.

10) Do you have an expected publication date?

I haven’t set a specific date to publish it.  I haven’t finished writing it yet, but I hope to get it finished and publish it sometime this year.

The Inheritance

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Thank you Elaine, it was great hearing more about your work, good luck with the next book.

The Inheritance by Elaine Jeremiah

The InheritanceThe Inheritance by Elaine Jeremiah

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Inheritance has two main settings, a farm in Cornwall and London. The story includes sibling rivalry and secrets amongst them. Emma is the daughter whose story is similar to a modern day prodigal son. She longs to escape the back water of Cornwall and the hard graft life on the farm. She is easily led and rather innocent, finding herself amongst selfish friends and finds out the hard way what she values most in life.

Kate is Emma’s sister she currently works on the farm having given up sixth form college after the shocking disappearance of her boyfriend. Hiding away on the farm doesn’t have all the answers for Kate either, so it was good to see her return to her studies.

There is a mystery surrounding the death of the girl’s mother whom they both call “Meredith” because she failed to live up to the maternal needs of the girls. Their father was forced to lie about Meredith’s death in order to protect his children.

Secrets; Kate doesn’t tell her family about Steven, Steven doesn’t tell Kate the truth about his family. The past catches up with Kate soon enough when she returns to college to study evening classes. She meets Steven’s Guardian and soon fears she is being stalked.

This book sprinkles a little mystery, a first romance, a moral story and a big happy ever after ending.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews On Goodreads

Rosie’s Good Read Collections; Mystery/ Adventure and a touch of Horror

Welcome to “Rosie’s Good read Collections”, I’ve put together the books I’ve read into subject headings that I think the books belong to, for you to browse.

17328184New York, present day, alternate reality. Karen Brown, angry and frightened after a kidnap attempt, has a choice – being eliminated by government enforcer Jeffery Renschman or fleeing to mysterious Roma Nova, her dead mother’s homeland in Europe. Founded sixteen centuries ago by Roman exiles and ruled by women, Roma Nova gives Karen safety, at a price, and a ready-made family. Just as she’s finding her feet, a shocking discovery about her new lover, special forces officer Conrad Tellus, isolates her. But the enforcer has crossed to Europe to pursue her. Unable to rely on anybody else, she undergoes intensive training, develops fighting skills and becomes an undercover cop. But crazy with bitterness at his past failures, Renschman sets a trap for her, knowing she has no choice but to spring it..Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2FU

17289617Set in the south of England at the beginning of the 1980’s, White Goods is a novel about loss and the search for the truth, told through the eyes of a deceptive twelve-year-old boy. Scot Buckley is a complex young man, living under the shadow of absence: his mother encounters a horrific death at the start of the book. Further, he is haunted by the elusive existence of a relative simply known as ‘Jackie’ – whose very being the rest of his family are determined to keep secret. White Goods opens very dramatically: a child is pushed into the icy, open mouth of a chest freezer and the lid is slammed shut. His identity and fate are central to the story, but remain a mystery until the end. Aside from the imprisoning chest freezer, other domestic goods participate in the drama. Scot recalls that his mother’s death is the result of a gory accident with a dishwasher. However, all is not as it initially seems and, each time Scot recalls her death, the scene and the actual cause are different…Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2WX

18360200Unsatisfied with the ancient grimoires, the Magus made his own. Unsatisfied with the ancient demons, the Magus made Beatrysel. She was a creature of love, but there is no love without hate, no light without darkness, no loyalty without betrayal. And demons covet flesh. Johnny Worthen’s novel BEATRYSEL is a modern Faust tale set in the American Northwest where the cold winter rain melts the barriers between what is real and what is more real. BEATRYSEL is a terrifying journey through modern metaphysics, High Magic and ancient religions where secret dreams turn to nightmares when Will becomes Form. Power-hungry magicians, serial killers and scorned lovers must contend with the power of the most beautiful and dangerous Magick in creation– for Beatrysel is a creature of love. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2HO

578528In 1970, The Ford County Times, one of Mississipi’s more colourful weekly newspapers, went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership was assumed by 23-year-old college drop-out, Willie Traynor. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper. The murderer, Danny Padgitt, was tried before a packed courtroom in Clanton, Mississippi. The trial came to a startling, dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison. But in Mississippi in 1970 ‘life’ didn’t necessarily mean ‘life’, and nine years later Danny Padgitt managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-23w

14742424When Diana Lescure moves with her young family to the tiny village of Saint Gabriel in the depths of France, it is clear that not all is well amongst its inhabitants. As she settles into her country idyll she uncovers a menace that has shrouded the villagers for generations. Through a 12th century monk and a British agent in WW2 the story of a secret society unfolds. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-n6

13586445From the beloved gardener and romantic novelist comes a tale that moves between the present day and the 19th century with a story of love, betrayal, intrigue, and murder
“History is boring; and what does it have to do with us?” Much as Harry Flint tries to fight against the beliefs of his pupils, there are times when he wonders if they are right. With a failed marriage behind him, he sets about changing his own life and researching that of his ancestors. How can the mysterious disappearance of Anne Flint in 1816 and the drowning of a young girl in the chalk stream when the Prince Regent occupied the throne possibly affect him? But the deeper he digs, the more he realizes that the past is closer than he had ever imagined. Set in the Hampshire countryside, this is a story where people are not what they seem, and the past is no more predictable than the future. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-15B

16179838Jameson Quinn is sick of trying to find herself in the big city. After a gallery opening ends in a trip to the ER and an argument with her self-involved boyfriend, she decides to take off for the peace and quiet of a small town — Ruth Valley. The small town has everything Brooklyn lacked: simple people, peaceful surroundings, and a feeling of safety. Jameson even finds the perfect house to rent from the town’s most eligible bachelor, Sheriff Jack. Life is finally headed in a promising direction. But something isn’t right. A young man is mysteriously injured, then disappears — and Jameson finds he isn’t the only person to suddenly vanish. The suspicious behavior of an abrasive nun and a creepy priest set her off on an investigation of what’s really happening. Will she figure out the secrets of Ruth Valley before she’s the next to go missing? Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2c0

13492185Avid mushroom hunters and volunteers with the local Search and Rescue Department, Laura and Julie, who are in their sixties, remember that first encounter in the woods years ago. Four young men who are fun by nature, travel to the woods with high hopes of a hunt they won’t forget. A call to the Search and Rescue Department will bring them shockingly together in the….Black Woods. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-if

Someone’s coming for Chelsea – a killer who will stop at nothing until she’s dead. WARN THE PREY…Instead of enjoying her best friend’s hen evening, receptionist Chelsea Denham is wondering why Lee, a handsome stranger in the bar, is questioning people about phrases she received by email that morning: ‘Tick Tock. Your number’s up. People have to pay for what they’ve done.’ The email contains a ticking countdown timer. A TENSE GAME OF REVENGE. While police investigate, Chelsea teams up with Lee. She is about to encounter the worst week of her life, face guilt head-on and have her loyalty tested while frightened out of her home, menaced and used as bait. COUNTDOWN TO DEATH…Her troubled best friend is forced to reveal a dark secret and her deepest fears. It puts a new slant on the problem but, according to Lee, the stakes haven’t altered; when the countdown timer in the email reaches zero… you die. Suspense murder mystery with some romance. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-e2

13613689Detective Constable Scott Cullen of Lothian and Borders has only been three months in CID as a full DC. He is assigned a Missing Persons case which has stretched his uniform colleagues. Caroline Adamson – a young, recently divorced mother from Edinburgh – has disappeared whilst on a date. The more Cullen digs into her disappearance, the more he unravels her private life. Who was she on a date with? What happened during her divorce from Rob Thomson? As Cullen’s own private life gets messier and the relationship with his DI deteriorates, Caroline’s body turns up and he finds himself hunting for a ghost in the machine. Book one of the Scott Cullen series. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-3cA (free on Kindle at the time of going to post)

Guest Author Claudia Harbaugh (Oct 29)

Yesterday I reviewed “Her Grace in Disgrace” by Claudia Harbaugh, check out the review here http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2Nf Today Claudia is my guest on the blog, please join me in welcoming this lovely author.

Claudia Harbaugh

Let’s find out more about Claudia;

1) Where is your home town?

ANSWER: I was born in Middleborough, Massachusetts and lived there until I was 18, so I guess that would be considered my hometown, though I haven’t been there in decades. After I went to college my parents moved (they did, however, let me know the new address!) After I was married, my husband and I lived in Buffalo, NY for 6 years. Then, we moved an hour east to Rochester, NY where we spent 21 years and raised our two daughters there. That seemed like home, since we lived there for so long. However, five years ago, we moved to Newport News, VA and it is starting to feel like home.

2) How long have you been writing?

ANSWER: On and off for 30 years. Mostly off. I had a terrible English teacher in my junior year of high school and he turned me off writing and literature for a number of years. But, I began to write again when my kids were little. Home computers were brand new back then (in the olden days) and it was rare to own one, but my husband got one as a perk from his job, so I used it to write a novel at night, when everyone was asleep. It was not a very good novel, but I finished it. I realized something at that point, I was not good at multi-tasking. So I concentrated on raising my family. I continued to write here and there, but mostly I read. I read a lot. Then about 15 years ago I discovered theatre. My church had a drama group and I joined. Almost immediately I began to write short scripts, then plays. I have written 6 plays to date (and performed in them as well). That got my writing back in action. This year I decided it was at last time to write my novel. And I did!

3) Have you always written romance?

ANSWER: No. I originally planned to write mysteries. I cut my reading teeth on Agatha Christie. That first novel I wrote was a mystery. It’s why I have a book about poisons and another about police procedure somewhere in my house. It’s what I read pretty consistently for years. But a few years ago I began to read historical romances and when it came time to write my book, I was in the groove with them. So, that’s what I wrote. There are a few mysteries simmering in my brain for a later date.

4) What intrigues you about historical romance?

ANSWER: I have always been fascinated by history and I love visiting historical places. I’m from Massachusetts, originally and now from Virginia. Both places come with a lot of history. In fact there is lively debate whether Jamestown, VA or Plymouth, MA was the first colony. I’m Switzerland on this issue. Anyway…whenever I can I go to historical homes or re-enactment-type villages my imagination soars and I want to know everything about what it might have been like to have lived in that time period. What has struck me as I’ve aged, is no matter whether they wore dresses and I wear jeans or they rode horse drawn carriages and I zip around town in my Camry, I’m certain that today we still have the same hopes and dreams that the folk in times gone by had. We have the basic needs: food and shelter and love. And it is this love that I focus on in my books. I try to make my characters live and breathe, showing that despite the interesting differences that exist (and to me other cultures and time periods are immensely interesting) identical human emotions span the vastness of time.

5) What challengers are there today in engaging with the audience when writing romance?

ANSWER: Well, the first challenge is finding the audience. In this marketplace there is a whole slew of very good historical romances out there and it’s hard to get seen in the midst of them all. But there is plenty of room for more, people don’t only read one book! It’s simply a matter of being noticed. The other challenge I face is that Her Grace in Disgrace is quite clean, meaning that there are no throbbing body parts mentioned. It’s not my style. And these days it seems to be a trend to have lots of spiciness and explicit sex in TV, movies and novels. No aspersions whatsoever cast on anyone who does write them or read them, but it’s just not for me. If I read a book with pages of sex, I just flip through it to get to the story. To me, it’s all about the story and the characters. I did get one review that I loved that spelled it out for me. It said: “I liked the plot. A good first book. I do like more sex in the books I read but enjoyable anyway” But, I believe if you write a great story, with engaging characters, with or without explicit sex, your readers will be hooked.

6) Can you tell the readers a little about the Widows of Woburn Place?

ANSWER: I’d love to. First I’ll give a brief synopsis of Her Grace in Disgrace. It is set in early 19th century England. The Duke of Warwick is dead. As the book opens we find a group gathered to hear the reading of his will. Much to everyone’s horror we learn that the heroine, Isobel’s six year miserable marriage to the Duke of Warwick was a sham. He was secretly married to another woman and they had a son, who would now be the Duke of Warwick. Everything Isobel had worked for is stripped from her and she must begin anew. Isobel is faced with the reality of her fall from grace in the society where she once ruled and her own guilt as she confronts her past, rife with mistakes. What follows is Isobel’s journey to self-discovery and forgiveness. Along the way she also rediscovers love with a man from her past, a love she thought she would never find. In this quest of hers, Isobel discovers a few widows left destitute by their despicable or simply neglectful deceased husbands and Isobel realizes it is within her power to help them. And so they band together and make a home at #65 Woburn Place. One such widow is Laura, Lady Tyndale, and she was actually wronged by Isobel. She is the main character in the second book, where we will meet new widows, love interests, but the same group from Her Grace in Disgrace will be there as well. The widows are as varied and diverse as you might expect. There is Isobel’s Aunt Maude, who despite her fifty plus years and a disastrous first marriage, still holds out hope for love. Serena Endicott, whose status as widow is dubious, but necessary due to the existence of her two-year old daughter, Charys, is also featured prominently in “My Lady in a Quandry” or book 2. The widows are a lot of fun, despite their circumstances and a fair amount of wit is infused into the story so that the tales are not grim. These ladies are ever hopeful.

7) Tell us a bit about the research you’ve done to write a novel based in England, when you live in the USA.

ANSWER: THE INTERNET! What I wouldn’t give to spend a couple of months (in the summer, I think!) in the UK! I have been briefly to England, but long before I conceived of writing about it. But, until I sell quite a few more books, I’m going to have to spend countless hours on the computer researching and finding books to read that give me a sense of what life was like there and then. I find you have to know a whole lot about a subject, but very little of what you learn actually makes it into the book. However, you need that info for a foundation and to add verisimilitude to the story.  I just got a book on smuggling in Sussex and Kent in the mail yesterday, research for book 2 (which currently has the working title: “My Lady in a Quandry”) and am just about finished with it. I’m sure all the fascinating stories I’ve read will not be featured in my book, but it gives me a greater understanding of smuggling. I also pour over maps of England and London. That’s how I found Woburn Place. I even use Mapquest or Google Maps to find out the distance between places my characters are traveling. Then I have to calculate how long that might take in a carriage or on horseback on less than fabulous roads. It’s tricky, but I actually enjoy the research.

8) You must be really pleased with the number of reviews, you have at least 76 on Amazon.com and more on Amazon .co.uk and the book has only been out a few months, tell us about your successful marketing of the book.

ANSWER: I am pleased about the number of reviews, even more pleased that so many of them are really positive. As an author you really put yourself out there, but I am so blessed with kind readers and am thrilled that most of those who read the book, really enjoy it. It was great to see a number of men write super positive reviews (only one of them was related to me). I think they were so surprised themselves that they enjoyed a historical romance that they raved about the book. As far as marketing goes, I feel like I was thrown in the deep end of a pool and I’m doggie paddling for my life! I read a few books about book promotion and have spent literally hours and hours on the internet researching, reading blogs, writing emails to blogs, tweeting, Facebooking…argghh! I also have had to spend some money on advertising. Some worth it, some not. But I think I’ve learned some things. I have so far to go to really feel comfortable with the whole promotion thing, but I’ve “met” some really great people, generous people (like Rosie) who are willing to take time to let me be highlighted on their blogs, or just give me some great advice. It’s very much a networking situation. It’s like most things in life, things that stretch you. It’s painful at first,  but if you go with it and just open yourself up to learn, eventually you will look back and see how far you’ve come. You are allowed a little pat on the back at that point, I think. I’m not patting myself on the back yet!

9) How many books are you planning for the series?

ANSWER: At least three more, possibly four. Each book in the series highlights one of the widows and it depends on which of these great ladies demands their own story!

10) Do you have an expected publication date for the second book for fans to get excited about?

ANSWER: Not set in stone,  but I am hoping late November or early December.

Claudia Harbaugh Links

Website: http://bit.ly/1dgIBcU or full link http://www.claudiaharbaugh.com

Blog: http://bit.ly/151HqGA or full link http://www.claudiaharbaugh.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudiaHarbaughbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClaudiaHarbaugh

GoodReads: http://bit.ly/194Tkp8  or  full link https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7152962.Claudia_Harbaugh

Google+:  http://bit.ly/180vo4i or full link https://plus.google.com/102137878131986262377/posts

Buy Link: http://amzn.to/185laiZ or full link http://www.amazon.com/Grace-Disgrace-Widows-Woburn-ebook/dp/B00DJBYGJS

Amazon.co.uk link http://www.amazon.co.uk/Grace-Disgrace-Widows-Woburn-ebook/dp/B00DJBYGJS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381515289&sr=1-1&keywords=her+grace+in+disgrace

Thank you Claudia and Good Luck with the next book.

Romancing September – Terry Tyler (Day 12)

We are now up to day 12 of Romancing September, it is such a fun tour to be part of and our guest today is Terry Tyler. You can also check out her discussion with Stephanie over in Georgia in a few hours time, about writing romance in today’s society.

TerryTwit2Let’s find out more about Terry and her book “Full Circle”

1) Where is your home town?
 I live in the North East of England though am a southerner, from Northampton, and I also lived in Norfolk for 9 years.
2) How long have you been writing?
 I first wrote a novel 20 years ago, though only started writing the novels published on Amazon in 2010.  I didn’t write at all for 10 years previously.
3) Where did the inspiration for “Full Circle” come from?
 Full Circle is the sequel to Dream On.  I got the idea one evening in 1995 when I was sitting in a pub in Northampton with my sister.  We started making up a story about two guys who were standing at the bar; I went home and turned it into a novel, which I re-wrote last year.
4) Tell us about the main characters in “Full Circle”
The main characters in Full Circle are:  1) Shane, a lovable rogue type womaniser.  2) Head in the clouds, wannabe rock star Dave.  3) The love of Dave’s life, singer-songwriter Ariel  3) Janice, who is Dave’s ex and the mother of his son.
5) There’s a love triangle going on in this book, are we likely to be taking sides as readers?
Ooh, there is more than one love triangle….  three and counting, I think!  But there aren’t really any baddies in this book – though obviously everyone has their favourites!
6) I’ve recently heard about the N/A (New adult) reader bracket, what is your target audience for this book?
This book could be and has been read and enjoyed by both sexes, and ages 22 to over 50 – it’s hard to say!  I know we’re all supposed to have target audiences … I’d say my average reader is a pretty groovy sort of woman in her late 30s; but then I could be hopelessly wrong…!
7) One reviewer said your strength is character building, where do you draw the inspiration for your characters from?
My characters all originate from people I have known or observed, I think – I’m not sure.  I don’t really think about it, they just happen.  I’m afraid I’m not very good about discussing the mechanics of how I write, as I just do it and don’t think about it much.  The phrase ‘I don’t know’ tends to feature heavily in all my author interviews.
8) “Full Circle” is set in the modern day, what challenging issues have you included?
 Challenging issues, hmmmmm….  the main one in Full Circle is, I think, alcoholism.  Janice’s husband is an alcoholic.  I have been the partner of one, so I know what it’s like and could draw on my own experiences.  I am sure many who have been in this position will recognise much of Janice’s story!
9) Readers enjoy relating to your characters, how do you make us fall in love with them?
Oh dear, this is another ‘I don’t know’…!!!  I suppose I have to fancy my male characters, or I can’t expect my readers to!  I’ve always fancied Dave, while my sister prefers Shane!  There is always one male character in each of my books who I really fancy – Mel the builder in You Wish, Nick in Nobody’s Fault, etc etc!
10) Does your next novel follow on from “Full Circle!? Or is it something different? This will be your 6th book, when is it due out ?
No, the story of Dave, Shane, Ariel and Janice ends very satisfactorily at the end of Full Circle!  It’s the first time I’ve written a sequel and wouldn’t want to do it again – it’s very hard to make it work as a stand alone, which of course it has to, but without repeating too much of what was in the prequel.  My new book, “What It Takes”, is a family drama – a tale of sibling rivalry, obsession, a bit of stalking, secrets and lies… it’s not as light as Dream On and Full Circle, more in the mode of my earlier novel Nobody’s Fault.  I am pleased to tell you that “What it Takes” was published last Friday.FullCircle_cover-finalFind Full Circle here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
I’d like you to join with me and Thank Terry for being our guest today and wish her Good Luck with the next book.