Rosie’s Avid Readers #RBRT Virgin Earth by Phillipa Gregory

Rosie's Avid Readers

Rosie’s Avid Reader posts are from people who love reading, they tell us about books they’ve been reading, they are not connected to authors, they just love reading. They are the people who say, “I’ve just read this really good book….”


Book Blub;

As England descends into civil war, John Tradescant the Younger, gardener to King Charles I, finds his loyalties in question, his status an ever-growing danger to his family. Fearing royal defeat and determined to avoid serving the rebels, John escapes to the royalist colony of Virginia, a land bursting with fertility that stirs his passion for botany. Only the native American peoples understand the forest, and John is drawn to their way of life just as they come into fatal conflict with the colonial settlers.

Torn between his loyalty to his country and family and his love for a Powhatan girl who embodies the freedom he seeks, John has to find himself before he is prepared to choose his direction in the virgin land.

In this enthralling, freestanding sequel to Earthly Joys, Gregory combines a wealth of gardening knowledge with a haunting love story that spans two continents and two cultures, making Virgin Earth a tour de force of revolutionary politics and passionate characters.

My Avid readers’ thoughts:

Virgin Earth by Phillipa Gregory.

It is about John Tradescant who after his father, John ‘ was gardener to Charles the first. When things got difficult, coming up to the English civil war he left his family and went to America. For a while he lived as and with the Indians, including a girl friend, all the time collecting plants. After several years and when things had settled down in this country he came home with all his plants and took up his life looking after the gardens of the Royal Palaces. I enjoyed it being partly historical and it is by way of being a social history.

Find a copy here from or

We welcome recommendations especially from non-authors for this feature, and would love to hear from anyone who would like to leave a comment and follow the blog.

Romancing September #RomancingSeptember – Day 28


Welcome to Day 28 of Romancing September Across The World Tour. Today our guest is Liz Everly. Catch up with more from Liz in a few hours with the second part of our tour when Stephanie chats to her.

Like Honey (eBook)

Where is your home town?

My hometown is Aliquippa, Pa., just outside of Pittsburgh.

How long have you been writing romance?

About five years.

What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?

It’s a toss up between erotic romance and historical.

What originally brought Jennifer to Scotland?

Jennifer had a mad love affair with a man who inherited the farm. They married and moved to Scotland.

Tell us about her honey farm.

It’s been in her husband’s family for generations, but when he dies, it fall to her to run it and she notices things are “off.” She tries to save the farm out of love and memory of her husband.

How does Grayson know his honey?

Grayson grew up on a honey farm in Virginia.

What is Grayson’s secret job?

He works for Homeland Security.

What is it that he is looking for on the honey farm?

Without giving away too much, I’ll say it’s illegal contraband.

Tell us what you are working on at the moment.

I’m working on a non-erotic romantic suspense set in the Appalachians in Virginia, which is where I live.

Where can readers find out more about you?

Liz Everly

Amazon Author Page

Twitter @Liz Everly1

Find a copy of Like Honey here from or

Find out more about Liz from Stephanie Hurt’s blog and all our Romance writers

Rosie’s Book Review Challenge – A review by Karen

Today we have a review from Book review challenger Karen. She blogs at

Rosie's Book Review Challengers 1

Karen chose to read “Jaded” by Kristy Feltenberger-Gillespi

Jaded - Kristy Feltenberger - Gillespi

Jaded – Kristy Feltenberger – Gillespi

Here is Karen’s review.

My Opinion

The book introduces you to Jade, a 16-year-old girl living in Nirvana, Virginia. Her dying grandmother Ruby asks her to secretly get her diary, to read, and then destroy it. Life could not be more complicated as her 17th birthday is approaching, and some things are no longer as they seemed… It is a story of not losing oneself, finding out who to trust, and to survive. I will not tell you more about the story than shown in the Goodreads plot description. This would spoil the fun of reading this book yourself.

With Jaded, Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie has created a compelling story of enduring in a strictly ruled community, solving mysterious incidents, and young love. Jaded is an entertaining, gripping, and fast read, making you want to read more. I was drawn into the story right away. I felt close to Jade and everything that happened. All relevant characters became so real that I ‘related’ to them. Jaded is daunting as strictly ruled communities do exist, consider the Berlin Wall (dividing Berlin in two parts until 1989) or some sects who oppress their members and/or children even today. Jaded is the promising start of the Nirvana trilogy. [Hunted: Nirvana Series 2 and Blinded: Nirvana Series 3 are coming soon.]

This is a book to read again.

Find a copy here from or

Guest Author Cherie Reich

Today our guest is Cherie Reich author of yesterday’s book “Reborn” here is a link to the post if you missed my review


Let’s find out more about Cherie and her writing

1) Where is your home town?

I live in Southwest Virginia.

2) How long have you been writing?

With publication in mind, I have been writing for over five years, but I used to roleplay and write fanfiction from 1999 to 2009.

3) What was the idea which sparked off this book?

I had a character named Clarissa I created for a Harry Potter roleplaying game. She was stillborn, but revived by a god and her father. From that moment on, she had the gift of prophecy. When I thought of ideas to write a book, that premise leapt to my mind and wouldn’t leave me alone.

4) Can you tell the readers a bit about the God Apenth?

The God Apenth is the God of Prophecy, Wisdom, Healing, and Music. He is modeled a bit after Apollo from Greek mythology. Apenth fell in love with a mortal (Amora) he saved and had two children with her. This joining created the Royals in the Kingdom of Amora. Apenth would do anything to keep Amora’s prophecy of the Phoenix Prophetesses going, and he wishes to protect the kingdom from harm.

5) Yssa and Liam both have marks of the phoenix on them. Does it make their relationship stronger?

The phoenix marks denote that Apenth has chosen them. Because they are chosen puts them together a lot, but it is who they are as people that strengthens their relationship.

6) I loved the woodwose people. Will we see them again in a later book?

Yes. The woodwoses will make a special appearance in Reigned, a prequel novel set 500 years before Reborn, as well as Redestined, Book Three of The Fate Challenges.

7) How many books are you planning for the series? Can you give us a hint of what to anticipate?

Reborn is book one of a trilogy (The Fate Challenges), but there are more than three books to the series. The main three are Reborn, Reforged, and Redestined. Liam is getting a novella between Reborn and Reforged titled Remarked. There will also be two prequels set within The Fate Challenges’ world: Repledged (a novella and set 800 years before Reborn) and Reigned (a novel set 500 years before Reborn). After The Fate Challenges, I plan to write The God Challenges, which will include a prequel novel (set 2000 years after Reborn) and a trilogy (set 2500 years after Reborn). So there are many more books set within the same world coming.

8) You’ve written lots of other books, can you briefly tell us about the Foxwick series?

The Foxwick Chronicles is a series of short stories set within a hundred or so years in and around the Kingdom of Foxwick, a Medieval-esque fantasy world I created. I am combining Women of Foxwick and Men of Foxwick with seven short stories about Foxwick’s neighbors in one collection later this year titled People of Foxwick and Their Neighbors. I hope to expand upon my Foxwick world in the years to come.

9) What are the Gravity and Nightmare series about?

Gravity is a collection of new adult space fantasy novellas set within the same universe. They revolve around couples (alien/alien and alien/Earthling) who somehow find a way to love each other despite the odds around them. They are coming of age tales, and they show a post-apocalyptic world where the Earthlings are often more fearsome than the aliens.

As for Nightmare, the three stories within the collection (a short story, a novelette, and a novella) revolve around one monster. Set within Southwest Virginia, this collection is loosely inspired by a real life event that happened to me and my friends, although we had a much better outcome than the people in this horror/thriller collection.

10) When can fans expect to see book 2 of the Fate Challenges series?

Reforged will likely be out around Summer 2015. Depending on how writing/edits go, it may be sooner or later.

To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.



Available in Ebook and Print!

To purchase: Amazon | Createspace | Google Play | Kobo | Nook | OmniLit | Smashwords | Other Retailers

Click here to add on Goodreads.

The authors of Untethered Realms and I are giving away over $50 worth of books to one lucky winner. The giveaway is open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror collection Nightmare, a space fantasy novella collection titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms. For more information, please visit her website.

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


REBORN Cover Reveal (23rd Jan)

Today I have a cover reveal for you from author Cherie Reich. A YA fantasy which I will be reviewing later in the year.


Title: Reborn

Series: The Fate Challenges #1

Author: Cherie Reich

Genre: YA Epic Fantasy

Approximate Word Count: 95,000 words

Release Date: May 23, 2014

To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.

Reborn, book one of The Fate Challenges, by Cherie Reich will be released on May 23, 2014. For more information about Cherie Reich and her work, please visit her website or blog. The cover art is created by Laura Sava. To add on Goodreads, click here. If you’d like to be notified when Reborn releases, please sign up for her newsletter here.


Author Bio: A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her ebooks include the horror series Nightmare, a space fantasy trilogy titled Gravity, and a fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms.

Romancing September author Tara Quan (Layla Tarar) (Day 18)

Day 18 on Romancing September and we meet author Layla Tarar whose pen name is Tara Quan. Come and read her interview with me and don’t forget to go over to visit Stephanie for a discussion on writing romance in today’s society.

Layla 2

1) Where is your home town?
 I was born and grew up in Bangkok, but I moved to the U.S. a while back. Home is now Arlington, Virginia.
2) How long have you been writing?
 My first real foray into writing was Harry Potter fan fiction back when I was in high school. I took a long break after I started college, but picked it up again in 2010.
3) Has it always been romance?
 Oh yes. I’m a romance junkie.
4) You use a pen name are you happy to tell everyone about how you chose that name?
 I wish I had something exciting to tell you. Alas, all I did was invert my first and last legal names before making very slight spelling modifications (i.e. removing an R).
5) What made you choose Dubai for the setting of “More Than Strangers”?
 I lived in the United Arab Emirates for two years. The country has such an eclectic mix of cultures it makes for a great character pool.
6) Your book has a mix of suspense, danger, wealth, power and intrigue, would it be fair to say that James Bond could fit right in?
 He might find it a tad boring–there are no nifty gadgets or super villains. Then again, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to wear a tuxedo as well as emerge shirtless from the sea. I also believe he’s a huge fan of high speed car chases.
7) Since “Fifty Shades of Grey” catapulted erotica up the reading lists, would you say it is now a much wider accepted form of romance?
 E.L. James has definitely made erotica more mainstream. Highly sexualized romances have always been popular–they just weren’t labelled as erotic romances.
8) Thinking about the sexual content of your book, my Granny is well travelled, could I recommend it to her?
 If she is a fan of contemporary romances, I don’t see why not. More Than Strangers is rated as “spicy” by my publisher. It contains consensual sex between a monogamous heterosexual couple. The language is descriptive, but I didn’t use any of the “c” words (for this one). There is a bit of kink but not lifestyle BDSM. I would compare the heat level to Linda Howard’s books (though the frequency of sex to word count ratio is higher).
9) Are your other books “Tower in the Woods” and “Warlock’s Pawn” both erotic romances? Tell us a little about their story lines.
 Yes, they are both erotic romances. Tower in the Woods is the Rapunzel fairy tale set after a zombie apocalypse. Mother Gothel is an evil cult leader, Prince Charming is a federal agent, and Rapunzel is a nerdy sniper. This one is rated “hot” (a notch above “spicy”).
Warlock’s Pawn is a fantasy romance set in a magical desert world. A conquering sorcerer and a fey princess fall in love while trying to survive political intrigue and assassination attempts. It’s rated as “erotic” (my publisher’s highest heat level). Pass me a fan someone!
10) Are you in the process of writing a second book in the Safe Harbor series? Will it be a sequel to “More Than Strangers”?
 I’ll probably be done writing it by the time this interview goes live. Since it’s a Christmas story, it might end up coming out next year (I’m behind schedule). It’s a direct sequel and the main characters from More Than Strangers play cameo roles.
More Than StrangersFind a copy of this book here at or
Thank you so much for being our guest today, Good Luck with the new book release. Don’t for get to step over to Stephanie’s blog