Tag Archives: contemporary

Lipton tea with Gail Ward Olmsted

 

Drinking teaGail photoToday I’m having tea with the gorgeous Gail Olmsted and we’re talking about her brand new release, Driving on the left. But before we talk about her book, let’s find out more about her!

 

 

 

 

Questions:

A. Quickies

  1. Tea or wine? (what brand/cultivar?)

Tea- plain old Lipton, but would much prefer coffee!!

  1. Read or jog?

Read, read, read!! What is this jogging of which you speak??

  1. Cats or dogs?

I have three cats (Hope, Chloe & Ricky), but I love dogs too.

  1. Heels or flats?

Flats, preferably flip flops

  1. Boxers or briefs?

Boxers, on my hub that is!!

  1. Milk, dark or white chocolate

I have always loved milk chocolate, but am slowly learning to appreciate dark chocolate. Very satisfying and you don’t need to eat so much of it!!

  1. Sweet or savoury

Sweet, although ‘salted caramel’ anything is a current favorite. Can I have both??

  1. Sea or mountains

These are very difficult questions Elsa!! Can I be in the mountain with a view of the sea? My favorite place is the world is Dingle Bay in Ireland. The Conor Pass is definitely in the mountains and that bay is stunning!!

(Sounds perfect, Gail)

 B. Five likes and five dislikes

5 likes- people who are kind for no reason, boating, reading, my family (love) and hot coffee

5 dislikes: people who are mean for no reason, clowns, mimes, liver and cold coffee

 C. Three things on your bucket list

  • Spend a summer in Ireland with my husband
  •  Learn to sail or operate one of our boats- we just moved to a house on a lake and it would be very convenient for me to know how to get around on water
  •  See any one of my books: JEEP TOUR, Guessing at Normal, Driving on the Left- turned into a movie. I already have the cast all picked out!!

 D. What triggered this specific story?

My daughter and I took a trip to Ireland two years ago. It was her first time! We had a terrific vacation and met a super-cute tour guide named Sean. I had just released JEEP TOUR (about a woman who meets a hunky tour guide in Sedona, AZ) and Sean joked that I should write a sequel based in Ireland. So I did!!

 DrivingEbookBlurb from Driving on the left:

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

A summer fling changed the entire course of Jackie Sullivan’s life. Back then, she trusted her instincts and took a chance on love. Now she’s at a crossroads and has a big decision to make. How much is she willing to sacrifice for the man she loves? Her daughter Becca’s got her own problem- a secret that could threaten her carefully planned-out future. Romance is the last thing on her mind this summer.

Jackie and Becca planned to explore the beautiful Irish countryside during a relaxing vacation, but when Becca falls for tour guide Sean, she wants to explore much more. Will Becca resist temptation or follow in her mother’s footsteps? Sean may be just too good to pass up.

This book is for anyone who believes in the power of love and its ability to make you all sorts of crazy. Written as a sequel to JEEP TOUR, it can be enjoyed as a standalone read as well.

Social media links:

Twitter: @gwolmsted

E-mail: gail@gailolmsted.com

Website: www.gailolmsted.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gailolmstedauthor

Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/gailolmsted

Buy links:

Long and short

http://tinyurl.com/gv6vd8a

http://tinyurl.com/zpnvddo

Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Driving-Left-Gail-Ward-Olmsted-ebook/dp/B01IUGGWPC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469232648&sr=8-1&keywords=driving+on+the+left

Print

https://www.amazon.com/Driving-Left-Gail-Ward-Olmsted/dp/0692714871/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1469232648&sr=8-3&keywords=driving+on+the+left

Author Bio:

My first visit to Sedona, AZ prompted me to start writing JEEP TOUR, my first novel. I fell in love with the red rocks and blue skies. My second novel is Guessing at Normal, a rock and roll love story. I recently released Driving on the Left, a romantic sequel of sorts to JEEP TOUR, based in Ireland. A hopeless romantic, I am married to the love of my life. I am mom to two young adults and three cats, and I enjoy reading, music and travel.

I am a professor in the School of Business & Information Technology at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, MA. I was the recipient of the Deliso Endowed Chair Award and was recently recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Department of Higher Education as one of “29 Who Shine”.

Review of Driving on the left 5*

I’ve enjoyed Gail Olmsted’s Jeep Tour and I always worry that a follow-up story will not be as good but this one didn’t disappoint! Mother and daughter are touring Ireland, there’s a sexy tour guide with an Irish accent – I was hooked. Writing from a first person perspective, the author gives us glimpses into the thoughts of both mother and daughter, their fears and pain, their joys and love for each other. Jackie is worried her daughter is making the same mistake she made all those years ago and Becca has a secret – the way they resolve both worry and secret makes for a great read.

And have I mentioned the sexy, Irish tour guide?

I was given a copy by the author for a honest review.

All the best with this one, Gail!

 

Tea with Bernadette Marie about her latest release, Walker Bride

 

Drinking teaToday I’m having tea with author Bernadette Marie and we’re talking about book 3 in her Walker Bride series, Walker Bride. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of her writing and enjoyed getting to know more about her!

A. Quickies

1. Tea or wine? Tea

2. Read or jog? Read (but I listen to books while I Jog, does that count?)

3. Cats or dogs? Dogs

4. Heels or flats? Flats

5. Boxers or briefs? hmmmm, I’ve been married too long to have an opinion I think J

6. Milk, dark or white chocolate Milk!

7. Sweet or savoury Sweet

8. Sea or mountains Mountains

B. Five likes and five dislikes

Likes:

  1. The sound my family makes in the house (even if it’s loud.)
  2. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate
  3. The feeling of being happy
  4. Being held close by the person you love most
  5. my job

Dislikes

  1. Dishonest people
  2. closed minded people
  3. big crowds (you know…stadium or concert venues)
  4. Homework deadlines with crabby, hungry kiddos
  5. being sick

C. Three things on your bucket list

  1. To live somewhere else for 1-3 months (only)
  2. NYT Bestseller list
  3. Run a ½ marathon

D. What triggered this specific story?

This story is the 3rd in the Walker Family series. We met Pearl and Tyson in book one and they seemed to be uniquely fitting for one another. Each of them are a little lost in their own right and I think their story was a nice transition to the others to come.

Always the bridal consultant, never the bride. That was former bad girl gone business professional, Pearl Walker‘s life until she put her hands on Tyson Morgan while measuring him for a tux.
Tyson was happy being a miserable man, taking care of his family’s land, and not involved with a woman. However, even he can’t resist the pull of attraction to the beautiful, and off limits, Pearl?
The feud between the Walkers and the Morgans had torn apart friends and families for generations. What might happen when Pearl Walker and Tyson Morgan become business partners—and more?
Buy links:

 

 

Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends. Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter. At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.

In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published. That year she wrote 12
books. In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born. In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince
Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and has begun the process of taking on other authors in other genres.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events. She is also an accomplished martial artist, working her way to her second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.
An avid reader she loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and
she always promises Happily Ever After.

Connect With The Author Here:
Amazon
~  Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Website

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

 

Thanks for having tea with me, Bernadette – all the best with the Walker series! I love your ‘likes’ 🙂

Touched to the depths – 4th and final story of the Cavallo brothers

TouchedToTheDepths-ByElsaWinckler-453x680And finally the last story about the Cavallo brothers has been released! Touched to the depths, Darryn and Hannah’s story is now available.

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb:

He was the photographer, she the model and on a sunny beach on Mahé, she stole his heart. But Darryn isn’t ready for the powerful feelings Hannah elicits, so when another photographer implies he’s also slept with Hannah, Darryn uses it as the perfect excuse to walk away.

But when they meet again, he can’t ignore his instincts—Hannah is in danger. Lies and threats make targets of them both, and faced with a situation of pure terror, Darryn is forced to realize he’ll do anything to protect her. And to keep her with him, always…

Excerpt:

She couldn’t help it, she had to do it. The photographer was late, she had her makeup on, her hair was ready, so she could indulge before she had to work.

Lifting her face up to the sun, drinking in the fragrance that was the Seychelles, Hannah lifted the layers of pink tulle of the skirt she was wearing and twirled. The make-up artist and the hair stylist laughed.

“I was wondering when you’d do that,” Sandy, the make-up artist said.

Looking over her shoulder, Sandy grinned. “Looks like our photographer caught you in the act.”

Hannah looked up into a pair of dark brown eyes that were watching her over the lens of a camera. This had to be Darryn Cavallo. The rumors were true—he was drop-dead gorgeous. Tall, muscled, with tousled, ink-black hair. Wow.

She didn’t wait to be introduced to him, didn’t wait to listen to his instructions. With her eyes locked on him, she slid into a pose. He stared at her for another minute before he lifted the camera.

And then her body started moving to a beat only audible to her and the photographer. Without any conscious thought, she posed and turned, instinctively knowing exactly what he wanted her to do.

The air around her stopped moving, breathing became difficult, any minute now she was going to go up in flames. Every cell in her body was reacting to him.

Buy links:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Touched-Depths-Elsa-Winckler-ebook/dp/B018WRITHI/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1449202677&sr=8-10&keywords=elsa+winckler

Amazon.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Touched-Depths-Elsa-Winckler-ebook/dp/B018WRITHI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449202765&sr=1-1&keywords=elsa+winckler

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/touched-to-the-depths

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/touched-to-the-depths-elsa-winckler/1123091337?ean=2940157817787

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-touchedtothedepths-1939988-149.html

Etopia Press: http://www.etopiapress.com/touched-to-the-depths/

Book Blitz for Suzanne Jefferies’s The Joy of Comfort Eating

Today I have the pleasure of being part of fellow South African author Suzanne Jefferies’s Book Blitz tour for her latest release The Joy of Comfort Eating.

 

Title: The Joy of Comfort Eating
Author: Suzanne Jefferies
Series: Standalone
Genre: Chick Lit/Romance/Erotica
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
Release Date: Nov 17
Edition/Formats: eBook & Print
Blurb/Rating:

It’s the worst day of Charlie Everson’s life. Not only can she no longer fit into her clothes—disaster for any public relations director—but also her first love, the sexy super-successful Brian Tendai, is her new CEO, the last person she ever expected to run into. Seeing him again tumbles Charlie back into her past. There are still so many unanswered questions: he’s convinced she left him, she’s convinced he left her. Charlie minimizes the ‘ex’ factor. Tell that to her emotions that are running wild.
But Brian’s not there to rekindle their romance. He’s overseeing Queenswood Communications’ recent merger after a hostile takeover. Guess whose name is at the top of the list?
They agree to one night together, just the one, then it’s back to business as normal. Or is it?

The Joy of Comfort Eating is a contemporary romance novel set in cosmopolitan Johannesburg.

Continue reading Book Blitz for Suzanne Jefferies’s The Joy of Comfort Eating

Written Fireside story – Can’t you see?

I am so pleased to be part of Lori Connely’s Written Fireside story again!

loriconnellyh_cantyousee1The title this time is Can’t you see?

Part 1 has been written by Lori Connely and you can find it here:

http://writtenfireside.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

Part 2

Deep blue eyes flickered in his direction for mere seconds, but it was long enough for him to realize a few things: his neighbour may be a teacher but she was definitely no old lady; she was tall, slim and beautiful. She was also clearly miffed.

Amanda wanted to look her new neighbour in the eye and tell him exactly what she thought of rude people, but when her eyes met his clear green ones, a jolt shot down her spine, leaving her momentarily breathless.

When she’d seen him lying on the lounge chair a few minutes ago, she couldn’t help but notice his muscled legs and arms. She hadn’t been able to see his eyes because a hat covered his face. A hat he hadn’t even bothered to remove when she spoke to him. But now she was experiencing the full impact of his stare.

And wow – the man was impossibly attractive. The faded t-shirt he was wearing couldn’t hide his well-built, muscled upper body. Put this together with the bottom part she’d seen earlier, and you had a very large, very sexy man looking looking over her fence.

“I … thank you,” was all she got out. Her mouth felt dry and stringing more words together was difficult.

He was holding Gertie close to his chest and the little dog was obviously smitten. She was staring up into his face adoringly while licking his hand.

Irritated with Gertie, the man and herself, Amanda stomped closer to the fence to get Rachel’s little dog. But as she approached, the the horrible truth intruded – her sister was dead, Gertie was now her dog.

Trying to blink back the tears that seemed to be constantly ready to fall, she held out her hands to take Gertie.

“I’m sorry about just now,” the man said while putting Gertie gently into her hands. “I … had a bad dream and …”

“You were rude,” she said in a clipped voice, doing her best not to look into his eyes again while willing the tears not to fall. “I was only trying to find Gertie.”

“I know and I’m sorry …” he began, but she put Gertie down and turned her back on him.

“Fine,” she just about snarled while she walked briskly towards her part of the duplex. She was not going to cry again, damn it!

“Come on, Gertie, you haven’t eaten yet,” she called out, expecting Gertie to follow her and run ahead as she usually did when either eating or food was mentioned.

But behind her Gertie started barking. Exasperated, Amanda looked over her shoulder at Gertie. The little dog was standing exactly where she’d put her down just now, barking like crazy while she looked from Amanda to the new neighbouras if … as if she was trying to get them closer together.

Amanda snorted at the ridiculous idea. She’d probably slept too long over the weekend and was seeing things that weren’t even there. Her mother was right, she should get out more. But ever since Rachel’s death …

She pushed the thought away as she always did. “Come on, Gertie,” she called, but the little dog kept on barking, kept on swivelling her head from Amanda to the new neighbour.

The man laughed. Laughed! “What do you think she wants?”

“I have no idea,” Amanda said while she walked back and picked up Gertie.

“Shush!” she scolded Gertie and the little dog immediately dropped her head onto Amanda’s arm and whimpered as if she’d been hit.

Amanda rolled her eyes. “Really?”

The neighbour put out his hand and rubbed Gertie’s head. Excitedly, Gertie began licking his hand while she gave Amanda what could only be described as a triumphant look.

“I’m Noah by the way,” the man said with a grin. “Noah Hale.” He held out his right hand.

Amanda stared at the big hand for a few seconds. She didn’t want to touch him. If a mere look into his green eyes was able to nearly reduce her to a puddle,she shuddered to think what a touch of his hand would do.

Gertie barked and nudged her hand until she held it awkwardly out to Noah.

His hand folded over her fingers while Gertie barked excitedly. Her eyes met his and this time she saw beneath the clear green, this time she noticed … the pain.

Part 3 will be written by Angela Campbell and will be available on 7 July – enjoy!

http://angiecampbell.blogspot.co.uk/

A glass of wine with Eva Scott – A Season to Remember

Wine with ElsaToday Eva Scott and I are talking about the release of the Anthology A Season to Remember over a glass of wine. It’s a Christmas anthology from four Australian authors: Eva Scott, Susanne Bellamy, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, and Noelle Clark.

Release Date: November 28, 2014

 

 

The four lovely ladies:

Season to remember combined author pic

 

 

 

 

Before we look at the blurbs and extracts of these stories, here are Eva’s answers to my questions:

Quickies:

  1. Tea or wine?

In a pinch I’d have to say wine.

  1. Read or jog?

Most definitely reading

  1. Cats or dogs?

Dogs slightly over cats, but only slightly

  1. Heels or flats?

These days flats, although I’ve a wardrobe full of towering heels I’ll never wear again. It’s like a graveyard for high heels from the 90s.

  1. Boxers or briefs?

Commando.

  1. Milk, dark or white chocolate

Milk or dark but not a fan of the white.

  1. Sweet or savoury

Savoury every time.

  1. Sea or mountains

The sea but if I can live in mountains by the sea then you have perfection.

  1. Five likes and five dislikes

Likes

  1. Red wine
  2. Being by ocean
  3. Hearing my son giggle uncontrollably
  4. My husband-to-be
  5. Sleep

Dislikes

  1. Bad coffee
  2. Seeing people’s underwear/bellies poking out in public. Never attractive.
  3. Fishy tasting fish – I know, fish is supposed to taste like fish but…
  4. Jet ski riders. Not all but some.
  5. Rats and mice – whether pets or not.
  1. Three things on your bucket list
  1. See the aurora borealis
  2. Get married (we’ve been engaged for years)
  3. See one of my books on the New York Times Best Seller List
  1. What triggered this anthology?

Three writer friends of mine asked me to take part in a Christmas anthology and I couldn’t say no. Four lovely stories, all very different and free to download from Smashwords as our Chrissy gift to you.

Blurbs and extracts from all four stories:

Season to remember illustration for Three Ships

‘Three Ships’ by Elizabeth Ellen Carter

Blurb:

An adventure romance set in the early 19th century on the Devon Coast.

Excerpt from Three Ships

“Why doesn’t the lieutenant do something?” Laura whispered tautly.

“Just wait,” her father insisted.

Blackwell too had stopped running as he watched his two men close the gap. They were now only ten yards away when Renten picked up the lantern, pulled out the candle and dropped it in the cauldron.

The blackguards closed in – five yards, two yards – then the powder in the cauldron ignited. Renten disappeared in a flash of light and billowing smoke.

The two men ran into the miasma and, a moment later, their cries of distress were heard as they ran right off the edge of the cliff.

Laura gripped her father’s hand at the sound and the sight.

When the white-blue smoke cleared, the cliff edge was deserted, save for the cauldron.

Season to remember illustration for Sands of Time

 ‘Sands of Time’ by Noelle Clark

Blurb:

Kitty faces her first Christmas without the love of her life. She looks back with fondness on the memories of Christmases past and, with the love and support of her grandson Joe, finds inner strength to face the future with anticipation. Kitty realises that, as she gets older, time passes so quickly. Although sad and happy memories flood through her on this special Christmas day, she chooses to embrace every moment of life.

Excerpts: Sands of Time

Excerpt 1

They were nearing Kingfisher Island. Not a grain of the tract that joined the small sandy cay to the mainland was visible. A couple of small boats were moored along the deep channel on the southern side of the causeway, with people fishing from them. The boats bobbed up and down on the whitecaps, sometimes disappearing from view, then emerging again.

“Just over there, please, Joe. Near that clump of mangroves.”

Joe pulled on one oar, turning the bow of the boat towards where she pointed. Within a minute, she heard the sand scraping against the keel under the boat. Clamping her hand on the gunwale for support, she stood carefully and jumped over the side, landing in knee-deep water. Joe shipped the oars and joined her, the water not even reaching halfway to his knees. He grabbed the pointy prow and pulled the boat up onto the beach.

She gazed around her, the familiar sight of the few remaining stumpy mangrove trees, and the covering of pigface on the small dunes bringing a lump to her throat. The mauve star-shaped blossoms of the coastal succulent groundcover looked exactly as they had done for all these years. Nature’s legacy, constant and predictable, unlike humans, whose term on this planet was fleeting. For a moment she recalled the faint, salty perfume of the little dune succulents whose strong roots helped the sandy hillocks from washing away with each tide. When crushed, they emitted a soft waft of delicate scent. Not for the first time, she wondered why they’d been given the hideous name of pigface.

Joe’s outstretched hand appeared before her eyes, inviting her to take it. She refocused her vision, reached out, grasped it, and took a few steps through the water and up towards the sandy beach. Joe tugged gently on her hand, helping her to stand upright in the choppy waters which made the little boat bob roughly. A cascade of spray caught them both in the face as it slapped against the side of the wooden boat with a thud. They laughed in unison, blinking at each other through salt-filled eyes.

“Gotcha, Nan.” Joe’s smile, always so generous, beamed at her. She smiled back, raised her arm, and wiped her face with the sleeve of her blouse.

He held on to her hand until she reached the dry beach, then he stretched into the prow of the dinghy and pulled out an anchor attached to a sturdy rope, walked further up the beach, and buried it firmly into the sand. When it was secured, Joe turned and retrieved the picnic basket and the rest of the things they needed for their visit to the island, and deposited them where the low dunes met the beach. She walked to the picnic basket, leaned over and opened it, took out an old blue blanket, and spread it down on the sparse tufts of grass. Ignoring her sand-encrusted feet, she stepped onto the blanket, sank back on her elbows and gazed dreamily up at the cobalt sky.

Excerpt 2

“Merry Christmas.” He reached into a small canvas tote and pulled out a small, square box wrapped in Christmas paper and tied with red and green ribbon.

She took his face in her hands and kissed him tenderly.

He pulled away, his face as eager as a child’s. “Here, open it.”

She ripped off the ribbon and tore at the paper. Inside was a dark red velvet box. She flipped open the lid, revealing two gold earrings set with dark blue sapphires. Love swelled inside her, almost making her swoon. Unshed tears stung the backs of her eyes.

“They’re beautiful!” Her words were barely audible. She kissed him again, deeply, lovingly. When they broke their embrace, Billy rose and walked over to his wooden dinghy, untied the plastic mistletoe, and returned, attaching it to a stumpy mangrove bush next to where they were lying on their towels.

He lay down next to her again. She still remembered how his eyes looked that day—deep, dark pools exuding love. He bent his head and kissed her. “I love you so much, Kathryn. I adore you.”

Their embrace, fuelled by their love, fanned the flames of passion. There, on the sandy crescent of beach on Kingfisher Island, with no witnesses save some gulls and a few waterbirds, they consummated their love for the first time, pledging their devotion—and their lives—to each other.

Season to remember illustration for All That Glitters ‘All That Glitters’ by Eva Scott

Blurb:

Molly is a modern day Cinderella, second best to her half-sister Aimee and never measuring up to her step-mother’s expectations. Now Aimee has the chance to marry an elderly millionaire and Molly is expected to keep the man’s grandson, Connor Rathmore, from sabotaging the event. Handsome, charismatic and very, very sexy – how is she going to keep him from sabotaging her heart?

Excerpt: All That Glitters

“Well, are you ready?” She sounded rude but it was all she could manage to say. On the way over to pick him up she’d been too preoccupied to consider him at all. Instead she replayed the conversation she’d had with her stepmother. After receiving a reprimand for arriving late, Maria had grilled her over Connor Rathmore and found her answers less than satisfactory. Then the lecture started on her appearance. Where were the shoes? She’d kicked off those horrible expensive shoes at the airport and hadn’t given them another thought. An unforgivable act in her stepmother’s eyes. It was impressed upon her that she must try harder and remember her sister’s happiness. Of course. Molly loved her half-sister, Aimee, despite the fact the girl was spoilt rotten. Underneath all the embellishments she really did have a good heart. It wasn’t Aimee’s fault she’d been raised to be a life-sized doll.

She appraised the man before her. She steeled herself not to react to him. When he’d opened the hotel room door, more primal male than any man she had ever encountered, something unexpected happened to her. Bam! Right to the heart. Very inconvenient and impossible, the idea could not be entertained. Not for a millisecond. The consequences would be devastating.

“Good evening to you too.” He bestowed what she assumed was his best killer smile. “Shall we go?”

He stepped through the door, so close the heat radiating off his body hit her like a furnace. Her natural reserve began to melt. The scent of him was so… masculine and her knees wobbled as she caught her breath. Moving away wasn’t an option, even if she tried.

He smiled as if aware of the effect he had on her. Without looking back he strode towards the elevator and pushed the button. They stood in silence side by side while they waited. The animal magnetism between them shimmered, increasing with every passing second.

Molly’s senses scrambled. She stumbled into the lift. This situation would need careful handling. The man beside her must not guess his presence caused a meltdown. Her attraction to him created a complication she did not need. Just one week. Please help me make it through this one week. If her stepmother suspected an attraction between Molly and Connor, all hell would break loose.

Season to remember illustration for A Touch of Christmas ‘A Touch of Christmas’ by Susanne Bellamy

Blurb:

As Starship Bluefire settles into orbit around Earth, Captain Andra Veluthian anticipates meeting her favourite human, Colonel Nick Madigan. Have his efforts to save the planet succeeded? And if so, will she lose any chance to be with him?

Knowing Andra’s fascination with all things Terran, Nick has planned a surprise for her. After all, it is Christmas, the season of giving. But when Earth’s leader and the Gravlarian captain spend time planet side, the temperature soars.

Excerpts: A Touch of Christmas

Excerpt 1

Starship Bluefire – Log entry #1878 Orbit established around Planet Earth. Local time: 0715 – 22 December 2525 AD

“Reverse thruster off. Docking complete, Captain.”

Captain Andra Veluthian ordered her viewing screen to retract, rolled her shoulders then rested her head against the padded headrest of her Conforma-chair and looked at the view. Framed by a huge window on the bridge, planet Earth appeared close and surprisingly whiter than on her last stopover two years earlier. Through breaks in the dense cloud cover she could even discern the long coastline of what Earth dwellers used to call South America and, just appearing on the western edge across an expanse of ocean, was the island continent they called Australia. Home of the wombat, wallaroo and one handsome colonel.

Colonel Nicholas Madigan, political leader and guiding hand in Earth’s struggle against extinction.

Last visit, the fair-haired colonel had set more than a few hearts pounding among her crew. Including hers.

Excerpt 2

Beyond a set of double doors, a large, round, backlit table occupied the centre of the conference room. Patterned with galaxies and distant star systems, it was a thing of beauty in an otherwise utilitarian space. As a symbol, it was priceless. Gravlarian attitudes were rather like the Arthurian legends he’d read about. As in the fabled court of Camelot, their round table accorded all attendees the same right to speak as equals.

Light refreshments were served as a preliminary to the serious business ahead of them and his delegation intermingled with the Gravlarians. Diplomacy demanded he chatted with members of her staff but when they assembled at the round meeting table, Nick made sure he was beside Andra. She stopped beside two vacant seats. Was the starship captain’s inclination the same as his?

At the touch of his hands, a seat automatically unclamped from the table. He held it, knowing the gesture would not be lost on her. Her tawny eyes widened and their colour deepened, rivalling a desert sunset. Basking in the glow, he almost forgot the reason for their meeting today, the report cached in his wrist-corder.

Clearing his throat, he keyed in his guest access code on the reader embedded in the table, followed by his palm print. “I’m ready.”

 Author Profiles:

 Elizabeth Ellen Carter

A future with words was always on the books for Elizabeth Ellen Carter who started writing her own stories when she ran out of Nancy Drew mysteries to read at the age of ten. Using her mother’s Olivetti typewriter with all italic keys, she spent endless school holidays making up her own (italicised) stories and then using the Dewey Decimal System to arrange and categorise her bookshelf.

Somewhere around the age of 13, she determined to become a journalist and at 17 was awarded a newspaper cadetship. She covered news, council, education and health but had the most fun as an entertainment and features reporter covering film, TV and music.

Best of all, she met her husband at the newspaper and, together, they started a small award-winning media, marketing and advertising agency. Today, she works as marketing manager for an international organic skin care company.

In 2012, Elizabeth also returned to the keyboard to write stories (and found laptops are so much better than manual typewriters).

Her debut novel, Moonstone Obsession, was shortlisted for the 2013 Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Awards for unpublished manuscripts.

Elizabeth is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, the Australian Romance Readers Association and the Gold Coast Writers Association. She is currently published by Etopia Press.

Website: http://eecarter.com/

Noelle Clark

Noelle Clark is an Australian author of contemporary romance and commercial historical fiction novels. Her books weave romance, intrigue, and adventure into colourful, exotic, and interesting locations around the world. Widely travelled, Noelle uses real life experience of places, culture, and people as a backdrop to her stories, giving the reader an authentic taste of the location. Her novels feature strong, mature heroines and heroes, who—often without knowing it—are ready for new beginnings.

She lives close to the sea and shares her home with two cats and two dogs. She has two grown up children, and five very small grandchildren. When Noelle’s not writing and travelling, she plays guitar, tends her vegetable garden, enjoys the company of family and friends, and—of course—reading.

Noelle is a member of Queensland Writers Centre; YON Beyond Writing Group; Romance Writers of Australia; and Australian Romance Readers Association, and is currently published by Etopia Press and Secret Cravings Publishing.

Website: www.noelleclark.net

Eva Scott

Eva Scott writes contemporary romance set in her homeland of Australia and historical fiction set in the Ancient World. Her books offer passion and adventure in some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world. Her heroes and heroines are strong, sassy and ready to rise to their challenges, and learn a little bit about themselves along the way.

Having lived overseas for several years, Eva returned to study Anthropology before heading off to live in Papua New Guinea for a year. There she met the love of her life, author G.W. Gibson, who was stationed there with the Australian Defence Force. The rest is history, romantic history.

She now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her husband, small son and an assortment of animals. When Eva is not writing she enjoys mentoring first-time authors, cooking up a story, practising yoga and getting out on the bay on her stand-up paddle board.

Eva is a member of Romance Writers of Australia; North Lakes Writers Group; Queensland Writers Centre and Australian Romance Readers Association. She is published by Musa Publishing and Harlequin Escape.

Website: http://www.evascottromance.com/

Susanne Bellamy

Susanne is an Australian author of contemporary and suspense romances set in exciting and often exotic locations. Her heroes have to be pretty special to live up to the real life one she married. He saved her life then married her. They live on the edge of bush land on a mountain in beautiful sunny Queensland, Australia with two children and their dog.

Paris will always be one of her top spots, and she fell in love with Scotland when they visited the west coast (nothing to do with fine single malts!), and recently had her first real trip to Italy–tick off one Bucket List item!  She has enjoyed New Year in Kathmandu and trekked in the Annapurnas, sailed in Ha Long Bay on a junk, and stayed on a floating hotel beside a tethered elephant in Thailand. The Peak in Hong Kong and Mt Faber cable car ride in Singapore are favourite spots. Susanne loves travelling to new places and exploring the culture and history, and meeting new people. These experiences are gradually being incorporated into her stories.

Her as yet unrealised dream is a trip into Earth’s orbit.

Susanne is a member of RWA and enjoys mentoring new authors. She is published with Escape Publishing, and will be a 2015 release author with Entangled Publishing.

Website: http://www.susannebellamy.com/

Meet the character – Don Cavallo

There’s someone very dear to me I’d like to introduce to you all.

Everyone, meet Don.

Don, this is all the people.

Today, I’m joining a Meet the Character bloghop to introduce you all to my favorite main guy, Don Cavallo from Touched to the heart which was released in July 2014.

Thanks to Louise Rose-Innes for tagging me in on the fun.

Louise

Louise Rose-Innes writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Born in
sunny South Africa, Louise is a lover of sunshine and the sea, and this is
often reflected in her novels. After completing a post graduate in Marketing
Management, Louise headed off to the United Kingdom to gain work experience
and travel. She now lives in leafy Surrey with her family, and when she’s
not writing, is traipsing through the beautiful countryside, or kayaking on
the river Thames.

Her debut romantic suspense novel, Personal Assistance, has recently been
published through Entangled Publishing. She is a member of the Romantic
Novelists’ Association (RNA) in the UK, and the Romance Writers Organization
of South Africa (ROSA

You can find out more about Louise on her website

Thanks again for letting me join the fun, Louise!

Meet the Character

What is the name of your character? Is s/he fictional/historical?

I’m going to let Don introduce himself…

My name is Don Cavallo. Our mother has a restaurant, Rosa’s in Cape Town and I’ve always felt right at home in the hospitality industry. My three brothers and I now own boutique hotels in South Africa and on the Seychelle Islands. Life is busy, challenging, exciting and I love what I do. To relax and get away from everything business, I cycle and take part in as many races as possible. And it’s during the challenging Wine to Whales race that I hurt my back and ended up in a tent where a sexy physiotherapist puts her hands on my back.

When and where is the story set?

The story is set in the here and now. When in South Africa, my brothers and I mostly stay in Cape Town and I have just inherited a house in Hermanus, a beautiful coastal town an hour’s drive from Cape Town. We also have two hotels on the Seychelles, on Praslin and one on Mahé. And have I mentioned that the physio, Caitlin Sutherland has rooms in Hermanus?

What should we know about Don?

I love what I do. I love my family. And I love women. It’s just that lately I’ve become a bit wary of them. It seems most of them are only interested in what I own rather than in who I am. This woman, Caitlin, the one I can’t stop thinking about, is probably the same. But I think I want to find out.

What is Don’s goal?

We are talking about plans for a new hotel near the Kruger National Park. But I’m struggling to concentrate on anything lately. Blue eyes. She has gorgeous blue eyes. And her hands … I don’t know whether she always gives a massage like the one I received in her rooms, but I’m a bit freaked out at my reaction. I should stay as far away from her as possible. That’s a goal, right?

What is screwing up Don’s life (main conflict in writerly speak)?

I know I should have stayed away from Caitlin. But of course I haven’t. I’ve taken her on a date, I want to get to know her better. Only to discover she has trust issues. Huge trust issues. And then there is the thing between her sister Hannah and my brother Darryn – just the mention of Hannah’s name gets Darryn all riled up. But he’ll have to sort out his own problems – I have my own.

What is the title?

Touched to the heart. Because that’s what happened when she put her hands on my back for the first time. She not only touched my body, but also my heart.

When can we expect the book to be published?

It was published in July 2014. Touched small cover_Final200

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Next Week’s Author 

Téa Cooper’s Jazz Baby releases this month!

JazzBaby_Final_small

TeaCoopersmall

Blurb:

In the gritty underbelly of 1920s Sydney, a fresh-faced country girl is about to arrive in the big, dark city – and risk everything in the pursuit of her dreams.

Sydney is no place for the fainthearted—five shillings for a twist of snow, a woman for not much more, and a bullet if you look sideways at the wrong person.

Dolly Bowman is ready and willing to take on all the brash, bustling city has to offer. After all it is the 1920s, a time for a girl to become a woman and fulfil her dreams. Turning her back on her childhood, she takes up a position working as a housemaid while she searches for her future.

World War I flying ace Jack Dalton knows he’s luckier than most. He’s survived the war with barely a scratch, a couple of astute business decisions have paid off, and he’s set for the high life. But a glimpse of a girl that he had forgotten, from a place he’s tried to escape suddenly sets all his plans awry. Try as he might he can’t shake the past, and money isn’t enough to pay the debts he’s incurred.

Short Blurb

In the gritty underbelly of 1920s Sydney, a fresh-faced country girl is about to arrive in the big, dark city – and risk everything in the pursuit of her dreams.

ISBN: 9780857991928

Publication Date: October 22nd, 2014

Harlequin Escapehttp://www.escapepublishing.com.au/author/téa-cooper

Amazon.com:http://ow.ly/B4ybQ

iTunes:  http://ow.ly/B4ym3

Amazon.Aus: http://ow.ly/B4ytq

Kobo:http://ow.ly/B6SJM

For reviewers: NetGalleyhttps://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/52901

 

Five things to do in Hermanus, South Africa

 

Caitlin, the heroine of Touched to the heart, lives and works in Hermanus, South Africa. Don inherited a house from an uncle of his and he visits Caitlin’s physiotherapy rooms in Hermanus.

Way back when, Hermanus used to be a small fishing village but over the last few of decades it has morphed into a bustling town, bursting at the seams over weekends and holidays.

Futunately, some things haven’t changed and when I thought of possible dates Don could take Caitlin on, these are a few things I think any heroine would enjoy:

  1. Take her to see the Old Harbour
  2. Watch the whales in September
  3. Go for a leisurely lunch to one of the many wine farms in the Hemel and Aarde Valley (Heaven and Earth).
  4. Take her on a hike in the Fernkloof Mountains – a magical place
  5. Take her to watch the waves at Kwaaiwater (angry water) where the waves are enormous and the sound deafening.

 

Whales in Walker Bay in September

Kwaaiwater Hermanus
Kwaaiwater Hermanus

 

Whales in Walker Bay in September

 

 

 

 

 

Fernkloof, Hermanus
Fernkloof, Hermanus
Hemel and Aarde Valley near Hermanus
Hemel and Aarde Valley near Hermanus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Harbour, Hermanus
Old Harbour, Hermanus