29 April 2016

After The Lie By Kerry Fisher

After the LieAfter the Lie by Kerry Fisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After doing my first ever cover reveal for After The lie I couldn't wait to get my hands on this beauty. And I sure as hell wasn't disappointed this book is has good has the cover if not better. I was totally sucked in by the prologue transporting us back to 1982, being a massive fan of the eighties decade I was like OMG I love it already. The more i read the more I loved it.

In this story we meet Lydia who has the ‘right’ kind of friends, her children are at the ‘right’ kind of school and she’s married to the ‘right’ sort of man – kind, steady, reliable Mark. But Lyndia has a secret that she has been hiding for 30 years! Having to change her name and move home, what is the big secret she is hiding?! To Lydia's horror someone who knows her dark secret turns up at the school gates. His presence threatens to blow Lydia’s life apart.

After The Lie is one hell of a read, keeping me guessing what the secret is. This is my first novel that I have read by Kerry Fisher and I have to say It definitely won't be my last I love Kerry's creative writing skills building up tension and emotion has the story unfolds with some humour along the way.......what a rollercoaster of a ride. The characters are likeable and easy to relate to with some wonderful descriptions making me feel like I was in the story.

This is one breathtaking read which I highly recommend giving it 5 easy stars.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for an Advanced Reader's Copy


View all my reviews

25 April 2016

THE DREAM CATCHER BY MARIE LAVAL BLOG TOUR

THE DREAM CATCHER
BY MARIE LAVAL
DANCING FOR THE DEVIL TRILOGY – Book 1
Genre: Historical Romance (mid nineteenth century)
Release Date: 28th Dec 2015
Publisher:  Áccent Press
Can her love heal his haunted heart? - Cape Wrath, Scotland, November 1847.
Bruce McGunn is a man as brutal and unforgiving as his land. Discharged from the army, he is haunted by the spectres of his fallen comrades and convinced he is going mad. And he is running out of time to save his estate from the machinations of Cameron McRae, heir to the McGunn's ancestral enemies. When the clipper carrying McRae’s new bride is caught in a violent storm and docks at Wrath harbour, Bruce decides to revert to the old ways and hold the clipper and the woman to ransom. However, far from the spoilt heiress he expected, Rose is genuine, funny and vulnerable – a ray of sunshine in the long, harsh winter that has become his life.

Rose is determined to escape Wrath and its proud master – the man she calls McGlum.
Will she be reunited with Cameron McRae, the dazzlingly handsome aristocrat she married after a whirlwind romance in Algiers, or will she risk her heart and her honour to help Bruce discover the truth about his past and solve the brutal murders committed on his land?

THE DREAM CATCHER (BOOK 1) Excerpt
A giant stepped in front of her. Dressed in black riding boots, black breeches and riding coat, he was so tall and his shoulders so broad the already dark horizon darkened further.
‘Silence.’
His voice was deep and calm, the voice of a man used to be obeyed. The crowd hushed at once.
He bent down in front of her.
‘Well, well, who do we have here?’
Even though she could hardly see his face, she felt his eyes bore into hers, and it was enough to make her mind go blank.
‘Rose…Rose Saintclair.’
‘Where are the others, your servants, your maids?’
‘I… I don’t have any.’
‘Really? That’s a surprise. All right then, come up.’ He held both his hands out.
She hesitated a moment before placing her hands in his. He pulled her up and she flew straight into his arms, landing with a bump against his broad, hard chest. He was so tall she had to tilt her face all the way back to look at him. Her heart skipped a beat, then started bumping fast and loud.
His eyes were grey and framed by dark eyelashes, his nose straight and strong, his cheekbones high and sharp. Thick black stubble covered his cheeks and chin, and his hair flew around his face, the colour of a raven’s wing. There was something dangerous about him, something reminiscent of a brutal warrior from days long gone by.
She wriggled to free herself but he didn't let go and his mouth curved into a mocking smile.
‘Well, Fàilte, my sweetheart. ‘I’ll say this for McRae. If there’s one thing the rascal can do, it’s pick his fancy women.’
His hand slid from her waist and he patted her bottom.
Her reaction was instinctive. She swung her arm and lifted her hand to slap him. She didn’t have the chance. Without batting an eyelid he caught her wrist.
‘Steady on, sweetheart. You have a nasty little temper.’
‘And you have no right to insult me in this way, you vile brute,’ she hissed. ‘I am not Lord McRae’s fancy woman, as you so elegantly put it, I’m his wife!’
She had expected at least a shocked response or a groveling apology but he merely smiled.
‘It’s all right, gràidheag, you don’t have to pretend.’
‘Pretend what?’
‘Pretend you’re married to the man. I don’t care if you’re McRae’s mistress or his laundry maid, if you scrub his back or his dirty shirts.’
‘I am telling the truth, you stubborn macaque,’ she shouted in frustration. ‘I married Lord McRae in Algiers four weeks ago.’
‘Please don't scream quite so loud. I heard you the first time. I just don’t believe you.’
‘What?’
‘First you introduce yourself as Rose Saintclair, now you’re spinning me a tale about being married McRae. Make up your mind, sweetie.’
He glanced at her hand. ‘I don’t see any wedding band on your finger.’
‘That’s because Cameron wanted to keep the wedding a secret. Never mind, I don’t have to explain anything to you. Now let go of me.’
She wriggled to break free, but he was still holding her wrist, leaving her no choice but to kick him hard in the shin with the tip of her boot – the very pointy tip of the fashionable new boots she had made in Algiers.
‘Ouch. Steady on, sweetheart.’
‘Let go of me, you deranged baboon! And stop calling me sweetheart.’
She kicked him again, harder. He muttered something in a strange, guttural language she didn’t understand and let go of her so suddenly she staggered backward and fell on her bottom on the hard, wet cobbles.
Her breath caught in her throat, her heart beat hard, erratic. Tears blurred her vision as people sneered and clapped around her. She knew McRaes and McGunns were enemies, but she had nothing to do with their feud, so why did everybody here seem to hate her so much? And why was the big hairy brute intent on humiliating her and not believing a word she said?
He stepped closer and offered his hand.
‘Come on, now, sweetheart. Let’s start again. I think we got off on the wrong foot.’
He sounded contrite but she wasn’t ready to forgive to forgive him. Ignoring his hand, she scrambled to her feet, and straightened her back. Attack was the best defence, her brother often said, and Lucas knew what he was talking about. He was the best scout in the whole of the Barbary States – or Algeria as the French now called her country.
‘Take me to your master immediately,’ she started in a voice as cold and steady she could manage, ‘so I can ask him to have you whipped for your insolence.’
There was a collective gasp from the people around them. Not looking in the least impressed, the man crossed his arms on his broad chest and arched his eyebrows.
‘Really?’
She took another deep breath.
‘That’s what I do to disrespectful servants on my estate, and I can assure you they stop smirking after five lashes.’ That was an outrageous lie, of course, but no one here was to know.
'If what you said earlier is true, then I see McRae chose his bride well.’ The man’s eyes were now hard as steel. ‘You and he are indeed a match made in heaven, or in hell. I’m sure you’ll be very happy together.’ He paused. ‘I’m sorry to disappoint you, sweetheart, but I don’t approve of whipping people, or beasts, for that matter.’
‘And I don’t care a fig if you approve or not. It is for your master to decide your punishment, and from what I’ve heard of Lord McGunn, he is neither a patient nor compassionate man.’
He arched his eyebrows. ‘I didn’t know I had such a bad reputation.’
Rose’s heart stopped. He wasn’t… he couldn’t be…
‘I realise I failed to introduce myself. I am Bruce McGunn.’ He bowed his head in a military salute.
‘You are?’ The words came out as a squeak.
His lips stretched into a tight smile that didn’t warm his eyes.
‘At your service, my lady. Now the introductions are over, shall we make our way to the Lodge?’




My Thoughts
This is the first book in the Dancing With The Devil Series and the first book that I have read by Marie Laval which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Dream catcher takes us back to November 1847  in Cape Wrath, Scotland. Where we meet Rose new bride to Cameron McRae who is on a ship which gets caught in a storm and  docks at Wrath harbour. Bad guy Bruce McGunn is running out of time to save his estate from the machinations of Cameron McRae, heir to the McGunn's ancestral enemies. Decides to make use of the situation and holds Rose to ransom. But Rose is determined to see Cameron or will she risk her heart and her honour to help Bruce discover the truth about his past?
THE DREAM CATCHER is a novelle so I found this a every quick and easy read. And willing Rose along, she is a very likeable character just wanting to be with the man she loves. I found this story romantic and I could  feel this through the author's handwriting, making me feel as if I was in the story with the picturesque descriptions.This story is beautifully written and a very gripping page turner.
I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series and highly recommend this book giving it 4 well deserved stars

BUY LINKS

ABOUT MARIE LAVAL
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the beautiful Rossendale Valley, Lancashire, England, for the past few years and likes nothing more than dreaming up romance stories and handsome, brooding heroes. She writes historical and contemporary romance. Her contemporary romance A SPELL IN PROVENCE, as well as her historical romances, ANGEL HEART, together with the award-winning THE LION'S EMBRACE, and the DANCING FOR THE DEVIL Trilogy (which includes THE DREAM CATCHER, BLUE BONNETS and SWORD DANCE) are all published by Áccent Press.






GIVEAWAY
Book 1 in the series











22 April 2016

Q&A Interview with Carol Wyer


How excited am I that the lovely Carol Wyer has dropped by blog on Life Swap publication day to take part in my Q&A interview…….so without further ado I would like to welcome Carol Wyer.


Hello Carol, Happy publication day and welcome to my blog
Hello and thank you for having me, I am delighted to be here on publication day.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
Where to begin? In in a nutshell, I used to be a linguist and teacher and ran my own language company but in my forties I had a recurrence of poor health due to spinal procedures many years earlier so I gave up and became a personal trainer! (As you do.) In my late forties, now realising my health was not going to hold out forever, I decided I was ready to embark on my bucket list and top of it was writing a best-seller. I penned Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines based on a woman facing fifty (funny where inspiration comes from) who is stuck at home in a relationship that's become stale, with a irksome son who's itching to leave home. Amanda yearns for some excitement. When her husband suddenly retires and begins to drive her around the bend, she starts a blog charting the bloopers and bloomers that populate her life and discovers an old flame on the internet who wants a second chance.
The book was self-published but became a best-seller and I was featured in Woman's Own magazine. I suddenly got hundreds of emails from women who felt the same as Amanda Wilson in my book and a writing career was born as I continued to write fiction and non-fiction encouraging people to seize the day and enjoy what life we have.

When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?
I wanted to write from the day my English teacher read out a funny story I had written and told the class I was a natural.
I didn't actually believe I could make a career out of it and wrote as a hobby for a very long time. I wrote several children's stories when I lived in Morocco and I wrote an entire series that taught French to youngsters.
They were almost published but fate intervened at the last moment when my best friend and illustrator on the project suddenly passed away and I pulled them. It took until my forties for me to decide writing was going to be my priority.

Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
I write humour and romantic comedies as well as humorous non-fiction. I have one book, Love Hurts - a collection of short stories that reveal a darker side to my writing and I shall be developing that side in the near future as I embark on writing a series of thrillers.


Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
Ah, some are pure fiction, some have traits I have 'borrowed' from people I know and some are real people. Amanda's party-loving, wine-swigging mother who hangs out in Cyprus is based on my own mother who has behaved even more badly since she read the first book and loved the character so much. Vivacious Viv the post lady in Just Add Spice exists and was delighted to be named in the book. All the post depot bought copies of the book because I captured her spirit so well. Bert the parrot is real and I fell for his antics when I friended his owner on Facebook. There are others too ... they know who they are!

What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
I have a strange process as all my books begin as films in my mind's eye. I'll spend many nights awake just rolling the camera and seeing if the plot is viable, interesting and so on. I could well change it but as long as I have a structure, I move onto phase two - making notes in a notebook of plot and then head a page or several for each character taking care to describe them and pick up on quirky traits.
Once I have done my research and am ready to commit, I'll write a draft in a notebook - or several books. I've always written everything longhand as I find adding bits and changing at this stage easier on paper than scrolling through text on a laptop. My poor eyes are weak enough.
The next stage involves typing it all up. Here my insomnia works to my advantage and I'll type all day and night until it's done. Yes, I look horrendous by the end of two weeks.
I get a break then and then check through the script, make changes and move onto editing before reading through again, editing again and then sending to the publisher.


Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
The first novel was very much based on several episodes that occurred but I daren't tell you which ones.
For all my books I try to practise what I preach so for Three Little Birds I did all the challenges Charlie attempts including eating locusts, zorbing and doing a zip wire and the dive with sharks. I don't want anyone to say I haven't had a go!

What research do you do
A lot of my writing comes from observing people and eavesdropping! I only write about things I have experienced or feel confident writing accurately about so I research thoroughly usually via the net or reading articles in magazines and newspapers.
This was particularly the case for my three non-fiction books. I spent hours on the net and for the non fiction books about menopause How Not to Murder Your Grumpy and Grumpy Old Menopause (I try to appeal to men and women) spoke to many  experts in the fields of medicine and alternative therapies. Almost all the hobbies I mention, me and/or Grumpy have tried out and with the travel book Grumpies On Board we had a go at many of the adventures including quad biking up a mountain in South Africa and driving a 4x4 over a glacier in Iceland and into a volcano.

Who would you like to co-write with and why?
I don't think I could ever co-write with anyone because of my weird schedules and need to type, type and type until I reach the end of my novels. However, if I teamed up with E L James she would be able to spice up my sex scenes. I have to type those with my eyes shut, blushing furiously.

What's your favorite book?
I don't have one favourite because I love reading so much and there are so many brilliant books. I really liked The Room by Emma Donoghue because it was so different and I love being surprised.

What's your favorite food?
Pasta ... pasta ... pasta ... I can't get enough of the stuff. My mother lived in Italy and makes the best sauce ever. (I think the extra bottle of wine in it helped.). Like Pavlov's dogs, I'm drooling at the thought of it now.

What's your favorite film?
Up. I adore that film. I cry buckets every time I watch it and then laugh. It is so poignant and as I get older I really associate with Karl.

What's your favorite song?
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Monty Python. I whistle it repeatedly when I see Mr Grumpy looking glum and whenever  I go round supermarket aisles. I love to see how many other people are humming it when I get to the checkout.
Life swap is available on Amazon today


How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
Amazon UK Author Page :  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Carol-E.-Wyer/e/B005U34XNM
Amazon US Author Page : http://www.amazon.com/Carol-E.-Wyer/e/B005U34XNM
Website: http://www.carolewyer.co.uk
Blogs: www.grumpyoldmenopause.com
           http://facing50withhumour.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-E-Wyer/221149241263847
Twitter: https://twitter.com/carolewyer
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5061207.Carol_E_Wyer
Member of Romantic Novelists Association: http://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org/index.php/about/author/carol_wyer
Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=116225863&trk
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/carolewyer/

Thank you so much for joining me and have a brilliant day. Oh and by the way, you've got me humming Look On The Bright Side Of Life now lol.

Ha! Hope you are still humming it Shel.l would Love to mention I have a tweetathon on twitter #lifeswap,  It's on all day if Grumpy doesn't drag me off the internet lol