Merry Christmas Giveaway!
Happy Christmas, book lovers!
To say thank you to all my readers, I’m running a little giveaway. The prize? An ecopy of Celebrations and Confetti AND this gorgeous Dancing Cherubs Christmas Bauble, from From the Bookshelf!
To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below. Merry Christmas!
Welcome to Cedarwood Lodge…
Thanks for joining us as we celebrate the release of Celebrations and Confetti at Cedarwood Lodge today! Here’s a little more about the series…
Celebrations and Confetti
Cedarwood Lodge # 1
By Rebecca Raisin
Releasing October 24, 2016
Part one in a feel-good romantic serial from bestselling author Rebecca Raisin!
Clio Winters is finally fulfilling her childhood dream of renovating the gorgeous old Cedarwood Lodge in Evergreen. Turning it into the perfect destination for big celebrations, weddings and parties has brought her back home, but Cedarwood Lodge is in need of a lot of tender loving care.
Perhaps all the work will be the perfect distraction from the real reason she had to leave her glamorous New York life behind.
Will coming home be the best decision of her life… or her biggest regret?
Cedarwood Lodge is a delectable romance told in three parts – following Clio Winters journey back to her hometown of Evergreen. This is Part One.
Book Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Google Play | Goodreads
Amazon UK: Amazon UK
B&N: Barnes and Noble
Google Play: Google Play
Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance.
Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Cover reveal! The Ninth Hunter by Anna Hub
I’m excited to share the stunning cover for The Ninth Hunter with you today! I’ve been lucky enough to read this book as Anna worked on it tirelessly over the last year. Every word is measured, the pace is perfect, and you’ll find yourself racing through the pages to find out what’s going to happen! Anna is giving away advance reader copies, so do yourself a favour and grab it today! And seriously, how moody and stunning is that cover!
The Ninth Hunter by Anna Hub
A standalone paranormal thriller
Release Date: January 12th 2016
Cover Design by Amygdala Designs
These weren’t ghosts of the dead with unfinished business. They were something far more sinister.
Daniel Barrow is a ghost hunter bound to a life of misery; protecting the world from ghosts by killing their human hosts. He knows the rules: mark the targets, plot the crime scenes, and then murder those beyond saving. Daniel’s safe in his rituals—until he meets Faye Michaels.
Faye isn’t his average target and her ghosts threaten to destroy everything he has worked for. When his ritual goes wrong, Daniel must create an uneasy alliance with the woman he intended to kill. But the deeper they dig, the closer they get to a dangerous secret that will change their lives forever.
Daniel must make a choice: fulfil his duty, or turn his back on those he has come to trust. Can the truth lead him to salvation?
LIMITED TIME OFFER
Click Here to receive your FREE Advanced Review Copy
Add The Ninth Hunter to Goodreads
A Christmas Wish… can you help?
We’re off to Bali at Christmas time and wanted to make a trip to the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage. There are 92 adorable children living there who we can’t wait to meet! The orphanage is run purely on donations, they get no government help at all. Can you imagine the work it takes to meet the needs of each of those kids every single day?
We thought it would be a wonderful experience for our boys who are at an age now they’ll understand and hopefully learn some valuable lessons about helping others in the future.
We made an appointment to visit, and found out a little more about what they need. Ash and I planned to buy as much as we could for them over there, fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, toiletries, but when I calculated what 92 children would need, I realised we would need help if we were able to supply enough that would last them at least a little while. After all, it will be Christmas time when we visit, and how special would it be to try and get as much as we can for them? The people who run the orphanage work tirelessly to make this happen every single day, and have made a huge difference to the lives of so many children.
I thought I’d put a call out for some help! We would love to supply the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage with as much as we can! You can read their wish list here. And they’re also in the middle of building another bedroom and they need eight mattresses for that. Our first priority will be fresh food, rice, and toiletries and then we hope to buy the mattresses, pillows, bed linen, and the clothing and footwear if we can!
If you would like to contribute you can find our Go Fund Me page here. We’d be grateful for any amount donated, or any help in spreading the word. We will keep you updated on how much we raise. When we get there we’ll keep you informed of what we buy, and take lots of photos!
If you’re going to Bali you might consider a visit yourself. You can read about the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage here.
Some exciting news!
I’ve been keeping a secret for a little while now and anyone who knows me would understand how difficult this has been! I found out recently that the Gingerbread Café series is being combined into one book, A Gingerbread Café Christmas and is being published in print and will be available in certain stores in the UK!
As I wrote the three books, I fell swiftly in love with the girls from Ashford so much so that I’d name drop them and think of them as real friends (So I’m a touch cuckoo?) my family would reward me with an eye roll, and a stifled groan. Surely they’d want to know what had happened in the Gingerbread Café that day? Lil, and CeeCee became part of my family, fictional or not!
Today it’s available as a paperback Amazon UK!
And also A Gingerbread Café Christmas hits the shelves of Sainsbury’s! The girls will be bundled with Jenny Oliver’s Little Paris Kitchen! I still can’t believe it!
October 26th they’ll arrive in The Works Stores around the UK!
If you’re not in the UK you can still grab a copy at UK Book Depository who ship to Australia, and America or wherever you are for free!
I wanted to say a huge thank you to the countless people who’ve helped make this happen. From my editor and the team at Carina UK, Romance Writers of Australia, lovely book bloggers, and bibliophiles, and YOU! It’s a dream come true for me and something I’ll always cherish. The amount of support and love in our book-ish community is always enough to make me smile, and love what I do – so thank you, once again.
Please feel free to take any ‘shelfies’ if you see my book out there!
Free Christmas book alert!
To celebrate the paperback release of A Gingerbread Café Christmas my lovely publishers have made the first eBook Christmas at the Gingerbread Café FREE for ten days in the UK!
Read an Excerpt here and get your festive season started!
The Little Bookshop on the Seine release day!
La Vie En Rose
Bookshop owner Sarah Smith has been offered the opportunity to exchange bookshops with her new Parisian friend for 6 months! And saying yes is a no-brainer – after all, what kind of a romantic would turn down a trip to Paris…for Christmas?
Even if it does mean leaving the irresistible Ridge Warner behind, Sarah’s sure she’s in for the holiday of a lifetime – complete with all the books she can read!
Imagining days wandering around Shakespeare & Co, munching on croissants, sipping café au laits and watching the snow fall on the Champs-Élysées Sarah boards the plane.
But will her dream of a Parisian Happily-Ever-After come true? Or will Sarah realise that the dream of a Christmas fairytale in the city of love isn’t quite as rosy in reality…
A deliciously feel-good Christmas romance perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Julia Williams
My email pinged and I dashed over to see who it was from. That’s how exciting my life was sans Ridge, an email was enough to make me almost run, and that was saying a lot. I only ran if chocolate was involved, and even then it was more a fast walk.t th
Sophie, a dear Parisian friend. She owned Once Upon a Time, a famous bookshop by the bank of the Seine. We’d become confidantes since connecting on my book blog a while back, and shared our joys and sorrows about bookshop life. She was charming and sweet, and adored books as much as me, believing them to be portable magic, and a balm for souls.
I clicked open the email and read.
I cannot stay one more day in Paris. You see, Manu has not so much broken my heart, rather pulled it out of my chest and stomped on it. The days are interminable and I can’t catch my breath. He walks past the bookshop, as though nothing is amiss. I have a proposal for you. Please call me as soon as you can.
Poor Sophie. I’d heard all about her grand love affair with a dashing twenty-something man, who frequented her bookshop, and quoted famous poets. It’d been a whirlwind romance, but she often worried he cast an appraising eye over other women. Even when she clutched his hand, and walked along the cobbled streets of Paris, he’d dart an admiring glance at any woman swishing past.
I shot off a quick reply, telling her to Skype me now, if she was able. Within seconds my computer flashed with an incoming call.
Her face appeared on the screen, her chestnut-colored hair in an elegant chignon, her lips dusted rosy pink. If she was in the throes of heartache, you’d never know it by looking at her. The French had a way of always looking poised and together, no matter what was happening in their complex lives.
“Darling,” she said, giving me a nod. “He’s a lothario, a Casanova, a…” She grappled for another moniker as her voice broke. “He’s dating the girl who owns the shop next door!” Her eyes smoldered, but her face remained stoic.
I gasped, “Which girl? The one from the florist?”
Sophie shook her head. “The other side, the girl from the fromagerie.” She grimaced. I’d heard so much about the people in or around Sophie’s life that it was easy to call her neighbors to mind. “Giselle?” I said, incredulous. “Wasn’t she engaged – I thought the wedding was any day now?”
Sophie’s eyes widened. “She’s broken off her engagement, and has announced it to the world that my Manu has proposed and now they are about to set up house and to try immediately for children –”
My hand flew to my mouth. “Children! He wouldn’t do that, surely!” Sophie was late-forties, and had gently broached the subject of having a baby with Manu, but he’d said simply: absolutely not, he didn’t want children.
The doorbell of her shop pinged, Sophie’s face pinched and she leaned closer to the screen, lowering her voice. “A customer…” She forced a bright smile, turned her head and spoke in rapid-fire French to whoever stood just off-screen. “So,” she continued quietly. “The entire neighborhood are whispering behind their hands about the love triangle, and unfortunately for me, I’m the laughing stock. The older woman, who was deceived by a younger man.”
I wished I could lean through the monitor and hug her. While she was an expert at keeping her features neutral, she couldn’t stop the glassiness of her eyes when tears threatened. My heart broke that Manu would treat her so callously. She’d trusted him, and loved him unreservedly. “No one is laughing at you, I promise,” I said. “They’ll be talking about Manu, if anyone, and saying how he’s made a huge mistake.”
“No, no.” A bitter laugh escaped her. “I look like a fool. I simply cannot handle when he cavorts through the streets with her, darting glances in my bookshop, like they hope I’ll see them. It’s too cruel.” Sophie held up a hand, and turned to a voice. She said au revoir to the customer and spun to face me, but within a second or two, the bell sounded again. “I have a proposal for you, and I want you to really consider it.” She raised her eyebrows. “Or at least hear me out before you say no.” Her gaze burned into mine as I racked my brain with what it could be, and came up short. Sophie waved to customers, and pivoted her screen further away.
“Well?” I said with a nervous giggle. “What exactly are you proposing?”
She blew out a breath, and then smiled. “A bookshop exchange. You come and run Once Upon a Time, and I’ll take over the Bookshop on the Corner.”
I gasped, my jaw dropping.
Sophie continued, her calm belied by the slight quake in her hand as she gesticulated. “You’ve always said how much you yearned to visit the city of love – here’s your chance, my dear friend. After our language lessons, you’re more than capable of speaking enough French to get by.” Sophie’s words spilled out in a desperate rush, her earlier calm vanishing. “You’d save me so much heartache. I want to be in a place where no one knows me, and there’s no chance for love, ever again.”
I tried to hide my smile at that remark. I’d told Sophie in the past how bereft of single men Ashford was, and how my love life had been almost non-existent until Ridge strolled into town.
“Sophie, I want to help you, but I’m barely hanging on to the bookshop as is…” I stalled for time, running a hand through my hair, my bangs too long, shielding the tops of my eyebrows. How could it work? How would we run each other’s businesses, the financial side, the logistics? I also had an online shop, and I sourced hard-to-find books – how would Sophie continue that?
My mind boggled with the details, not to mention the fact that leaving my books would be akin to leaving a child behind. I loved my bookshop as if it were a living thing, an unconditional best friend, who was always there for me. Besides, I’d never ventured too far from Ashford let alone boarded a plane – it just couldn’t happen.
“Please,” Sophie said, a real heartache in her tone. “Think about it. We can work out the finer details and I’ll make it worth your while. Besides, you know I’m good with numbers, I can whip your sales into shape.” Her eyes clouded with tears. “I have to leave, Sarah. You’re my only chance. Christmas in Paris is on your bucket list…”
My bucket list. A hastily compiled scrappy piece of paper filled with things I thought I’d never do. Christmas in Paris – snow dusting the bare trees on the Left Bank, the sparkling fairy lights along the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Santa’s village in the Latin Quarter. The many Christmas markets to stroll through, rugged up with thick scarves and gloves, Ridge by my side, as I hunted out treasures. I’d spent many a day curled up in my own shop, flicking through memoirs, or travel guides about Paris, dreaming about the impossible…one day.
Sophie continued: “If you knew how I suffered here, my darling. It’s not only Manu, it’s everything. All of a sudden, I can’t do it all any more. It’s like someone has pulled the plug, and I’m empty.” Her eyes scrunched closed as she fought tears.
While Sophie’s predicament was different to mine, she was in a funk, just like me. Perhaps a new outlook, a new place would mend both our lives. Her idea of whipping my sales into shape was laughable though, she had no real clue how tiny Ashford was.
“Exchange bookshops…” I said, the idea taking shape. Could I just up and leave? What about my friends, my life, my book babies? My fear of change? And Ridge, what would he have to say about it? But my life…it was missing something. Could this be the answer?
Paris. The city of love. Full of rich literary history.
A little bookshop on the bank of the Seine. Could there be anything sweeter?
With a thud, a book fell to the floor beside me, dust motes dancing above it like glitter. I craned my neck to see what it was.
Paris: A Literary Guide.
Was that a sign? Did my books want me to go?
“Yes,” I said, without any more thought. “I’ll do it.”
The Little Paris Collection:
The Little Bookshop on the Seine
The Little Antique Shop under the Eiffel Tower
The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées
Also by Rebecca Raisin
The Gingerbread Café trilogy: Christmas at the Gingerbread Café Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Café Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Café
The Bookshop on the Corner Secrets at the Maple Syrup Farm
If you’ve read this, and are in the UK to celebrate the release Christmas at the Gingerbread Café will be free for the next ten days! Click the link to download!
FREE Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe
is a bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been widely published in various short-story anthologies, and in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance. The only downfall about writing about gorgeous men who have brains as well as brawn is falling in love with them – just as well they’re fictional. Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and, most importantly, believe in true, once-in-a-lifetime love.
Follow her on twitter @jaxandwillsmum
53 thoughts that accompany my writing day
- Need. Coffee.
- I hate morning people
- Jo’s awake! My UK BFF should live here, she’s nocturnal
- OMG so much happens on Facebook when I’m asleep
- I live in the wrong country tbh
- But it’s too cold in the UK – way way way too cold
- Giggle *thongs* they just don’t get it
- France tho?
- A quick Google of house prices over there. Like five minutes, tops, and then I’m writing
- Aww these are adorable
- We could learn to speak French
- OMG that would be the sweetest, Bonjour!
- Un vin blanc!
- Imagine the little boys speaking French! Maman SWEEEEET
- What’s the Euro conversion?
- ALL THE BREAD, ALL THE CHEESES.
- And French women never get fat
- I could definitely write more there
- I’d be closer to all my UK friends
- They could totes come and stay!
- Like, one year, that’s all…
- Look at those bistros, I bet Hemingway drank there
- It’s way too early for wine
- Time. To. Write.
- But first, food
- Brain food
- OK, a spoonful of Nutella it is
- And one more coffee
- Everything tastes bitter because it’s not French fml
- OKAY. WORK I MEAN IT THIS TIME
- Oh, twitter, what the hell is #PigGate
- OMFG He WHAT?
- Those memes tho
- Surely he didn’t?
- Bacon’s off the menu
- Far out, maybe us Aussies aren’t so bad after all
- How am I supposed to write romance after reading that???
- I need to wash my eyes with disinfectant
- OK. OPEN DOCUMENT
- Cute puppy photo!
- I’m gonna instagram the hell out of that
- and pin it? I need a new board
- 78,000 words to edit
- That’s cool
- I can do it
- OMG I’ve done ONE PAGE IN ONE HOUR
- Turing off the Wi-Fi
- Who am I kidding? I’m not that person
- Think of the wine
- Six hours and it’s wine time
- Or whine time hahahaha
- OK. I MEAN IT. EDIT.
The Cons of Romance Writing
This year things have sped up with my work. Firstly, I’m writing full length novels, so that in itself takes more time. Secondly, I am disorganized with LIFE, so that’s also pretty hectic. With writing, marketing the books, edits, and also my lovely family; karate, swimming, and Lego building, things have taken a toll. On my hair.
The other day, in my usual rush, I drove like a madman (metaphorically) to the boys school swimming lessons, after a last minute decision to go and watch them. Their whole class goes and a bunch of teachers, so it’s not like I need to be there. And I’m on a deadline (aren’t I always?!) I can go on the weekends when they do their regular swimming class. But, mother guilt crept up and tapped me on the shoulder, so off I went. Not to mention the swishing of the blades, that accompanies a true blue helicopter mother, like myself. I had to hover over them, it’s my job!
It was about ten minutes into their lesson when I realized my dash to the centre with the car window down had ruffled my already dishevelled bed hair. It was one big wind-blown crazy mess, and not even sunglasses perched atop my head, and a winning smile could hide it.
I ran a nervous hand through the tangles, only making it worse, and mumbled to my mum friends, oh I have crazy writer hair, hoping they’d understand. I don’t think they did. I think they were mentally rolling their eyes, and going what the actual hell does she DO all day? I know some unnamed family members think that. Like, I’m home ALL DAY, surely I can wash my hair, maybe throw a bit of hair product through it? But no…I’m knee deep in a scene, and writing wins, my friends. It’s most certainly not because I spent too long laughing over the latest Buzzfeed post or investigating a possible intruder in my bedroom, and then seeing a blissfully empty bed, and tumbling into it for a five minute nap. Nope. Not me.
Then there’s the house coats I’ve taken to wearing. I do try and take these pilled, pulled, granny cardigans off before school pick up, but sometimes I forget. They’re like a warm hug when the words won’t come, and I worry I’m one step away from morphing into Johnny Depp’s character in The Secret Window. And let’s not mention the time I was running late and wore my penguin slippers to school. And for the record, the patterned colourful pyjama-esque pants are actually Peter Alexander DAYWEAR. I’m fifty percent sure of it.
I don’t know who to blame for the me, that’s not really me anymore. I’m a bedraggled, day-dreaming, messy version of myself. Writing is hard! Maybe it’s that. The constant clutching my face, smudging whatever make-up I managed to apply when the mini-me’s were moaning about lost shoes, and spilt drinks, and something-er-other. Then there’s the gesticulating. When I write a scene, I act it out, live in front of the curtains, who I’m sure sway when they approve. All that running fingers through hair, and biting nails, and stuffing hands into pockets can take its toll on a girl.
In my former, pre-writing, pre-children life, my appearance meant a lot to me. These days, if we are all alive at the end of the day, and I haven’t forgotten anything, except to wash my hair, I count that as a win.
Surely, the words on the page are more important than my hair, or the fact I’m turning into my mother?
And really, once I’ve washed the five million pieces of swimwear, and said house coats, removed Lego from the soles of my feet (damn you, Lego squares!) and fed the family, and drank the wine there’s just not enough time to do anything else – except chat away to my besties, those fictional people I ADORE, and who think I’m fine just the way I am.
Guest Post: Trevor (T.A.) Williams – Why Cornwall?
I’ve got Trevor Williams on the blog today and he’s sharing why he chose Cornwall as the setting for his most recent release! Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end also!
I live in Devon, only an hour’s drive from Cornwall. For those of you not so strong on British geography, Devon and Cornwall make up the pointy bit that sticks out of the bottom left hand corner of England. As a boy, we took family holidays in Cornwall. The rock pools, the amazing sandy beaches and, of course, the sea where I gained the love of surfing that has stayed with me all my life, were soon part of my DNA. Before getting married, my future wife and I had an unforgettable holiday in a caravan on a windswept Cornish cliff top, along with my brother, his wife and their newborn baby. Oh yes, and Tuppence, the permanently wet dog. Not the dog’s fault; it just rained and rained and rained, and we were cleaning sand out of ourselves for weeks afterwards. As preparation for married life, it was exceptional. After an experience like that, most other marital problems pale into insignificance. That may well be one of the reasons why we are celebrating 40 years of marriage this summer.
When the Romans and then the Saxons came to conquer Britain, they took the shortest route from mainland Europe. They arrived in the south east corner of England and then started to fight their way upwards and outwards. When they hit inhospitable terrain and pugnacious fighters, they stopped. That’s why Scotland, Wales and Cornwall have remained Celtic strongholds. Cornwall is different. You can’t miss that, from the moment you cross the border. Suddenly, the roads become much, and I mean much, narrower. The countryside is a picturesque mixture of wild, open moorland and patchwork fields. The north coast is very rugged, with vicious granite cliffs framing spectacular sandy beaches. The south coast, where What Happens in Cornwall… is set, is less wild, but made up of a never-ending succession of little coves, bays, beaches and harbours. Little wonder it was the realm of smugglers and pirates for centuries.
The book is set on an island. Rock Island doesn’t exist in real life. It’s a composite of St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, Burgh Island and Lundy Island in Devon, Mont St Michel in France and a lot of imagination. The cliffs are daunting, the old abbey breathtaking, the views spectacular and the colony of seabirds deafening. The village of Tregossick is similarly invented, but it draws heavily on some of the little coastal villages along the south Cornish coast between Plymouth and St Austell. There’s an old saying, “by Tre, Pol and Pen, you shall know the Cornish men,” and it’s a fact that those prefixes appear on many, many place names. They are part of the old Cornish language, which is Celtic in origin and a close relative of Welsh. In fact, my own name, Trevor, demonstrates that common root.
But, above all, it’s the beauty of the county that attracted me, as it has done to other writers over the years. And the recent success of the TV series of Poldark is further proof of that. Although only a couple of hundred miles from London, Cornwall feels like another land. Sit on a Cornish beach on a sunny day, with your feet in a crystal clear pool and look around you. You’ll see palm trees in the gardens, a jumble of stone-built cottages clinging to the cliff side, lobster pots on the harbour side, surefers bobbing about in the waves and boats of all shapes and sizes dotted all over the place. Oh yes, and a heap of tourists eating clotted cream ice creams, doing their best to make sure the seagulls don’t steal them.
About WHAT HAPPENS IN CORNWALL:
For a very British summer holiday…
When archaeologist Sam realises her relationship is as dead as the skeletons she’s exhuming, she knows it’s time to make a change. But with bills to pay her options are limited…until a discovery on Rock Island in Cornwall gives her a reason to escape…
Head to the Cornish coast!
In Cornwall, questions are thrown up at every turn: who is the glamorous owner of Rock Island that the paparazzi are so interested in? How has the irresistible, but impossibly arrogant, history professor James Courtney managed to get so far under Sam’s skin? And will it ever stop raining so Sam can lose the cagoule and sip a cool drink in the sun? One thing’s for sure: there’s never been a holiday quite like this one!
Enjoy a summer of surprises and romance with What Happens in Cornwall…, the perfect retreat for fans of Fern Britton.
Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Firstly, my name isn’t T A. It’s Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.
I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.
Connect with Trevor: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author