336 HOURS by Rachel Cathan #RealLife #Giveaway

336 hours

336 Hours

by

Rachel Cathan

 

336 hours

Genre: ‘Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.’

Release Date: 13th February 2017

Publisher: SilverWood Books

The next 336 hours will be tough. No, the next 336 hours will be really tough…

I feel like an Olympian, waiting to see whether the years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication are finally going to pay off, or whether my body is about to fail me at the last hurdle and make me wonder why I ever hoped I could win.

My best friend is pregnant, my single friends are planning their pregnancies and, after five long years of tests and investigations, I’m coming to the end of my third – and supposedly final – IVF treatment. There are 336 hours to survive before I’ll know if I get to join the motherhood club. That’s 224 waking hours of pure psychological torture. 112 sleeping hours to stare at the ceiling and wonder, what the hell am I going to do with my life if it turns out I can’t have kids?

Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.

Extract 1:
They should have IVF farms for women like me to book into at times like these; pretty padded cells with flat-screen TVs and row upon row of feel-good DVDs and relaxation CDs, and beautiful gardens and luxury bathrooms with hot taps that would never heat up to embryo boiling temperatures, and gigantic rocking chairs so that we could legitimately sit and rock ourselves backwards and forwards for hours on end without looking completely crazy in the process.

Extract 2:
I can’t pretend to have a clue what she means, of course. I don’t know what it’s like to have little people shouting, ‘Mummy! Mummy! MUUMMEEE!’ all day long, to never be able to go for a wee on your own, to make spaghetti bolognese and then watch your dinner dates tip it straight over their heads, to stay up all night comforting a teething toddler, to spend hours coercing and pleading with very small people to put shoes and coats on so you can at last leave the fucking house.

But I want to know this life. Because that stuff gives you stories, first-hand experiences, and the right to exchange knowing smiles of solidarity with other frazzled parents as you all manoeuvre your wayward shopping trolleys around the aisles of Tesco.

And it comes with other stuff, too: the good stuff.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

Silverwood Books

Writing about real life – the pros and cons

When it comes to writing a book, sticking to what you know is generally considered sound advice, and writing about events that have happened in real life means that you’re already an expert on your chosen subject. But, as with anything, there are inevitably some downsides to exposing your real-life experiences – and the most obvious of these has to be that it feels like a pretty big risk.

Of course, writing from real life experience is a fantastic way of offering an insight into something that many people won’t understand, and/or giving a voice to all the other people in the world who will have experienced something similar in their lives. It’s a powerful way to connect with all those people, to let them know they’re not alone, or to increase public awareness of what others might be going through. The downside to this is that it’s so very revealing. And it’s not something that you can choose to tuck back in a drawer if you decide you’re just not in a ‘sharing’ kind of mood. The material you’ve put out there will, quite rightly, be considered fair game, and for me personally this means I should now prepare to be introduced to people as the woman who couldn’t get pregnant, the woman who had IVF, the woman who hates pregnant women, and possibly, if people have read the last page available on Amazon’s preview, even the woman who farts more than most people would care to admit to.
There is also the unavoidable fact that all kinds of people in your life, including your in-laws, your co-workers and your grandmother could potentially end up reading what you’ve written. A sobering, if not, horrifying prospect if, like me, your book contains details of your sex life, huge amounts of swearing and the real reason you avoided your grandmother’s 90th birthday celebrations. But then who could try to write a book with that particular audience in mind? And even if you did, you could pretty much guarantee that nobody would want to read it.

Next on the list of potential pitfalls is the issue of being completely immersed in your subject matter. While this is a great advantage in one sense, since your characters are bound to feel ‘real’ and three-dimensional, it can be a challenge to view the story from an outside perspective and to ensure it’s still going to interest people who aren’t quite as immersed as you are. For me, the challenge was to become my own ruthless editor, employing the rule of halving what I’d written, then sometimes halving it again, and ensuring I had a reliably harsh critic to cast an eye over my work at crucial stages; one who’d happily shout ‘I’m bored!’ if ever they sensed I was straying into self-indulgence rather than sticking to the edited highlights.

Like pretty much every other writer who shares first-hand experiences, I made the decision to be honest, because if the story isn’t honest then 1) the people who’ve shared your experience will know it instantly, and 2) there’s not much point to writing it in the first place if you’re not offering the reader something real.

But that does leave me with the worry that this honesty is going to come under fire; that I’ll be judged for being an awful person or for handling my difficulties with such bitterness and rage. ‘Is that really how you thought/felt? You’re not who I thought you were’ people might decide upon reading this honest, warts-and-all book.
This is part of the risk that, in the end, you simply have to take.

Just as I have, some writers will choose to create a little distance between their own life and the story, by describing it as ‘based on real life events’ rather than pitching it as an outright memoir. But even this doesn’t create the distance you might expect. While the names, the places and the superficial details might be altered, the emotions are 100 percent real, and ultimately this is what people are going to remember.

It all sounds more than a little scary when you stop to consider the reality of sharing something so intimate with anyone in the world who wants to read it. But then this is probably no different from the fears felt by fiction writers, whose characters and plots are completely make-believe. After all, whatever you write has to have been conceived within your own mind, and if it isn’t what you’ve experienced, then it can only be what you’ve longed for, dreaded or fantasised, so there is really no escape from the exposure a writer has to face. And, on the plus side, this real-life experience that you’ve chosen to reveal might just strike a chord with somebody who felt sure that nobody in the world ever could or would understand. And if that happens with just one reader who picks up your book then, in my view at least, the risk was entirely worth taking.

ABOUT RACHEL CATHAN

336 hours

RACHEL CATHAN is a writer from Bedfordshire. In 2001, a mutual friend introduced her to a part-time pub DJ in Southend-on-Sea. A month later, they had moved in together, around seven years later they tied the knot, and a little while after that – just like so many couples before them – they made the exciting and terrifying decision to start a family. And then, like a growing number of couples today, well…not a lot happened.

Throughout the subsequent years of fertility investigations and failed treatments, Rachel kept a diary of her experiences, and it’s from these first- hand encounters in the world of infertility and IVF that her first book, 336 Hours has been adapted.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/336Hours/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelcathan

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33350325-336-hours?from_search=true.

Blog: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk/rachels-blog/

Website: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk

GIVEAWAY

2 ECOPIES OF THE BOOK

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THROUGH THE BARRICADES by Denise Deegan #historicalfiction #giveaway

Denise Deegan

Through the Barricades

by

Denise Deegan

 

Denise Deegan

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: 8th December 2016

She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country. He was willing to sacrifice everything for her.

‘Make a difference in the world,’ are the last words Maggie Gilligan’s father ever says to her. They form a legacy that she carries in her heart, years later when, at the age of fifteen, she tries to better the lives of Dublin’s largely forgotten poor.

‘Don’t go getting distracted, now,’ is what Daniel Healy’s father says to him after seeing him talking to the same Maggie Gilligan. Daniel is more than distracted. He is intrigued. Never has he met anyone as dismissive, argumentative… as downright infuriating.

A dare from Maggie is all it takes. Daniel volunteers at a food kitchen. There, his eyes are opened to the plight of the poor. It is 1913 and Dublin’s striking workers have been locked out of their jobs. Their families are going hungry. Daniel and Maggie do what they can. Soon, however, Maggie realises that the only way to make a difference is to take up arms.

The story of Maggie and Daniel is one of friendship, love, war and revolution, of two people who are prepared to sacrifice their lives: Maggie for her country, Daniel for Maggie. Their mutual sacrifices put them on opposite sides of a revolution. Can their love survive?

EXCERPT

Prologue

1906

Maggie woke coughing. It was dark but there was something other than darkness in the air, something that climbed into her mouth, scratched at her throat and stole her breath. It made her eyes sting and tear. And it made her heart stall. Flames burst through the doorway like dragon breath. Maggie tried to scream but more coughs came, one after the other, after the other. She backed up in the bed, eyes wide, as the blaze began to engulf the room. She thought of her family, asleep in their beds. She had to waken them – with something other than her voice.

She hurried from her bed, peering through flame-lit smoke in search of her jug and washbasin. Reaching them, she flung water in the direction of the fire and began to slam enamel against enamel, fast and loud. She had to back away as flames lapped and roared and licked at her. But she kept on slamming.

Her arms grew tired. Her breath began to fail her. And she felt the heavy pull of sleep. She might have given in had she been alone in the house. But there was her father. There was her mother. There was Tom. And there was David. She could not give up.

Then like a miracle of black shadow, her father burst through the flames, his head tossing and turning. His frenzied gaze met hers.

‘Maggie!’

She began to cry with relief but relief changed to guilt as she realised that she had only drawn him further into the fire.

‘No! You were meant to take the stairs. You were meant to-’

‘It’s all right, Maggie Mae. It’s all right,’ he said, hurrying to her. He scooped her up and held her tight as he carried her away from a heat that burned without touching.

She felt cool air on her back as he opened the window. Wind rushed in, blowing the drapes aside. The flames roared louder, rose higher. But her father only looked out at the night sky. And down.

‘Missus O’Neill! I’m dropping Maggie down to you!’ he called. ‘Catch her now, mind. Catch my little girl.’ Then he looked deep into Maggie’s eyes. ‘Missus O’Neill is down below with her arms out for you. I’m going to drop you down to her.’

‘Will she catch you too?’

But he just smiled and kissed her forehead. ‘Make a difference in the world, Maggie.’

The sadness in his eyes filled her with a new terror. ‘But you’re coming too?’

He smiled once more. ‘I am, as soon as I get the others out. Now keep your eyes on mine, Maggie Mae. Keep your eyes on mine all the way down.’

BUY LINKS

Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/2gn8DnD

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2gnsPpA

Denise Deegan

ABOUT DENISE DEEGAN

Denise Deegan

Denise Deegan is author of several best-selling novels for adults and teens. She has been a nurse, a china restorer, a pharmaceutical sales rep, a public relations officer, an entrepreneur and a college lecturer. Her most difficult job was checkout girl, though ultimately this ‘experience’ did inspire a short story…

Denise’s writing for Young Adults includes The Butterfly Novels: And By The WayAnd For Your Information and And Actually.

Denise writes women’s fiction as Aimee Alexander including Pause to RewindThe Accidental Life of Greg Millar and All We Have Lost.

Most recently, Denise has written an historical novel of love and revolution, Through the Barricades.

Denise is represented by the East West Literary Agency and Barry Krost Management. She is a member of the SCBWI.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/denise.deegan.3

Twitter: https://twitter.com/denisedeegan

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/818841.Denise_Deegan

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/denisedeegan/

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/denise-deegan-34b7795a?trk=hp-identity-name

Blog and Website:

https://denisedeegan.wordpress.com/

 

GIVEAWAY

A Signed copy of the book (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

750 sales! Whoop! #celebrate #SOHH

750

Can you believe it? I can’t. The Secret of Hillcrest House has reached 750 sales in the amazon kindle store! Even snuck into the top 100 on a couple of occasions

It’s time to celebrate!

750

And not only 750 sales, but two top ten finishes in the Preditors’ & Editors’ Readers Poll for book released in 2016.

The Secret of Hillcrest House placed 7th overall in Horror

750 sales

and 8th in Mystery…

750 sales

and just outside the top 10 (11th) in both Romance and Book/eBook cover.

So you can see there are plenty of reasons to celebrate here at Celtic Connexions these days.

The ‘champers’ has been at the ready, chilling in the fridge, waiting for this moment so it’s time to pop the cork!

750 sales

750 sales

Here’s what the book is all about…

500

 

Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.

Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.

Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel The Secret of Hillcrest House?

And how about these quotes???

Melanie Robertson-King’s latest novel serves up a delightful blend of the supernatural and spicy romance, Lynn L. Clark, author of The Home Child, and Fire Whisperer & Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural, & The Accusers

Intrigue, dark buried secrets, hot romance and a neat twist in the tale make this riveting reading, Sheryl Browne, MA Creative Writing, Choc Lit Author

A fun read that keeps you guessing right up to the surprise ending, Dayna Leigh Cheser, Author of Janelle’s Time, Moria’s Time, Adelle’s Time, & Logan’s Time

Don’t they want to make you want to read it?

Here’s the universal amazon link so you can download your copy and find out what all the fuss is about.

If you’ve already purchased and read The Secret of Hillcrest House, you have my heartfelt gratitude.

THANK YOU!

 

 

TRUE COLOURS by Elly Redding #BookTour #Giveaway

true colours

True Colours

by

Elly Redding

 

true colours

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 25 November 2016

Publisher: SilverWood Books

Could you ever trust again – the man who broke your heart?

Kate Fenton thought she’d got the answer to that question all neatly sewn up.  Ever since she went to Saul Preston’s London art gallery, a month before their wedding, and found him with his assistant – who looked as if she was in the middle of a game of strip poker.

Now, three years later, she’s no longer so sure.  Saul’s back in her life with a new proposition – accompany him on a trip to Majorca as his interpreter.  It’s an offer Kate can’t refuse, even though she knows she should.  Successful and rich, he’s just the sort of client her translation company is trying to attract – even if he is her two-timing ex!

Saul’s never gone in for second chances.  He’s never had the time, but he knows exactly what he’s doing when he suggests the trip to Kate.  As gorgeous and infuriatingly easy to fall for as ever, he’s determined to rekindle their past.  And he’s only got 3 days to do it…

hearts

‘True Colours’ – Winner of The Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award 2014

From award-winning author Elly Redding comes a fresh, effervescent, passionate romance that reunites Kate, a London career girl, with Saul, her seriously successful, rich and gorgeous, ex-fiancé.  He’s already broken her heart once, so maybe accepting his business proposition isn’t such a good idea.  But sometimes decisions just aren’t that easy.  As the chemistry between them bubbles with renewed vigour, Kate is sorely tempted.  Can a leopard really change its spots – or is she just deceiving herself, with the man who broke her heart?

“A wonderfully warm romance, with lots of emotion and passion, and a generous sprinkling of delicious wit.  I loved this story!” – Joanne Walsh, author

EXTRACT

“Go away,” she shouted frantically reassessing her options.

“I don’t really think you’re in a position to make demands, do you, trapped as you are?  Unless, of course, you’re thinking of taking up abseiling.  In which case, may I advise restraint?  You’re on the fourth floor.  You’re afraid of heights and I’m not standing in the right place to catch you.”

Good.  It would ruin the whole point of the exercise if he was.  She didn’t tell him that though.  Instead she suggested he make an appointment, that if he wanted to see her, he should do what everyone else did.

“But I’m not everyone else, am I?  I’m the guy who’s still considering suing you for breach of contract.”

“Contract – what contract?”

“Your promise to marry me.”

“You bastard.”   It was the first thing she could think of to say, but she thought it summed up the situation perfectly.  “In which case, may I suggest you contact my lawyer?  I think you’ll find I’ve a very strong case for a counter claim.  Or has something conveniently slipped your memory?  Let me give you a clue.  She had an amazing pair of breasts.”

BUY LINKS

Available in Kindle and Paperback!

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

 ABOUT ELLY REDDING

true colours

Elly Redding was born in London but now lives in Bedfordshire with her husband.

Having originally written screenplays, her first novel, ‘True Colours’, won the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award in 2014.

She enjoys tap dancing and watching the waves, although not necessarily at the same time!

She keeps in touch with her readers on Twitter – @ellyredding, and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/EllyReddingAuthor/

Website: ellyredding.com

GIVEAWAY

An ecopy of the book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate by Linn B Halton

A Little Luck, a Lot of Fate Tour Banner

A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate

by

Linn B Halton

 

A Little Luck, a lot of fate 300 dpi

Genre: Romance/contemporary women’s

Release Date: 23 October 2016

Publisher: Choc Lit UK

When destiny calls, you need to pick up …

On the surface, Kristi Danielson has it all. She’s lifestyle coach to the rich and famous, has a bestselling book to her name and is described by her fans as “the veritable Queen of how to lead a fulfilling life”.

But the harsh truth is that Kristi has never practiced what she preaches. Her home life is a mess, her relationship with artist boyfriend, Tom, not much better – and now she has to redeem herself before all is lost.
At her wit’s end, Kristi is driven to seek out the help of Patrick Blakeslee, a tarot card reader and psychic medium, in an attempt to make sense of the mounting panic she’s feeling.

But Patrick’s visits have an unexpected effect on Kristi, leaving her with more questions than answers – and a life-changing decision to make.

BUY LINK

http://smarturl.it/ALittleLuckALotFate

A little luck, a lot of fate

EXCERPT

I’m the middle child, sandwiched between my eldest brother, Luke, and the baby of the family, Drew. My mother had three brothers and so, as the only two daughters in two generations, we were always in the minority. That rather tends to shape the way you look at things and there are only two ways it can go. Either you are the one whose voice is seldom heard above the sea of testosterone around you, or you make yours the loudest voice of them all. You become the organiser; the one who leads – in short, my brothers accepted that I was in charge. Maybe it was because I had inherited the bossy gene, if such a thing exists. But, from a tender age, what I lacked in practical knowledge, I made up for with sheer common sense and the dubious ability to be believable.

I say dubious, because I learnt that I had the power to organise and control what went on around me. I was a natural. What surprised me was the fact that people around me loved being told what to do. They sought my advice, opening up to me and looking for guidance at every step of the way. As a teenager I felt I had a heady power and it gave me a sense of confidence. At the time I didn’t understand that it was something to be treated with respect and a healthy dose of reality. People simply lapped-up what I told them and that, I suppose, was the blessing that has become a curse. When people are unsure about what to do next they look around for someone strong to advise them. In their desperation they are grateful and comforted and the person delivering the advice? Well, it’s addictive and each little success elevates you in their eyes, as well as in your own.

The truth is that I am supremely confident when it comes to organising other people’s lives. I’m extremely proud of the fact that I can inspire others and encourage them to develop their full potential. When it comes to my own life, it’s held together with the emotional equivalent of string and Blu-tack. Simply put, I’m a fraud.

Money and fame go hand-in-hand and there isn’t a chat show worth mentioning that hasn’t featured me at some point in the last few years. My name constantly crops up around the world and even in countries like the US, Japan, and Sweden, it’s instantly recognisable. Grab Life and Run With It is in its fourth season in the UK and I’ve just signed a contract for a further six episodes. My fan club is full of hopeful people, eager to share each of their milestones on Twitter, as they follow my celebrated Twelve Steps to Finding YOU plan.

To the world it appears I have all of the trappings of success. The harsh reality is that I spend my time trying to cover the tracks of a life that has no balance. All I have is my work – there is nothing else.

ABOUT LINN B HALTON

Linn B Halton

Bristol-born Linn B Halton lives on the edge of the small market town of Cinderford, in the Forest of Dean, in the UK.

“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of strong coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, writing … and house renovation! Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache…”

An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Under The Stars also became a best-seller in November 2016. Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.

Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LinnBHalton

Goodreads Author Page: http://ow.ly/pv6N306918g

Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/linnbhalton/

CONTEST – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY – No Purchase necessary

Three signed copies of A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love paperbacks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PARADISE PRISON by Faith Mortimer #Promo #Thriller

Paradise Prison Tour Banner

PARADISE PRISON

by

Faith Mortimer

 

Hammerhead shark fin, circling us in cove, Spring Break, St. John Island, US Virgin Islands, 1975
Hammerhead shark fin, circling us in cove, Spring Break, St. John Island, US Virgin Islands, 1975

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Release Date: 7th January 2017

Series: Dark Minds #4

Publisher: Topsails Charter

Following an almighty row, Gillian stands up to her abusive boyfriend. The consequences are horrendous and far-reaching.

Terrified, she flees her home, seeking anonymity abroad while coming to terms with the outcome of her actions.

In Portugal, Gillian meets Harry, a yachtsman. Needing crew for his Atlantic Ocean-crossing she applies for the job. Half-way into the journey, after confessing to her crime, Harry offers her refuge on an uninhabited island in the Caribbean which he says he owns.

Confused and depressed, Gillian imagines this is the answer to her problems. She needs time to lie low and consider her options; confront the authorities or live in obscurity? Harry is offering the perfect hiding place…or is he?

When things start going horribly wrong, she asks herself if she is alone on the island. But maybe the biggest question of all is why she gets the gut feeling Harry wants to keep her there at all costs?What happens when she says … no.

 BUY LINKS!

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

ABOUT FAITH MORTIMER

Faith Mortimer

Faith is a British author dividing her time between Hampshire, England & Cyprus. Since 2005 she turned her hobby of writing into a career. During childhood, she dreamed of writing novels which readers would love, & spent many hours writing short stories which she read to her sisters. Born in Manchester & educated in Singapore, Malaya & Hampshire, England. Amazon Top #14 author rank for mystery, #27 mystery, thriller & suspense, #55 literature & fiction #5 bestselling author on Nook Books. Faith’s books have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FaithMortimer.Author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FaithMortimer

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2967303.Faith_Mortimer

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/105949740968880690288

Website: www.faithmortimerauthor.com

GIVEAWAY!!!

1st Prize – Ecopies of all 4 books in the series

2nd Prize – an ecopy of the book

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#BurnsSupper with my guest Bob Atkinson

#BurnsSupper

January 25, 1759-July 21, 1796

Once again, it’s time for a Burns Supper celebration. This year my special guest is all the way from Fort William, author, Robert Atkinson.

Before we get started, do you prefer Robert or Bob?

First of all, I prefer Bob rather than Robert.

#BurnsSupperWelcome to Celtic Connexions, Bob! Do sit down and make yourself comfortable. 

Thanks for hosting me on your Burns Supper Celebration.

Let’s start by getting to know you better. Can you tell us about yourself?

I was born in a village outside Fort William, in the Western Highlands. I left the area to join the British army when I was seventeen, and came home fifteen years later with a lovely Irish wife and three Irish children. My wife and I met while I was serving in Northern Ireland. We like to see our story as one of the blessings to come out of the terrible days of the Irish troubles.

I’m now a retired civil servant, whose aging legs don’t carry him into the hills and remote glens as often as they used to. Still, the imagination remains free to wander.

We have a mutual friend, Julie Jordan, who writes as Dayna Leigh Cheser. How did you come to meet her?

I came to know Julie Jordan via Twitter. She contacted me one day to ask if I’d ever been to Lochbuie on the Isle of Mull. In her latest novel her main character was born in a castle which Julie had pictured on an island which lies off Lochbuie. I’d only been to Mull once, and never to Lochbuie. Still, I love camping in the wilds with my family, and on my next trip my brother and I took the ferry to Mull and visited Julie’s island. Alas, the only inhabitants are a few sheep and rabbits, but Julie didn’t seem to mind. In fact I think it pleased her that no one had ever lived there.

In addition to our mutual friend, we also have something else in common. We’re both fans of Runrig. Let me put one of their songs on softly in the background while we chat. This is one of my favourites.

Have you been to Canada?

I’m sorry to say I’ve never been to Canada. My wife and I have been to the U.S. half a dozen times. She’s a sun worshipper, so we invariably head for California, usually San Diego.

I would love to follow the trail taken by many of the Highland emigrants who sailed to Canada during the dark days of the Highland clearances. So many of our glens lie desolate and empty, with only a scatter of ruins to tell that people had ever lived there.

In nearby Glen Pean, for instance, sixty men by the name of Macmillan rallied to Prince Charlie’s banner in 1745. Within seventy years, nothing remained but the wind and the heather. I remember watching a documentary about the Highland diaspora, and listening to an elderly Canadian talk of his Scottish heritage. His name was Macmillan and his people came from Glen Pean.

Can I get you a drink? I have a small selection of whiskies if you’d like a dram before we eat. Or we can always have something else.

A drink? Any Hebridean malt would be very welcome, thank you, although my favourite dram is Talisker, the only whisky distilled on the Isle of Skye. They still use peat and sea wrack to dry the barley, which adds a wonderful smoky flavour to the whisky.

haggis
By Chris huh (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
You’re in luck. I happen to have a bottle of Talisker. I prefer the Speyside Malts, particularly 18 year old Cardhu (which you can’t buy in Canada) and 18 year old Glenlivet. They’re both very smooth.

Well, while we wait for our meal to be ready, let’s chat about your writing. The Last Sunset was your debut novel, if I’m not mistaken. Can you tell us what it is about?

The Last Sunset was my debut novel. It’s a time travel adventure set in a glen reputed to be haunted, following a massacre by redcoat soldiers in 1746. In a land where the boundaries between past and future events are blurred, a series of coincidences sees three sets of characters from different time periods drawn back in time to the scene of that original massacre. All respond to the atrocities taking place around them, each in their own way altering the course of events.

My chef, Donald, announces the meal is ready.

#BurnsSupper

We’ll start with The Selkirk Grace.

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some would eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.

My cock-a-leekie soup isn’t made in the traditional way. I’m not a fan of prunes so I leave them out.

haggis
By Laurel F (originally posted to Flickr as Cock-a-leekie Soup) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The skirl of the pipes announces the presentation of the haggis. I’m pleased to say that we have Harry MacFayden addressing the chieftain o’ the puddin’ race this evening.

#BurnsSupper

haggis
By Biology Big Brother [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
I hope you’re enjoying your virtual “Canadian” Robbie Burns night, Bob.

I understand you’ve completed the sequel to The Last Sunset. Can you tell us anything about it?

My second novel, Red Sky In The Morning, concludes the story begun in The Last Sunset, taking the tale into the realms of alternate history.

Both books were inspired by the yearning to see the graves of Culloden emptied of their Highland dead, and our glens untouched by the Highland clearances.

I’ve been to Fort William a few times (stayed overnight and rode the Jacobite to Mallaig once and the other time drove out to walk under the viaduct and visit the Glenfinnan Monument). Do you have a favourite place you like to go to?

I hope you enjoyed your visits to Fort William. In particular I hope the weather behaved itself while you were here. I have this urge to apologise whenever I see tourists who have become victims of our unpredictable weather.

A favourite place? There are so many: from hidden white sand beaches, to remote hill lochs. In every direction there are castles, ancient hill forts, ruined sheilings, deep and myserious lochs, many with their own legendary water beast. Loch Morar, for instance, on the journey from Fort William to Mallaig, has seen almost as many sightings of strange creatures as has Loch Ness. Do they contain creatures unknown to science? Perhaps. There are a lot of locals who’ve seen things they can’t explain, but are reluctant to discuss it for fear of ridicule.

My favourite place of all is probably the Isle Of Skye, where I love to search for fossils of ancient creatures which are known to science. It’s extremely unlikely that Loch Ness and Loch Morar are inhabited by any survivors from the Jurassic period, but the dinosaurs certainly did roam what would one day become the Hebrides.

Do you have any more writing projects in the works? Another WIP perhaps?

My work in progress is the story of four young children who are in the throes of losing their mother to cancer. In the midst of this trauma they begin to experience supernatural activity in their home. With my love of history, there are of course links to something ancient and mysterious. The story, to a large extent, is autobiographical.

We have trifle for dessert. I hope you like it.

haggis
By Benjah-bmm27 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
When we’re finished eating, we’ll take our coffee and some shortbread into the lounge and listen to more Scottish music and talk a bit more.

Where can your books be purchased?

amazon.com | amazon.co.uk | Greyhart Press

Here’s one of the Runrig songs you provided.


And your author links? Where can folks find you?

https://www.facebook.com/Bob-Atkinson-1039921642785934/?skip_nax_wizard=true

http://www.bobatkinsonauthor.com/

https://greyhartpress.com/meet-our-authors/bob-atkinson/

Once again, Melanie, thanks for having me on your blog. I hope the night goes well for you.

Thank you for coming, Bob. It’s been a pleasure hosting you here at Celtic Connexions and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better.

 

 

CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO WORLDS by June Moonbridge #Cover Reveal

two worlds

Caught Between Two Worlds

By

June Moonbridge

 

two worlds

Genre: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Release Date: 1st February 2017

A vacation on the shores of the Egyptian Red Sea was Veronica Blake’s long lasting dream.

But dreams turn into nightmares. Controlling boyfriend Peter complains and embarrasses her frequently in front of everybody from the start. A trip to the ancient sites turns into a disaster. But the salvation comes in the form of the mysterious Nicholas, a blue-eyed man she remembers from the hotel.

Deep in the Sahara desert Veronica encounters a totally different way of life. She desperately seeks the truth about everything that happened. Alone and afraid of her new written future she finds consolation with Nicholas, the only man she’s left to trust.

Will she ever accept the truth she seeks, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Will she be able to find a way back to the life she was forced to leave behind?

BUY LINKS

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01NAQ25FR

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAQ25FR

ABOUT JUNE MOONBRIDGE

two worlds

June was born in June and she always loved the moon.

She studied economics, and quickly realised she hated it. She started to write in high school and was criticised by her teacher. Stubborn as she is, that didn’t stop her. Under different pen names, she had stories published in magazines, and then went on to publish three books.

After having two children, and learning that her second child has autism, she married their father and carried on working. Work and family life left her with little free time. But the desire to write didn’t die. When life somehow sorted itself out, she decided to write a novel in English…

For what happened then, re-read the second paragraph, third sentence…

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JMoonbridge

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JMoonbridge

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13887820.June_Moonbridge

Google+   https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JuneMoonbridgedreams

LinkedIn:   https://si.linkedin.com/in/jmoonbridge

Blog: www.junemoonbridge.com

Happy 2017! #resolutions #Hogmanay #celebrations

To all my Scottish friends and family…

Happy Hogmanay!

Welcome 2017!

2017!2017!2017!While 2016 sucked in a number of ways – particularly unkind to celebrities – my year turned out okay. No, better than okay – it was GREAT!

High points for me in 2016:

  • Published my book, The Secret of Hillcrest House in April. It’s gone on to sell over kindle 500 copies since it’s release and sells well in paperback at the events I attend.
  • Another trip abroad – England, Wales and Scotland (aka #SEWES2016)
  • Joined the Prescott Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market where I’ve developed a loyal following of readers who are waiting for me to release yet more books.
  • Published the  sequel to A Shadow in the Past – Shadows From Her Past.
  • I should even make a profit this year on my writing. Wow! That will be a first.

Happy 2017!

What are my plans for 2017?

  • Release two books (I know ambitious – insane even) – one in mid-summer, one in late-autumn.
  • Read as much as I can when I’m not writing.
  • Attend as many events as possible.
  • Continue building on the relationships I’ve made with my customers and fellow vendors this year.
  • Travel.

Auld Lang Syne

SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus.—For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a
weary fit,
Sin’ auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

Robert Burns

500!!!

500
500
champagne

 

It’s time to pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly! What’s the celebration you ask?

Since its release in April 2016, The Secret of Hillcrest House has sold

500

kindle copies on amazon!

500

Here’s what the book is all about…

Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.

Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.

Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel The Secret of Hillcrest House?

And how about these quotes???

Melanie Robertson-King’s latest novel serves up a delightful blend of the supernatural and spicy romance, Lynn L. Clark, author of The Home Child, and Fire Whisperer & Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural, & The Accusers

Intrigue, dark buried secrets, hot romance and a neat twist in the tale make this riveting reading, Sheryl Browne, MA Creative Writing, Choc Lit Author

A fun read that keeps you guessing right up to the surprise ending, Dayna Leigh Cheser, Author of Janelle’s Time, Moria’s Time, Adelle’s Time, & Logan’s Time

Don’t they want to make you want to read it?

Here’s the universal amazon link so you can download your copy and find out what all the fuss is about.

If you’ve already purchased and read The Secret of Hillcrest House, you have my heartfelt gratitude.

THANK YOU!

 

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King