Thursday, 30 June 2016

Review - The Secret of Hillcrest House by Melanie Robertson-King

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Release Date: April 16, 2016
Publisher: King Park Press

Blurb: 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?
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.

When Jessica Maitland, newly single and learning to live with a tragedy, buys a beautiful but rundown Victorian house, she expects to have a bit of work to do to the place. What she doesn't expect is to discover that there's far more to Hillcrest House than she'd expected.

She arrives in the picturesque town of Angel Falls to find that although her belongings have been brought to her new home, there is no way she can move in with it in its present state. 

She's helped by a local cop, Andre, who takes her to check in to Mr and Mrs Bell's guest house in the town. They kindly store her furniture for her in one of their out-houses leaving her to begin the enormous task of renovating her new home and make her very welcome.

The locals seem wary of the place Jessica was hoping to make her forever home and when strange things begin happening to her whenever she's at Hillcrest House, she soon begins to wonder if she's made the right decision to invest her money in this run-down property.

Jessica discovers that she's not the only one trying to overcome a loss and her past pales into the background when she begins the renovations on her house. She soon realises she's not alone but is there anything she can do to make Hillcrest House her own? Who were the previous tenants of the old Victorian house and what was their story? Has Jessica got the guts and determination to see this project through to the end, or will she decide that dealing with the secrets encased in this once beautiful home is too much of a challenge for her?

The most ominous thing for me was the insidious crow and its determination that Jessica shouldn't be moving into the house. I love a good ghost story and a romance and this book gave me both. I thoroughly enjoyed The Secret of Hillcrest House. Melanie Robertson-King keeps a good balance between the romance - loved Andre, the eeriness and downright creepiness with a wonderfully constructed ending.

5* from me and I look forward to reading her next book!


Melanie Robertson-King has always been a fan of the written word. Growing up as an only child, her face was almost always buried in a book from the time she could read. Her father was one of the thousands of Home Children sent to Canada through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland, and she has been fortunate to be able to visit her father’s homeland many times and even met the Princess Royal (Princess Anne) at the orphanage where he was raised.

Twitter: @RobertsoKing


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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Pop those corks and pour Another Glass of Champagne

I'm welcoming the very lovely Jenny Kane to my blog today to tell us more about her latest book, Another Glass of Champagne.

Many thanks for inviting me along today to talk about my latest novel, Another Glass of Champagne.

It is with a sense of excitement, tinged with sadness, that I celebrate the launch of this book. Obviously I’m excited because the publication of any novel is a very special moment. To see the words you’ve woven together, that you’ve sweated over, sworn at, caressed, and loved, take their final form is a thrill that never fades. In a world where it is increasingly difficult to find a publisher that will risk its expenditure on printing your book, rather than leaving it as eBook only, the sense of joy is even greater.

And the touch of sadness? Well, that is because this will be the very the final instalment in the Pickwicks Coffee House adventures, and I’m going to miss Amy, Kit, Jack, Megan, Peggy and the crew. They have lived with me, in my head for five years now, and – at the risk of sounding a little unhinged- they have become my friends. (Obviously I don’t actually talk to them- really...OK, I do, but only a little bit.)

It is to Amy, and the Pickwicks crew, that I now raise a glass of bubbly. It was the interaction of those main characters that appealed to my editor enough to have my first contemporary fiction novel taken up. If that hadn’t happened, I would never have continued writing as Jenny Kane.

Another Glass of Champagne follows on from my (bestselling!), novel, Another Cup of Coffee, and the seasonal Christmas novella’s Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas in the Cotswolds, and Christmas at the Castle. (You don’t need to have any of these earlier tales to enjoy Another Glass of Champagne)

A warm-hearted, contemporary tale about a group of friends living in a small corner of busy London, by bestselling author Jenny Kane.

Fortysomething Amy is shocked and delighted to discover she s expecting a baby not to mention terrified! Amy wants best friend Jack to be godfather, but he hasn’t been heard from in months. When Jack finally reappears, he s full of good intentions but his new business plan could spell disaster for the beloved Pickwicks Coffee Shop, and ruin a number of old friendships...

Meanwhile his love life is as complicated as ever and yet when he swears off men for good, Jack meets someone who makes him rethink his priorities...but is it too late for a fresh start?
 Author Kit has problems of her own: just when her career has started to take off, she finds herself unable to write and there is a deadline looming, plus two headstrong kids to see through their difficult teenage years...will she be able to cope?

A follow-up to the runaway success Another Cup of Coffee.

My affection for Amy, Kit and Jack comes, not just from the fact I have lived with their unique voices in my head for so long, but because each of them is based on a real person. When I wrote Another Cup of Coffee, it was with a sense of trepidation. If those whose essence I’d used to create the three lead characters in the book hadn’t liked the story, I would never have sent it to a publisher to be considered for publication in the first place.
Luckily for me, they were- and still are- incredibly supportive of me and my words. I am blessed to have friends who are willing to have their lives expanded into fiction on the page. In fact, it has been immense fun chatting with the ‘real’ Jack and seeing which direction he’d like his ‘on page’ persona to travel.
If you’d like to discover how the real ‘Jack’ would like to live in the realms of fiction, then you can find Another Glass of Champagne in all good bookshops and via online retailers (in paperback and e-format).

Buy Links

Mini Extract
Sticking her head out of the bedroom window, Amy took a huge lungful of fresh air. Even though her morning sickness had passed with merciful speed, the aroma of the paint she and Paul were decorating their spare room with was making her decidedly queasy.
‘I thought this was supposed to be odourless paint?’
‘It is.’ Paul smiled at his wife as he put down the yellow paint-covered roller. ‘Why don’t you take a break? There’s not much left to do now.’
Amy leaned against the windowsill. ‘I’m fine – and anyway, it’s my own fault. I should never have got on my hands and knees to paint the skirting board. Thank you for not saying “I told you so,” by the way.’
Sinking onto the chair Paul had placed in the middle of the decorating chaos, Amy rubbed a palm over her bump in wonder. It seemed to be getting bigger by the hour, never mind by the day.
‘Have Phil and Rob managed to make any contact with Jack yet?’
‘Not a word.’ Paul scraped the remains of the paint from the roller tray onto his brush and dabbed at a patchy place on the wall. ‘Rob hasn’t had any replies to his texts and emails. He reckons Jack is probably somewhere really remote with no Wi-Fi.’
‘Hmmm. Well, I hope he resurfaces soon, or I’ll have had this baby before he even knows I’m expecting one.’
Paul stretched his arms above his head to loosen the muscles cramped from painting. ‘He’ll turn up sooner or later. Jack always does...’

Thanks again for letting me visit your blog today.
Happy reading,
Jenny xx

Jenny spends a large part of her time in the cafe’s of Mid Devon, where she creates her stories, including the novels Another Glass of Champagne, (Accent Press, 2016), Abi’s House (Accent Press, June 2015), Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and the novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds, (Accent Press, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle, (Accent Press, 2015).
Her next full length novel, Abi’s Neighbour, will be published by Accent Press in Summer 2017. She is also working on a short historical novel, which will be published in November 2016.
Jenny Kane is also the author of quirky children’s picture books There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hushpuppy, 2014) and Ben’s Biscuit Tin (Hushpuppy, 2015).
Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog at for more details.
Twitter- @JennyKaneAuthor

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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Finding my muse for Gabe

If you look up the term 'muse' one of the definitions is this: 'a woman, or a force personified as a woman, who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist'. Well, my muse for Gabriel (Gabe) in A Jersey Bombshell certainly wasn't a woman!

I can't - or maybe won't - begin writing a novel until I have two things, apart from the plot line, and these are the name of the main characters and my muse for the hero. 

I'm often asked who the muse was behind Luke, Sebastian and Ed. Oddly enough Ed was inspired by the picture of a farmer I discovered while flicking through one of my mother's magasines. My muse for Gabe in A Jersey Bombshell was the marine biologist and shark scientist, Ryan Johnson. 

I discovered Ryan when researching about being a marine explorer to write Gabe's character in the book and happily he was exactly what I'd pictured Gabe to look like - lucky that, don't you think? I was fascinated by what he did but - confession time - the poor man has no idea that an author living on a small island thousands of miles away from Africa has written a novel with a character based on her imaginings of what he's actually like. 

Here's the link to his website so you can find out a little bit more about the man behind the muse for book 4.

You can buy A Jersey Bombshell and find out more about Gabe here

Now to find the muse for my hero in book 5...

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Discovering Souper Mum

Welcome Kristen!
Tell us a little about your debut novel, Souper Mum, published by Accent Press on 16th June – love the cover by the way.
Thank you for having me!  Souper Mum is the story of mum-of-four Jools Campbell and her misadventures in motherhood and minor celebrity after she becomes embroiled in a feud with TV chef, Tommy McCoy. I hope it's an honest modern look on family, life and love. With her name being Campbell....that's pretty much how the title and the cover came to be... thank you for the comments on the cover art, I love it too!
You have a fabulous blog full of interesting posts. Can you tell us a little about your inspiration behind this book?
Like my blog posts, my novels always try to capture aspects of modern day family life and run some humour through them. I really wanted Souper Mum to be based around the current preoccupation with celebrity foodie culture as well. As an extraordinarily bad chef, I do find there is often little out there for us non-foodie/bad cook types to relate to!
There’s so little free time for a mum, do you have a daily writing routine and if so, can you tell us a little about it?
I never write in the day – the kids are far too much of a distraction! So I spend the day plotting, scribbling down notes and rearranging chapters in my head. Walking the dog is a good way for me to clear my head and sort out my ideas. Then when everyone is in bed and the house is quiet, I usually pop on some headphones and can write solidly for four-five hours of an evening.
Can you tell us about your route to publication?
Souper Mum has taken about six years to get to print. It had been bouncing around agents and editors but it never found a real home and in between having babies and real life, I did neglect her thinking in the back of my mind that maybe she wasn't meant to be. But then one day, I entered her into the Accent Writing Competition run in association with Woman Magazine. To my delight, it placed second and they asked to see the full manuscript. A few months later, they agreed to sign it – I was over the moon! They will also publish its sequel later in the year.
What piece of advice would you give to an unpublished author writing their first novel?
Start small. Trying to write a novel can feel like an epic task so if you’re new to writing, perhaps give short stories a go? I started out writing these and it was probably the best education I could have as a writer. I learnt so much about brevity, dialogue and how to edit my work judiciously. I submitted these to competitions with varying levels of success but it really set me up for novel writing and gave me a good insight into how to submit my work professionally and working to deadlines.
Which is your favourite book?
It is and always has been Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I just remember it being the first book that really spoke to me as a child. It was just overloaded with imagination; lyrical, inventive and completely insane. I read it over and over again.
What temptation do you wish you could resist?
Probably all the ones that prevent me from writing in the evenings! So that'd be Jaffa Cakes, a nice gin and tonic and box sets on Netflix. I'm a terrible binge watcher whether it be Game of Thrones, House of Cards or Orange is the New Black, I'm very impatient so need to watch everything in one go!
What is your philosophy on life?
I'm an eternal optimist so I have to go Monty Python here....always look on the bright side of life.  Publishing, motherhood: they can be especially tough lines of work so it’s always important to smile and keep going J
Thanks, Kirsten.

To buy Souper Mum, click on this link: Amazon UK

Mother-of-four, gin-drinker, binge-watcher, receipt hoarder, hapless dog owner, enthusiastic but terrible cook.  Kristen lives in Fleet, Hampshire and has had short fiction published in several publications.

She writes a weekly blog about being a modern mother.  That and more can be found at her website:

You can also find her on:

Twitter @baileyforce6 and Facebook

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Publication Day!

It's celebrations all round in the Troy household! Today is publication for A Jersey Bombshell - book 4 of my Jersey Scene Series!

Spending years facing my laptop writing, rewriting and then rewriting again, it's difficult to imagine actually enjoying a day like today when my fourth book with Accent Press is being published. Well, it's not difficult to imagine, but I never truly expected it to happen.

Writing is a solitary craft. It can be fun, fascinating and also disheartening when you don't get signed up. But you come to realise you have two choices: stop, or carry on writing. Even when at times I wondered why I was kidding myself that anyone would want to publish, let alone read my books, I decided that I enjoyed storytelling and so pressed on. Today, I'm celebrating the hours I've spent alone in my imagination as I wrote/rewrote/edited... This is the ninth book I've finished, although I started several others along the way. I just hope others enjoy reading A Jersey Bombshell as much as I loved writing it.

Gabriel has returned to the island of Jersey after ten years abroad to help his aging showbiz parents revive their failing Art Deco hotel. This proves to be something of a challenge, especially as his singer father and actress mother are more concerned with staying in the limelight than keeping track of the cash-flow. Gabriel isn’t going anywhere fast …

Meanwhile, he’s stunned to find that the hotel’s new receptionist is the girl he fell in love with years earlier in Vietnam, and someone who is tied to Jersey is the last thing she needs …

If you buy A Jersey Bombshell I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think. 


Monday, 6 June 2016

About - The Flower Seller by Ellie Holmes

All she wanted was a love she could BELIEVE IN.
Jessie Martin believes that when it comes to love there are three types of people: the skimmers, the bottom dwellers and the ones who dive for pearls.  Jessie is a pearl diver. She had thought her husband William was a pearl diver too. But when William leaves her for a younger woman, it’s not just Jessie’s heart that is broken, her ability to trust is shattered too.
Refusing to retire from the battlefield of life, Jessie resolves to put her heartache behind her. She doesn’t want to be that woman who was too scared to love again. There has to be another pearl diver out there; all she has to do is find him.
When fate brings handsome flower seller Owen Phillips into her life, Jessie believes he may be the one but is her fragile trust about to be shattered all over again?
The Flower Seller is a warm, engaging read about love, deceit, betrayal and hope.

It had been her daughter Hannah’s idea to put an advert in the Abbeyleigh Gazette. ‘It’s time to take yourself out of your comfort zone, Mum. Why don’t you get Anne to give you a hand with the ad?’
Sucked into the vortex of her daughter’s enthusiasm, Jessie had agreed before she could talk herself out of it.
‘So, what have you got so far?’ Anne had asked over margaritas in Spike’s Bar.
‘Newly single brunette, slim, attractive, early forties, non-smoker, good sense of humour, would like to meet man thirties/forties for friendship and maybe more,’ Jessie read aloud.
Anne pretended to fall asleep and Jessie slapped her arm.
‘Bit dull, sweetie!’ Anne said with a smile. ‘For starters, you should put early thirties. Everyone knocks a few years off. And do you really want to say slim? It’s practically shorthand for flat-chested and you’re not. How about “great figure” instead?’
‘That’s a bit conceited, isn’t it?’
Anne threw her a look. ‘It’s an advert, Jessie. You’re meant to be selling yourself.’
‘Blimey! I’ll just get some fishnets and a red light, shall I?’
‘You know what I mean. You should put something in there about being outgoing. That usually leads to some interesting propositions.’
‘But I’m not outgoing,’ Jessie said.
‘For goodness’ sake, outgoing just means you’re up for a bit of fun. I’m not suggesting for a moment that you put “open-minded”. Now that would lead to some replies that would make your hair stand on end. And obviously your WLTM has to be a man in his late twenties or early thirties.’
‘Has to be? This is my advert, remember? Not yours!’
Anne smirked. ‘So you’d prefer “Recently dumped flat-chested brunette, early forties, lives life with the handbrake on, would like to meet man forties/fifties for visits to the library”?’
‘I’d prefer not to be doing it at all.’
Anne squeezed her hand. ‘I know, sweetie. And you can stick another pin in your effigy of William when you get home but right now we need to get you back out there before life passes you by.’

Ellie Holmes writes commercial women’s fiction and romantic suspense. She takes her inspiration from the beautiful Essex countryside and the sublime Cornish coast. The Flower Seller is Ellie’s first full-length novel.  Ellie is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association.  To find out more please visit



Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Rachel Brimble and Her Hometown Redemption

Today I'm welcoming Rachel Brimble to my blog to chat about her new book.
My latest contemporary romance/romantic suspense is Her Hometown Redemption. Although it’s book five in my ongoing Templeton Cove series (Harlequin), all the books can be read stand-alone so readers can jump in wherever they fancy!
Her Hometown Redemption is a second-chance/reunion story between lawyer, Liam Browne and Tanya Todd, a woman returning to the Cove hoping for forgiveness from the people she has upset in the past. Working together, Liam and Tanya set out to find the man who hurt Tanya’s sister and in the meantime, trying to reconcile their very special love.
What was your inspiration behind this book?
The inspiration came from the book about Tanya’s sister, What Belongs To Her (Templeton Cove book 3). As I wrote this story, it became clear that, although off stage, Tanya had a story of her own to tell. Once I mentioned it to my editor, she was on board with the idea straight away.
Do you have a daily writing routine and if so, can you tell us a little about it?
I am lucky enough to be able to write full-time so I work from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, with a lunch break and couple of dog walks in between. At the weekends, I sneak in as much time at the computer as possible…without upsetting my husband and kids!
Can you tell us a little about your route to publication?
I started out writing short stories and once I won a few prizes and got published online, I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a published novelist. I put my first book through the fabulous New Writers Scheme (Romantic Novelists Association) and it was accepted and published a year later by The Wild Rose Press.
Since then, I have had at least one novel published every year and currently write romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance and Victorian romance for eKensington.
What piece of advice would you give to an unpublished writer writing their first novel?
Push through to the end…and give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft. This was the best advice I was ever given. Get the whole story down, push through the hard parts and enjoy the easier parts, but continue to write through to The End. Once you’re there, leave the book for a while and then dive into the next draft. You’ll be surprised how much you have to work with and then submit. Writers who want to be published but are too scared to share their work with others will never be published. Simple! (unless you go down the self-publishing route, of course!)
What is your philosophy on life?
One of my favourite quotes is from life guru/spiritualist, Iyanla Vanzant, “Set it up the way you want it to be.”
This sums up my philosophy perfectly – if you don’t like something in your life, do all you can to change it. If something brings you joy, do all you can to keep and cherish it.
Who is the most fascinating person you’ve ever met?
I’ve met lots of fascinating people, but I think Nora Roberts will always be fascinating to me. Not only am I a HUGE fan of her work, but her output, stories, generosity of experience and encouragement are second to none. Someone I would very much like to be my mentor!
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I’d love to work with animals, especially dogs. I adore animals and could quite happily spend day after day looking after them.
She's back to right her wrongs 

When Tanya Todd returns to Templeton Cove, she knows better than to expect a warm welcome. She burned a few bridges on her way out of town, and making amends won't be easy. First on her list is the man whose heart she carelessly shattered, Liam Browne. 

Seeing the successful criminal lawyer after all these years, Tanya is interested in more than just Liam's forgiveness. As they work together to bring the man who hurt her sister to justice, the attraction between them sizzles. Suddenly Tanya's second chance could include a future with Liam…if she can prove she's changed.

 Thanks, Rachel.