Today I will be sharing a short extract for my spot on the blog tour for Willow by Grace Parks. This is the first novel in The Pepper Lane Club series!
Can a socialite and a technophobe fall in love?
A bubbly personality and a great job in social media didn’t mean that Willow Lawson had it all. Her love life was distant memory and her social life only work related. The maddening demands of life seemed to get in the way of finding time for herself or her friends.
She starts the Pepper Lane Club as a chance to step away from her busy schedule once a month to reconnect with her friends.
Thomas Greer, the proprietor of the Pepper Lane Café, annoys her. He’s her complete opposite; unsociable, serious, old-fashioned and dead set against social media.
Always game for a challenge, Willow decides to take him on as a client. She’s going to prove to Thomas that he needs her help. She knew she would be successful, she just didn’t know she would lose her heart along the way.
Can Willow fall in love with a man that doesn’t respect her profession? Will Thomas let go of his preconceptions long enough to get to know the real Willow? Enjoy this sweet romance as Willow finds love and friendship in the first book in the Pepper Lane Series.
Six women. Six stories. Six chances of love. One café.
The Pepper Lane Series follows the lives of six women as they share life, love and heartache once a month at the Pepper Lane Club. They might be an unlikely group of friends, but it takes all types to form a tribe.
I rolled my eyes at the two of them. “I don’t know what you want me to say. You’re expecting a love story that isn’t there.”
“We’re not expecting a love story. We’re expecting honesty.”
“Honesty? You want to know why I’m trying not to make this into a big deal? Because I don’t want things to be awkward at the next club meeting. I don’t want us to have to go somewhere else because I really love that café, and I love our name. We can’t be The Pepper Lane Club if we go somewhere else. It wouldn’t feel right. And here’s the thing, he’s not my type. He is so out of touch with reality. He’s the opposite of me. He’s annoying, and he has the worst dress sense. He’s the book, and I’m the movie. We’re different. Too different. So, that’s me being honest. I don’t know why he did what he did, and even though I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to finally give West a taste of his own medicine, I still wish I could’ve done in a different way. Having a fake boyfriend isn’t quite the same thing.” I took a deep breath. “And that’s me being honest with you.”
The Pepper Lane Club
Six women. Six stories. Six chances of love. One café.
Willow Lawson is a fun loving social media expert, who helps companies stand out from their competitors. Yet, despite her bubbly personality, her social life is mostly work-related, and her love life is non-existent. That’s when she starts The Pepper Lane Club, a chance to get away once a month from her maddening life and reconnect with her friends. It’s at this very first meeting that she meets Thomas Greer, who owns the café. He’s everything she’s not. He’s serious, unsociable, unfashionable, and dead set against social media. She decides to take him on as a client despite his refusals. She wants the challenge, and she wants to prove to him that he needs her help. He frustrates her, but there’s something about his old fashioned ways that also intrigues her.
The Pepper Lane series tells the stories of six women, who agree to meet once a month at their local café. They promise to meet no matter what life throws their way, and, as we soon find out, life throws a lot more than any of them expected. Friendships are forged, and deepened, as the women get to know each other. It’s only once a month, but they soon realize how important this little club has become to each of them. They might be an unlikely group of friends, but it takes all types to form a tribe.
About the Author:
From Grace, with Love…
Grace Parks is a sweet romance / chick lit author with a penchant for the happily ever after.
Today I will be sharing an extract for my spot on the blog tour for Missing in Wales by Jenny O’Brien.
**If you are in the UK, there is an awesome giveaway going on!**
Missing in Wales, the first in an exciting new Welsh-set crime series by Jenny O’Brien, author of The Stepsister. The next in series, Stabbed in Wales, will be available soon.
Alys is fine – don’t try to find us
Izzy Grant is haunted by the abduction of her newborn daughter five-years ago. When a postcard arrives from her missing partner, the man she believes is responsible, saying they’re fine and asking her not to try to find them, she knows she can’t give up hoping. Then she sees a face from her past. Grace Madden. Just where did she disappear to all those years ago? And is there a connection between her disappearance and that of her child?
DC Gabriella Darin, recently transferred from Swansea, is brash, bolshie and dedicated. Something doesn’t fit with the case and she’s determined to find out just what happened all those years ago.
Chapter 1: Izzy, woken from her sleep, discovers that both her baby and boyfriend are missing.
The fire had died back to nothing, the embers just a pale glow in the grate. She turned her head to glance out of the window, her hand instinctively pulling the woollen blanket around her shoulders, a shiver snaking its way across her spine. The last time she’d looked out, the sun had been streaming in through the pane but all that was visible now was the dense grey of twilight. The phone rang, slicing through her sudden fear. She struggled to sit, her neck stiff from the arm of the sofa. A million excuses chased through her mind.
They’ve been delayed, a puncture or, knowing Charlie, he’s run out of petrol.
Her hand lifted the receiver to her ear before gently replacing it. She’d learnt the best way to treat cold callers was by doing exactly that. No comment. No words. Nothing.
She pulled the throw tighter over her shoulders, her eyes now on the clock on the mantelpiece, her mind in a tangle.
Two hours? How the hell could she have slept for so long? Quickly followed by the worst thought of all – he must have had an accident. Even now he’s in some anonymous hospital bed and as for Alys…
Her stomach clenched when there was no need – she’d just ring his mobile. Reaching out a hand, she quickly tapped in the well-remembered number.
The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please leave a message after the tone.
She was scared now, really scared. He never left his phone switched off even if it was only to check on the football scores. They’d been gone hours. She had no idea where the hell he could have taken her. Alys would need a feed and a nappy change. There was nowhere he’d go, not with a newborn.
She heaved a sigh at her foolishness and, for one long moment, relished the feel of wool against skin as she tried to laugh her fears off. She wasn’t his keeper. They’d got held up. Something had happened, something silly that she couldn’t guess at and, in a minute, she’d hear the creak of the gate and the turn of the key.
The moment passed. The minutes continued ticking and her sliver of calm disintegrated.
In a sudden burst of movement, she leapt from the chair and ran up the stairs.
That’s it. They came in earlier, hours earlier and even now they’re both curled up in their beds, not wanting to wake me.
But her cot was empty, apart from the pale-yellow blanket folded neatly over the end, just the way she’d left it that morning. Their bed was empty too; the duvet flung back any old how, the sheets cold, wrinkled, uninviting.
Outside. Maybe he’d pulled up and decided to close his eyes. Maybe it was like the last time when he forgot his keys and, if Alys had fallen asleep in the car, he might have decided not to wake me.
She remembered the last time. His sheepish grin when she shook him back into the land of the living, which developed into their first big row and ended in a swift coupling against the back of the sofa.
There was post on the mat but she just stepped over it. She wasn’t in the mood for bills and flyers. She just needed to know that Alys was safe.
The air was cold, wiping the smile from her face. There was barely a glimmer of light as twilight switched to dusk. They were far enough away from everyone for darkness, when it hit, to mean exactly that. There wasn’t even a visible moon or any stars to light the way. She took a second to drag air into her lungs, the smell from the winter-flowering jasmine around the door filling her senses, but there was no joy to be had from the scent. Her eyes adjusted enough to see the outline of the gate and the telegraph pole next to it. There was no car, no indication that he’d returned. There was nothing apart from the empty track leading up to the house.
She stayed awhile, a scream building in the back of her throat. Something was wrong, dreadfully wrong – something that she had no way of putting right.
She finally wandered back into the hall, leaving the front door open, the throw trailing in her wake. She was cold down to the bone, but it wasn’t the type of cold that the warmth from wool was going to solve. Her hand stretched towards the phone for a third time, her arm brushing against her breasts, now heavy with milk. She hesitated, her gaze resting on the first nine. Was she overreacting? Was this the paranoid response of a new mum? Maybe. Probably. Hopefully.
About the Author:
Jenny O’Brien was abandoned in Dublin at the tender age of 17 by her parents when they decided to move to Wales. It was only on the completion of her studies that she was finally able to join them.
She’s an avid reader and book blogger in addition to being a RoNA book judge.
She writes for both children and adults with a new book coming out every six months or so.
In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off. She’s also an all-year-round sea swimmer.
Jenny currently resides on the island of Guernsey with her husband, children and cats. She works as a nurse and writes in her spare time.
Readers can find out more about Jenny from her blog: https://jennyobrienwriter.wordpress.com
Win a signed copy of Missing In Wales and the chance to be a character in the next book STABBED IN WALES.
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.[Top]
Today I help close out the blog tour for Chloe: Never Forget by Dan Laughey. I will be sharing an extract of the novel.
An off-duty detective gunned down. A dead woman. A student missing, feared dead. And now, a former policeman in search of his past. All these people, dead or alive, have one thing in common. D.I. Carl Sant must discover what it is.
A series of cold-case enquiries leads D.I. Sant and his colleagues to investigate a botched assassination plot dating back to the 1980s. The deeper they dig into the case, the more secrets are revealed, including shocking connections to the infamous National Front.
Meanwhile, the memory of former P.C. Tanner, survivor of the assassination horror, is beginning to recover. Sant must find Tanner, and find out who is behind it all – before his superiors lose their rag and more lives are lost.
The following extract is from Chapter 5 of CHLOE: NEVER FORGET. It’s from the point of view of an elderly gentleman who has spent his later life trying to forget his former years as a policeman. But then someone visits, and now he’ll never forget.
Your name is Nigel Fleming. You think.
Your visitors are few and far between.
The consultant specialist or whatever she’s called pops her head around the door once in a while. The postman is a friendly chap too. The neighbours stick their noses into your business too often, but that can’t be helped.
What you almost never get is a new visitor.
You never answer the door to cold callers or charity beggars or meter readers. For all you know, the cretins might invite themselves in, raid your fridge, piss in your toilet.
And yet the other day, believe it or not, a new visitor did come your way. A young lady. Or was it two? One girl or two? Perhaps two was wishful thinking.
Ha ha! Mrs Fleming will be jealous!
Yes, you were flattered. Don’t deny it, Nigel.
And they asked you so many questions. And showed you pictures of their lives. Other people’s lives any road. Stories of lives once lived.
And they played music to you. Other people’s music any road. Not very good music. But music all the same. They even gave you an iPod thingy.
And then they showed you a video. A home video. Their video. Not a very good video. But a video all the same. They didn’t give you that.
The whole experience was exhausting quite frankly.
Frankly, it was.
Can you remember any of it? Not much, sadly.
But you do remember one thing. They warned you to keep a low profile; not to speak to strange people; not to answer suspicious calls.
They did have a way with words. And they were so sincere. So utterly fretful about your welfare.
They’ve done something to your brain, Nigel. Those two young ladies, if you weren’t seeing double, have frazzled your senses something rotten.
And now you’re sat up in bed and the nightmares have returned and you don’t know what’s hit you. Not yet.
TICK TOCK TICK TOCK.
Your body clock is ticking, but your brain-dead head is coming to life.
Halloween, Nigel. Buses, Nigel. Police officers killed, Nigel. Police officers wounded…
And now it’s on the radio. The news is playing tricks with your mind.
TICK TOCK TICK TOCK.
They’ve found a dead body, Nigel. A dead woman, Nigel. A dead woman called Marie Jagger, Susan Smith, Sheila Morrison.
Sheila, Sheila, Sheila.
Is that really her name? Her real name?
What is your real name?
Nigel Fleming? No.
What is it?
It’s time you remembered.
About the Author:
Dan Laughey is a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University where he teaches a course called ‘Youth, Crime and Culture’ among other things. He has written several books on the subject including Music and Youth Culture, based on his PhD in Sociology at Salford University. He also holds a BA in English from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds.
Dan was born in Otley and bred in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a hop and a skip away from the Leeds setting of his Chloe novels.
His crime writing was purely academic to begin with. He’s written about media violence and tackled the age-old concern about television and video games influencing patterns of antisocial behaviour in society. After years of research and theoretical scrutiny, he still hasn’t cracked that particular nut.
He’s also written about the role of CCTV and surveillance in today’s Big Brother world, the sometimes fraught relationship between rap and juvenile crime, football hooliganism, and the sociocultural legacy of Britain’s most notorious serial killer – the Yorkshire Ripper.
All in all, Dan’s work has been translated into four languages: French, Hebrew, Korean and Turkish. He has presented guest lectures at international conferences and appeared on BBC Radio and ITV News in addition to providing expert commentary for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.