Today I am part of the blog tour for Dark & Fluffy Volume II by Janet Stock. This is her second collection of short fiction pieces.
Following on from Dark & Fluffy, this collection is a further nine short fiction pieces. The title Dark & Fluffy II, reflects the general styles of the stories/prose in the book. Some are a bit darker, and may be a bit uncomfortable to read, Death by Testing and The Broken Arrangement fall into this category. Others are happier, feel good pieces like The Disney Club. Whatever your preference, I’m sure you’ll find something that will grab your attention.
Author: Janet Stock
Published: December 15, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 30-31, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dark & Fluffy: Volume II is the second short story compilation written by Stock. You needn’t have read the previous Dark & Fluffy as they are all individual short stories. There are nine stories and something for everyone: Some are ‘cute-ish’ while some leave you needing more (we can say Death by Testing!?!?!)
What I really liked about Dark & Fluffy is that Stock wrote a brief introduction talking about each story. This is a short book around 70 pages so it can be read in an hour or two.
Dark and Fluffy: Volume II is recommended.
About the Author:
I am married with one teenage son and have always been a keen reader and writer since being young. I was born in Lancashire but have lived in Lincoln for over 30 years.
Several years ago I decided to take my writing seriously. I completed an OU course in creative writing and a Writers Bureau course. Initially I concentrated on short story writing, and when I turned fifty this year, I self-published my first book, Dark and Fluffy.
I love writing short stories, but my main goal is to have a novel published. Ten years ago, I started the first book of a trilogy of novels called The Little Servant (The Wait’s Son). I am still working on this, but now I have a serious intent to get this finished this year.
My favourite genre is medieval fiction, Bernard Cornwell is my favourite author. I also like to read Edward Rutherford, Stephen King, and Dean Coontz.
Today I will be sharing an extract for my spot on the blog tour for the novel An Impossible Thing Called Love by Belinda Missen. This one is available now. There is also an international giveaway going on!
Don’t miss the new delightfully uplifting book from the author of A Recipe for Disaster!
A second chance at love…
When globe-trotting Emmy first fell for first-aider William on a freezing New Year’s Eve, she really believed that their love would go the distance.
But when she returns to Australia, her letters start to go unanswered and her emails bounce back unread, Emmy decides it’s time to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and start afresh in London.
So she’s shocked when William walks in on her very first day at her new job! Even worse, he’s hotter than ever. But why did he disappear for so long? What has he been hiding? And could this really be their second chance at falling in love…?
Perfect for fans of Carole Mathews, Mhairi McFarlane and Carrie Hope Fletcher.
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2MHzAEj
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2otrlxi
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2Pk2jvQ
Book Depository: http://bit.ly/2wCYmKS
Hi Everyone – so this piece here is the lead up to William and Emmy meeting for the first time. Emmy is taking part in the torch parade of Hogmanay, and William is lucky enough to be working first aide for the night. This scene has changed dramatically over the life of the book and, in the end, this seemed like a fitting, if not painful meet-cute for them. I feel like it tells us a bit about each of them as people, without having to put it into words:
Grabbing Josh, I muttered something about men and women still being able to be friends in this day and age without having to get naked with each other. I think I might have been louder than expected because, before I could so much as clutch at Josh’s jacket, they were jostling again. A rustle of fabric, a flash of dancing footsteps, and I felt a blunt sting across my face. All at once, everything was dark and far too bright, like a child was flickering a light switch. My sinuses were connected to a trip switch in my heart, and each beat offered a sulphuric burn. I was disoriented and, as my eyes watered, I took a wobbly seat on the ground. It may have been cold and wet, but it was better than swaying about.
I knew how these moments played out, I’d seen it a million times before when volunteering with the ambulance. Music concerts were especially healthy for face to fist experiences. Heather was screaming at someone, probably Josh, who was apologising profusely. Her voice was soon joined by the polyester swish of a hi-vis bomber jacket. I blinked away tears, hoping to get a proper look at the face that swam in my vision.
Touching my nose only made my face burn and eyes water all over again. Through damp eyes, he looked like a watercolour painting. Street lights shimmered in one corner, and his hair a wispy flame-red cloud with sideburns that reached down and hugged his face. His blurred lopsided smile was the most beautiful thing I’d seen all night. As he came into focus, so did Josh over his shoulder.
‘Oh, Em, I am … fuck … so sorry. Are you okay?’
Heather slapped at him again. ‘What do you think, idiot?’
She barely touched five-feet-tall in a line-up. Despite that, she was full of energy and, right now, looked like a mother about to grab at naughty earlobes. Josh inched away from her and, in all this, it occurred to me just how many people were happy to watch what was happening, to whisper among themselves instead of help. I lolled about, steadying myself with a palm on the cold wet asphalt. Dropping on his haunches, the first-aider snapped his fingers in front of me.
‘You okay?’ he asked. ‘Is there any blood?’
I frowned, confused. ‘Huh?’
‘Are you bleeding?’ He flashed a torchlight across my eyes and offered a fistful of tissues.
Squinting away from the brightness, I dabbed at my eyes. Anything near my nose made me want to vomit, but there was a small trickle of blood. ‘Thank you.’
‘At least it’s not broken,’ we said in unison.
His mouth twitched, a smile that threatened to widen as he offered me a cold pack. Under the light, his eyes were, in one moment, bottle-green. The next, they were ocean blue. ‘What makes you say that?’
‘It’s not all bent up and I can still breathe.’ Through squinting eyes, I waggled a finger at his jacket, complete with reflective patches and a blank space for a name badge. ‘It looks just as good on you as it does on me.’
About the Author:
Belinda Missen is an award-winning and best-selling author, screenwriter, and freelance writer from Geelong, Australia. She lives with her car-obsessed, but wonderful husband, two loopy cats, and more books than she cares to count.
In late 2017, Belinda signed a six-book contract with HQDigitalUK (HarperCollins). A Recipe for Disaster was released in August 2018. An Impossible Thing Called Love appeared by magic in November 2018.
Win a paperback copy of An Impossible Thing Called Love
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. 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 am part of the Book Birthday Blitz for The Ghostly Father by Sue Barnard. Today is this book’s birthday and I absolutely loved this one! There is a bonus for those of you in the UK that I am quite envious of as I am in the US: There is a giveaway going on to win a signed copy!
Was this what really happened to Romeo & Juliet?
Think you know the world’s most famous love story? Think again. What if the story of Romeo & Juliet really happened – but not quite in the way we’ve all been told?
This part-prequel, part-sequel to the original tale, told from the point of view of the Friar, tells how an ancient Italian manuscript reveals secrets and lies which have remained hidden for hundreds of years, and casts new doubts on the official story of Shakespeare’s famous star-crossed lovers.
If you love the Romeo & Juliet story but are disappointed with the way it ended, this is the book for you.
Author: Sue Barnard
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 24-29, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Ever since we had to read Romeo & Juliet in ninth grade, I have been a fan of the story. I don’t know why it resonated with me so much. We watched the 1968 film version in school which I also loved. And while I was in high school, the 1996 version with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes came out and I loved everything about it, including the director’s new take on the ending! I have not watched either movie in years, but reading The Ghostly Father had me wanting to watch these films again!
The Ghostly Father is a very unique retelling of Romeo & Juliet: What if the story we all know was actually real and was very different in reality? The Ghostly Father takes place in present day with Juliet Roberts translating a very old Italian manuscript for her grandfather. Once she realizes this is the real story of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ she is transported into the past and has no idea how this ‘story’ will end.
I highly enjoyed that the manuscript takes place with a different character perspective: ‘Friar Lawrence’ (Brother Lorenzo) is our narrator! I always liked him, but why was he so interested in these young people’s lives? I enjoyed that we got to know him as a person. Barnard gives us her take on the story and it does not disappoint! She is faithful to Shakespeare and the original characters and makes it her own including many twists; you really don’t know what will happen next or what Barnard will change from Shakespeare’s story. Will different people live and die? How will this version end?
If you are a fan of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, give The Ghostly Father a read. You will not be disappointed.
The Ghostly Father is very highly recommended!
About the Author:
Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet. She was born in North Wales some time during the last millennium, but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. After graduating from Durham University she had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent. If she had her way, the phrase “Non-Working Mother” would be banned from the English language.
Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” The label has stuck.
Sue speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad. She is also very interested in family history. Her own background is far stranger than any work of fiction; she would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.
Sue now lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.
Buy The Ghostly Father here.
**UK ONLY GIVEAWAY**
Win a signed copy of The Ghostly Father!
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. 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]