Monday, 26 November 2018

Sweet Romance "Sir Conrad and the Christmas Treasure" by Lindsay Townsend





My sweet medieval historical romance, SIR CONRAD AND THE CHRISTMAS TREASURE, is up for pre-order. You can read it for free with Kindle Unlimited.

On Amazon. Com here
And Amazon UK here


SIR CONRAD AND THE CHRISTMAS TREASURE TO READ WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED



What is the true treasure of Christmas?

Maggie’s younger brother, Michael, is kidnapped by outlaws, and it’s up to her to rescue him. Appealing to Sir Conrad, the grim steward of the northern English high lands, is the very last thing she wants to do. With the very real possibility that the outlaws know of Michael’s talent—the ability to open any lock, to reveal any treasure—Maggie races against time to find him before his usefulness to the outlaws is ended.

Sir Conrad desires Maggie from the minute he sees her—she makes him feel alive again—and that has not happened since the death of his wife. Though he hasn’t known Maggie before, a strange feeling of familiarity nags, and he agrees to aid the beautiful peasant girl in this quest of finding her brother.

Joining forces, Maggie and Sir Conrad form a tenuous bond. When an assassin attacks Maggie, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit, and Conrad realizes that even Maggie doesn’t know the power she holds. But Conrad not only must keep Maggie safe, he must thwart the dangerous devices of his spiteful older brother, Richard, who has lately returned from crusade.

As love blossoms, Maggie and Conrad must protect one another. Evil is all around them, and doubt is a cruel enemy. Will their faith in each other keep them united? In the world of dangerous courtly intrigue, who is saving whom? Love is all that matters…but can that be enough?

This story is available via pre-order and will come out on December 7th, 2018

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Inspirational Romance by Kenneth Summerford "Liberty" Romance Out of a Clear, Blue Sky



Blurb and Excerpt for Liberty 2018 09
 Genres: Romance; Inspirational  

Liberty Adair is recovering from her broken marriage and even has questions about God, science and her future.  She is a Christian who unexpectedly meets a college professor who is good-looking, available but an atheist.  Sometimes opposites attract.  They are worlds apart but both need love and have disturbing questions about science, God and their future romantic relationships.  Dr. Ernest Siegfried is successful until he has a heart attack at age 39.  Liberty was divorced from her preacher husband and now wonders if her life has meaning, or is her life without purpose and direction?  Liberty has some past hurts from her failed marriage and longs for a good marriage and children.
Ernest believes that modern science has replaced beliefs in God.  Liberty is researching evolution, intelligent design and questions about the Creator to answer some burning doubts.  At age 28, can she be sure of what is real and what are outdated religious beliefs?
How does God interface with humans?  Does DNA prove intelligent design by the Creator?  Did God create mankind in His image, or did humans create gods and goddesses in their image?
Liberty and Ernest struggle to find the answers by using science, the Bible, probabilities and logic.  Together they embark on a journey to discover the truth about their rocky future together, the evolution of life, intelligent design, and mysteries of the Divine. 

  =========
Excerpt from chapter 1, Book 1

The frigid, wet November wind encouraged her to seek shelter in the warmth of stacks of books.  She was reading a book in the university’s library in North Texas and glancing at the men near her.  Loneliness followed her like freezing rain from her home to the doors of the library, but had to leave when she gazed at the books and the individuals reading the volumes.
The professor slowed his pace.  His eyes were caught by the sunlight reflecting off her blonde hair.  Her face was like a Miss Texas winner.   Her shoulders were straight and her blouse concealed her sculptured chest. A blue skirt rode about two inches above her knees and a brown cotton jacket hung from her shoulders.
“Are you a teacher or student in science?” He stopped.
“No, I’m just reading a book on intelligent design and evolution,” she replied on seeing the professor and then buried her head back into the book. 
“Oh, who wrote it?”
She smiled and looked up.  “A scientist named Stephen Meyer.”
“I don’t recognize the name.”  He raised his eyebrows and displayed a condescending smile.
Her expression hardened.  “Dr. Meyer has done some excellent work in science and wrote this book explaining how God used intelligent design to create the universe and develop life on Earth.”
He laughed.  “So you’re telling me that God designed a physical universe with galaxies, stars and a planet we call Earth?  Sorry, but I’m an atheist and do not believe in all that nonsense.”
She hadn’t taken a good look at who had been speaking with her, but his statement made her take a closer look at him.  She raised her voice, “Nonsense?  Do you know anything about the human body and DNA, or are you one of those atheists who—“  She didn’t finish the sentence as her eyes grasped the image of a well-dressed, rather handsome man, about six feet tall, with dark-brown hair and a short beard.
  ===========
  Link to Book 1 on Amazon
  ___________________
This book is a unique blend of romance, science, religion and philosophy.


  

Genres: Romance; Inspirational  

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Link to Book 1 on Amazon UK

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

"The Artisan Heart" by Dean Mayes. A story of love and betrayal in Australia


The Artisan Heart by Dean Mayes.
Book Blurb.

"Hayden Luschcombe is a brilliant paediatrician living in Adelaide with his wife Bernadette, an ambitious event planner. His life consists of soul-wrenching days at the hospital and tedious evenings attending the lavish parties organised by Bernadette.

When an act of betrayal coincides with a traumatic confrontation, Hayden flees Adelaide, his life in ruins. His destination is Walhalla, nestled in Australia’s southern mountains, where he finds his childhood home falling apart. With nothing to return to, he stays, and begins to pick up the pieces of his life by fixing up the house his parents left behind.

A chance encounter with a precocious and deaf young girl introduces Hayden to Isabelle Sampi, a struggling artisan baker. While single-handedly raising her daughter, Genevieve, and trying to resurrect a bakery, Isabelle has no time for matters of the heart. Yet the presence of the handsome doctor challenges her resolve. Likewise, Hayden, protective of his own fractured heart, finds something in Isabelle that awakens dormant feelings of his own.


As their attraction grows, and the past threatens their chance at happiness, both Hayden and Isabelle will have to confront long-buried truths if they are ever to embrace a future."





The Artisan Heart – Excerpt.

            Having climbed down from the roof, Hayden went to the back veranda, where he had positioned two workhorses. A good sheet of corrugated iron lay over them.
His failed attempt at turning the leg for Bernadette's chair taunted him suddenly, but he brushed it aside.     
"I can do this," he growled.
Stuffing a handful of nails into his tool belt, he returned to the ladder with the new sheet and climbed up to the roof. Hayden manipulated the sheet into position, until finally it slotted into place.
A snug fit, he mused, impressed with himself as he secured the sheet to the timbers.
He almost couldn't believe how easy it was.
"Handier than I thought."
Hayden leaned back and wiped his brow. His eyes drifted north along the road as it wound its way out of town. A grubby four-wheel drive appeared around a far bend, its tray piled high with firewood–so high, in fact, the vehicle slewed over the road under the weight. As it drew closer, Hayden noted it was moving with considerable speed.
He shook his head. There was only one person in the mountains drove like that.
"Charlie Kraetzer."
The vehicle's horn began to blast, echoing through the valley. At first, Hayden frowned, thinking it was meant it for him, and he raised his hand in a hesitant wave. As he prepared to turn back to his work, the vehicle's headlights flickered, their high beams shining bright in the daylight. Hayden watched as the crazy vehicle continued to honk and flash. Glancing down over the front of the cottage, he saw a small figure dressed in bright yellow, standing in the middle of the road.
A child!
He gasped, dropping the hammer.
Without thinking, Hayden pushed forward and slid down the roof, his body accelerating on the slippery iron. Realising he was out of control, he grasped at empty air, scrambling to arrest his slide.
"Oh God!"
Puffing his cheeks, he sailed over the edge of the veranda. Hayden grasped at the air, somehow managing to grab a length of guttering as he dropped. He pulled it with him as he fell in a heap on the steps below. Despite the explosion of stars he saw bursting before him, he did not wait.
He sprang to his feet, careened down the steps and burst through the gate, locking his sights onto the tiny figure in the road.
He baulked when the child whipped a long object into view, oblivious to the four-wheel drive that was bearing down on them–a steel beast hell-bent on murder.
Hayden swept the child up in one arm without breaking stride. A scream of tyres on bitumen split the air and the truck veered at the last moment, close enough that Hayden felt its slipstream. It swerved, bouncing over the verge, and ploughed into the cottage fence, widening the area of damage. The engine gave one last scream of protest as the wheels spun, kicking mud and grass into the air, then it fell silent.
Clutching the child, Hayden skidded on the bitumen and he gaped, unable to stop himself from crashing into the bush. He collided with a thick branch, taking in a mouthful of hibiscus flowers and foliage as he collapsed to the ground, landing squarely on his behind.
Hayden shook his head as the child wriggled from his grip.
The door of the four-wheel drive snapped open behind him and a heretical voice shouted from within. "Qu'est-ce que tu fais?!"
Planting his hands on the road surface, Hayden pushed back, extricating himself from the bush. Once free, he tried to get to his feet but his hands slipped and he flopped uselessly like a fish out of water.
Is everything in this place wet!?
Suddenly, Hayden found himself glaring up into a wild and muddy face framed with wild ginger hair and a large, bushy moustache.
The rage that had infused the new arrival's expression vanished and was instead replaced by a look of amazement. "Mon ami! C'est toi! Hayden! Tu es ici!
Chas Kraetzer grabbed his arm in calloused hands and dragged him to his feet. Hayden had no choice but to let him.
Finally upright, the world began to spin as he steadied himself against the exuberant Frenchman, the stench of halitosis and alcohol emanating from his bucktoothed grin. Hayden batted his hand in front of his face. "My God, Charlie! Do you bathe in a whisky still?"
Chas Kraetzer broadened his stupid grin, slapping Hayden's shoulder. "Bloody hell, it's good to see you, Doc!" he crowed in his thick accent. "I saw your Holden just the other day. Looks like I did a better job on your fence than you did, eh?"
Hayden glared at Kraetzer. "Did you not see a child in the middle of the bloody road? You didn't think to slow down?"
The Frenchman's visage fell and his expression morphed into a pained mortification, as though realisation had just hit him square in the chest. He opened his mouth to give voice to it, but Hayden turned on his heel.
Max jogged into view around the bend from the town centre with Sam trotting along beside him, barking joyfully. People from the houses nearby appeared in their gardens, peering out to see what all the commotion was.
The child was no longer in his arms. Shaking his head, he searched around him.
"Where'd that–"
A flash of yellow caught his attention and he squinted, seeing a form crouching low in the hibiscus. Bending low, he leaned through the foliage.
The wide-brimmed hat was pulled low over the child’s face and the jacket covered the small frame. It was clear he, or she, was trembling.
"Are you all right?" Hayden asked, moving sideways and back again in attempt to see him or her.
There was no response. Glancing to his right, Hayden saw Chas's look of amusement, as though this was nothing more dramatic than a game of hide-and-seek.
Hayden leaned in further. "Hello there," he called, keeping his voice low. "Everything's okay. You can come out now. We just want to make sure you're not hurt."
The child did not move.
"Maybe offer him a sweet or something," Chas suggested. "I don't think that's going to make matters any–"
Without warning, a bloodcurdling scream tore at the air and the child exploded from the bush. Reacting belatedly, Hayden backpedalled, but he fell as the half-wall of yellow came at him. He yelped as one end of the broomstick thwacked down hard on his head. Chas's cheeks bulged as he leapt out of the way.
Hayden brought his hands up to protect himself from the relentless blows. The child seemed determined to beat the living daylights out of him. He tried to escape but he slipped on the bitumen.
A small booted foot smashed down dead centre in his groin and he croaked.
Chas’s loud cackle ceased abruptly and he sucked in a breath at seeing Hayden crumple. He was compelled to action. As he grabbed the child up and away from Hayden, the yellow hat flew off, revealing a cherubic face with wide, dark eyes and a mop of auburn curls.
Max rushed to Hayden's aid as the child bucked and kicked in Chas's grip, screaming in fury. She swung the makeshift weapon, clocking Chas in the side of his head.
"Oww!" he cried, as she struggled free and dropped to the road in a heap.
Hayden had recovered enough to clamber to his haunches with Max's assistance. He winced, holding his groin. Looking down at the road, he saw the girl’s discarded weapon, with its sodden paper mask and bright marker colours now running. He turned to the child, who was panting where she sat, glowering at him.
Max glanced across at Chas. "Get on the UHF and radio Isabelle," he snapped.
The Frenchman complied without protest.
Hayden glared at the child. "That hurt," he growled. "Why did you do that? I was trying to help."
The girl stared at him.
"Not much use asking her questions," Max offered. "She won't be able to answer."
Hayden looked blankly at Max.
"She's deaf," Max continued. "Has been most of her life."
Max leaned in and helped Hayden to his feet, then stepped across to the child and held out his hands. Much to Hayden's surprise, the child got to her feet and stood close to Max's side.
"This is Genevieve Sampi," Max introduced with a formal flourish. "Genevieve is Isabelle Sampi's daughter."
Hayden was puzzled. The name didn't immediately register.
"Isabelle Sampi," Max repeated. "Surely you'd remember her. Rex and Charmaine's granddaughter. They bought the old bakery building after it closed down."
"No," Hayden wheezed, resting his hands on his knees. "Can't say I do."
Chas returned from the truck. "She's on her way," he said cheerily, rocking on the balls of his feet.
Hayden bit his lip against the lie he had just told.
Great, he thought darkly, indeed knowing that name very well once the connection had been made.
Isabelle Sampi.
Max waved at the residents opposite. "Everything's all right, Hermione! All sorted here."
He stooped to pick up a cooler bag he'd dropped on the road, along with Genevieve's abandoned weapon. He held out his hand to her. "Perhaps we should get off the road in case any more drunk drivers come barrelling out of the mountains."
Chas fidgeted as they stepped over to the grass in front of the cottage.
"In fact, if I were you, Charlie Kraetzer," Max continued. "I would make yourself scarce before Isabelle gets here and kicks your arse."
The colour drained from the Frenchman's face. Without another thought, he turned and climbed into his vehicle.
The truck started and he was able to reverse it back onto the road without trouble. Beaming through the window, Chas Kraetzer pointed. "Don't worry about your fence, Doc! I'll bring some timbers up to you tomorrow. I'll repair it myself. A bientôt!"
With a theatrical salute, Chas gunned the engine and took off in a cloud of diesel smoke.
Brushing himself down, Hayden limped over to the front steps and sat down. "That girl has a killer kick," he hissed.
As they appraised the child, Max brought his hands together in front of him and began twisting and turning his fingers. She studied him while Hayden cocked his head. At the conclusion of this strange little dance, Max looked to her, as if to question the adequacy of his gestures. The child's face broke into a cheeky grin and she gave him a thumbs-up.
"Seems she appreciated your comment about her kick." Max observed. "I picked up a fair bit of Auslan from your mum over the years, but I've let my skills lapse since...you know." He gestured towards the girl. "Genie is teaching me again."
Hayden's brow flickered. Bringing his hands up, he held them out towards her.
"What did you think you were doing, marching out into the middle of the road?" he signed.
Genevieve Sampi blinked and she was unsure of where to look. She was surprised at his ability to sign. She retreated further behind Max, though she kept her eyes on Hayden.
Max signalled at Hayden's hands. "Whatever you said, it put the wind up her."
            Hayden sat straighter, examining the quivering child. "Are you all right?" he signed with less rancour.

Genevieve blinked, but did not respond.




 Goodreads 

Friday, 24 August 2018

Guest Post by romantic suspense author Destiny Booze on her new release, "Another Five Minutes"

Scott wants to help Brooke find her missing twin, but he might not be able to. He’s damaged, and she needs a hero. Can he be the man she needs?



Needing him is easy.

Fearing him is necessary.

Loving him could be her biggest mistake yet.


Born deaf and living with an anxiety disorder, Brooke Hartley manages life in five-minute intervals. It’s all she can do to get out of bed each morning. She’s hidden inside her sister’s apartment for over a year.

Everything changes when Brooke’s sister goes missing. Her fragile world crashes. She is desperate to find her.

Haunted by a past he needs to forget, Scott Derrico keeps to himself until his gallery manager, Autumn Hartley, suddenly disappears. He comes out of isolation to take Brooke under his wing and search for Autumn.

Scott tries to deny his attraction to Brooke. He doesn’t want to get emotionally involved but he craves her like nothing else. And, for her, he is a dark and sexy diversion to overcome her fear.


With a genuinely flawed and relatable heroine and a mysterious and protective hero, you won’t want this love story to end. You’ll beg…for another five minutes…


EXCERPTS 

Excerpt 1:

Scott stopped so he could stare at Autumn’s sister. He’d forgotten—again—that she was coming. Maybe if he’d remembered, he would have been more prepared.
Brooke was absolutely beautiful.
Her eyes met his, and he couldn’t look away. Those large, gorgeous eyes held him in place better than steel bars could have. He could stare at those eyes for the rest of the day, or week, or longer.
He suddenly remembered his manners. He’d told Autumn he would make this easier for her. He forced a polite smile, completely aware his behavior was not going unnoticed.
With a pointed stare, Autumn stepped toward him. “What’s wrong? And don’t answer where she can see you. She reads lips.”
He turned sideways, away from Brooke, opened his mouth to respond, and shrugged instead.
“Did you change your mind about her working here?”
“No, of course not.”
“Okay. So why are you looking at her like that?”
Again, he shrugged. What was he supposed to say? Sorry, but I don’t want to have the hots for your sister. You should have told me she was so beautiful.
“Oh,” she said, her eyebrows lifting.
Oh? What the heck did she mean by that?
“You realize I have a picture of my sister on my desk, right? It shouldn’t be a surprise to you that she’s pretty.”
He hadn’t noticed the picture. Obviously. And, she was way more than pretty.
Her look of surprise suddenly changed. “Scott, don’t you dare make a move on my sister. I mean it. That’s the last thing she needs right now.”
“That won’t happen.”
“Good. Now, please turn back around and say hello. I want her to feel welcome.”
Right. He turned back, shoved his hair away from his face, and instantly went right on staring. “Hey. Welcome to the team.”
Was that his voice? It was much softer than normal. He had to snap out of this.
She gave such a small smile that he wondered if he imagined it.
Had she understood what he’d said? Maybe he hadn’t spoken slowly enough?
He looked back to Autumn to make sure she wasn’t still glaring at him. She was. Oh hell. He walked away to his studio. This day was not going to get any easier.



Excerpt 2:

Brooke turned back to Scott, making a clawing motion and scrunching up her face in the most adorable look ever. He wasn’t sure what she was saying to him, but he thought he understood the gist of it. “Everyone says my paintings are too dark.”
She shook her head and reached for his hand. She wrote, A.N.G.R.Y.
“True,” he offered.
She turned the tables on him, staring hard. It was only fair since he’d been staring at her all day. She gestured out of the room with a shrug.
“No, the one in the living room isn’t angry,” he said, but he wasn’t going to talk about that. Trying to distract her, he moved forward, closer than what was comfortable between acquaintances. He wanted to get her mind on something other than asking about that painting.
“I guess I paint what I feel at the time. Do you want to know what I would paint right now?”
Looking nervous, she didn’t answer. He could see her chest rise and fall as her breathing came quicker, and he liked it.
He should have left her alone. He’d brought her here to protect her, to make her feel comfortable. But, he couldn’t make himself do the right thing. Instead, he moved in even closer, reached for her hair, and pulled out the band holding it back in a ponytail. It fell to her waist, and he fanned it out, loving the feel of the silky texture sliding through his fingers.
Her eyes went wide open, and he heard her next breath come out in a rush.
“I would paint you.”



Excerpt 3:

Brooke watched as Scott poured a double shot of liquor and drained it. He faced her long enough for her to see him say, “I’m sorry. It looks like we’ll have to wait to go see Zack.”
When he turned back to pour another, Brooke put her laptop down, hurried to him, and covered the glass with her hand, shaking her head back and forth. She worried about him. The cops would be back to talk to him, and she didn’t want him to be drunk when they did.
She took his hand away from the glass and traced, S.O.B.E.R.
He gave her a humorless grin. “Do you really think you want me sober right now?”
It wasn’t so much his words as the look in his green eyes that scared her, and she backed away from him.
He advanced. “If you don’t want me to drink, you’re going to have to give me something else to do.”
Gulping, she retreated further, and her back bumped the wall behind her. In the next instant he was standing right in front of her. Grasping her face between his hands, he tilted her head up and kissed her.
Brooke spread her arms wide in surprise, and he came closer, trapping her to the wall. She had no time to object, and she didn’t want to. He kissed her hard, the anger she sensed earlier radiating out of him. It should have scared her, but it didn’t. She wanted more.

Destiny Booze
Romantic Suspense/Thriller Author
http://www.destinybooze.com

Upcoming Release ~ Another Five Minutes

Make-believe is more than a child's game!