Excerpt, Giveaways, Guest Blog, Reviews

#Review and Guest Blog featuring A Rebel at Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @RachelBrimble #historicalromance #historicalfiction

A Rebel at Pennington’s

by Rachel Brimble

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GENRE:   Historical romance/saga

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BLURB:

1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner, Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington’s Department Store. She has hopes and dreams for women’s progression and will do anything to help secure the vote. 
Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life. But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness.

When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life’s challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed. 
With the Coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists’ determination to secure the vote.

Will Esther’s rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?

Women’s Suffrage & A Rebel At Pennington’s

When I was around the age of thirteen or fourteen, my school did a project on women’s suffrage and their fight to win the vote. I can still remember how quickly the topic took hold of me and the passion I felt from the injustice towards other women.

I handed in my project and was awarded an A.

Something inside of me shifted. A belief and need to know more about the women who sacrificed so much of themselves, their occupations and home lives in order to right what was a clear wrong. Little did I know that my interest in women’s suffrage would never wane as I grew older.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write a novel where women’s fight for the vote played a big part in the book. A Rebel At Pennington’s is my twenty-first published novel and it was only when I was writing the previous book in the series (The Mistress of Pennington’s) that a secondary character came onstage as a suffragist.

I’d finally found the heroine who would star in my first venture into writing a story involving the Cause.

I cannot tell you how excited I was to start my research! I bought books, visited websites, spoke to the archivist at our local history centre and attended two talks from historians marking the centenary of the vote being obtained.

It was the choice of being a suffragist (peaceful) and suffragette (militant) that ultimately prevailed in the issue with which I wanted my heroine, Esther Stanbury, to struggle. I can imagine the growing frustrations of the women campaigners and how their constant rebuttals and failures to be heard provoked an increasing and ardent need to ‘do whatever was necessary.’ Yet, the more I read, the more the question of whether or not their actions were, in fact, acts of terrorism began to emerge in my mind.

Throughout my research, my emotions ranged from pride, to shock, to indignation to jubilation and it was these emotions that I used to power the book and, ultimately, Esther. She is a combination of a few real-life suffragists and suffragettes who came up in my research and fascinated and/or resonated with me.

I am not, and will never claim to be, a historian in any shape of form, but I am a novelist and that means my job is to entertain. To write a story that will interest and inspire my readers. Leave them with a something to think about, something to feel or about which to form their own opinion. I absolutely loved researching this significant time in women’s history and loved writing A Rebel At Pennington’s.

Fingers crossed, my passion for women’s suffrage and the women who paved the way for the rest of us comes across in my latest novel.

Long live the vote!

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Excerpt Two:

She looked towards Lawrence.

He softly studied her, and her cheeks warmed. The way he looked at her inferred he was equally moved by Mrs Hadley’s sadness. Esther looked away. He, too, was widowed. Had he and his wife once shared the same love that Grace Hadley spoke of?

Shamed by the jolt of jealousy that shot through her, Esther walked to stand behind a pillar that blocked Lawrence’s sight of her but gave her full view of Mrs Hadley. A familiar sense of unworthiness knotted Esther’s stomach. If Lawrence understood Grace Hadley’s words and sorrow, then, he too, must have known deep and meaningful love.

She would never be enough to compete with such a ghost. Would never be enough to be with a man who bore such longing for a person he’d lost. If she listened to her body and how it so treacherously reacted to Lawrence, her attraction to him would only end badly when the moment came that she’d inevitably held something of herself back.

She could not forgo everything she had built. Somehow, she had to find the strength to fight the temptation of Lawrence’s gaze and quash the yearning to see him again…to see his children again. The emotions he’d evoked in her proved her capable of feeling. Something she had doubted for so very long. Her meeting him had been worth that, at least.

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My lovely English Rose has done it again.  But I say that every time I read a book of hers.  She’s one of those authors that I just adore and actually learn a few things from.  I admit that I’m not educated on the right to vote by women.  It was glossed over in my history class but it was interesting learning about it from Ms. Brimble’s perspective.  She’s a Brit and I’m an American.  As women today, we don’t think about how women weren’t allowed to do anything outside the home without the consent of a man.  Grrrr… Or the government.  But I digress.  Like Ms. Brimble said above, she’s not a history teacher but that’s why I love this series.  She made me think.  Made me look up stuff on the computer and go to the library.

One thing that Ms. Brimble does so brilliantly, is to create fascinating characters that you really care about.  In all of her books, she has the crazy ability to build families around her characters that aren’t blood-related.  Not everyone has a great relationship or their families might not be around much, but Ms. Brimble makes sure that her characters have people that they can count on and rely on.  She also brings a contemporary tone to her story that doesn’t treat the subject matter like it has been half researched.  In all of her books, her characters become the setting, the place, the time.  I don’t need the fluff.  I have Ms. Brimble showing me that through her characters.

Esther is a bad*s* in a different time and place.  But she also a woman that has desires, too.  She didn’t want to even think about falling for Lawrence and his children but she did.  They are more alike than they realize and it was a joy to see them build a relationship with each other.  Lawrence is a great character and person, regardless of what he thinks of himself.  You have to remember that the time frame of this book is still in the early years of the 20th century.  King George is about to be crowned, the first World War is on the horizon and things were done a certain way.  Again, this is what I love about Ms. Brimble’s books.  No matter what setting she is using, Victorian, contemporary, or Edwardian, she transports you and you become part of the story.  At least for me.  Its like watching the movie Wonder Woman.  The scenes in England were just… I can’t explain it, really.

I can’t wait to see where Ms. Brimble takes us next in this series.  We get to see Elizabeth and Joseph again.  While secondary characters in this one, they are still well rounded and its fun to get to know them a bit more now that they are married and her dad has retired.

Do yourself a favor and pick up this book from Ms. Brimble.  Hell, any one of her books.  She immerses you into a time and a place that is romantic thought-provoking and just may see things a bit differently than before.  I like when an author does that.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018 with book two coming February 2019.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America and has thousands of social media followers from all over the world. To sign up for her quarterly and new release newsletter, click here to go to her website: https://rachelbrimble.com/

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelbrimbleauthor/?hl=en

Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Brimble/e/B007829ZRM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490948101&sr=8-1

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806411.Rachel_Brimble

Bookbub:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rachel-brimble

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Rachel Brimble will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Guest Blog, Reviews

#Review and Guest Blog featuring On the Count of Three (a Brandon Fisher novel) by Carolyn Arnold w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #thriller @Carolyn_Arnold

ON THE COUNT OF THREE

by Carolyn Arnold

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GENRE: Thriller

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BLURB:

And they thought prison was hell…

When a woman’s disappearance ticks off all the same boxes as two unsolved murders, Miami homicide detective Kelly Marsh is convinced there’s about to be a third. If she’s right and the killer sticks to their previous MO, she only has three days before Jenna Kelter’s decapitated head will show up somewhere in the city. With no time to waste, Kelly reaches out to the one person she knows can help: her former mentor and family friend Jack Harper, who just happens to lead a team with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.

BAU special agent and profiler Brandon Fisher easily sees the similarities between Detective Marsh’s missing person case and the two cold cases: all three victims served time for DUI vehicular homicide and disappeared three days after being released from prison. But is that enough to assume Kelter has been abducted by a serial killer? Brandon’s not so sure and fears his boss may have let his personal connection to Marsh cloud his judgment. Surely there isn’t any other explanation for why they jumped into an investigation less than twenty-four hours after Kelter was reported missing. Then again, maybe Brandon is letting his own differences with the detective affect his perspective. He’ll need to move past it, though—and quickly.

After all, this killer has evaded capture for the past six years, and they may be looking at a lot more victims than originally suspected. This serial killer is calling the shots and pulling them into a macabre game of cat and mouse. While the team has no choice but to play, if they don’t make the right moves, one of them may not make it out of Miami alive.

 

Writing an Engaging Series: A Look at FBI Thriller ON THE COUNT OF THREE

Article by Carolyn Arnold

The more books you write in a series, the steeper the challenges. The overall plot, the killer(s), the method, the victimology are rather easy. What is more difficult is coming up with ways for your characters to grow. It requires that you dig deep into out their backgrounds, their motivations, and their experience. If authors get lazy in this regard, it will show in the final product.

For this reason, I endeavor to interview my characters to really drill down and find out what about the plot has that can parallel to their personal or professional lives. Sometimes it’s harder than it sounds. When it came to writing On the Count of Three, I interviewed several of the characters—even ones outside the series’ main characters.

In this book, I’m introducing someone who may become a part of the series and there’s only one shot at a first impression. You need to make sure the character is strong and relatable—real—so that readers can connect with them and want to know more about that person. Further, then that, you want the reader so invested in the character, they’ll want to follow them for many books to come.

Also, if you’re writing a police procedural series like me, it’s crucial to get the facts right. If you’re familiar with my work, you realize just how important this aspect is to me. I’ve even adopted the trademark Police Procedurals Respected by Law Enforcement™. This wasn’t a decision that I chose, but rather that chose me. I’ve had many people from law enforcement reach out to me over the years to tell me how accurate my books are. Some have said they even see themselves in the characters as if looking in a mirror.

So how do I get my facts right when I don’t have a background in law enforcement? Research, but I’ve also been blessed with a network of people who have experience in law enforcement to answer my questions. They are so understanding and selfless with their time in responding. What I’ve found is they are appreciative that I am taking the time to make sure procedure is as accurate as possible.

I am pleased to say that even though the challenges can be great—and at times seem insurmountable—I believe my hard work has paid off again with the seventh installment in the Brandon Fisher FBI series. On the Count of Three took much longer to finish up than I would have liked, but I believe the final product makes up for any delay.

I invite you to download a copy of On the Count of Three or order in paperback or hardcover from your favorite retailer. But be warned: this book isn’t for the faint of heart.

About the Brandon Fisher FBI series:

 

Profilers. Serial killers. The hunt is on. Do serial killers and the FBI fascinate you? Do you like getting inside the minds of killers, love being creeped out, sleeping with your eyes open, and feeling like you’re involved in murder investigations? Then join FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit in their hunt for serial killers.

This is the perfect book series for fans of JT Ellison, Catherine Coulter, Allison Brennan, and Blake Pierce. This series is also bound to entertain those who enjoy Criminal MindsNCIS, Silence of the Lambs, Seven, Dexter, Luther, and True Crime.

Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Eleven, Silent Graves, The Defenseless, Blue Baby, Violated, Remnants, On the Count of Three.

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Excerpt Two:

The coffee in my gut was a churning, acidic whirlpool. The victims had been alive when their heads were severed. Now give me bloody murder scenes any day of the week. But decapitations? No thank you. Maybe it all started with that “neck bone connected to the head bone” song as a kid? Even kids know a head should always be attached to the body! I ran a hand through my hair, basking in the fact that my head was still there.

My repulsion wasn’t because I was still wet behind the ears. I’d seen my fair share of serial killers’ handiwork since I’d come on board with the BAU about three years ago: Some who tortured, some who raped, some who mutilated bodies. Even one who wore his victims’ skin, but the latter desecration had been done postmortem.

And here I was, not even in Florida yet, and my pops’s voice was in my mind. He’d have no sympathy for what I faced every day on this job. He’d never been a fan of the BAU; he would have been happier if I’d enrolled and served in the Navy as he had. To him, serving God and Country was more in line with patriotic duty. That was all fine and good, and I had no doubt it was because of him that I’d hoped for an assignment in counterterrorism when I finished at Quantico. But that wasn’t meant to be. And I’d adjusted. The work I did with the Bureau made a difference regardless of Pops’s opinion. We brought closure to devastated loved ones, got justice for innocent victims, and on the best days, even saved lives.

My gaze fell to a photo of Jenna Kelter, and I stared into her eyes. She was the image of a thirtysomething girl next door. She was a brunette with hazel eyes and a cute smile. We needed to save her, and the fastest path there was to figure out what sort of killer we were dealing with. I considered this killer’s actions thus far and drew a preliminary conclusion. “Our unsub is intelligent, organized, yet adaptive,” I posited. “They have the patience to wait until circumstances fit their needs.”

Paige nodded. “That could also indicate they’d watched their targets beforehand.”

“Even if they were familiar with all the victims’ routines before prison, what’s to say their schedules resumed that within three days of release,” I opined.

“Well, they obviously knew where to strike to get them alone. None of the families or their friends saw the abductions.” Paige pressed her lips, a little smugness coming from her.

I flipped through the pages, looking for details on their bail hearings. “I’m assuming Kelter got out on bail?” I’d read enough of the file to know that she didn’t have any prior DUI offenses, so the bail amount would likely have been set low.

“She did. And her trial came quickly because she didn’t dispute the charges,” Zach said. “According to the file, she’d expressed remorse.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch anything too grisly on television.  Not a Criminal Minds kind of girl.  Love my true crime stuff though.  Go figure.  What I really liked about this book is that has realistic characters that are somewhat at a crossroads in their careers and in life.  While dealing with a serial killer.  My kind of book.  I like the human aspect of a thriller.  Ms. Arnold does not disappoint for me.

I’ll also admit that this is my first Brandon Fisher book.  I really liked him.  At times, he was whiny but I could totally understand this from him.  Not everything is going to be crystal clear and people get frustrated with their job.  It makes him human and I appreciate that I got to know him in that way.  Plus, he is also dealing with the possibility that a team member is leaving and then having someone come in as the “competition”.  Again, real-life issues regardless of the job.  And I loved how his mind worked.

The actual story is a nail biter.  There are some grisly parts but for a reader to fully understand the plot, they needed to be put in there.  The research and the attention to detail that Ms. Arnold writes about is just AWESOME!!!  I’ve read Madison Knight books and they are so good because I feel like I’m actually there.  I felt the same with Brandon Fisher.  I really think that I need to go back and at least read the first book in the series.

All that said, this book isn’t all Fisher.  In fact, I thought it was more about Zach, who works in the unit.  His story comes full circle and at times, I just wanted to hug him.  Again, real-world issues.  At the end of the day, you have to make the right decision for you and for your family and I think he did so.  I couldn’t imagine seeing the things that they have seen and not be affected by it all.  Plus, as I’ve said before, there are just some really grisly stuff in the book.  Definitely not for the faint of heart.  It’s not a cozy mystery.

Overall, I really enjoyed getting to know the unit and Brandon Fisher.  I will back for more.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website – http://carolynarnold.net/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

PLEASE MENTION THE PRIZE THAT THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:  

 

paperback copy of Remnants

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Blog, Harlequin Spotlight, Meme

Guest Blog by Rachel Brimble featuring The Templeton Cove Series! @RachelBrimble @HarlequinBooks

Templeton Cove…the end is nigh

 

My love affair with a small UK seaside town called Templeton Cove began back in 2012, when I wrote the first book in the series, Finding Justice. I created a town on the southern coast of England, inspired by my childhood holidays, along with a cast of seven or eight characters. The story is romantic suspense and revolves around the murder of a mutual friend to the hero and heroine.

By the time I’d finished writing the book, I’d fallen in love with the Cove and wasn’t ready to leave. So, as my agent started to send out Finding Justice to publishers, I started on the second book, A Man Like Him.

You can imagine my elation when Finding Justice was contracted by Harlequin Superromance! I felt as though I’d finally broken into the publisher I believed was the right home for Templeton Cove. My editor loved this small town as much as me and quickly contracted A Man Like Him followed by another three-book contract in 2013 (What Belongs To Her/Christmas At The Cove/Her Hometown Redemption), followed by another three book contract in 2015 (Saved By The Firefighter/Ethan’s Daughter/A Stranger In The Cove).

It’s always been a lifelong dream of mine to write an ongoing small-town series similar to those by my favorite authors, Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis and Robyn Carr. Harlequin gave me that opportunity and I shall be forever grateful to have worked on eight books with the best editor on the planet, Piya Campana.

But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end…

Harlequin Superromance has now closed its doors to new submissions and the last set of books will be published in June 2018. This is a sad fact for authors and fans of the line and I have received some truly amazing emails and messages from devoted readers of the Templeton Cove series. In truth, I have been overwhelmed by the support for all of my future endeavors, too.

Book 8, A Stranger In The Cove, will be released January 2018 and I hope I’ve managed to bring the series to a good and satisfying end for the fans who have read the books from the start to those who have jumped in and out – all the books can be read stand-alone.

So, what’s next for me?

I plan to keep writing and have a new single title romantic suspense, If I Want You, coming November 8th from the Wild Rose Press. In addition to this book, my agent is currently shopping out a new Edwardian romance and a new contemporary romance, both of which, I hope will be the first books in two brand new series.

The initial disappointment of Superromance closing has passed for me and now I’m excited for the future – things happen for a reason, right?

Fingers crossed, my amazing readers will continue to read my books as I write each one hoping to deliver a better and better story.

Happy Reading!

 

Rachel x

Rachel’s latest release is Ethan’s Daughter – here is the blurb & buy links (all the other books in the Templeton Cove series can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc):

There’s safety in solitude…isn’t there? 

Single dad and best-selling thriller writer Ethan James has no problem being Templeton Cove’s most famous recluse…until a surprise visit from the past plunges him into a real-life crime drama just as feisty nurse Leah Dixon barges her way into his world. 

Ethan’s first priority is to protect his daughter. His second priority is to keep Leah out of this dark web—and that means out of his bed. Except Leah isn’t going anywhere; she’s afraid little Daisy is in danger. Ethan couldn’t live with himself if anything happened to Leah…but pushing her away may be even harder!

 

 

 

If you need to see what Harlie’s Books obsession with this series is, here are the links to all of my reviews.

http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/arc-review-of-ethans-daughter-templeton-cover-7-by-rachel-brimble-rachelbrimble-harlequinbooks-harlequinmyrewards/

 

http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/review-of-saved-by-the-firefighter-templeton-cove-6-by-rachel-brimble-wa-rafflecopter-giveaway-rachelbrimble/

 

http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/review-of-her-hometown-redemption-featuring-an-interview-with-my-english-rose-rachel-brimble-wa-rafflecopter-giveaway/

http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/review-of-rachel-brimbles-christmas-at-the-cove-templeton-cove-4/

 

http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/harlequin-spotlight-review-of-rachel-brimbles-what-belongs-to-her-sashas-top-ten-things/

 

http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/harlequin-spotlight-a-man-like-him-by-rachel-brimble-reviewexcerptgiveaway/

 

http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/finding-justice-by-rachel-brimble-harlequin-spolightreview/

 

Buy links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NAMY53H/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Amazon UK:

 http://amzn.eu/eYGTixj

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ethans-daughter-rachel-brimble/1125531674?ean=9781488017186

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/ethan-s-daughter-mills-boon-superromance-templeton-cove-stories-book-7

BIO:

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had seven books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and an eighth coming in Jan 2018. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Links:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Facebook Street Team – Rachel’s Readers

Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Brimble/e/B007829ZRM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490948101&sr=8-1

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806411.Rachel_Brimble