Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, New Release, Reviews

#Review of The Mistress of Pennington’s & Interview of Rachel Brimble w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @RachelBrimble #HistoricalRomance

The Mistress of Pennington’s

by Rachel Brimble

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GENRE: Saga/Romance

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BLURB:

Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.

Determined to break from her father’s iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington’s into a new decade, embracing woman’s equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.

Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?

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Excerpt Two:

He moved to walk away, and she reached for his arm before she could think just how dangerous such contact could be. He halted, and even when he looked at her fingers clutched on his forearm, she did not remove them. It suddenly felt important she touch him; that he understood she had care for what he said or asked her.

Even though the physical contact set her heart racing, she held her grasp. ‘Why do you ask me about your family?’

He closed his eyes and dropped his chin to his chest.

Disquiet whispered through her. What had caused such uncharacteristic hesitation in him?

‘Joseph…’ She slid her hand from his arm, ignoring the pang of loss that the break of contact brought. ‘If there’s something bothering you, please, share it with me.’

He slowly raised his head, his blue eyes full of irritation once more. ‘I will, but not here. Not on the street. I’d prefer to come to your office tomorrow.’

How was she supposed to wait until tomorrow? Her curiosity was rife. It was clear something had changed between them. Something, it seemed, of which she was the cause.

She nodded. ‘I’ll send a message to you first thing in the morning.’

‘Thank you. Until then, I bid you good day.’

He walked away, leaving Elizabeth with questions and words flailing on her tongue. She stared after him, fearful of the pull deep in her chest that Joseph’s concerns had somehow become hers. No good could come of such caring. Her only goal should be proving her worth and capability in Pennington’s and beyond. She could not allow one man, any man, to have such an effect on her.

She inhaled a long breath and walked towards Pennington’s doors.

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Welcome Rachel! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

 

I’ve been married to the fabulous ‘Mr B’ for twenty years and we have two beautiful teenage daughters as well as my baby, a chocolate Labrador called Tyler. I have been published since 2007 and have since had twenty-one novels published by small presses as well as Harlequin and eKensington.

 

Just recently I signed a 4-book contract with Aria Fiction in the UK and I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with such a wonderful, enthusiastic team. When I’m not writing, I like to read, knit, walk the English countryside and watch far too much TV.


Is The Mistress of Pennington’s a single title, or part of a series?

 

It’s book 1 in a brand-new Edwardian series, but I promise all the books will read well as stand-alone, too.

Please share your setting for The Mistress of Pennington’s. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

 

The book is set in the city of Bath, England which is just a short thirty-minute drive from where I live. I adore Bath! It’s steeped in Georgian and Regency history and the architecture is astounding. If your visitors have never been to this historical city, I strongly them to do so. For me, the must-sees are the Bath Museum, Royal Crescent (including No1 which is open to the public), the Roman Baths and the Theatre Royal.

 

As for the department store where the majority of the action in The Mistress of Pennington’s takes place, that’s inspired by Le Bon Marche in Paris.

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

 

Ooh, great question! It would have to be Nora Roberts, Philippa Gregory, Margaret Mitchell, Jodi Picoult and Alex Grecian.

 

I am a huge fan of these authors and would love for them to share all their tips and plotting skills, so I can finally understand this writing thing!


Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

 

My second obsession to writing is knitting – I absolutely love it! Nothing is more relaxing to me than sitting in front of the TV with my knitting. I literally can’t watch TV without a pair of needles in my hands – it feels so strange and, no matter how good the show, boring, lol! Every now and then, I consider if I could start a business selling my creations but, deep down, I know I’m nowhere good enough!


What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

 

I’ve shared this advice a LOT over the course of my career, but it was truly the best advice I was ever given – ‘Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft’.

If you can get rid of your internal editor and that little voice in your head saying, ‘you can’t do this’ ‘you’re not good enough’ or ‘every word is rubbish’, your output will quadruple, and you’ll get to the all-important END. A filled page can be polished, a blank page can’t. Simple!

What can I say?  I’ve been reading Ms. Brimble since she started and this is her best book to date.  She just nails with the first book in the series.  I will admit though, that this time period is a mystery to me.  I’ve read enough all of the “other” historical time periods, including hers to know what I’m reading.  But this?  Fascinating.  I don’t watch Downtown Abbey, so I’m clueless to the time.  It’s the woman’s movement and men are still stuck in the Regency period.  Heck, they have evolved into the Victorian Age yet.

To me, Ms. Brimble brings her vast knowledge of the area, the time period but most importantly her characters.  Ms. Brimble’s characters never cease to amaze me.  Elizabeth and Joseph have got to be some of my favorites that she has written.  It’s a clean, sweet romance between them and honestly, I’m grateful for that.  Elizabeth has been belittled, badgered and put down by her father for the longest time and she has decided that she doesn’t need a man.  Her father is just awful.  I’ve never read such a vile, cruel character in all my years.  It is no wonder that his wife…oops.  Almost gave away a plot point.  But when she meets Joseph and realizes that he has the same goals as her, what’s a gal to do?

Joseph is the enlightened character in the book.  He actually understands Elizabeth and what she wants to accomplish.  Plus, come on gloves?  No one wears them anymore but I do remember my grandmother’s and my mom wearing them.  Or at least having them.  Again, Ms. Brimble takes us into a world that is elegant, interesting and above all…not boring.  Reminder:  Harlie hates when an author gives too much detail in a historical romance and not enough about the characters.  Ms. Brimble never does that.  Her books are more character driven but she surprised me with the depth of detail in the relationship between the characters and the department store itself.  I actually pictured the scene in Wonder Woman where she is trying on clothes and went from there.

I wish I could write a novel about this book but I would bore you to tears.  Again, this is Ms. Brimble’s best book to date and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book at Pennington’s.

 

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage 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 brand new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s, will release in July 2018.

 

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:

 

http://rachelbrimble.com/

http://rachelbrimble.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/RachelBrimble

https://www.facebook.com/rachelbrimbleauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RachelsReaders/?fref=ts

 

Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Brimble/e/B007829ZRM/

 

Goodreads:

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

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Rachel Brimble will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Author Interview featuring debut author V.H. Luis & Waking to Black (Uninhibited #1) w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @VH_Luis_ #contemporaryromance

Waking to Black

by V.H. Luis

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GENRE:   Erotic Romance

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BLURB:

He shattered my defenses, and I was fragile to begin with…

The first time I saw Adam Black, I was between the arms of a criminal, a gun to my throat and even then, I knew I was staring at the most dangerous man in the room.

Maybe it was his confident, cerulean eyes, or the sex appeal radiating from his pores like heat waves on a scorching day, but by proximity alone he made my vision blur and my heart stammer.

The day I was nearly killed in a bank hold-up, I began to live—because of him.

Now, I’m praying for the first time in years, hoping the scars of my past, the secrets I keep, don’t interfere with my future…

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Excerpt Two:

“It must be difficult; constantly running away from anything remotely intimidating.”

It’s the dare in his voice that makes me turn my head, not the statement.

“Those are the words of someone who hasn’t gotten what they want.” Even as I’m speaking I know I’m the mouse in this cat and mouse game—I should walk away, but I can’t.

“What do you know about what I want?” He climbs the last step of the porch, his broad shoulders flexed.

Refusing to take the bait, I give him my back. Reaching for the door with my right hand, I’m halted by the strong pull of my left.

Before I can focus, his lips press against mine while his body traps me between him and the door. One of his hands runs over the curve of my waist while the other tangles in the curls of my hair, pulling on the strands and angling me so that he can have free reign. I moan, loving the possessive way he grips my body, and he takes the opportunity to dip his tongue inside my mouth. His taste is divine; it’s a heady mix of wine and passion. The remnants of my resistance melt as I meld against him, moving my hands over his stomach, and resting them on his belt buckle.

He pulls back with a quick nip to my bottom lip and my eyes pop open at the sudden jolt of pleasure-filled pain.

“Say you’ll do the mural,” he commands.

“Do you always get what you want?” I counter, gazing up at him from lowered lashes.

He rubs his cheek against mine so his lips hover over my ear.

“Persistence is a virtue.”

“I thought that was patience.”

Welcome V.H. Luis! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

I’m a Miami girl who lives minutes from the beach. I love to write, paint, play video games and most important of all, spend time with my baby boy. Waking to Black (Uninhibited #1), is my debut book and I’ve enjoyed the experience of publishing and reaching out to readers and bloggers.

Is Waking to Black (Uninhibited #1) a single title, or part of a series?

It is the first in a planned trilogy. Fortunately for those that hate reading books in a series which is yet complete, Fading to Black (Uninhibited #1), is already written and will be released in three months.

What were your inspirations for the story?

I love billionaire romances—I’ve read so many of them throughout the years. In part my reading preferences inspired me to write this story. Though if I’m one-hundred percent honest my relationship with my father is reminiscent of the relationship Evelyn Snowe (the heroine of my series), had with her father. I wanted to shed light on a subject that I don’t often see in romance while still writing a steamy-read about self-discovery, redemption, and perseverance. I think I’ve done that and I’m proud of the accomplishment.

Please share your setting for Waking to Black (Uninhibited #1). Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

Waking to Black is set in Miami, FL. I was born and raised in this city so I am very familiar with all the wonderful things Miami has to offer. I love how cosmopolitan this city is and of course it’s beautiful down here, we have gorgeous beaches and the best weather. Some might think I took the easy route and developed my story in a setting I’m familiar with and though in part that is true, Waking to Black is set in Miami because I genuinely believe it to be one of the best cities in the world—even if the people down here can get super aggressive when driving…

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

Julie Garwood, because I love her historical romances and I want to BEG her for more of them. Sylvia Day, because her Crossfire Series in part inspired me to write my debut book. J.R. Ward because I want to ask her so many questions about self-publishing and writing. Kristen Ashley because I’m a fan and she seems like cool people. Maya Banks because of so many reasons already mentioned—I’m a fan. I can probably sit here all day adding names…

What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

Keep reading and without-a-doubt keep writing. There will always be people who love what you write and of course there will be those who absolutely HATE it—you need to recognize that and follow Dory’s advice from Finding Nemo, just keep swimming. I think I waited as long as I did to publish because I was terrified of reading bad reviews and having others diminish what I worked so hard to create. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m older now but the idea of being criticized doesn’t scare me as much, in fact I read those critiques learn from them and hope that perhaps with the next book I can change those people’s opinions.

Aspiring writers listen carefully… EVERY book, even the most famous ones, have negative critiques and that’s okay. An audience exists for what you write and it’s your job as a writer to find that audience. Take comfort in knowing you did it, you actually wrote a book and many people say they will do this one day, but few actually do.

Keep your head up high and keep reading and writing.

 

***Thank you for your time and attention.

XOXO

V.H. Luis

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

V.H. Luis is the author of the Black Series, an erotic romance trilogy that follows the love affair of Evelyn Snowe and Adam Black. Her debut book WAKING to Black, will be released in 2018, and the subsequent sequels FADING to Black, and SURRENDERING to Black, will follow shortly thereafter.

Welcome to my internet haven!

I’m a born and bred Miami Girl—and proud of it! I would wear shorts and flip-flops every day of the week if I could. Growing up in Miami, surrounded by my parent’s heritage has made me proud of my Cuban ancestry. Cafecito and a guava pastry for breakfast? Yes, please! Salsa music while I tidy the house? Of course.

If I’m not busy scribbling notes about the story pounding out of my head, I’m painting, listening to music, or spending time with the love of my life—my son. If I decide to travel, I bring the whole family (in-laws included), or at least I try to, because life is too short not to spend it with family; one of the many lessons my father taught me.

My website:  https://vhluis.com/

My Twitter: https://twitter.com/VH_Luis_

My book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Waking-Black-Uninhibited-Book-1-ebook/dp/B07C9CBV67/

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

V.H. Luis will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Spotlight

Author Interview of Judy Higgins featuring Unringing the Bell (a Bucks County Mystery) w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #mystery @JudyHBooks

Unringing the Bell

by  Judy Higgins

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GENRE: Mystery

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BLURB:

In the small town of Goose Bend, Pennsylvania, people don’t forget. Especially something as sensational as 12-year-old Jacob Gillis burning down the town. Nineteen years later, Jacob returns, hoping for redemption. Instead, he finds himself entangled in a murder investigation. The prosecutor, taking advantage of Jacob’s involvement with the victim’s beautiful sister-in-law, threatens Jacob with loss of career and reputation if he doesn’t play by his rules. Only by outwitting the prosecutor can Jacob save his future.

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Excerpt One:

When Jacob Gillis was twelve years old, he burned down the town of Goose Bend, Pennsylvania. The fire didn’t actually consume the entire town – only two blocks of the four-block business section went up in flames – but when the folks in Goose Bend spoke of the incident, they persisted in saying that Jacob Gillis, abetted by his friend Charlie Garrett, burned down the town.

Jacob watched Laskey walk back to the Sequoia, his limp barely detectable, and for the thousandth time he wondered why his friend kept what had happened to his foot a secret. But there were some places Laskey didn’t go – formidable Laskey with his gruff manner and hard-muscled body. He was a private person and sometimes a grizzly bear, but he had a goose-down heart which he tried like heck to hide. But Jacob knew.

Laskey grasped the arms of his chair and pushed his feet hard against the floor to contain himself. For a brief moment, the thought had rushed through his head that a jail term for assaulting a DA would be worth enduring for the pleasure of smashing Inglehook’s head against his desk.

Laskey squared his shoulders, turned around, and looked Jacob in the eyes. “Don’t get yourself in a mess, Jake. Extrication isn’t always possible.” He started for the door.

“Give back the painting,” he called over his shoulder. “And Jake,” he paused and twisted around. “Don’t ever mistake pretty wrappings for the quality of the gift inside.”

 

 

  • What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?

 

I have three older grandchildren who take the time to call me “just to talk.” And they always ask how my book is coming.

 

 

  • How would you spend ten thousand bucks?

 

Oh dear! Here is a list for my consideration: 1) Take the mailboat cruise up the coast of Norway. 2) Go to Machu Pichu before they close it down. 3) Take the Queen Mary II for a cruise across the Atlantic, winding up in London or Paris, and then take the ship back again. 4) Set up a real library in the school I once visited in the Long Neck tribe region of Thailand where their library consisted of nothing more than a plastic box containing a couple dozen books. 4) Make a contribution to a xxxxxx promoting libraries. 5) Put a new roof on my house.

 

 

  • Where do you get your best ideas?

 

My brain is like a radio, and it’s tuned into the “Idea” channel. Ideas float in, rain in, barge in, sneak in, force themselves in. The challenge is to figure out which ones are good and which bad.

 

 

  • What comes first, the plot or characters?

 

The two have to intertwine to make a good story. I was once in an evening class of about eighteen people. A third of the members were either students in an MFA program and had already finished an MFA program. They wrote beautifully. The rest of us had never had a writing class of any kind. As it turned out, not a single one of the MFAers had a story. That isn’t always the case, I know, but in this particular class it was. The rest of us admired and envied their style, their xxxxx, but we kept waiting to hear the story. It’s nice to write beautifully, but the characters have to want something badly, or be devastated, frightened, broken because they’ve lost something or stand to lose something, and then the plot has to revolve around that. There are any number of mysteries I don’t care for simply because they’re only about solving the riddle. I don’t care about solutions if the characters aren’t much affected by the solutions, or lack of solutions. The beautiful writers in that class wrote great physical descriptions of their characters, but since the descriptions were unrelated to a real story the rest of us weren’t pulled in.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Judy Higgins was born in South Georgia where she grew up playing baseball, reading, and taking piano lessons. To pay for her lessons, she raised chickens and sold eggs to neighbors. She attended Mercer University for two years, and then Baylor University from which she graduated with a BA in German. She received her MA in German literature from The University of Michigan. After teaching German for several years, Judy decided to become a librarian and earned an MA in Library Science at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.

Judy’s life took an exciting turn when she left her teaching job in Pennsylvania to be Head of Library at the Learning Center School of Qatar Foundation. She lived in Qatar for eight years, enjoying the experience of living in a different culture and traveling to exotic places during every vacation. Recently, she returned to the United States and lives in Lexington, KY. Judy has two children, Julia and Stephen, two children-in-law, Jim and Erin, and four grandchildren: Kyle, Jon, Karina, and Addy.

Judy’s first book, The Lady, was a finalist in the 2012 Amazon Break-out Novel Award. The first two novels of her Bucks County Mysteries, Unringing the Bell and Bride of the Wind are available March 1, 2018. The series is set in an imaginary small town in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Call me Mara, the story of Ruth and Naomi, is scheduled for publication in March, 2019.

In addition to writing, Judy’s passions include travel, tennis, elephants, and playing the piano.

http://www.Judyhigginsbooks.com

http://www.Buckscountymysteries.com

http://www.Callmemara.com

http://www.Judyhigginslady.com

https://www.facebook.com/judyhigginsauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudyHBooks

https://www.amazon.com/Unringing-Bell-Bucks-County-Mysteries/dp/0692998853/  

 

Amazon author page URL: https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Higgins/e/B00FZQOZPU

 

Barnes and Noble Author URL:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unringing-the-bell-judy-higgins/1128014473

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway