Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Hunt - Tim Lebbon

About the book...
She will hunt down the men who took her family. She will have blood. Rose is the one that got away. She was the prey in a human trophy hunt organised by an elite and secret organisation for bored super-rich clients seeking a unique thrill. She paid a terrible price - when she escaped The Trail murdered her family. Every moment since she has been planning her revenge. Watching, waiting ...And now her day has come.

Chris returns from his morning run to find his wife and children missing and a stranger in his kitchen. He's told to run. If he's caught and killed, his family go free. If he escapes, they die. Rose is the only one who can help him, but Rose only has her sights on one conclusion. For her, Chris is bait. But The Trail have not forgotten the woman who tried to outwit them. The Trail want Rose. The hunters want Chris's corpse. Rose wants revenge, and Christ just wants his family back.


About the author...
TIM J LEBBON is a New York Times-bestselling writer with over thirty novels published to date, as well as dozens of novellas and hundreds of short stories.  Recent releases include The Silence, Coldbrook, Into the Void: Dawn of the Jedi (Star Wars), Reaper's Legacy, and Alien: Out of the Shadows.  He has won four British Fantasy Awards, a Bram Stoker Award, and a Scribe Award, and been shortlisted for World Fantasy and Shirley Jackson awards.  A movie of his story Pay the Ghost, starring Nicolas Cage, will be released soon, and other projects in development include My Haunted House, Playtime, and Exorcising Angels.

He has had around 20 novellas published and hundreds of short stories, steadily building a dedicated following among the horror & dark fiction community.  A movie of his short story PAY THE GHOST was filmed last year in Toronto, starring Nicolas Cage and Sarah Wayne Callies, directed by Uli Edel. He is also working on two TV series ideas, as well as a new original screenplay.  

He has won 4 British Fantasy Awards (3 for Best Novella, one for Best Novel), a Bram Stoker Award and a Scribe Award.  He has also been shortlisted for the British Fantasy Award multiple times, the World Fantasy Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award.

My thoughts...
I was involved in the cover reveal for this book way back in April and jumped at the chance to be part of the blog tour.  I loved the sound of the book and was very intrigued, even more so when AVON, Tim's publishers went full pelt with their marketing campaign.  

Imagine opening a parcel to find a survival kit and a hostage letter asking me to take up a challenge, 48hrs to save my family!  Intrigued and with the adrenalin already beginning to pump I opened a second parcel to reveal a personalised book - #TheHunt was on and I was preparing to run, egged on by AVON and Tim Lebbon.  But, not before I headed to Amazon and downloaded a kindle copy for fear of creasing the pages of my personalised paperback.

The story begins as Chris returns from his early morning run, he's happy, he has beaten his personal best and is preparing to enter the usual morning chaos as his two daughters and wife prepare, respectively for school and work.  On entering his home it was obvious straight away that something wasn't right - it was the deadly silence, no music, no tv, no bickering just nothing - then Chris encountered a stranger, drinking coffee, his coffee, in his kitchen!

To say Tim Lebbon dropped me straight into a story from a great height and made me pick up the baton and run with it would be a true understatement.  Within the first few pages I was hooked - intrigued, yet apprehensive at the same time - my heart was in my mouth as Chris first discovered an empty house, blood in the bathroom and then not one but two complete strangers in his house.  The first telling him to keep quiet, stay in the house and not to call the police if he wanted his family to live.  The second, unseen, knocked him to the ground before giving him some instructions.  She was on his side, she says. But, was she?

It seems Chris had to run to save his family! A no win situation - get caught - he dies, his family survives.  Escape 'The Hunt' - he lives, his family dies.  Rose survived, her family died - she's seeking revenge - she wants to kill each and every member of The Trail, the company that seeks out people to use as bait for their rich clients to hunt down - in effect a live computer game.  She's now using Chris as a pawn, her bait as well as the Trail's bait - one slip up from Chris and it's over - his life and his family's life hung in the balance.

The story alternates between Rose's story and Chris's story - both on the run, both for different reasons.  This truly was a heart stopping book that was impossible to put down as both physical and mental agility were put to the test.  Tim dragged me into  a game of endurance where mental strength was stronger and more important than physical fitness.  Knowing when to run and when to stay hidden to keep in the game was physically exhausting and mentally draining for me as a reader.  I held my breathe, and bit back tears as Chris and his family faced death

Tim Lebbon has written a story that thrives on primal fear, yet it was a book that I couldn't put down.  There didn't seem to be a way out, I just had to keep turning the pages.  He has created characters that evoke strong emotions, I was part of #TeamChris from page one but see-sawed with Rose.  I spent more time thinking about her psyche and that of the Hunters than I did about Chris.  On the surface Rose was cold, calculating and manipulative but the more I read, I understood her and actually warmed to her, if that's possible?   I loved how outwardly she was one person, yet underneath someone else. She was a contradiction to life itself, outwardly alive yet dead inside. 

Tim Lebbon's knowledge and attention to detail in The Hunt was brilliant.  I know the area reasonably well and each page turned was like looking at a series of snapshots so vivid and accurate were his descriptions.  Anyone who has spent time in the welsh hills surrounding Snowdonia will recognise the area easily. This is a brilliant, addictive read, not everyone's cup of tea I have to say but, it will get you thinking.  What makes people tick and which is better physical or mental strength.  The Hunt demonstrates and brings survival instincts to the fore.  

I genuinely thought I'd have trouble sleeping whilst reading this book but it had the opposite effect - I was so psyched up and involved, I really was running to save my family, I was so mentally drained when I finished it I just shut down and slept the sleep of the dead.  I highly recommend this dark, twisted story - you don't want to be the only one not in the race - so join all of the triathletes and ultra runners out there - get your trainers on and run!


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Truly, Madly, Greekly - Mandy Baggot

Blog Tour + Giveaway!: -
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Get your summer off to a steamy start with Mandy Baggot and her sizzling new read, Truly Madly Greekly.
We've got an all inclusive tour chock-a-block with reviews, guest posts and a giveaway, as the book scorches a trail across a variety of blogs! 

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About the book... 
Sun, sea and a sexy stranger - a whole lot of fun just got a lot more complicated. Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross. Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn’t and everything fell apart… Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey’s big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart. But letting go of her past is not going to be easy. With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis – Yan – Ellen finds him difficult to resist. But Ellen isn’t looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo…or is she? 




Fans of Lucy Diamond, Miranda Dickinson and Lindsey Kelk will want to escape to Corfu with Mandy Baggot this summer.   

Truly-Madly-Greekly-FB-cover

Unknown-464About the author... 
Mandy Baggot is a romantic fiction author. In 2012 she won the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her self-published title, Strings Attached was also short-listed for the Best Author Published Read award. Also in 2012 she signed with American publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, who produced her novels, Taking Charge and romantic suspense, Security. In June 2013 she signed a two book deal with Harper Collins' digital first romance imprint, Harper Impulse. She is a regular contributor to writing blogs and on-line magazine, Loveahappyending Lifestyle In May 2014 Mandy signed with Kate Nash of the Kate Nash Literary Agency. Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, World’s Strongest Man, travel and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor. Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen. She is an advocate for women in business and belongs to the networking group Women on Wednesdays  

Follow Mandy: Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Website 

My thoughts...
I've followed Mandy on twitter for  long time and when I saw the gorgeous cover and read the synopsis for Truly, Madly, Greekly I knew I had to read this book.  Charlotte from Candlelit tours was looking for tour hosts so I waved my cocktail madly and was lucky enough to be included.

Nothing is ever as straight forward as it first seems.  Two sisters, Ellen and Lacey have headed to the Blue Vue hotel on the beautiful island of Corfu to check out the hotel and facilities as a potential wedding venue for Lacey's forth coming nuptials.

Things don't get off to a very good start for the sisters.  They arrived at the hotel late at night and their first encounter had Ellen thinking they were about to be robbed of their luggage - needless to say they weren't, Yan - a member of the hotel's animation team (the gorgeous hunk from Albania) was only trying to help carry their bags.

I quickly formed opinions of the leading ladies, just as Yan did too.   Ellen was uptight, prim, seemingly distracted and addicted to work, unable to switch off, despite the perfect surroundings.  Whereas, Lacey was like a child in a sweet shop, excited, giddy and a little out of control.

Ellen and Lacey appeared to be as different as chalk and cheese but both were strong willed and more than a little bit stubborn.  Both had secrets they were keeping from each other, their family and us the readers.  Mandy took us on a hilarious journey, fuelled by 'Apricot Coollers', sun, sea and a persistent animation team. Just writing these words, transports me back there, so vivid is Mandy's story telling, I'm laying beside the pool, slurping my apricot cooler as the sun beats down out of the china blue sky. HEAVEN!!

This is a perfect holiday read that is not just funny, although I did snort out loud on more than one occasion!  It is also a book about discovery, trust, friendships and new beginnings. Mandy's observations, through the eyes of both the sisters, other guests and the animation team was so smack on - anyone who has visited an all inclusive hotel will be able to relate to this brilliant story and will be able to see people or situations they know or have experienced within it.  It really is amazing how simple things like sunshine, alcohol on tap and being away from your usual environment lowers inhibitions and alters characters sometimes beyond recognition. Corfu gave both Ellen and Lacey time to reflect, to discover what made each of them tick, what they wanted out of life and it helped to develop a more evenly balanced relationship between the two of them. 

I think it's fair to say we all need a bit of escapism, somewhere to relax and unwind and I can think of no better place than at the Blue Vue Hotel, Corfu with Truly, Madly, Greekly.  Thank you to Mandy for writing this fab book and to her publisher Bookouture for this review copy.

Giveaway...
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WIN a £50 Amazon voucher with Truly Madly Greekly and let Mandy Baggot 
see where you've escaped to this summer.

To take part just upload your photo of the cover of Truly Madly Greekly (paperback or
e-reader) on Twitter or Facebook adding #TrulyMadlyGreekly. 
Whether you've escaped to a tropical haven with the kids or even your own backyard, Mandy would love to see where you're reading about Ellen and Yan this summer!

PLUS leave a comment on this post and you could be in with a chance of winning a Kindle copy of Excess All Areas!
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Follow the Tour!
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Giveaway terms and conditions:
Competition runs from 22 May 2015 until 31 August 2015, UK based entries only. One winner will be chosen at random from all the entries. Mandy Baggot and CandleLit Author Services reserve the right to amend and/or cancel the giveaway at any time, without prior notification.

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Other Child - Lucy Atkins

About the book...

Sometimes a lie seems kinder than the truth ... but what happens when that lie destroys everything you love? 

When Tess is sent to photograph Greg, a high profile paediatric heart surgeon, she sees something troubled in his face, and feels instantly drawn to him. Their relationship quickly deepens, but then Tess, single mother to nine-year-old Joe, falls pregnant, and Greg is offered the job of a lifetime back in his hometown of Boston. Before she knows it, Tess is married, and relocating to the States. But life in an affluent American suburb proves anything but straightforward. 


Unsettling things keep happening in the large rented house. Joe is distressed, the next-door neighbours are in crisis, and Tess is sure that someone is watching her. Greg's work is all-consuming and, as the baby's birth looms, he grows more and more unreachable. Something is very wrong, Tess knows it, and then she makes a jaw-dropping discovery... 

About the author...
Lucy Atkins is an award-winning author, book critic and journalist. Her latest psychological suspense novel, The Other Child (Quercus, 2015), is about a photographer and single mother, Tess, who falls in love with a paediatric heart surgeon and moves with him and her young son to Boston USA, where things begin to unravel. Her debut novel, The Missing One, is about a woman's search for her mother's hidden past. 


Lucy lives with her family in Oxford, UK but has lived in the USA three times: in Philadelphia, Seattle, and Boston. As well as writing novels, she is a book critic for The Sunday Times, and has written features for newspapers such as The Guardian, The Times,The Telegraph and magazines such as Red, Woman and Home, Psychologies and Grazia. Lucy has also written, co-written or ghost-written six health-related books, including First-Time Parent (Collins, 2008) 





My thoughts...
I follow Lucy on twitter and when she asked if I would be interested in hosting her for part of the blog tour for The Other Child I jumped at the chance.  I love reading contemporary novels and thrillers, especially psychological ones and The Other Child sounded right up my street.  I was just about to go off on holiday so I headed to Amazon to download an ecopy of the book as I couldn't wait for the review copy to arrive in the post.

There was no softly, softly introduction to this novel. Lucy dragged me straight into this edgy, psychological thriller, that had me looking behind doors and talking out loud to Tess on more than one occasion, willing her not to say or do something for my fear of the consequences.  I felt uneasy from almost the first page.  Tess and her situation just didn't sit right with me.  

The story begins when Tess and her son Joe arrive outside their new home in a Boston suburb that Greg, Tess's husband had rented for them. He had lived in the UK for 15 years but had applied and got his dream job back in his home country, America.  As a result, he quickly proposed to Tess, not wanting to leave her behind. A whirlwind wedding and Tess found herself emigrating to begin married life with her new husband in another country at a time when her life was already in turmoil.  Pregnant with Greg's child, despite him making it clear to Tess he never wanted to be a father. He was so good with Joe she was sure things would be ok once the baby was born.  Everything should be hearts and flowers but tension and stress oozes out of the pages.  

Lucy's descriptive skills are brilliant, she got inside my head with both the characters and the physical descriptions of places, with the intricacies of what at first appeared a simple story.  A story that got right under my skin.  Half answered questions, situations that couldn't quite be explained, neighbours that blew hot and cold, an elusive husband who was vague and evasive yet at the same time loving and caring.  Each of these saw me turning the pages faster and faster - wanting to calm my racing heartbeat. At the same time, holding my breathe - willing Tess not to do or say something for fear of the consequences.  

Time and time again I thought this would make such a good film - a jumpy, edge of the seat one - I held my breathe, untangled the story, decided what was happening and why only to change my mind again with the next chapter.  Some things just can't be explained. I would recommend this book to anyone who like me, likes that heart pounding, clammy hand feeling that gets the adrenaline pumping.  I loved this book so much and don't think I've ever read a book that had me contradicting my own thoughts so many times.  Over and over again I veered from not believing a word that was written on the page to believing every one of the same words - I was so convinced by the story. 

Lucy you had me hook, line and sinker.  So very rarely does a book leave me so drained.  I, unlike Tess can't blame pregnancy hormones, absence of close family and friends or worry over an unhappy child to explain my state of mind - I blame you! This rib crushing, adrenaline inducing story held my attention, I never for a minute had to suspend believe as every scenario and character was so very plausible.  Thank you so much for inviting me to be part of the blog tour for this amazing book.

Friday, 12 June 2015

How to bake The Perfect Apple Pie - Gina Henning

I'm so pleased to be part of this blog tour, read on to hear about Gina's fab new book, tips on gaining the perfect promotion and enter a fab giveaway.
About the book...
A scrumptious pie. A long distance guy. 4th of July fireworks guaranteed.
Lauren Hauser has it all…nearly. With a shiny new job and sparkly new engagement ring on her finger, the only thing she’s missing is her gorgeous new fiancĂ© by her side. Should she be worried? Jack’s kisses are as sizzling as always and, sure, long distance is hard but, she and Jack are solid, right?
Of course the stress of planning a wedding—or not—is nothing compared to the stress of baking an apple pie. Because it’s not just any apple pie that Lauren must bake for the 4th of July contest; it’s her grandmother’s famous, award-winning apple pie! Yet Lauren is determined to make this pie her own and a little apple pie should be no problem for the Hauser clan dessert queen…!
But with her new job taking up so much time, a prize pie to perfect and the growing distance between her and Jack, Lauren begins to wonder if she can really have it all… Only one things for sure, there’ll be fireworks this 4th of July!
Available Here:

About the author...
Gina Henning currently resides where bluebonnets line the highways in the spring, but she prefers the rock flower anemone from under the sea. Above the ocean's surface Gina likes to dance with her three boys and travel to exotic places like the grocery store with her husband. Her pooch Schatzi is a mix between German Shepherd and possibly pig. One of Gina's favorite pastimes is running. She recently completed her one-and-done marathon. At the end of the day her glass of wine is always half-full.



Author details:

Website: http://www.ginahenning.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ginahenningauthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/henningland
Guestpost...
Lauren Hauser’s Top Five Tips on How to 
Celebrate the Perfect Promotion
In How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie, Lauren Hauser has just been given the biggest promotion of her life. Here she gives you her tips on how to handle the big raise and moving up in the ranks accordingly.

1. After getting said promotion take a moment to high five yourself (in private). 


And maybe even do a little dance.

2. Humbly, tell your friends and family about the promotion.

2. Go out for drinks with your friends, but keep it tame for a work night.

3. Treat yourself with a shopping trip and find a signature piece to make you feel confident, maybe a necklace, brooch, or bracelet.

4. Make sure to show up on time and work hard, there’s always a next level to achieve.

5. When times get tough, remember you were given the promotion for a reason and be confident in your skills.

And finally remember to enjoy the moment.

~Lauren

Giveaway with fab prizes:-

CLICK HERE TO ENTER: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow the rest of the tour:-


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Wickham Hall - Cathy Bramley

Wickham Hall Cover Reveal 



I’m so excited about the launch of my new series Wickham Hall this month; it introduces a brand new set of characters and a beautiful new setting in a stately home just outside Stratford-upon–Avon. It’s a story of love and friendship, family secrets and heartache and ultimately learning to love life and live for the moment! I’ve packed the story full of my favourite things such as the English countryside, exquisite gardens (including topiary – I adore topiary!), weddings, summer festivals, lots of tea and cake, bonfires and Christmas parties!

The series will be published digitally in four parts this year and then in a complete novel both digitally and in paperback in 2016:

Wickham Hall Part One – Hidden Treasures 25 June
Wickham Hall Part Two – Summer Secrets 23 July
Wickham Hall Part Three – Sparks Fly 24 September
Wickham hall Part Four – White Christmas 26 November

About the book...


Holly Swift has just landed the job of her dreams: events co-ordinator at Wickham Hall, the beautiful manor home that sits proudly at the heart of the village where she grew up. Not only does she get to organise for a living and work in stunning surroundings, but it will also put a bit of distance between Holly and her problems at home.

 Holly loves the busy world of Wickham Hall - from family weddings to summer festivals, firework displays and Christmas grottos. But life isn't as easily organised as an event at Wickham Hall (and even those have their complications...). Can Holly learn to let go and live in the moment?

 After all, that's when the magic happens...


About the author...

Cathy is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby farm and Conditional Love. She lives in a small Nottinghamshire village with her husband, two teenage daughters and Pearl, the Cockerpoo.

Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has always been an avid reader, hiding her book under the duvet and reading by torchlight. Luckily her husband has now bought her a Kindle with a light, so that’s the end of all that palaver.




Cathy loves to hear from her readers. You can get in touch via her Facebook page or on Twitter.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Daydream Believer - Anne Mitchell

About the book...
What do you do when your dream life turns into a nightmare? 

When Eve Sheppard’s first novel, Daydream Believer, hits the big time, it catapults her into a career as a successful author. She soon acquires a fabulous London flat, a wardrobe of designer clothes, more Mulberry and Prada handbags than any girl could dream of and a long-term boyfriend, talented theatre director James Fenner. 

But when James leaves her for a young actress Eve begins to realise that her charmed life is built on very shaky foundations. Soon her finances are in meltdown, her agent is taken seriously ill and her career seems all but over when her latest book flops. 

Jobless, homeless and moneyless, Eve is forced to start again from the bottom. Only her university mates, Katie and Jess, her new friend Dan Kerr, member of the fabulously successful ex-boy band Wild Things, and his sister Stella remain loyal. But just when she is beginning to realise that her feelings for Dan are becoming more than mere friendship, there comes the bitterest blow of all. 

And then, suddenly and most unexpectedly, James is back on the scene... 

Available from Amazon.co.uk  Daydream Believer by Anne Mitchell

Available from Amazon.com Daydream Believer by Anne Mitchell


About the author...
Since leaving university a loooong time ago now, I’ve worked as a tour guide, an English teacher, a chaperone on film sets (including, most excitingly, Harry Potter), as a sales assistant in Harrods and as a specialist dyslexia tutor, but my favourite job by far has to be writing - not least because I can do it in the comfort of my PJs. 

I’m the author of two full-length novels, Happy Hour and Daydream Believer, and a book of short stories, The First Rule of Fat Club (and Other Stories), all available on Amazon.

Currently I’m working on a sequel to Daydream Believer, a 30,000 novella and a PhD - whenever that can be fitted around Twitter, Facebook and eating steadily through the global supply of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, that is.  

Guest post....
I’ve been writing since the age of about six, when I wrote a story about Bimbo the naughty elephant that was hailed by at least one person (my mother, as it happens) as a work of rare and undisputed genius.  Sadly, however, it never reached publication. 

Since then my writing career has had its ups and downs.  The ups include my first novel, Happy Hour, being taken on by a top London literary agency, and getting a Distinction for my MA in creative writing in 2011.  The downs include being dropped by the literary agency nine months later when my lovely agent suddenly left, and the fifteen long years I spent writing gritty dramas and being turned down by the BBC.   

Returning to my first love, chick-lit, another fabulous ‘up’ was when I finally published Happy Hour in January 2012 and it unexpectedly took off, gaining over 43,000 downloads and remaining in the top ten Amazon Kindle chick-lit bestsellers list for well over a year.  Fired up by this success, I wrote the first three chapters of Daydream Believer in a couple of days and then got completely side-tracked when I started a PhD.  Finally, nearly three years and 85,000+ words later, I typed ‘The End’ and – hurray! – Daydream Believer is now available to buy on Amazon.  I still haven’t finished the PhD…

The books I like to write are the same kind of books I like to read: meaty, in-depth stories with strong and relatable central characters who face real difficulties in their lives, but who come through with determination, humour and a little luck.  Naturally our heroine also gets her man, but it’s part of her journey to self-discovery to find out exactly who her ideal man might be – and it’s not necessarily who she thinks it is at the beginning.  

I’ve discovered along the way that absolutely the best thing about being a writer is receiving feedback from readers who take the trouble to leave a review, or email saying how much they’ve enjoyed reading one of my books.  That really is the best ‘up’ in the world.  All readers out there, I’d like you to know that you are really, truly
cherished.
Links

Twitter:  @AnneMitchell0
Facebook:  Anne Mitchell Author


The Chosen Queen - Joanna Courtney


The Queens of the Conquest Trilogy
1066. Three Queens. One Crown.
As a young woman in England's royal court, Edyth, granddaughter of Lady Godiva, dreams of marrying for love. But political matches are rife while King Edward is still without an heir and the future of England is uncertain.

When Edyth's family are exiled to the wild Welsh court, she falls in love with the charismatic King of Wales - but their romance comes at a price and she is catapulted onto the opposing side of a bitter feud with England. Edyth's only allies are Earl Harold Godwinson and his handfasted wife, Lady Svana.

As the years pass, Edyth finds herself elevated to a position beyond even her greatest expectations. She enjoys both power and wealth but as her star rises the lines of love and duty become more blurred than she could ever have imagined. As 1066 dawns, Edyth is asked to make an impossible choice. 

Her decision is one that has the power to change the future of England forever . . .

The Chosen Queen is the perfect blend of history, fast-paced plot and sweeping romance with a cast of strong female characters - an unforgettable read.




About the author...
My first literary accolade was a creative writing prize at primary school and from that point on I wanted to be a novelist. I was always reading as a child and often made up stories for my brother and sister on long car journeys. I was also a huge Enid Blyton fan and by ten I was writing my own (doubtless terrible) boarding school novels. Perhaps inevitably, I took my degree in English literature and it was at Cambridge, specialising in medieval literature, that I first discovered what has become a true passion for ancient history. 

I took a sidestep after university to work in a wonderful textiles factory in Lancashire - a move that led me to my lovely husband, but didn't satisfy my yearning to write. Married and living in Derbyshire, however, I took up my pen again in the sparse hours available between raising my two stepchildren and two more of my own. At that hectic time, I primarily wrote shorter fiction and I've had well over 200 stories and serials published in women's magazines. Now though, with the older two leaving home and the younger two at secondary school, my time has opened up and it's been a joy to fill it with my historical trilogy - The Queens of the Conquest.