Tuesday, 23 August 2016

On Tour: Alchemy by Ailsa Abraham


Genre: Magical Realism / Religion
Book 1 of the Alchemy series
Release Date:  27th January 2014
Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishers
A world without war? 

Professor Sawhele Fielding stumbles across an invention that would change the world; something so monumental, it could spell the end of environmental disaster and conflict. With the help of her father, a shadowy figure in the world of international banking, she begins to set into motion the biggest upheaval the planet has seen.  

But in a changed world, dark forces are threatening the fragile peace. Where modern technology is proving useless, old magic from a bygone era might just save the day. Adrian Oliver, expert in ancient religions is skeptical until faced with incontrovertible proof that ancient evil is abroad once again. 

How could a Utopian dream of free fuel and peaceful co-existence turn into a nightmare? 

Iamo, a priest of the Mother Goddess and Riga, a Black Shaman assassin captain, are thrown together – reluctantly at first – to face a threat that nobody could have imagined before “The Changes”. 

ALCHEMY is the prequel to Shaman's Drum which features the adventures of Iamo and Riga through their world in the near future, where the established religions of our own days had been banned.  

Daniel stood beside me, pointing out the “Who’s Who” of this august gathering.
“The guys in leather are the Odinists, old Norse religion. Obviously, the chap with the sickle is
the Chief Druid, yes, that is a fox-head he’s wearing as a headdress. Now, that one there, the
shaven-headed one in a kilt-type thing. He’s the High Priest of the Egyptians. I think they have a few sub-divisions but… oh yes, here comes the High Priestess of Isis, she’s his female counterpart.”
By this time my jaw was dropping. The lady in the wig, smothered in jewellery was like
something straight out of a Cleopatra movie and eye-wateringly gorgeous. Daniel nudged me again and I thought for a moment that a Christian monk in traditional brown robes had sneaked in.
“That tall woman in white. That is Lady Solus, she will probably try to take over. She’s a bit of a tartar and that young man with her is her assistant. Bright chap by all accounts. Oops! Looks like
one of the Dianics is going to make a fuss.” I had no idea what one of those was but just made sure the camera was running, kept my mouth shut and watched. A woman with a shaven-head and a bow slung across her back stood up and pointed at the painfully thin monk-like youngster.
“Abomination!” she hissed. “He leaves!”
The priestess indicated to me as Lady Solus turned very slowly and gave her a glare that would
have frozen water in two seconds.
“He stays. I do not argue with stray cats.”
The young man in question had said nothing, remaining two paces behind his boss. I caught his eye and thought there was something vaguely familiar about him. Although his face remained impassive, a pair of bright blue eyes fixed me and very slowly one eyelid dropped in an almost imperceptible wink. I was too busy to think about it then but I would have to remember where I had seen him before.

Buy Links
Amazon International http://bit.ly/1Z4HCUb


Ailsa Abraham writes under two names and is the author of six novels. Alchemy is the prequel to Shaman's Drum, published by Crooked Cat in January 2014. Both are best-sellers in their genres on Amazon.
She has lived in France since 1990, enjoys knitting and crochet and until recently was the oldest Hell's Angel in town. Her interests include campaigning for animal rights, experimenting with different genres of writing and trips back to the UK to visit friends and family. She runs an orphanage for homeless teddy bears and contributes a lot of work to Knit for Africa. She is also addicted to dressing up, saying that she is old enough to know better but too wise to care.

An e-copy of the book

Sunday, 21 August 2016

On Tour: I Need a Doctor by Janey Travis


Genre: Romantic Comedy

Release Date: 15th July 2016

Publisher: Thornhill Print

Beauty and fame… a blessing or a curse?

Story synopsis: Loveless fashion model Nola Nichols thinks being beautiful is a curse; that is until she is cursed and her looks begin to fade just a week before the most important photo shoot of her career. In her attempts to get un-cursed, she finds herself taking part in a rather unconventional funeral, reveals one or two unrests in her own past, and falls madly in love with a doctor. Erm… that would be a witch doctor, right...?


What the Readers say:

“Just the right sprinkling of romance and humour.” Brook Cottage Books 

“A very enjoyable and clever plot. Different, fresh and enjoyable.” Jenny in Neverland

“I couldn't help but like Nola even though at times she is a proper diva.” Comet Babe’s Books

“I love all the quirky characters in the story and just the pure madness and fun of it all!” Books4U

“A nice balance of humour, sweet romance, morals and a spooky side!” The Little Reader Library

“A Five Star Read - I really enjoyed the light-hearted tone.”  Love Reading Love Books 


Janey Travis is currently travelling around the world chasing the sun while blogging, tweeting, writing fun-to-read novels and travel magazine features. Look out for her new light-hearted romantic comedy novel I Need a Doctor. You can catch up with her on Twitter: @janey_travis on Facebook: janeytravisbooks.

Janey also writes bestselling romantic adventure fiction as Janice Horton. Find out more at www.janicehorton.co.uk

Author Links:
Janey Travis on Facebook:

An ecopy of the book (open internationally)


Review by Pauline Barclay

From Barbados, to London, to Scotland to New Orleans, Janey Travis takes the reader on a journey of pure escapism. Filled with perfect love, mind blowing coincidences, I need a Doctor is an uplifting and feel good read that we all, at times, need to snuggle down and melt into: A perfect story for any time of the day or year.

A huge thank you to Brook Cottage Books for a copy for an honest review.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Chilling at Chill! Melanie Robertson-King talks about The Secret of Hillcrest House

I am delighted to have the lovely Melanie Robertson-King, all the way from Canada, chilling at Chill with a Book! and talking about her latest book, a paranormal romantic suspense, The Secret of Hillcrest House.

The Secret of Hillcrest House, a paranormal romantic suspense. Recently divorced, Jessica Maitland wants to make a clean break from her past. Police Constable, Alain Fournier still mourns the death of his wife. And then there’s the house and the supernatural occurrences that take place within its four walls.

When I was younger I loved reading and telling ghost stories, some scarier than others. If a house had a turret on it, it had to be haunted. If the house happened to be a bit run-down then so much the better.

I first saw the house that graces the cover of the book when I went as a chaperone on my son’s school trip to Quebec City back in 1993. Since then, every time we’ve been in the area, I’ve always had to drive by it and take pictures. I knew that eventually that house and the village it’s in would become the setting for one of my books, I just didn’t know how it would come about. The most recent trip was in November 2014 when I took a number of photographs of it from the streets to encompass as much of the house as possible.

1 "Hillcrest House" November 2014

Yes, the house in the picture above looks somewhat spooky, but a change to Black & White made a huge difference, followed by making the sky transparent. I had an idea of what I wanted for the background so I scoured the stock photo sites and finally decided on a full moon and cloudy sky image from Shutterstock.

2 After the special effects

Don’t you agree that this layered image makes the house look haunted?

Before I bore your readers any more than I already have, here’s the finished cover and book blurb.

Sometimes there's more to a house than bricks and mortar.
Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.
Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.
Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel the mystery of the haunting of Hillcrest House?

Melanie Robertson-King's latest novel serves up a delightful blend of the supernatural and spicy romance, Lynn L. Clark, author of The Home Child, and Fire Whisperer & Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural, & The Accusers
"Intrigue, dark buried secrets, hot romance and a neat twist in the tale make this riveting reading," Sheryl Browne, MA Creative Writing, Choc Lit Author

"A fun read that keeps you guessing right up to the surprise ending," Dayna Leigh Cheser, Author of Janelle's Time, Moria's Time, Adelle's Time, & Logan's Time

Buy Links:

About Melanie Robertson-King

A native of Eastern Ontario, during her pre-school years, Melanie lived in a winterized cottage on the shore of the St Lawrence River. Prior to her starting school, her family moved to Brockville where she received her education, including a post–secondary degree in Computer Programming.

Growing up as an only child, Melanie was an avid reader, and remains so to this day. It was through this love of the written word that she knew that one day she would become a writer. When she wasn’t talking about her dream of becoming an author, she wrote stories and began honing her skills at an early age.
Her father was a Scottish national, who came to Canada as a ‘Home Child’ through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland. She promised herself that one day she would travel to her father’s homeland to see where he was born and raised. That first trip was in 1993 and she’s not looked back since, having returned to the “auld country” a further seven times and is looking forward to trip number eight. On one of her many trips to Scotland, Melanie had the honour of meeting Princess Anne (The Princess Royal).
Melanie began her professional writing career in non-fiction. Eight of her articles have been published, with one being an international feature cover article. At the same time she continued to develop her writing voice: short stories (both fiction and non–fiction) as well as novel length work.

A Shadow in the Past, Melanie’s debut novel, was published by 4RV Publishing in the summer of 2012. Melanie even made the trip to the Kansas Book Festival in September to celebrate the launch of her novel and met her publisher and editor face–to–face for the first time, along with two other authors from the publishing house.

Other works by Melanie include a compilation of short stories, The Consequences Collection; and a children’s chapter book geared to ages 7–11, Tim’s Magic Christmas. Her short story, Cole’s Notes, was included in EFD1: Starship Goodwords – a cross genre anthology (Carrick Publishing, 2012).
Author Links:

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

On Tour: Thicker Than Water by Bethan Darwin


Genre: Fiction
Release Date: 18 August 2016
Publisher: Honno Press

Some secrets take their time to travel home
Gareth Maddox has his own successful Cardiff Bay law firm, a clever and talented wife and four perfectly imperfect children. Then along comes Cassandra Taylor, managing director of a Canadian shirt company wanting to set up a major manufacturing plant in the Welsh valley Gareth hails from. It seems like the kind of work he will excel at and an ideal way to see the valley pull back from joblessness and despair.

Back at the end of the Great War, in the wake of a community splitting strike, Gareth’s Great-Great-Uncle Idris sailed off to Canada in search of his fortune and a new way of life. Behind him Idris left his twin Tommy and Maggie, Tommy’s wife, who shared her childhood and much else besides with both brothers.

Decades later, Maggie’s secret life is revealed – and for Gareth nothing may ever be quite as it was before Perfect Ltd came to Wales.



Toronto born but Rhondda raised, Bethan studied law at King's College London and was a partner in a law firm in the City of London for some years before homesickness got the better of her and she returned to Wales.   

Bethan is now a solicitor and partner at a Cardiff law firm. She also runs women’s networking group Superwoman, writes a bi-weekly column for the Western Mail and is a regular contributor on BBC Wales.  She and her husband have two children. It's a struggle finding time to write fiction but she squeezes it in instead of doing housework or going to the gym.  


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Chilling at Chill: Helen Hollick Talking about, On The Account

Having recently read, On the Account – review at the end of the post – I wanted to know why Helen Hollick, best selling author of historical novels and pirate adventures wrote this fifth book in the Sea Witch series. So with such a great excuse to get this lovely lady to talk to me, I invited her to chat on Chill and talk about Captain Jesamiah Acorne. 

So why did I decide to write a fifth adventure for my Sea Witch series?
It might sound a little mad but partially it was because my editor’s son, Simon Murgatroyd, had the most gorgeous photograph of a full moon reflected in the sea with evocative rocks in the foreground. When I saw the photo I had two immediate thoughts: there should be a tallship with all sail set, and who would be standing on that big, flat rock? Hmm, someone looking wistfully at the ship, wishing he was aboard, his heart breaking because she was sailing away? Well, those sort of thoughts are what get a good story going. And I just had to use that photograph for one of my covers.

And the title? Going ‘On The Account’ in the early eighteenth century was a term for turning pirate, so it was quite fitting as a title for one of my pirate series of nautical adventures. Except, by book two of the series (Pirate Code) my dashing rogue of a pirate had accepted the King’s Amnesty and become an ex-pirate. I never said anything in the following books three and four, though, about him staying an ex-pirate…

Incidentally the Amnesty was a real event initiated in Nassau, where most pirates congregated, in 1718 by the new Governor, Woodes Rogers. Pirates Benjamin Hornigold and Henry Jennings agreed the terms and retired from piracy, Blackbeard and Charles Vane refused to even think about accepting, while Calico Jack Rackham took the offer then, along with Anne Bonny, broke the agreement and returned to piracy. Blackbeard was killed in battle a short while later while Vane and Rackham were caught and hanged. Anne Bonny had a stay of execution because she was pregnant, but her father probably paid someone to let her go for we do not know what happened to her.

I’ll not give away any spoilers but I wanted an excuse for my (ex) pirate to have a few night-time adventures at sea ─ because of that wonderful photograph, which was turned into a fantastic cover by the very skilled and talented graphics designer Cathy Helms of www.avalongraphics.org.

‘He’ is Captain Jesamiah Acorne and when I wrote that first Voyage, Sea Witch, I did not expect to write another, but Jesamiah took over and insisted on having more adventures, and well, dare I admit I fell in love with him? I found myself wanting to know more about him, his background, what motivated him, what made him angry, what made him laugh. How he reacted when he realised that he had fallen in love with my co-protagonist, Tiola Oldstagh, how he would react when he discovered that she was not an ordinary human but a white witch. I describe the Voyages as sailor’s yarns with a blend of Jack Sparrow, Hornblower, James Bond, Indiana Jones and Richard Sharpe (Bernard Cornwell’s Napoleonic era hero) oh, and with a little dash of Poldark thrown in for good measure. I base the plot around real historical events, but I do not stick rigidly to accuracy ─ except for my sailing detail which is checked by a real tallship sailor, James L. Nelson (who also writes darn good books.) The fantasy I try to keep within the realm of believable, more like The Force in Star Wars, not as in the wand-waving magic of Harry Potter. One of the secondary ‘characters’ in Sea Witch and the fourth Voyage, Ripple in the Sand is Tethys, the spirit elemental of the sea, who wants Jesamiah’s soul for herself.

The series is adult, it has adult content (some bad language, sex and violence – I mean we are talking pirates here) and my tagline is ‘Trouble follows Jesamiah Acorne like a ship’s wake.’ That trouble can come in various guises; he is coerced into spying, gets into things he doesn’t want to get into, and a few he does (most notably the beds of various pretty women). For which, of course, he then finds himself in trouble with girlfriend Tiola.

In Voyage Three, Bring It Close, Jesamiah has to deal with the ghost of his father while also encountering, somewhat unpleasantly, his old adversary Blackbeard. Oh, and working out a way to apologise to Tiola for not keeping his breeches buttoned.

My original idea for On The Account, once I had decided on a series, was to introduce a sort of vampire-like character for back in 2008 vampire stories were all the rage, but I abandoned the idea. The character I had decided upon, Maha’dun, is a Night-Walker. Tall, dark, handsome and mysterious he is unable to tolerate sunlight and has excellent night vision. He has several anti-social habits, like chain smoking and killing people and he is also at the beck and call of his superiors as a ‘personal entertainer’ (a male prostitute) which means he is beholden to others. All he really wants is his freedom to do as he pleases and love who he wants. And freedom is one of the main traits of a pirate, so when he meets up with Jesamiah out of the blue (or should that be black seeing as we are talking night hours here?) he finds his dream lifestyle.

Just why he is standing there on that rock looking forlornly at Sea Witch I’m not telling, you will have to read the book. (I suggest you start at the first in the series for maximum enjoyment). He has a great adventure with Jesamiah, and there are several secrets, some revealed, some not, in On The Account, but he is not a vampire.

expected publication date late 2017/early 2018’
Exactly what he is I’m not telling, you will have to wait until I’ve written and published the sixth Voyage, Gallows Wake to find that out!


Helen’s  Author Page on an Amazon near you : http://viewAuthor.at/HelenHollick
Twitter: @HelenHollick

My review (Pauline Barclay) for On The Account…

Filled with adventure, suspense and a little supernatural, On The Account is an epic voyage slicing through rough seas on Sea Witch and battling across unfriendly, often wet, bleak countryside. Treachery, treason and murder abound aplenty, and of course, there is love amongst the debris. So if your love swashbuckling, pirate tales, you will love this book and all the others in the series. A great read.