Cover Reveal: The Breakup Artist by Nicole Severn

Cover Reveal: The Breakup Artist – Nichole Severn

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Hello and welcome to the cover reveal of The Breakup Artist by Nichole Severn! 

The novella, from Beyond The Page Publishing, is set to release on 23rd April 2014 but Nichole’s giving readers a sneak peak of the fab cover and the book’s blurb. Full details below . . .

 

The Breakup Artist_Cover

 

About The Breakup Artist: 

‘Demi Shepherd is going to jail.

As a professional heartbreaker, she’s been charged with the murder of one of her clients. She can’t explain how fifty thousand dollars ended up in her bank account, how her fingerprints were found on the murder weapon and who called in an anonymous tip labeling her as the murderer. Determined to clear her name and find out who uprooted her life, Demi goes on the run and turns to the least likely of allies: the man she believes set her up for murder.

Jack Austin is Demi’s only chance of clearing her name, but as an undercover organized crime agent, whose only goal is to bring down the organization laundering money through one of Vegas’ casinos, he’s not willing to risk his life or career for her. That is until Demi shows her innocence.

With former clients and victims on her trail and unknown shooters finding her every step of the way, Demi fights for her life and her damaged heart, but will Jack protect either?’

nattyAbout Nichole Severn

Originally from Las Vegas, Nevada where she spent most days at her grandmother’s house watching X-Men, Married with Children and The Simpsons, Nichole Severn migrated to the Salt Lake City valley to live life as scandalous romance author.

She graduated with a degree in psychology from Utah Valley University, which stemmed from her obsession with serial killers, and received her bachelors in English Literature from Nevada State. Over the years, she’s experimented with selling jewelry, insurance, and clothing, but now she just sells books. The serial killer obsession has toned down…a little.

She resides with her very supportive and patient, husband in Utah, where she constantly injures herself running, rock climbing, and snowboarding.

Nichole can be contacted through her website at http://www.nicholesevern.com, email at nichole@nicholesevern.com, Twitter at @nicholesevern or Facebook.

Feature: Irrepressible You by Georgina Penney

ireIrrepressible You by Georgina Penney

“You don’t become a notorious British celebrity without rubbing a few people the wrong way, which is why writer and comedian Ben Martindale has decamped to Australia until the latest media frenzy dies down.

When he meets Amy Blaine, a perky blonde who dresses like a 1950s pin-up girl, he knows he’s hit the satirical jackpot. He begins to fill his weekly London column with snarky observations about her life, clothes, and even their most intimate moments. It doesn’t occur to him that Amy, who is letting her guard down for the first time in her adult life, might be upset – after all, it’s hilarious, and his readers love her!

It isn’t until Amy discovers the extent of his betrayal that Ben begins to realise just how badly he’s cocked up the best thing that ever happened to him. But is it too late?”

 

pinupSet in the sunny port city of Perth, Australia, this stunning debut has style. I loved Amy. I thought she was funny cute, sassy and clever. I am a big fan of the 1950’s style of dress and wished I had her wardrobe.

Everything has such personality in this book, from the outdoor plumbing to Gerald, the dog and his testicle implants.

There are plenty of false starts for Ben and Amy and at times it feels as if someone poured a bucket of water over you. When they do get together it is very saucy. In all honesty, it is racy but it is done tastefully. I blushed myself a few times, and needed a cold shower by the time it was over.

This book is a breath of fresh air and I highly recommend to anyone who is looking for an out of the ordinary story with loads of style.

 

 

Now an exclusive interview with Georgina Penney:

EPBR: Amy is such a stylish character, do you prefer the pin up look yourself?

GP: She is a stylish little wench, isn’t she?

I do love the pin up look. Forties and fifties fashion is so flattering that no matter how much of a bad hair/my-arse-is-huge day I’m having, I feel awesome once I frock up and whack on a bit of make-up. That said, there is a huge tom boy part of me that thinks jeans and a T-shirt is a much easier option. It makes for an interesting wardrobe. Glam to grunge and nothing in between!

EPBR: What inspired you to write Irrepressible You?

GP: Amy originally started off as a secondary character in Unforgettable You, my next release. She just popped onto the page one day and I loved her so much that she had to get a story of her own. Her bubbly personality, eccentric house and narcoleptic dog, Gerald are all based on real-life people, places and things that I’d been saving up for years. (Especially Gerald.)

EPBR:What is your next project?

GP: Unforgettable You, my next book is coming out on May the 14th this year. It’s the prequel to Irrepressible You and is all about Amy’s sister Jo, an engineer who works on oil rigs and Stephen Hardy, heir to Evangeline’s Rest winery. Jo’s story was so much fun to write, I can’t wait to hear what people think.

I can not wait for that book to come out. I loved Irrespressible You. Here is an exclusive sneak peek at the next book:

 

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Unforgettable You by Georgina Penney

Release date: May 14th, 2014

“AAfter months working on an oil rig in the Atlantic Ocean, engineer Jo Blaine can’t wait to get home. Her job is tough, and she is desperate for some long overdue girl time. The last thing Jo needs when she walks through her front door is to find a strange man staying in her house. When she learns that her uninvited guest is none other than Stephen Hardy, she’s tempted to head straight back out to sea.

Stephen has always felt guilty for the part he played in ruining Jo’s life years earlier and immediately jumps at the chance to make things up to her by looking after her apartment and her giant cranky cat. It takes some fast talking, but Jo is finally convinced to let him stay. And by the time she leaves for her next shift at work, they’re both eagerly anticipating her return.

But as they grow closer, it soon becomes clear Jo is hiding something about her past that is coming back to haunt her. After a lifetime of taking care of herself and her sister Amy, Jo isn’t used to sharing her problems, especially when they involve her messy family history. But when threats start to escalate, Jo must decide whether to trust Stephen before her stubborn independence places them all at risk.”

Don’t forget to visit Georgina Penney’s website for more information and news.

 

 

Review: Four-Leaf Clover by Charmaine Ross

leafFour-Leaf Clover by Charmaine Ross

To be Relased: May 1st, 2014

A sexy, sugar-laden David vs Goliath story about a local bakery, a national chain, and what really matters.

Clover Loveday has worked hard to get her café Four-Leaf Clover up and running — her ticket out of an increasingly alarming financial situation and her dream come true. When she literally falls off her ladder into the arms of sexy-as-sin Liam Sinclair. The same Liam Sinclair who owns the new bakery being built just across the road…the new store by bakery chain Upper Crust owner! Clover decides then that no matter how nauseated she is about the idea, it is best keep your enemies close, rather than leave things to fate.

Liam has never put too much thought into the competition when he opens a new outlet, other than taking their customers and strengthening the Upper Crust brand. But here in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Clover Loveday’s cafe is a little too close for comfort, and Clover herself a little too good-looking. So Liam asks his PA to put together a ’fact sheet’ about his new competition. He has a business to run, a father to please, and hundreds of people to keep in jobs. Surely information can keep an unwanted strong sexual pull at bay…

A sweet, caffeinated, satisfying story about unexpected temptations, forgiveness, and putting love before money.”

 

 

Clover has her own bakery business – Four Leaf Clover in a small Australian town; Liam wants to open his chain store across the street. It’s baguettes at dawn! Even though they are rivals, they are still attracted to each other.

Liam and Clover develop a deep love as the book progresses. Although the romance is sweet and tender, there is also a very hot and steamy side to “Four leaf clover”.

There are many obstacles for them both to overcome considering they are in competition, but they do; and it is an adorable journey of finding love.

I really enjoyed this adorable book. It is filled with the sweet smell of fresh-baked bread and ground coffee. If you are looking for a tender romantic read for an afternoon- escape to small town Australia with this book. You will be left with a smile on your face.

 

Review: A Darker Music by Maris Morton

m1A Darker Music by Maris Morton

“When Mary Lanyon takes on the job of temporary housekeeper at Downe, a famous Merino stud, she is looking forward to staying in a gracious homestead with the wealthy Hazlitt family. The owner’s wife, Clio, has been ill, and Mary’s task is to get the house back into shape in the lead-up to the wedding of the only son and heir, Martin.

When she arrives, however, Mary realises things are not right. Clio Hazlitt rarely ventures from her room. The house is shabby, redolent of dust and secrets. As a friendship develops between the women, Mary discovers answers to the questions that have puzzled her: What is the nature of Clio’s illness? What has caused the grim estrangement between Clio and her husband? And why did Clio give up playing music, when she says it meant so much to her?

A Darker Music is a gripping mystery that takes you into the heart of rural Western Australia, and into one family’s troubled past.”

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The only way to describe A darker music is by calling it “Australian Gothic”. The sun is shining but you can still feel the darkness and oppression of isolation. It is has the feeling of Jane Eyre Down Under.

Maris Morton paints a unique picture of an Australian winter, a phenomena unknown to us in the Northern Hemisphere; To most of us Australia is a dry, heat soaked desert.

Mary starts to unravel family secrets as she sets about setting the farmstead to rights. There is a gentle unfolding of events with a strong palette of near gourmet food and classical music.

Mary is an incomer and she acts as an observer to a family who’s lives are tainted my tragedy; something Mary is very familiar with. Although there is a lot of sadness to this book, there is also a glimmer of hope for healing.

m6Clio and Paul are like the walking wounded. Their relationship and lives was irreversibly shattered – and you can see them just going through the motions of everyday life; Unable to offer each other the comfort they both crave.

There is so much in this subtle family drama: loss, mysteries, heartbreak and estrangement; That left me the feeling of a haunted abandonment that Clio felt.

A darker music has a pace consistent to country lifestyle, and it adds an air of anticipation for what events are to come.

What I loved about this book was that Maris Morton showed me a West Australian lifestyle, that I was able to experience through her eyes; Something I would never be able to experience on my own.

A darker music is on par with the likes of Mary Stewart for highly enjoyable new Gothic fiction. It was a unique novel that stands out from the crowd and one not to be missed.

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EPBR: What inspired you to become an Author?

MM: I’ve always been a devoted reader, particularly of crime and mystery novels, but never seriously contemplated actually writing one myself – I lacked the confidence, for one thing, and was busy earning a living.

This changed in the late 1990s when I was nearing retirement age. I’d taken on the challenge of nurturing a fledgling public art gallery in a country town and eventually succeeded beyond expectations, with a new gallery now in a state of the art building that is the pride and joy of the local community. Having achieved this, my confidence reached new heights.

Another factor was the nature of my work at the gallery, which demanded constant interface with colleagues and the public, and left me pining for a place of my own where I could quietly concentrate on some project that would satisfy my latent creativity. I tried pottery and artwork, which I’d enjoyed in the past, but once I made a serious effort to write there was no holding me – I was hooked!

That started a long, slow process of teaching myself the craft. I wrote a novel, then short stories (some of which won prizes), listened to publishing professionals and learned the harsh realities of the business, collecting countless rejections along the way, until I started to wonder whether I was wasting my time. Then one magical day I learned that I had won the inaugural Scribe/CAL Fiction Prize — out of 535 entries —with A Darker Music! There was a cash prize as well as publication. Naturally this gave me all the encouragement I needed to go on, although there were many more rejections to be faced.

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EPBR: Why did you want to write fiction?

MM:  Apart from the pleasure of manipulating words to communicate actions and emotions, over my life I have worked in such a wide variety of jobs in many places that I have accumulated countless stories that only have to be patchworked and polished to make them into readable fiction. I have worked as a teacher (including teaching English as a second language to Cocos and Christmas Islanders); public servant; art curator and art gallery director, as well as exhibiting artist and art restorer; shearers’ cook and shed hand; journalist, and book and restaurant critic; cook and housekeeper. I’ve also been a wife and mother. Now I’m in the fortunate position of being able to mine my past experiences for the raw materials of fiction; scraps of memories of people and places I’ve known can be cut up and stitched together to form new fabrics.

During the 1970s and ‘80s I lived in Western Australia, most of the time in the small country town on which I based my fictional Berricup. There I got to know many farmers, and to appreciate how different their lives are from those of typical suburbanites.

Most of my writing is concerned with aspects of country life (with the exception of Portrait of the Artist as a Dead Man, which is set in Perth). Although I grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne I have always preferred country life; I’m still a dedicated gardener, and live now in sub-tropical rainforest in the far north-east corner of New South Wales, where the loudest sound is birdsong.

The germ of the idea behind A Darker Music was formed many years ago when a farmer’s wife told me that before her marriage she’d been a keen violinist. When I asked her whether she still played she said ‘No,’ then told me that one of her sons had accidentally smashed her violin. I never discovered why she didn’t get another one — her husband could easily have afforded it — but the sadness of that tale stayed with me. I made the farm where Clio lived more remote, so that Clio’s isolation was more complete, setting it in countryside that was familiar to me.

The genesis of The Herb Gardener was different, bringing together a number of incidents and characters from my past and combining them to make the drama. The farm is based on one which belonged to old friends; I went back and stayed there to get the feel of the place again. The olives, the sandalwood and the dam — and the dead kangaroo — were all real.

My present project is another crime novel titled Meadowcroft (isn’t that a lovely word?). It’s based on my experiences of working as a cook, back in the 1980s, in an establishment very like Meadowcroft. This one also features my ongoing character Mary Lanyon, an Australian widow who now works as a temporary housekeeper; she appears in Portrait of the Artist and A Darker Music. While she is no modern Miss Marple, Mary is perceptive (and curious) enough to help solve the mysteries she encounters during her work in various households.

 

Also by Maris Morton:

herbThe Herb Gardener by Maris Morton

 

Still hurting after a painful divorce, Joanna leaves the city, moving with her six-year-old daughter Mia to a country town. She’s looking for a better, happier life, and when she meets farmer Chris Youngman, she discovers the possibility of a future as a farmer’s wife.

Joanna is at first dismayed by the unexpected isolation of the farm, but Chris’s affection helps her to adjust. Then the unexplained death of a young farm worker brings complications she could never have imagined, and Joanna has to fight for her happiness, her family, and even her own life.

 

 

I am a big fan of Australian fiction and this book exceeded expectations. It was the perfect blend of mystery and romance. From the start you are dropped right in the middle of the action. Slowly you get to know these characters by deed and reaction; It is very refreshing not always to have to be told.

The countryside is beautifully described and comes alive on the page. It made me want to look up Berricap on a map to see if that town really exists.

The Herb Gardener is one of those book that the sub plots are so tightly knitted together that everything mergers with the main plot and keeps you riveted right until the end. It is really hard not to give anything away, but this book has one of the most unique endings I have ever read before.

This is an undiscovered gem of Australian fiction, as well as being a great mystery that will keep you guessing until the end.

 

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Portrait of the Artist as a Dead Man – A Mary Lanyon Mystery by Maris Morton

Mary Lanyon enjoys her work as a temporary housekeeper, a role that brings her into contact with many interesting people. Detective Sergeant Des Honeywell was one man Mary met in a difficult time, and she is ambivalent when she meets him again. He has a corpse on his hands – a man Mary knew, an artist.

Honeywell knows nothing of the art world, and takes the opportunity to involve Mary in his investigation. Mary has to revisit her relationship with the dead artist, the good times and the bad, to work out how he was killed and by whom, while Honeywell pursues his own agenda.

A message from Maris : If you Google maris+morton you’ll find heaps of stuff on me. My publisher, Michelle, has set up a blog tour for The Herb Gardener but I don’t know the details. My website is: www.marismorton.com. Please visit her page for all her great new releases.

Review: To Love a Wicked Scoundrel by Anabelle Bryant

scoundrelTo Love a Wicked Scoundrel by Anabelle Bryant

“Is there a Lady in the land that can resist this scoundrel’s charms…?

At her step-mother’s command, Isabelle – and her irrepressible step-sister Lily – are leaving the pleasantries of the English countryside behind them, and heading straight to the bustling heart of a London season. Isabelle couldn’t care less about fashionable society, and is even less interested in the name on the lips of every ballroom gossip – Lord Constantine Highborough, reputedly a scoundrel of the highest order! But once he sets eyes on the stunningly beautiful Isabelle, London’s most notorious rake knows exactly where to direct his devilishly bewitching smile.

And everybody knows that Constantine always gets what he wants, usually leaving a trail of broken hearts behind him…

 

I devoured this book in one sitting. I thought “To love a wicked scoundrel” was a sumptuous period romance with all the opulence of a BBC costume drama.

Isabelle isn’t a silly little chit; she is a woman who know her own mind and won’t compromise just to land a husband.

Con- Rake or Rogue? He certainly acts like a rogue and likes to give the impression of both; but underneath, he is neither. I got the feeling her is a completely different man- as you will find out later.

Con and Isabelle’s first encounter was electric; I got goosebumps with anticipation. Isabelle enchants Con;  his desire and wooing of her is just so enticing. I wished I was Isabelle myself a few times. To love a wicked scoundrel is a very steamy romance and utterly delicious.

This is the kind of book you wake up early to read on a spring morning,and read in the garden with a cup of tea. solitude and yummy treats is all you need for this wonderful experience.

To love a wicked scoundrel is a scintillating debut by Anabelle Bryant and one thing is clear- she understands passion. I eagerly await the next Anabelle Bryant book.

Review: The Unquiet House by Alison Littlewood

unquiteThe Unquite House by Alison Littlewood

Mire House is dreary, dark, cold and infested with midges. But when Emma Dean inherits it from a distant relation, she immediately feels a sense of belonging.

It isn’t long before Charlie Mitchell, grandson of the original owner, appears claiming that he wants to seek out his family. But Emma suspects he’s more interested in the house than his long-lost relations.

And when she starts seeing ghostly figures, Emma begins to wonder: is Charlie trying to scare her away, or are there darker secrets lurking in the corners of Mire House?”

 

 

 

sppokyAs the old song says “This old house once knew my children; This old house once knew my wife…” and Mire house, has a very long memory.

Emma barely has time to make a cup of tea before Charlie arrives. Charlie is a sort of relation and rival to the will that left Emma Mire house.

At the start you don’t know if Charlie is the good guy or not; but you do feel like something sinister is going on. It made me doubt if Charlie was gas lighting Emma to convince her she was “seeing things” or if there were really ghosts.

The book is divided up into a three-story thread: Emma’s in 2013, Frank’s in 1973 and Aggie’s 1939.  Each of these strands are so fully fleshed out that they could stand on their own right as separate short stories.  When the three stories are woven together they combine to give you a sense of tension and foreboding that surrounds Mire house.

The Unquiet House is a horror story with a sinister drum beat through out the book, creating a very dark atmosphere. It was an outstanding ending with an expected twist. You learn the mystery of why Emma was left the house and the significance of the Yew trees. It was a great psychological horror in the vein of the late great James Herbert.

As the stories went on and combined, you could see how ghosts are created and the misery that anchors them to a certain place or certain people.  The Unquiet house was an exquisite story with some creepy memorable lines, such as “We all go silent in the end”.

I highly recommend this book and also recommend you read it with the lights on. Obviously you will be reading with the lights on…Oh, you know what I mean! lol

 

Review: Cat out of Hell by Lynne Truss

monday2Cat out of hell by Lynne Truss

By acclaimed storyteller Lynne Truss, author of the bestselling Eats, Shoots and Leaves, the mesmerising tale of a cat with nine lives, and a relationship as ancient as time itself and just as powerful.

The scene: a cottage on the coast on a windy evening. Inside, a room with curtains drawn. Tea has just been made. A kettle still steams. Under a pool of yellow light, two figures face each other across a kitchen table. A man and a cat. The story about to be related is so unusual yet so terrifyingly plausible that it demands to be told in a single sitting. The man clears his throat, and leans forward, expectant.

‘Shall we begin?’ says the cat.”

 

monday4Cat out of hell is hilarious! I can not remember the last time a book made me laugh so hard. I loved that Lynne Truss never takes the book too seriously; and you can sense her fun in writing it.

This really is a mentally delicious book about a feline conspiracy. Did I forget to mention the homicidal cat who isn’t just evil; he is e-vile.

Cat lovers with recognize that certain look on a cats’ face when you aren’t sure if it is disdain for you or they are plotting your demise.

Roger is a great believable character for a devil worshipping, genocidal moggie. I do realize that reading this book will do nothing for feline/human relations- especially if you are already weary of the species.

Cat out of hell is a clever and funny romp that you wont forget in a hurry. I am putting it on my list of favourite books.