Guest Post by Author – Vera Nazarian, The Cobweb Bride

The Cobweb Bride

CobwebBride-Mockup1

At the Heart of a Fairytale

by Vera Nazarian

I must warn you, Cobweb Bride is a fantasy that’s a little bit different from so many books being written now.

For one thing, it is written in a more traditional “vintage” style. There’s a breath of the nineteenth century nostalgia, and a bit of creepy darkness found in the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm, and reminiscent of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. There is also a sense of many layers, ornate imagery, and a richness of history that can be found in fantasy that fully partakes of the world storytelling tradition.

For another thing, Cobweb Bride is not fast paced. Instead, as any profound mystery, it starts out slow and immersive, and compels you onward into its trap of enchantment. First, it firmly anchors you with wonder, as it illuminates the universe in a glittering mother-of-pearl palette of ethereal colors, using “paint” that is slightly touched by faerie magic, so that snowflakes sparkle like stars, and stars cascade down like snowflakes, until you forget what it is that’s falling, in this alternate Renaissance world blanketed in deadly Winter. And then, the action speeds up, drawing you deeper into the funnel, closer and closer to the scary-beautiful thing at the heart of the fairytale….

This is also a modern-day fable. And at its center is the ancient myth of Persephone and Hades in the Underworld. But don’t be fooled. You will not encounter the myth in its ordinary easy trappings. Instead, you will have to dig deep and search underneath things, and peek inside dark corners, to find it. Because… you are looking for shadows. And here, in this fairytale, shadows are not what they seem.

This is a story of Death—Death, the gentleman, taking on grim, elegant, human form. Death, the irresistible lover, searching for his lost bride. Death, the capricious stranger with control over all of us mortals. Death’s choice—to stop all dying until his Cobweb Bride is found and brought to him—sets in motion a series of world-altering events, like dominos falling.

This is the story of Love—Love of a young peasant girl, love of a granddaughter for her dying grandmother, love of grieving parents for their undead daughter, love of a fair maiden for a brave knight, love of a son for his broken father, love of a princess for a villain, loves of peasants and aristocrats, emperors and witches. In fact, if you draw closer, you will find that there are so many forms of love exemplified in this story that it too is at the heart of the fairytale….

In the absence of Death,

In the presence of Death,

Only one thing remains,

It is Love.

Finally, this is an epic. An ensemble cast of characters, with intertwining lives and pseudo-history, in the tradition of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, and with just as much “death,” but death that is treated in an entirely different humane manner—because there is no true dying in this fairytale and all the dead remain as active characters throughout—and with sympathetic main characters that serve as permanent anchors throughout the story.

So what then is really at the heart of a fairytale such as Cobweb Bride?

It is you.

Come, take that first step upon glittering virgin snow, and sink inward!

About the Author

VZVera Nazarian is a two-time Nebula Award® Finalist and a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She immigrated to the USA from the former USSR as a kid, sold her first story at 17, and has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines, honorably mentioned in Year’s Best volumes, and translated into eight languages.

Vera made her novelist debut with the critically acclaimed Dreams of the Compass Rose, followed by Lords of Rainbow. Her novella The Clock King and the Queen of the Hourglass with an introduction by Charles de Lint made the 2005 Locus Recommended Reading List. Her debut collection Salt of the Air with an introduction by Gene Wolfe contains the 2007 Nebula Award-nominated “The Story of Love.”

Other work includes the 2008 Nebula Finalist novella The Duke in His Castle, science fiction collection After the Sundial (2010), The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration (2010), and four Jane Austen parodies, Mansfield Park and Mummies (2009), Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons (2010), Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy’s Dreadful Secret (2012), and Pagan Persuasion: All Olympus Descends on Regency (forthcoming), all part of her Supernatural Jane Austen Series.

After many years in Los Angeles, Vera now lives in a small town in Vermont. She uses her Armenian sense of humor and her Russian sense of suffering to bake conflicted pirozhki and make art. In addition to being a writer, philosopher, and award-winning artist, she is also the publisher of Norilana Books.

Vera’s links:
Official website:
http://www.veranazarian.com/

Norilana Books:
http://www.norilana.com/

Cobweb Bride Mailing List:
http://eepurl.com/vodcT

Twitter:
http://twitter.com/Norilana

Facebook (author page):
http://www.facebook.com/VeraNazarian

Facebook (personal)
http://www.facebook.com/Nazarian

Pinterest
http://pinterest.com/veranazarian/

Blogs:
http://www.inspiredus.com/
http://urbangirlvermont.blogspot.com/
http://norilana.livejournal.com/

Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/186145.Vera_Nazarian

LibraryThing:
http://www.librarything.com/author/nazarianvera

Shelfari:
http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a1628414/Vera-Nazarian/

Red Room:
http://www.redroom.com/author/vera-nazarian

SFF Net Newsgroup:
http://webnews.sff.net/read?cmd=xover&group=sff.people.vera-nazarian

Austen Authors:
http://austenauthors.net/

Vera Nazarian’s Amazon Author Central page
http://www.amazon.com/author/nazarian

The Official Book Website:

http://www.norilana.com/cobweb.htm

Kickstarter page:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2027984632/cobweb-bride?ref=live

COBWEB BRIDE
(Cobweb Bride Trilogy, Book One)

cobweb bride

by Vera Nazarian

Release Date: July 15, 2013

Publisher: Norilana Books

Imprint: Leda

Trade Hardcover
(First Edition)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-112-6
ISBN-10: 1-60762-112-6
$24.95 US / 18.00 UK

Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-113-3
ISBN-10: 1-60762-113-4
$14.95 US / 12.00 UK

Ebook (multi-format)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-114-0
ISBN-10: 1-60762-114-2
$5.99

THIS GUEST POST WAS ORGANISED BY

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Guest Post from author Linda MacDonald

Our Fragile World

Last year, UK farmers were hit by drought in March followed by the second wettest year on record. This year we have already suffered the coldest spring for fifty years. Extreme weather can devastate crop production and seems to be on the increase. In early June there were floods in Prague and Hungary and nearly every week we hear of some local environmental catastrophe. If these events become ever more frequent and crops continue to fail, if the bee decline persists, if the population continues to grow and require more food, then the planet is at risk of global food shortages.

In my novel A Meeting of a Different Kind, one of the sub-plots flirts with environmental concerns and sustainability issues. I have developed this further in the sequel which I hope to publish next year. However, so pressing are the issues, I would like to share some thoughts now, before it’s too late.

Modern cultures generally do not live in a sustainable way and it is increasingly evident that we cannot proceed in this manner indefinitely. Land and resources are finite and a month ago there was a report that we should start eating less meat because of the acreage taken up in growing animal feedstuffs.  Of course this is one option, but even this is not sustainable if the population continues to rise worldwide. Indeed at the root of many of our environmental problems is the escalating global population.

Last week I was alarmed to find the so-called full price for a handful of raspberries in an up-market supermarket was 3.99. This is one of many examples of how food prices have escalated over the past two years. The more we can grow our own, the better. We don’t all have gardens or even balconies, so we need to be creative – like people were in the war. Even if we have a garden, we may not have the time, energy or inclination to plant it with fruit and vegetables. But with allotment waiting-lists often very long, it is probable that there will be someone in the locality who would be pleased to cultivate your garden in exchange for a portion of the crop. Already there are small-scale local enterprises putting people in touch with each other for this purpose, but it needs to become more widespread if it is to have real impact. And social networking, particularly Twitter, might be the perfect medium through which to operate such a scheme.

There are occasional reports of a practice known as guerrilla gardening where a group of individuals – often under cover of darkness – plant up derelict common space with flowers fruit or vegetables. Although technically illegal, a group based in Glasgow has received endorsement from the city council who said they do not have the funds to do it themselves. Perhaps this approach could be expanded elsewhere. Also, local authorities could take steps to use available resources to plant fruit trees instead of ornamental varieties wherever possible, and perhaps grow cabbages and carrots instead of alyssum and lobelia in the flower beds of parks. Imagine how wonderful this might be.

I hear you say, ‘But people will take the produce like the man who stole Tom Good’s leeks from his front garden in the seventies comedy, The Good Life.’ That is the whole point. If there were enough initiatives in every village, in every town and city, on every street, then there would be enough produce for everyone to have a share. Of course there are those that would be greedy; those who would abuse the spirit of the enterprise. But is this a good enough reason for not giving it a chance? It might be that peer pressure and community spirit would be sufficient to prevent abuse in most places. After all, the countryside is full of natural goodies for foragers to gather. We don’t worry about some individuals taking too many blackberries or elderberries, hazelnuts or sweet chestnuts, mushrooms or wild garlic, sloes or rose hips or juniper berries, crab apples and so forth. We admire their effort, even if the produce ends up being sold at market or used in a restaurant. Our parks could grow rosemary and thyme, bay trees and basil, giving people an opportunity to harvest a sprig or a leaf or two when they are out for a walk. And the addition of fruiting trees would be delightful.

All these ideas are merely from one branch of sustainable initiatives we might explore. Each gardening project needs time to develop and in the case of trees, time to mature. Starting now is likely to contribute to a far better future. In my opinion, it’s as significant as that.

A Meeting of a Different Kind is about complex love relationships, likely to be enjoyed by a wide range of women and men. The references to environmental and sustainability issues are intended to be of general interest and to provoke people into finding out more.

A Meeting of a Different Kind

Contemporary Fiction

MoDK

Print Length: 352 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1780883250
Publisher: Matador (1 Nov 2012)
ASIN: B009IT1RPQ

When archaeologist Edward Harvey’s wife Felicity inherits almost a million, she gives up her job, buys a restaurant and, as a devotee of Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, starts turning their home into a small eco-farm. Edward is not happy, not least because she seems to be losing interest in him. Taryn is a borderline manic-depressive, a scheming minx, a seductress and user of men. Edward and Taryn don’t know each other but they both know Marianne. To Edward, Marianne is a former classmate who sends him crazy emails. She is Taryn’s best friend, and when Marianne meets Edward, she tells Taryn how wonderful he is and that he is not the philandering type. Taryn sees a challenge and concocts a devious plan to meet him during a series of lectures he is giving at the British Museum. When Edward and Taryn’s paths cross, questions of friendship, loyalty and betrayal are played out against a backdrop of mental fragility and the destabilising effects of a large inheritance…

About the Author

LindaLinda MacDonald was born and brought up in Cockermouth, on the edge of the Lake District in Cumbria, England. She was educated at the local grammar school and later at Goldsmiths’, University of London where she studied for a BA in psychology and then a PGCE in biology and science. She taught secondary science and biology in Croydon for eleven years before taking some time out to write, paint and make jewellery. In 1990 she was lured back into teaching at a sixth form college in south-east London where she taught health and social care and psychology. For over twenty-five years she was also a visiting tutor in the psychology department at Goldsmiths’.

At the end of 2009, Linda broke her wrist very badly through tripping over a classroom chair. Reminded of the fragility of life and how time was passing with her writing dreams still unfulfilled, she decided to publish her first novel independently. Meeting Lydia was inspired by finding an ex classmate on Friends Reunited. The novel explores the effects of school bullying on later life, and the pros and cons of internet relationships from the perspective of a woman going through a midlife crisis. It was published in September 2011. The stand-alone sequel, A Meeting of a Different Kind, had already been drafted before Linda broke her wrist and was published in November last year. It continues the story from the perspectives of two different characters, looking at issues of friendship, loyalty and betrayal. Both books may be read independently and are being very well-received by a wide ranging readership of men as well as women. It is expected that there will be a third part to the series and this is a work in progress.

Health issues in 2011 prompted Linda to retire from teaching in order to concentrate on her writing career. She hopes that with this new focus she can bring her books to the notice of a larger audience.

Linda’s links

Amazon UK Author Page

Amazon US Author Page:

Troubador Author page Meeting Lydia

Troubador Author page A Meeting of a Different Kind

Twitter @LindaMac1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4870870.Linda_MacDonald

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.macdonald.9250?fref=ts

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Guest Post from Carol E Wyer

carol e wyerTrying to keep a grumpy old man amused is virtually impossible. Trust me, I know. After my own little Grumpy retired, he suddenly became far too interested in what I was doing, for my own good. I couldn’t move without him wanting to know what I was up to or asking if I wanted to have a cup of coffee (i.e. make him one.)

Eventually, after various attempts to keep him amused, I introduced him to blogging. I set him up a monthly column “Hubby’s Hotties” on one of my blogs: Fortifying Your Fifties. It was to allow him to rant about all those things he generally rants to me about, and give me a break. Of course, being technically incompetent he spent hours writing out his posts in biro then handing them to me to put into the blog. It gave me much more work than I anticipated but it amused him for a while. Five months to be precise. It’s a shame he gave it up because he attracted a lot of followers. Just to prove any old grumpy can blog, here’s his second post which amused quite a few people (I am known as Facing50 in the blogging world):

“My second post, and I have decided to type it all myself. After the grief I got (from you know who) for writing out so much last time, I thought I’d better have a go on my tod. (Facing 50 kept muttering about “A dog” and “barking yourself”.) Facing 50 is going to cut this out from my computer screen and glue it into the blog on hers. It remains a mystery to me, so I leave all that technical gubbins to her.

All of this brings me nicely onto the subject for this week – technology or mobile phones to be precise. I am not a fan of mobile phones. Even when I had to have one for work, I used to turn it off when I went out for the day. If I didn’t, the blasted thing would always ring just as I was in an important lunch meeting with a client. Note I say “lunch meeting”. I was usually on the dessert when the phone rang. Some idiot back at base inevitably wanted the answer to some asinine query that could easily be dealt with without disturbing my crème brûlée.

Even today, Facing 50 insists I carry a mobile with me whenever we go to the shops and split up for a couple of hours. She says it is to ensure I get back to the meeting place on time, and not leave her standing there like a lemon, as I have been known to do in the past. I feel it’s like having one of those bracelets that tracks your every move. Like the ones that released prisoners have. Don’t tell her, but I switch it off.  If she says she was trying to reach me, I claim I had no signal when she phoned. Ah, she’s probably just read that bit.

Mobiles irritate me. I detest people who pick up their phone and answer it no matter where they are. If they are in the bank talking to the cashier, they’ll suddenly answer a call and chat, oblivious to the person who is serving them. It’s downright rude. Worse still are those people who walk towards you speaking. You think they are addressing you and are just about to reply, when you notice that “thing” in their ear and realise they are conversing with Bob in the office, not you.

More than calls, I hate texts. I don’t know how to send them and I don’t understand the text language that youngsters use. Even Facing 50 thought our son was sending her “lots of love” for months until she found out “lol” meant “laugh out loud”.

Last post, I received a comment from one of you which read “ROFL”. I worried it might be the sound of her vomiting. I therefore, researched the web to find out what it meant, and in doing so, found some very good text abbreviations for older people to use. I thought I’d share them with you and hopefully, they’ll make you LYAO. See, I’m learning every day.

Try them out and start a new trend:

ATD                At the Doctors

ATGC             At the Garden Centre

BTW               Bring the Wheelchair

BYOT             Bring Your Own Teeth

CGU                Can’t Get Up

CGIU               Can’t Get It Up

FWIW              Forgot Where I Was

GGPBL           Gotta Go; Pacemaker Battery Low!

LMDO              Laughing My Dentures Out

OMSG             Oh. My! Sorry – Gas

ROFL&ICGU Rolling On The Floor Laughing And I Can’t Get Up

WAITT             Who Am I Talking To?

WTP                Where’s The Prunes?”

See, he had potential to be a good blogger. Pity he decided to revert to his old ways and stick to what he knows best; irritating me while I am trying to get on with something. Good luck. Hope you have better luck with your grumpies.

grumpymancover

Is your Grumpy Old Man getting under your feet? Is he wrestling with retirement? Are you wondering if you should bundle him up and entrust him to basket-weaving classes? Then this book could be the answer to your prayers. This light hearted guide is packed full of lively ideas, anecdotes and quips. Not only does it set out to provide laughs, but offers over 700 ideas and ways to keep a Grumpy Old Man occupied.

From collecting airline sick bags to zorbing, you will be sure to find an absorbing pastime for your beloved curmudgeon. There are examples of those who have faced extraordinary challenges in older age, fascinating facts to interest a reluctant partner and innovative ideas drizzled, of course, with a large dollop of humour.

Written tongue-in-cheek, this book succeeds in proving that getting older doesn’t mean the end of life or having fun. It provides amusing answers to the question, “How on Earth will my husband fill in his time in his retirement?” It offers suggestions on what might, or most certainly might not, amuse him. Ideal for trivia buffs, those approaching retirement, (or just at a loose end) and frustrated women who have an irritable male on their hands, this book will lighten any mood and may even prevent the odd murder.

The following is an excerpt from a recent article published in Men’s Health on NBC News

(http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50305818/ns/health-mens_health/t/get-my-lawn-why-some-older-men-get-so-grouchy/

The look: A scowling face, a wagging finger, and a shaking head. The targets: The economy. Teenagers. Windmills.

Some informally dub it “grumpy old man complex.” British author Carol Wyer labels it “irritable male syndrome,” a spike in the outward crankiness of guys of a certain age.

“Women have friends and we talk about our problems and we take medication and all that kind of stuff. But for men, it’s something they suppress. It’s a male thing,” says Wyer, author of the upcoming humor book “How Not To Murder Your Grumpy.”

Feeling that they no longer are useful, especially, if a man has held an important position in employment prior to retirement, “can result in severe depression at worst and general grumpiness at best,” Wyer said.

Wyer’s husband of 25 years, John, turned 60 this year and became very grumpy just after his birthday, she says. “I have spoken to other women in the same position who have said exactly the same: Husbands, even those who have looked forward to a big birthday, have become morose soon after,” Wyer says.

John Wyer, who owned his own business and misses “the cut and thrust” of his work, has self-diagnosed his own occasionally gloomy anger as something of a byproduct of Western society’s collective view toward — and value of — people who are 60 or beyond.

“One of the things that really took hold of me was the fact that I was approaching a ripe old age, let’s say, and I felt society can cast you off as a little bit of a no-hoper. I just feel that isn’t right. I feel people in increasing years have a lot to offer. And they shouldn’t cast off to one side. And I suppose my grumpiness is a little bit of a protest against sliding down that particular route,” he said.

“You think, well, gosh, there’s got to be to be something a little more than this. Being grumpy is just my way of getting through it and laughing at myself.”

About the Author:

carolewyerAfter completing a degree in French and English, Carol E Wyer became a language teacher. She actually began her working life abroad, in Casablanca, Morocco, where she taught English as a Foreign Language in an American Language school. It was soon discovered that she could speak French rather well, and she became a translator and teacher to large organisations and companies such as ‘Regie de Tabac’, Morocco’s largest cigarette company, and the Mediterranean Shipping Company.

After a few years she was ‘head-hunted ‘to run the English as a Foreign Language department of a private school in the UK. (Imagine Hogwarts without the wizardry.)

Carol taught English up to, and including ‘A’ Level, along with English as a Foreign Language. She also qualified to teach pupils with Dyslexia and became Head of English for Special Needs.

In 1988, Carol set up her own language company called Language 2000 Ltd and worked in schools and for companies. She taught a variety of languages, including basic Japanese, to all ages and translated documents.

A recurrence of spinal difficulties that began when she was a teenager, forced her to give up teaching and choose a new direction. In order to deal with her health problems, Carol attended a fitness course (Premier), took the qualifications to become a fitness instructor and became a personal trainer. That led her to become a trainer for others, particularly for older people who, like herself, had undergone major surgery.

Thanks to older age, Carol now no longer trains people, but she is currently writing a series of novels, articles and books which takes a humorous look at getting older. It is her hope that they will educate through laughter and help others appreciate life.

Carol has written several short stories over the years, including humorous books for children which served to teach them French. She was not able to fulfil her desire to be a full-time author until two years ago when her son flew from the nest, leaving his bedroom which Carol turned into her office.

Since then, she has written two novels, Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines and Surfing in Stilettos, both of which have enjoyed media attention and success, becoming best sellers and winning awards.

Carol writes regularly for author websites and she has recently become a contributing author on a help guide entitled Tutorials and Tools for Prospering in a Digital Age.

carolewyerbooks

Carol’s links:

Amazon UK Author Page :  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Carol-E.-Wyer/e/B005U34XNM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Amazon US Author Page :  http://www.amazon.com/Carol-E.-Wyer/e/B005U34XNM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

FeedARead (Paperback version)  Surfing in Stilettos :

http://www.feedaread.com/books/SURFING-IN-STILETTOS-9781781764886.aspx

FeedARead (Paperback version) Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines:

http://www.feedaread.com/books/MINI-SKIRTS-AND-LAUGHTER-LINES-9781908481818.aspx

Website:http://www.carolewyer.co.uk/#

Thornberry Publishing:http://www.thornberrypublishing.com/page10.htm

Safkhet Publishing:  http://www.safkhetpublishing.com/authors/Carol_Wyer.htm

And:http://www.safkhetpublishing.com/books/select/9781908208163/How_Not_To_Murder_Your_Grumpy.html

Blog:http://facing50withhumour.com

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-E-Wyer/221149241263847

Twitter:https://twitter.com/carolewyer

Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5061207.Carol_E_Wyer

Website:http://www.carolewyer.co.uk

Member of Romantic Novelists Association:http://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org/index.php/about/author/carol_wyer

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An Audience with an Author – Carol Wyer, Surfing in Stilettos

I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Wyer last year at the Bedford Festival of Romance and what a whirlwind of a lady she is! 🙂

Carol writes warm and witty novels with the general theme of growing old disgracefully and is a signed author with ThornBerry Publishing and Safkhet Publishing.

carol e wyer

 Anyway, I’m giving my blog over to Carol today as she launches her Surfing in Stilettos novel

sis

He who laughs…lasts

My mother who is a chain-smoking, party-loving octogenarian has a lot to answer for. I have finally worked out that she is to blame for my irrepressible sense of humour. It is thanks to her that I find almost anything amusing.

Yesterday, my very own grumpy old man and I were headed for the shops, when we noticed a sign near the town that read ‘Resurfacing Works. Starting April 2nd’. Given that the grumpy one has complained about this stretch of road every time we travel it (which is at least three times a week) for the last six, yes, six years, I thought he would be delighted to learn that the road is finally to be resurfaced. Alas, no. He fell into an even bigger funk than usual. Why? The repairs are going to take four months to complete. He then spent the next few hours complaining about the inefficiency of our workforce, the diabolical states of the roads and potholes. He moaned so much he hadn’t worked out that I had, in fact put on my iPod, and was drowning him out with The Killers, all six albums that I have on my iPod for such occasions. For some childish reason, the more he complained, the more I wanted to laugh at him. It was just so funny to see him beetroot red and almost exploding with annoyance.

I told my mum about it and she too fell about laughing. “Only in the UK could a tiny piece of road take four months to repair,” she chuckled, gleefully glugging back a glass of wine. “It’ll take them a week to set out all the cones and find the traffic lights, and then they’ll need a few more days off because it’ll no doubt rain.” She sniggered and took a long drag of her cigarette and giggled some more. “I might drive by. I could do with cheering myself up leering at some workmen, and making them nervous as I keep going backwards and forwards through road works, waving at them as I go.” That’s her answer to everything. See the funny side of it. I’m not saying that she doesn’t find some things difficult, of course she does. When she fell off her high-heels running for a taxi and broke her hip, it wasn’t amusing at all, but she got over the weeks of pain by watching comedies on television and reading books by Terry Pratchett. She has taught me that finding amusing things in life can see you through the harder times.

I like to practice what I preach, and if I am not out giving talks on ‘ageing disgracefully’ to WI meetings, or ‘The Importance of Laughter’, then you’ll find me writing articles and books that will hopefully help someone feel better about life. The more I write, the funnier I seem to find things, especially the ridiculous things in life that can drag us down. Discovering you have lost all the hairs in your left eyebrow but are now sprouting a fine moustache can knock your confidence. Better to just shrug your shoulders, and distract yourself with some loud music, comedies and a large bag of wine gums.

If you feel a little low and you are struggling with life then take a dose of humour medicine. Put on some seventies music, have a little dance round the kitchen and then either watch a funny DVD or read a light-hearted book. You’ll soon find you feel better, have a smile on your face and will be singing along to ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

ms&ll

You can find out more about Carol and her books on her webside www.carolewyer.co.uk

This book tour was arranged by Fiction Addiction Book Tours, to find out more, click on the image below.

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Book Trailer ‘The Fallen Stars’ by Stephanie Keyes

Hello everyone! I am very excited about hosting the Trailer Reveal today for fellow Love A Happy Ending Lifestyle author, Stephanie Keyes’ second book, The Fallen Stars.

Read on for more information about the trailer and the book!

The Trailer

The Book

The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

Release Date: April 12th, 2013 |

Pre-order Your Copy | Add to Goodreads

When all is lost, he will have to make the ultimate decision.

Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to the Celtic Goddess, Calienta. But then everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when he and Cali end up on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why they’re being hunted.
Continue reading

Behind the Book and Cover Reveal : ‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black

Today I’m delighted to have on my blog, author of military thrillers, Harvey Black.

Harvey is here to talk about the historical facts behind his novel ‘The Red Effect’ and to reveal the cover. Over to you Harvey …

“Today, West German imperialism is United States’ chief ally in Europe in aggravating world tension. West Germany is increasingly becoming the seat of the war danger, where revenge-seeking passions are running high… The policy pursued by the Federal Republic of Germany is being increasingly determined by the same monopolies that brought Hitler to power.

The Rhineland politicians fancy that once they get the atomic bomb, frontier posts will topple and they will be able to achieve their cherished desire of carving up the map of Europe again and taking revenge for defeat in the second world war.

One of the most ominous factors endangering peace is the bilateral military alliance that is taking shape between the ruling circles of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. This factor remains an objective of unflagging attention.” (Leonid Brezhnev, 23rd Party Congress, March 1966)

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The Cold War and Nitroglycerin had one thing in common, both were stable when circumstances allowed. But, when something rocks the boat, or events are overtaken by Incidents that get out of control, the status quo is lost. The consequence is an eruption that is both violent and lethal.

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The Cold War trilogy will trace the Cold War as it simmers, overheats and eventually turns East against West. The outcome? Start with ‘The Red Effect’ out in April, followed by ‘The Black Effect’ and ‘The Blue Effect’.

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1983: The Cold War has been in existence since the end of World War Two. Although tensions have always been fraught between the Western nations and the members of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, common sense prevailed.

Until, as a consequence of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the shooting down of a Korean passenger aircraft in 1983, and the relentless build up of Soviet military strength, everything is about to change.

In a panoramic novel, readers travel from centres of power to the front lines – a war is brewing and events are happening at every angle. Is the Cold War about to turn hot? Can NATO forces endure a mass strike by thousands of Soviet tanks? Can the West survive?

Follow the series of gripping events that culminated in ‘The Red Effect’, in the first instalment of Harvey Black’s Cold War trilogy.

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Harvey Black is a qualified parachutist. Harvey served with British Army Intelligence for over ten years. His experience ranged from covert surveillance in Northern Ireland to operating in Communist East Berlin during the cold war, where he feared for his life after being dragged from his car and attacked by Russian KGB soldiers. Since then he has lived a more sedate life in the private sector as a Director for an International Company, but now enjoys the pleasures of writing.

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Thank you Harvey and very best of luck with ‘The Red Effect‘, I shall certainly be reading it 🙂
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An Audience with an Author … Lawrence Fisher, Kill Me Now!

Today I’m handing my blog over to author of ‘Kill Me Now!’ – Lawrence Fisher …

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My name is Lawrence, I am middle-aged and I was single! It sounds like an introduction line from an AA meeting, but it is true!

How did I manage to stay single until such a late age without getting married, you ask? Well, some of my friends told me that I am the luckiest dude living on this planet, but some say I am missing something.

Trying to evaluate potential mates, I have found out that the world of dating is a very cruel place. It does not matter whether you are male or female; you will get hurt, intentionally or unintentionally. It is a kind of battlefield between the two partners. You may believe that you are safe, being a beautiful girl, but then you discover that being so beautiful is an intimidating factor for people to approach you or you may find out that you are only being approached by people who you would not want to be anywhere near, such as yours truly.

So, we have all been hurt in one way or another. The important questions are what do we do with it, how do we handle it and what do we learn from it in order to improve? Do we break apart, shake it off, cry into our pillows for a short while and then move on? Or do we let the pain linger, eating us from within and then declare – that is it! No more dating for me!

Sometimes it may be a good idea to stop dating for a while until you get your confidence back. But then, how long is that while? A month or two or six? Does one need to postpone dating until after a nose job, a breast enhancement or only after a complete face replacement?

In my case, it took years! I had been hurt badly and I completely lost my self-esteem. I became terrified by the thought that I should pick up the phone and speak to a girl. I occasionally got phone numbers of girls from friends, and immediately started shaking in my boots; my body temperature increased, my heartbeat matched that of a racing opossum. Familiar story? A day goes by, another day goes by and the girl on the other end has probably forgotten that you were going to call her. And when you do phone, you start stuttering. This has happened to more guys than care to admit it. We often do not know what to say on the phone to a girl we talk to for the first time.

So what happened to me? Last year, my life changed as result of three separate events.

The first event was that my brother came to live near me with his family and for once I saw a real loving family. His wife and kids simply adore him. A real match made in heaven; a real role model for me. This is what I want!

The second event was that I met the girl of my dreams. Well, met is not the right word to describe it, since she was the one who found me via Facebook. In fact, she was looking for some other Lawrence and got me by mistake. When a beautiful girl asks me for friendship, how can I refuse? Would any normal male?

She caught me on Facebook chat and said, “Sorry you are not the Lawrence I am looking for.”

What does that mean? But, she said I looked nice, so we could be friends. While chatting away, we found that we had a lot in common. The same sense of humor! The same likes and dislikes! The same views on politics and religion! We found that we were finishing one another’s sentences. It seemed almost like a recent movie named “Trust”. She was twenty years younger than me and extremely clever.

Somewhere along the way, we developed feelings for one another, true feelings, and true love. She was an American temporarily staying near my area. We discussed everything! We even discussed marriage‑related issues such as my consent to sign a pre-nuptial agreement.

“Hon, what are you talking about? A pre-nuptial agreement?”

“Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention I have money,” she said, casually. “Lots of money! Is that an issue for you?”

“Well, my dear, I have never cared about money. It is only YOU that I want.” How romantic am I?

“I am going to visit my parents in New York,” she said.

“Great, I would love to meet your parents!” I replied. “In fact, I would love to meet your whole family. When can I meet them?”

So, she was supposed to set up the meeting. She landed in New York and after a week with her parents, she told me that her plans had changed and she was not going to return. She was going to live with her parents on their massive estate.

Huh? Whoaaa, wait a minute, what about me?! And now for the big bang! She asked me whether I would agree to relocate and live with her in New York on her parent’s estate.

“Hold your horses, you are almost thirty years old, moved back in with your parents and now you ask your boyfriend to live with you and your parents?” I asked.

“Lawrence, I want YOU. You are the ONE,” she said. Well, I had never met anyone like her, so I agreed to make the move.

“I will drop everything, give up my life, my job, my home and come to you. When can I meet Mom and Dad?”

“Soon,” she said.

A few days later, her parents interfered. They gave her an ultimatum, either them or me! If she chose me over them, there would be no family contact! No home! No money! No job! No future!

“Lawrence, my love, I am sorry but I will be giving up too much to be with you. We are done!”

Who were these people? Have they met me? I actually had an image that after meeting me, dear Dad would have called me aside, like they do in the movies, and given me a check. I would have promptly torn it up.

“It is your daughter that I want more than anything. Money cannot buy me,” I would retort.

She told me that her parents agreed that we could be pen pals! Do I have a say? Are we kids? She said she had realized that choosing me over them would be a stupid mistake and that our relationship and dreams were now water under the bridge. OUCH!

When you get hit like that, everyone starts coming out of the woodwork with all kinds of clichés. You know, “There are many fish in the sea,” or “She could not have been the one for you,” or “You will meet someone.” I could not see the fishes swimming towards me.

Then the third event occurred. One of my best friends was killed in a senseless motorcycle accident. I was devastated. How do you handle such a loss? This wakeup call made me realize that I needed to take control of my life. Life is short and fragile. I need to decide what I want and then execute. I have no more years to lose.

After soul searching, I came out much stronger and ready for new challenges. I realized that what I was missing was a healthy loving relationship. I am ready! I am willing and able to boldly go where others have been before.

So, I started dating. I had to overcome my shyness and embarrassment and go out on dates. There were many crazy experiences! Why not keep a diary of these strange experiences? I sent the stories off to my friends and they enjoyed them. The stories became a dating log. If Captain Kirk, from Star Trek, can have a captain’s log, then so can I. I am pretty sure that the writer of Star Trek was with one of my dates, otherwise how would he have come up with the request, “Beam me up Scotty!”? Haven’t you ever wished to be beamed out of an awkward situation? Where the heck is Scotty when you need him most?

Ladies, who are reading this book, you are probably thinking, “Why would I go out on a date with you? You’ll add it to the book!” First of all, the book has already been written, so you are safe! Second, I do not write about all of my dates, only a select few. I am quite sure you have your own fair share of hair-raising stories you could tell me. The entire idea is to bring a smile to the reader’s face. Great mysteries will not be solved for you. Is Scotty the one responsible for beaming a sock out of every wash cycle of my washing machine? Does the wind whistle when nobody is around to hear? Is the ultimate answer really 42? Why is bra singular and panties plural? Is that light at the end of the tunnel the train?

Follow me in my journey through the sour underbelly of the often futile human ritual that is known as “dating”. Dating is Hell. However, I hope that after reading this book you will learn that you can turn a sad experience into a joyful one and use your own suffering to learn from your mistakes.

May the Lawrence be with you!

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Available on Amazon HERE

Website for Lawrence and ‘Kill Me Now!’ HERE

Sophie’s Run visits Hamburg

Come on Tour with Sophie and Dan… Discover the Hanseatic city of Hamburg!

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Sophie’s Run

Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…

Who says that the road towards true love is straight and even?  Sophie is certainly discovering that it is anything but.

So she has finally found the man of her dreams! Well… she knows who he is, even though she hasn’t actually quite met him yet.  But she misses her opportunity, and then her life goes crazy.  Rock star and ex-fiancé, Dan, keeps getting in the way of her new romance—even if he is just trying to be helpful.  A fire, an impromptu mini-trip with Dan, and a dreaded wedding later, Sophie is still struggling to meet the love of her life. Then, just as she is getting it together with her perfect man, best friend Rachel commits an act of unspeakable betrayal.

Sophie has had enough. Confused and distraught, she decides that it is time for radical change.  Surprising herself and shocking her friends, she embarks on a secret journey and eventually gets her life back on track.

Sophie’s Run is now available in Kindle edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and in Paperback edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. You can also get the paperback at Barnes & Noble, or download Sophie’s Run onto your Nook (coming soon).

My Review of Sophie’s Run

I have been looking forward to reading Sophie’s Run after having so much fun following Sophie’s adventures in the prequel, Sophie’s Turn. It was great to catch up with Sophie again, not to mention the utterly gorgeous Dan. Rachel, BBF, is still there and we get to meet some new faces too.

I found that Sophie’s Run, while in keeping with the style and fun element of Sophie’s Turn, it does perhaps go a bit deeper but in a way that is in keeping with the genre. The characters really develop and mature. There are some big emotional moments, some moments that are great fun and other moments that are beautifully and romantically touching.

I loved the settings, can’t say too much without spoiling the plot, but afterwards I could almost convince myself I had been to a couple of new locations.

A great read, one that I would thoroughly recommend.

Today, Sophie gives you the lowdown on Hamburg, a city that she was passing through but that captured her imagination and made her stay a few days longer than she thought.

Nicky: Hi, Sophie, thanks for joining us here today on Sue’s lovely blog.
Sophie: It’s fab to be here, thanks, Sue, for inviting me.
Nicky: So… Hamburg. Tell us about Hamburg.
Sophie: *chuckles* Where to begin?
Nicky: Well, this is what you tell us in Sophie’s Run. *flicks through pages until she hits the right spot; clears throat.* And I quote: ‘So, I booked myself on a flight to Hamburg the next day. I stayed there for a couple of days while I figured out arrangements…’
Sophie: Yup, that’s right.
Nicky: That sounds like you hadn’t planned to stay in the city for any length of time, though.
Sophie: I hadn’t. I was a woman on the run, a woman with a mission, en route to someplace else. However, when I got there… well, it was just so beautiful. It was very much a city to my liking and I found I couldn’t just pass through. I extended my stay to take a closer look.
Nicky: Amazing. Very … blown with the wind.’
Sophie: Exactly. And Hamburg is a great place. Take a look at this picture of the Town Hall. The small image doesn’t do it justice, but it’s totally overwhelming when you’re stood in front of it. The place is full of history and there are dozens of little stone carvings telling the story of the city. I’m not a sightseeing buff but this had me captivated.

Rathaus
NB: ‘Rat’ in German means ‘Council.’ Rather than… well, rather than what you might have thought upon seeing this word.

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Source: By Daniel Schwen (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Sophie: But it’s the maritime side of the city that really captured me. This is a photo of St Pauli Landungsbrücken… the historic departure point for cruise liners. The harbor is tidal in the extreme… I forget now what the tidal difference is, but it’s huge. And this landing stage, it’s all on pontoons so the whole thing sways with the river. It’s weird and wonderful and I could just imagine boarding a big cruise liner there in the olden days and sailing across the sea.
Nicky: *sighs* That sounds so romantic!
Sophie: It is. My biggest problem was that I was all on my own when I visited Hamburg so I had no one to share the dream with! Maybe one day…

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Landungsbrücken

Source: By Ingo Weschke (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Nicky: What’s going on in the picture below?
Sophie: Ah, that’s the famous Fish Market. It wasn’t exactly on my list of things to do but I had terrible insomnia and my hotel wasn’t far from there, so the concierge recommended a look-see. My God, it was worth it. The hustle and bustle and all the fish! I nearly went crazy with frustration that I couldn’t splash out on some fresh seafood to cook at home, but I had some cooked prawns in a roll, and I even bought a lobster that I stored in the hotel mini bar and had for lunch later that day. I had to wipe the mini bar out with baby wipes to stop it from smelling!

Fish Market by Night

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Source: By Frank Spakowski (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.0-de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/de/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Sophie: That same day, I took a harbor cruise. I know, that sounds a bit dorky, but it’s not, I assure you. It was absolutely fascinating. It took me all through the historic warehouse section and I got to see the working harbor. You wouldn’t believe the size of some of those container ships—
Nicky: *interrupts, looking stunned* Really? I mean, really? I didn’t have you down as a tonnage kind of nerd! *smiles*
Sophie: *bursts out laughing* No, me neither, I surprised myself, but it was totally worth doing. There’s lots of stuff I didn’t get to see as I had to leave the next day but I would do that harbor cruise again in a heartbeat. Maybe with my lovely heartthrob next to me next time…
Nicky: *has ears on red alert* Ah, now you’re talking. Heartthrob… tell us more!
Sophie: *laughs coyly* You’ll just have to read Sophie’s Run….

Hafen/Harbor

Hafen Hamburg

Source: By Vwpolonia75 (Jens K. Müller) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Wait, wait, wait, there’s more: Introducing the Sophie’s Run Give Away!

Sophie’s Run GIVEAWAYS

1) Standard Giveaway

Nicky Wells is giving away one delicious chocolate gift to a lucky winner in the UK or North America!

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The small print: This Gift prize is a product of Unique Chocolate. The Gift prize is subject to availability in your country. If the Gift prize is not available in your country, Nicky Wells reserves the right to offer a substitute gift prize of a similar nature at her discretion. Nicky Wells will require the winner’s postal address for shipping purposes.

Rafflecopter Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OTI2ZmY2ZjlkMzQ0YzMxZGFhOTJkMzFjZjBhY2Q2OjA=/

2. Bonus Giveaway

Nicky Wells offers a giveaway of one Amazon gift voucher worth $20/£15 for one lucky winner. To enter, simply share your thoughts on Sophie’s Run with Nicky. Email your comment to nickywells@sapphirestarpublishing.com and your name will be entered into the draw. Competition closes 1 May 2013.

About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

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Rock On! Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door.  A signed author with U.S. publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky is in the throes of publishing her Rock Star Romance Trilogy. Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters.  When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant.

Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C.

Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress. You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook. Nicky is a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com and has joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Nicky also has author pages at Sapphire Star PublishingAmazon and, of course, Goodreads.

An Audience with an Author – Linn B Halton

It’s a great pleasure to drop by and visit you today Sue and tell you all about my latest book, Never Alone.

It’s the last of five manuscripts I wrote when I first began writing in 2009. At that time I hadn’t thought beyond the writing process, really! I had absolutely no idea how long it takes to go through the editing process and get a book out there. In the meantime I signed with Sapphire Star Publishing for two of those five manuscripts and decided I would also self-publish. I enjoy being able to mix it up and it has been a positive in terms of what I’ve learnt about the processes and publishing. It also means I can easily mix genres – so I now have one chick lit, three with a psychic hint to them and one true story.

With my debut novel (Touched By The Light) I really enjoyed weaving the complicated twists in the storyline and when I wrote Never Alone I set myself a challenge. Could I write a story and keep that ‘twist’ to the very end, whereas with Touched By The Light it unravels much earlier in the process. I wondered whether the readers would spot the subtle clues in Never Alone or be shocked when they read the final chapter.

I’m awaiting the first reviews, but early feedback I’ve had includes:

“I have hardly thought of anything else since I read it….that’s a good thing I think. In fact, I want to re-read it to make sure I didn’t miss any ‘hints’…I already re-read the ending right after I finished!”

“Thought provoking to say the least!”

“My jaw dropped open…”

As far as initial reactions go, I’m delighted! This story is meant to make readers think about life, the decisions we make and how we can often be guilty of living one day at a time without thinking too much about the future. That’s fine if you are happy, but what if that isn’t the case and you are choosing to gloss over it, because facing up to it means change? That’s the position Holly finds herself in, despite having ‘the perfect’ life…

A contemporary romance with a Twist!

NeverAlonecover“It’s a gift to be shown something that allows you to make a difference and alter the outcome of someone else’s life.neveralonegirl However, the weight of the responsibility that goes along with that is huge and what about the ethics? The thing I have to ask myself, is how did my actions change the future?” Holly Elizabeth Atherton

Holly is the envy of all her friends, she has lived with the gorgeous Will for five years and supported him every step of the way. His IT business is about to go global and they are on the verge of having all their dreams come true!  A life split between homes in the UK and Los Angeles beckons, offering them a glamorous and exciting lifestyle they will both fit into quite perfectly. So when Will pops the question, why won’t Holly say ‘yes’?

Portrait of man at home with computer

neveralonemale2A series of terrifying encounters unleashes an inherited psychic connection within Holly. Her ‘perfect’ life is turned upside down as she struggles with the reality of her ‘gift’. Help comes from a chance meeting with medium Peter Shaw and she discovers that she is also being given healing and protection by the spirits of two people. One of them is her best friend’s brother, Nick, who died suddenly in tragic circumstances. Holly finds herself confiding in him in an attempt to sort out her own life.

She begins to sense that the path she’s on isn’t the one she’s destined for, but is it too late to change things? The thought of hurting the people she loves the most causes her to bury her emotions, until fate takes a hand………..

Life’s all about the choices we make …

Thanks so much Sue for being a part of my Fiction Addiction Book Tour and for being a fab host!

Linn’s links:

Website 
A loveahappyending.com author
Signed by:http://www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/linnbhalton
Twitter: @LinnBHalton
Facebook: Linn B Halton
Romantic Novelists’ Association page

Amazon.co.uk (buy)
Amazon.com (buy)

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It’s been a pleasure to have Linn here today and I would like to thank Fiction Addiction Book Tours for organising this.

Vancouver Island Author, Anneli Purchase, Writes Second Book, Third to Follow

 

Readers are captivated by The Wind Weeps, set on the West Coast of Canada. It is the story of Andrea, a pretty young woman swept off her feet by a handsome commercial fisherman. Before she realizes she has made a mistake, she is out of reach of help, and finds herself in grave danger. This book highlights not only the beauty, but also the remoteness of the British Columbia coast. Andrea’s predicament adds suspense and drama. (My review of The Wind Weeps can be read HERE)

Anneli’s next book has a lighter theme without losing the page-turning tension factor.

In Orion’s Gift, a romantic suspense story, the coastal setting is farther south. Sylvia, a California girl, receives news that causes her to leave her philandering husband and her fancy home near San Diego. At the same time, Kevin, an Alberta hardware store owner divorces his bullying wife and leaves everything behind to run away to Baja. When Kevin and Sylvia meet and fall in love, two things stand in the way of their happiness. One—the secrets they keep from each other. Two—their vindictive ex-spouses hunting them down. The exotic landscape of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula provides the backdrop for this story of romance and treachery.

Anneli’s articles have been published in Canadian Stories Magazine and The Canadian Fly Fisher, now called The New Fly Fisher E-zine. She is in the process of publishing her third novel, Julia’s Violinist, which should come out early next year.

The Wind Weeps and Orion’s Gift are available in paperback or e-book format at amazon.com and smashwords.com.

Here are all the links you need to find out more about Anneli Purchase and her books.

Links for Orion’s Gift:

On Amazon.com http://amzn.to/UhJE00

On Smashwords.com http://bit.ly/MFOcOX

Links for The Wind Weeps

Amazon http://amzn.to/RclGVT

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/yPQvEP

Blog: http://wordsfromanneli.wordpress.com

Website: http://www.anneli-purchase.com