Saturday, May 16, 2015

Saturday Spotlight: Country Affairs by Zara Stoneley


Welcome back to Tippermere

I loved writing ‘Stable Mates’, so when I was asked to return to Tippermere and write a follow up I was delighted. 

The Tippermere books are a bit different to the ones I’ve written previously. For a start, the setting, a fictional village in Cheshire in the UK, is nearly as important as the characters, and the stories just wouldn’t be the same without the animal antics (watch out from star turns from the horses and terriers!).


find out more about Stable Mates here:



If you’ve already read Stable Mates, 


you’ll have met most of the characters, 

but










 Country Affairs has a new addition. 



The gorgeous Australian surfer Todd. 







This is his rather unorthodox entrance:

As dinner-plate-sized hooves sent clods of earth in all directions, distant chatter floated across the air to them and the cob’s large ears flickered. For a second his pace slowed and Todd shifted into a more secure position on his broad back. Then hearing familiar voices, and anticipating mints and carrots, Merlin stretched his neck and picking up speed again he thundered across the immaculate lawns that stretched before the imposing house, his mane and tail flying out behind him.

Todd ducked to avoid being garrotted by the colourful bunting that marked the entrance to a cordoned-off area and then realised he was being carried down the red carpet towards bride and groom at a completely inappropriate speed. ‘Struth! Where are the anchors on this thing?’

It was the last thing that came out of his Aussie mouth before the horse took matters into his own hands and ground to a halt, expertly veering left at the last minute towards an attractive and to what he no doubt suspected was an edible flower arrangement.

Force of momentum kept Todd on his original trajectory and he would have landed in the Very Reverend Waterson’s lap if a quick-thinking Rory hadn’t dragged the shocked minister out of harm’s way.

Tranquil was the word most often used to describe the village of Tippermere, and Folly Lake Manor was one of its most serene corners. Usually. And today’s wedding, despite the celebrity status of the groom, had been planned as a quiet, family affair.

The assembled wedding guests, gathered on the lawns in front of a large marquee, watched open-mouthed as Todd rolled like an expert and got to his feet, brushing himself down as he went.

He straightened, six foot of muscle in jeans and open-necked shirt, topped by a shock of sun-bleached hair and a mud-spattered face and flashed his best grin at his shocked audience before spinning round to locate the man he’d been heading for.

‘Mate.’ He tipped a hand in the direction of his hat, which he’d actually lost a good few hundreds yard back along the way, then looked past the speechless vicar to the bemused bride and groom.



Country Affairs: 'A great treat for readers who love their books jam-packed with sexy men and horses.' Bestselling author Fiona Walker






Welcome back to Tippermere
for the wedding of the year…


Scatty but loveable Lottie Brinkley is famous throughout the village for her disorganised personality so when she steps up to plan the perfect wedding the only likely outcome is disaster.


And when her globetrotting, love cheat of an ex, Todd, literally crashes the wedding on a not-so-noble steed things definitely look set to take a turn for the scandalous! 


As rumours of why he’s back spread through the village quicker than the stable girl can drop her knickers, is Lottie's future with
sexy eventer Rory Steel about to fall at the next fence?

With a wave of unexpected pregnancies, steamy shenanigans in the hay and a farrier with more than shoeing horses on his mind, will Lottie ever be ready to take on the coveted title of Lady of the Manor 
and restore the Estate to its former glory?

As the heart of the village, Tipping House Estate, makes its move into the 21st Century, pulses start to race in a novel packed full of 
charm, hunky stallions (the guys that is), and a daring plan 
that just has to succeed...

Check out Zara's Fire Writer FridayFirst Fight Friday 
Who knew? interviews


Zara's bio:

Bestselling author Zara Stoneley lives in deepest Cheshire surrounded by horses, dogs, cats and amazing countryside. When she's not visiting wine bars, artisan markets or admiring the scenery in her sexy high heels or green wellies, she can be found in flip flops on the beach in Barcelona, or more likely sampling the tapas!

Zara writes hot romance and bonkbusters. Her latest novels, 'Stable Mates' and ‘Country Affairs’, are fun romps through the Cheshire countryside and combine some of her greatest loves - horses, dogs, hot men and strong women (and not forgetting champagne and fast cars)!

She writes for Harper Collins and Accent Press.


Follow Zara Stoneley online

WEBSITE ~ FACEBOOK ~ TWITTER ~ BLOG ~ GOOGLE + ~ HARPER IMPULSE 

Thanks for stopping by Zara!


Friday, May 15, 2015

First Fight Friday: The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos by Elizabeth Barone


Goats solve their differences head-on. They don’t give the silent treatment or yell, they butt heads, and then it’s over.

Cowboy Marvin has learned humans resolve issues differently especially those romantically involved. His curiosity sparked, he has invited authors to stop by on Fridays and share the first fight from one of their books.




Author  


Elizabeth Barone


     is here for...




First Fight Friday 

with a scene from


The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos

When Max’s mother kicked him and his two-year-old daughter out, he had no idea how he was going to stay in school and work enough to keep a roof over their heads without anyone to help take care of Chloe. 

In a moment of desperation, he posted an ad online looking for 
a live-in nanny—even though his best friend Riley 
told him it was a bad idea. 

At first, no one responded. Then, he got a message from Savannah.

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Max held up a finger, then dropped his arm to his side. Maybe Riley was right. He didn’t know anything about Savannah. She had moved in without asking any questions, and hadn’t brought any furniture with him. “Yeah, so, listen,” he began.

She backed out of the refrigerator, balancing a stack of food. Max saw a package of chicken, American cheese squares, and the gallon of milk. Savannah carried everything to the counter and set it down. Digging a hand into her pocket, she pulled out a twenty dollar bill. Her lips moved, and her voice tumbled out, but he didn't understand a word that she said.

He squinted at her and rubbed his ears, wondering if he had somehow hit his head. “What?”

Savannah blinked at him. “You don’t speak Spanish?” Both of her hands were planted firmly on her hips. She frowned, but the dimples in her cheeks were still visible.

“No,” Max said. “Why would I?”

She smacked her forehead lightly and fired off something that sounded like a cross between admonishment and pity. Pacing back and forth, the words continued to spill from her mouth. Max had no idea what she said, but it was starting to look like Riley might be right.

“Are you okay?” he asked, glancing at the entryway to the kitchen. Chloe still played in the living room.

Savannah rolled her eyes. “Are you kidding me? Isn’t your last name Batista?”

“Yeah. So?” He crossed his arms.

“And you don’t speak Spanish?” She threw her hands up in the air. “How can that be?”

Max rubbed the back of his neck and shifted. “I don’t know,” he said. “I just never learned.”

“Your parents didn’t speak Spanish to you?” She put her hands on her hips again, frowning at him.

“No,” he said slowly. “Why would they have?”

Savannah scowled. “Are you kidding me?” She pointed a finger at him. “Where is your family from?”

Max raised an eyebrow at her. “Waterbury,” he said.

“No, ding dong. Where are they from? Like, where did your grandparents come from?” She leaned against the counter, her arms crossed. Dark, silky black hair hung over her shoulders.

He licked his lips, trying to think. All four of his grandparents had passed away years earlier. He didn’t really know much about them. He had never thought about it very much before. The last real memory he had of them was going to church on Christmas. It had happened long before Chloe was born, before he had even started high school. “New York, I think,” he said finally.

“All of them came from New York?” Savannah asked, an eyebrow raised. She rolled her eyes. “They just appeared there one day, right?”

“No,” he said, crossing his own arms. “They died when I was a kid. What does that have to do with anything?”

She blew her long bangs into the air, making a motorcycle sound with her lips. Muttering something under her breath, she shook her head. “Where did they live before they came to the States?”

Max frowned at her. “Puerto Rico,” he said with a shrug.

“So,” she said, taking a step toward him. “You’re Puerto Rican, and you don’t even speak Spanish?”

Glancing at the door again, he took a step back. “Nope,” he said.

“Are you kidding me?” she said again, throwing her hands up. She took another step toward him. “You never even wanted to learn?”

“Jeez,” he said, holding his hands up. “It’s not that big a deal.”

Her large brown eyes widened. Her mouth dropped open. Then, she erupted. “Not a big deal? Are you serious?” Lapsing into Spanish, she fired off a string of what he could only assume were curses. Instead of being terrified, like he probably should have been, though, he only felt slightly turned on.

He grinned.

“Why are you smiling at me?” she snapped.

“Because,” he said. “You’re kind of cute when you’re cussing me out in Spanish.”

Howling in frustration, she stomped past him, the twenty dollar bill still clutched in her hand. He watched as she stormed through the living room. A moment later, the door slammed behind her.


Copyright © Elizabeth Barone
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The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos by Elizabeth Barone


Max will have to drop out of school if he can’t find anyone to help take care of his two-year-old daughter. He never expected to find Savannah, 
and he definitely didn’t expect to fall in love with her.

Max became the family screwup when he got his high school girlfriend pregnant, and his parents have never forgiven him. Just as he’s almost done with his sophomore year of college, his mother tells him that it’s time for him to move out—and he has to take his two-year-old daughter Chloe with him. 


Getting an apartment won’t be too big of a problem, but when Max’s mother also tells him that she won’t be watching Chloe anymore, 
he might have to drop out of school.

With no other choice, Max posts an ad online, offering his third bedroom and a weekly paycheck in exchange for a nanny for Chloe. 

He doesn’t expect anyone to answer, and he definitely doesn’t expect a woman with a sleeve of skull tattoos. 

Desperate, Max agrees to interview Savannah, and he is surprised to discover that she is great with Chloe. As he gets to know Savannah even more, he begins to think that he might just have a shot at love again.

Before he can even try, Chloe’s mother forces her way back into his and Chloe’s lives—and she is determined to drag them
through the mud once again.

The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos
is available on


More books by Elizabeth Barone


Elizabeth's Bio:
Elizabeth Barone writes contemporary New Adult suspense and romance. Her stories focus on the gritty side of being a twenty-something, featuring characters who chose an alternative path in life. She is the author of over a dozen titles, including the bestselling ESX series.

Elizabeth lives in Connecticut with her husband, the artist Michael Campbell. To learn more about her books, visit her website at http://elizabethbarone.net.


Follow Elizabeth Barone online
Thanks for sharing Elizabeth!

Friday, May 8, 2015

First Fight Friday:Yesterday to Tomorrow (The Women of Lakeshore Drive #2) by Sheryl Fawcett


Goats solve their differences head-on. They don’t give the silent treatment or yell, they butt heads, and then it’s over.


Cowboy Marvin has learned humans resolve issues differently especially those romantically involved. His curiosity sparked, he has invited authors to stop by on Fridays and share the first fight from one of their books.






Author  



Sheryl Fawcett




     is here for...




First Fight Friday 

with a scene from


Yesterday to Tomorrow
The Women of Lakeshore Drive #2

Suzanne had escaped from the relentless media coverage of 
her husband’s Ponzi scheme trial.

The cruise was a chance to leave yesterday behind and focus on 
finding new tomorrows in her life. Trouble arose when 
another passenger on board recognized her.

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Arriving on deck 5, she went first to the Boutique. She had admired a gold chain necklace with a pearl encrusted cruise ship a couple days ago. The shop was just opening and she was the only customer until Tom Sandburg followed her in.

She asked the clerk for the necklace so she could examine it closer. The girl unlocked the glass case, pulled out a tray of necklaces and handed that particular one to Suzanne. The tag confirmed it was eighteen karat gold, as its color had indicated to her. She rotated the gold ship back and forth in the light noting the luster of the tiny pearls. The clerk offered her a second necklace saying, "Here's another lovely piece."

"Yes, it is, but this one is the perfect memento of our trip although I'm not sure how much I will actually wear it. It's not the sort of jewelry I normally buy." Holding it up to her neck and looking in the mirror, she abruptly announced, "I'll take it. I love it." Her eyes were drawn back to the mirror. Tom's reflection was there behind her and his expression was malevolent. 'It must be my imagination,' she thought, shaking off the image. She said to the clerk, "In fact, I'll wear it now."

"Of course, let me have it for a minute so I can ring it up." She opened a small box with the ship's logo, removed the tag from the chain, and laid it on the satin interior before returning the necklace to Suzanne to secure around her neck. She entered the numbers from the tag into the system and studied the display screen for a moment. She closed the box and placed it in a small bag while the ticket printed. Suzanne signed the ticket, and dropped both the copy and the bag with the empty box into her tote. Thanking the clerk, she pivoted around to find Tom blocking her path.

"Not the kind of jewelry you usually buy, did you say?"

"Excuse me?" Had she heard him right? Why was he in her way?

"No diamonds?" His voice had grown louder, attracting the attention of a woman who had just entered. "Or do you already have more diamonds than you can wear?"

A woman walking past stopped to listen. What was wrong with this man? He surely couldn't be drunk at nine in the morning.

Suzanne side-stepped to go around him. He matched her move. She looked him square in the eye. "If you don't mind, I want to leave."

"You're pretty good at leaving, aren't you? People in Washington know where that thieving husband of yours is, and they wonder why you're not in jail, too. You just up and disappeared. No one knew where. Now we know, don't we? You're living high and mighty with all that stolen money!" Drawn by his rising volume, a small crowd had assembled and pushed into the shop.

Tom's wife appeared at his elbow. "Tom, you're making a scene. Let's go."

"I'm not ready to go, Donna. I've wanted to give this lady, and I use the term 'lady' loosely, I've wanted to give this lady a piece of my mind for a long time."

His eyes never wavered from Suzanne's face. "If I'd listened to your son-of-a-bitch husband, I'd be as broke as all his other victims. Pennies on the dollar!" He was now shouting, "Pennies on the dollar! That's all they ever saw of their fancy investments with him. Do you even have a clue how many people the two of you destroyed?"

She heard the clerk say into the phone, "I need Security in the Boutique."

She attempted to shove past him. He grabbed her upper arm and held fast. This was why she had left Bethesda, people like him. The last place she had expected a confrontation was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

"Let me go!" she demanded, trying to jerk her arm free. His nails bit into her flesh.

Suddenly, Michael was at her side, stepping between Tom and her. Simultaneously, a security officer arrived and as soon as he saw the situation, called for assistance. Better safe than sorry. Tom considered the growing force of opposition, released her arm and spat at her feet. He spun around and muscled his way through the throng.

The first security officer called out, "Wait up, sir." Tom ignored the command and charged on out. The officer checked with Suzanne, "Are you all right, ma'am?"

"Yes," she murmured. Michael wrapped his arms protectively around her. The security officer pursued Tom out the door, looked left and right, and realized he was already gone. He re-entered the shop and told the crowd it was time to disperse. A few began to withdraw, among them, Donna Sandburg.

Two additional security people arrived. It was then the clerk screamed, "I've been robbed!" That accelerated the scattering of onlookers who didn't want to be caught up in this startling turn of events.


Copyright © Sheryl Fawcett
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Yesterday to Tomorrow by Sheryl Fawcett

Living alone after decades of marriage, friends Carrie, Glenda, and Suzanne take a three week Pacific cruise. The voyage is meant to be about laughter, strawberry daiquiris, and above all, forgetting. 

But lies, confrontations, and romantic entanglements pose unexpected threats. 

When Carrie befriends a widower in desperate need of companionship, he could take her down to the depths of despair. 

A dyslexic teenager just might unlock new purpose in Glenda's future...if her association with him doesn't destroy her reputation first. And Suzanne is startled by the strong physical attraction she feels for a handsome stranger, but will she lose everything by giving in to her passion? 

Throw in a dose of international intrigue and a dash of theft, 
then top it off with a Tahitian full moon. 

Will all three be on the flight home? 

This is the second book of the series, 
"The Women of Lakeshore Drive." 

Each book stands alone as a complete story while the series follows three baby boomers over a progression of time.


Yesterday to Tomorrow
The Women of Lakeshore Drive #2
is available on
Amazon


Want to read the whole series?

When Least Expected
The Women of Lakeshore Drive #1
is available on
Amazon

The Female Descendant
The Women of Lakeshore Drive #3
is available on


Sheryl's Bio:

"I intend to die young at a very advanced age." That's my motto! I grew up primarily in Knoxville, Iowa, attended Grinnell College, married my high school sweetheart, and today live in Omaha NE. We raised two daughters, and have four granddaughters. We enjoy boating, flying, world-wide travel, and spending summer days on the Lake of the Ozark in Missouri. After three careers, I now concentrate on writing fiction. Published works include full length novels and short stories in both ebook formats and print.


Follow Sheryl Fawcett online
Thanks for sharing Sheryl!

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