Cover Reveal

*COVER REVEAL* Waking By Helen Richardson @accentpress #Bookblog

june 29, 2016 (1)

So excited to have an Accent Press cover reveal for you this evening. I would love to know your thoughts on the cover in the comment section below.

Waking By Helen Richardson
Accent Press ~ Sept 14, 2017

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There are dark corners in your mind that even you can’t get to.

Anna Caldwell is terrified of falling asleep. A nightmare, her very own, will be there waiting for her. After sharing her bed with the same vision for fifteen years, she’s desperate to shake it. But it only holds on tighter.

Then Anna meets Jack. She’s drawn to the strange, alluring tension that she feels when she’s around him. It’s as though it’s meant to be. But creeping beneath the roots of their intimacy is darkness.

If you knew your dreams were trying to tell you something terrible, would you listen?

 

Helen Richardson is a producer for branded content and documentary productions. She lives in London. This is her first novel.

 

Pre-order link: PB http://amzn.to/2qYcQFe (ebook link will be available a couple of days before the cover reveal)

 

We are running a Twitter giveaway ~ head over to our Twitter Page and see the pinned post.

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Accent Press, Book Blog, Interview

Safe With Me @GraceLowrie1 @AccentPress #QA

Safe With Me.jpg

An emotional and evocative story about the deepest bonds of friendship.

Abandoned as children, Kat and Jamie were inseparable growing up in foster care. But their bond couldn’t protect them forever.

From a troubled upbringing to working in a London greasy spoon, Kat’s life has never been easy. On the surface Jamie s living the high-life, but appearances can be deceiving.

When they unexpectedly reunite, their feelings become too intense to ignore. But as secrets come back to haunt them, are they destined to be separated once more?

Perfect for fans of Hilary Boyd and Nicholas Sparks.

 

My Q&A with Grace Lowrie 

Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your publishing journey before the questions that would be super. 

Hello *waves* I’m thrilled to be here despite being rather shy. My debut novel Kindred Hearts was published by Accent Press in 2015 and Safe With Me, the first in a series of three contemporary women’s fiction novels, is due out on the 22nd June 2017. It’s available to pre-order here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071F2QZB7  – I still have to pinch myself.

Describe yourself using three words?

Creative, romantic, practical. (Those last two sound contradictory don’t they?)

What inspired you to write your first novel?   

Once I had the idea for the story the characters started talking to each other in my head – it was a case of start writing it down or go slightly mad.

What time of day do you like to write?  

First thing in the morning is preferable but usually not practical with my day job, and writing in the evening is dangerous because it’s sometimes hard to stop and I need my sleep. I tend to cram most of my writing into my weekends.

What is your favourite book and why?

Ahh! It’s almost impossible to pick just one book, but for today I’ll go with If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor. The way it’s written is amazingly clever and poetic with many layers, and yet it’s easy to read and quietly accessible – everybody I’ve recommended it to loves it.

How did you pick the title of your book?

Safe With Me is part of a line of dialogue that is significant in the book – but I can’t say why without giving too much away.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

No they are fictional – although I sometimes incorporate the quirks, traits and foibles of people I’ve observed, into my characters.

What’s your favourite word?  

Delicious.

If you were a colour what would it be?   

Forest green – calm, natural and soothing with a hidden energy.

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?  

I plan out a structured beginning, middle and end – with a twist (that’s the best bit) – and then I try to go with the flow as much as possible while writing the first draft; allowing my characters to take me where they will.

Who is your favourite Author?   

My favourite changes all the time but I recently devoured all eight of Diana Gabaldon’s epic Outlander books in the space of about three months. I’m in awe of her.

You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?  

Lisbeth Salander the computer hacker from Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series; Matt Sky the unstable writer from M. Pierce’s The Night Owl Trilogy; Arya Stark the brave girl from George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones books; and Frank the psychopathic teenager from Iain Banks’ The Wasp Factory. I suspect dinner would be a total disaster with a mix of such strong personalities, but it would certainly be interesting!

What book are you reading at the moment?

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. He’s another of my favourite authors – his writing always inspires.

Where in the world is your happy place?

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne. I’m not a religious person but I truly feel at peace there.

If you had one superpower what would it be?

Teleportation. To be able to write in an exotic far-flung location, at a moments notice – without the time, hassle, expense and environmental cost of air travel – would be wonderful.

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?   

I can’t think of a literary villain who deserves a happy ending, but I do wish that Paul Marshall, a character in Ian McEwan’s wonderful novel Atonement, met a sticky end. That he gets away with what he did is entirely probable, but it still rankles.

Are you working on a new project?   

I’m currently editing the next two books in The Wildham Series – each standalone novel is connected by its characters and the fictional town of Wildham – but I’m also writing the first draft of a new book and toying with a few short story ideas…

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?   

I’m hoping to attend an author event in March, but the details aren’t yet confirmed.

Huge thanks to Grace Lowrie and Accent Press for having Lovebooksgroup on the Blog Tour. 

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Book Blog, Exclusive, Interview

The Silent Quarry @cherylreesPrice @AccentPress #RealYou #QA

june 29, 2016

The Silent Quarry By Cheryl Rees-Price
Accent Press  ~ Published ~ 03/12/2015

 I  would like to welcome Cheryl Ree-Price author of The Silent Quarry to my blog today.  Thank you for being part of making my blog special. 

 

The Real You ~ Interview 

Cheryl by Rasa Mombeini (2)

 

Cheryl Rees-Price was born in Cardiff and moved as a young child to a small ex-mining village on the edge of the Black Mountains, South Wales, where she still lives with her husband, daughters and three cats.  After leaving school she worked as a legal clerk for several years before leaving to raise her two daughters.

Cheryl returned to education, studying philosophy, sociology and accountancy whilst working as a part time book keeper. She now works as a finance director for a company that delivers project management and accounting services.

Cheryl’s debut novel, Echoes was published by Keith Publications in 2014, and the first two books in the DI Winter Meadows crime series, The Silent Quarry and Frozen Minds are published by Accent Press.

Describe yourself using three words? 

Quirky, colourful, imaginative

What inspired you to write your first novel? 

I didn’t start writing until I was in my 30’s. My favourite time of the day used to be reading to my daughters at bedtime. As they got older I would make up stories, using them as central characters, I also wrote some poetry but I didn’t have the confidence to write a book. It was after writing a few plays for a local production that my confidence grew. I received so many compliments and encouragement that I picked up a pen and note book and wrote the first draft for Echoes.  Since then I have written another 4 books.

What time of day do you like to write? 

I like to write in the early evening, it seems to be my most creative time. Unfortunately it can also be a busy time at home, so I write whenever and wherever I get the opportunity.

What is your favourite book and why? 

A difficult question! I don’t think I can pick out a favourite book but one of the most memorable was The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith. It’s been over 20 years since I read the book but I can still remember the characters and plot. It is one of those books that can transport you to another place where you can smell and taste the atmosphere.

How did you pick the title of your book? 

I find picking titles one of the hardest parts of writing. I list various words from the book and play around with combinations until I come up with a working title.

Are the characters in your book based on real people? 

No, well not deliberately I often take certain mannerisms and physical features from friends and family and mix them up.

What’s your favourite word? 

Greetings, it’s the word I use when I answer the phone to family and friends.

If you were a colour what would it be? 

I think I would be multi coloured. My mind is a jumble of thoughts and ideas and I rarely relax.

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow? 

I spend months planning. Each character has a profile with a backstory; I research and outline chapters before I start on the first draft. Usually it goes off track quickly and I go with the flow.

Who is your favourite Author? 

Sharon Bolton, Harlan Coben, and R.D Wingfield are among my favourites.

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose? 

I would let Gollum keep the ring.

Are you working on a new project? 

Yes, I am working on the next DI Meadows book.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend? 

I will be taking part in a crime writers panel at the Llandeilo literature festival on Saturday 29th April. llandeilolitfest

The Silent Quarry 2

 

The Silent Quarry is the first in the DI Winter Meadows series by Cheryl Rees-Price. In 1987 a quiet Welsh village was devastated by a brutal attack on two schoolgirls, Bethan Hopkins and Gwen Collier. Only Gwen survived, with horrific injuries and no memory of the attack. The killer was never caught. Now, nearly thirty years later, Gwen has gone missing and DI Winter Meadows is assigned to the case. Charismatic and intuitive, he has an uncanny gift for finding the truth. But in this small and close-knit community, the past is never far away, and those who have secrets will go to any lengths to keep them. Tensions run high as old feelings and accusations are stirred. And DI Meadows has to battle his own demons as he uncovers a truth he wished had stayed in the past …

You can purchase your copy today, here ~ Amazon UK

Huge thanks to Cheryl and Accent Press for taking part on my blog. 

Kelly x

We are running a Twitter giveaway ~ head over to our Twitter Page and see the pinned post.

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Author, Excerpt, Q&A

Lord Of The Sea Castle @ruadhbutler @AccentPress #Extract #QA

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It is 1170  a tumultuous time for the people of Wales, England and Ireland. Raymond de Carew is in love, but the woman he desires is an earl’s daughter and so far above his station that he has no hope of ever winning her.

However, Raymond s lord has a mission for him: one that if it succeeds will put an Irish king back on his throne and prove Raymond worthy for in Norman society, a man can rise as high as his skill with a sword can take him.

With only a hundred men at his side, Raymond must cross the ocean to Ireland ahead of his mercenary lord’s invasion. There he will face the full might of the Viking city of Waterford… and either his deeds will become a legend or he will be trampled into dust.

Ruadh Butler 

A Butler

Ruadh Butler was born in Northern Ireland. He worked in newsrooms, bars and laboratories, and as a security guard, musician and lifeguard before his acclaimed debut novel, Swordland, was published by Accent Press in 2016. Charting the years of the Norman invasion of Ireland Swordland, and its follow-up, Lord of the Sea Castle, published in 2017, are a tribute to his ancestors who carved lands for themselves as part of the conquest in the 12th century.

Q&A with Ruadh Butler

Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your publishing journey before the questions that would be super.  Plus anything else you wish to tell the members.

I grew up during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It seems strange, given that there were daily bombings and shootings, and soldiers on every street, but it really didn’t have a direct effect on me or my family. I put this down to my dad being a bit of a posh ‘blow-in’ from south of the border. No one knew how to deal with our ‘English’ sounding accents and frequent holidays to the Republic! It is probably because of this background that all my work so far has circled the subject of identity and a questioning of nationalism (in all its guises).

It was never an ambition of mine to write a novel. I love reading. I have done for as long as I can remember and as a kid nearly everything I read had the grand backdrop of history; Herge, Goscinny and Uderzo were first, then Morgan Llywelyn, Mary Stewart, Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, before Bernard Cornwell came along and I became more than a little obsessive, reading and re-reading his books a number of times. It simply never occurred to me to write since all I really wanted was the next book of Sharpe, Starbuck and Derfel’s escapades!

My first attempt at writing was a book called Spearpoint. Told from the perspective of Dermot MacMurrough, an Irish king exiled from his throne by his enemies in 1166, it simply didn’t work, principally, I suppose, because Dermot was a little too unsympathetic as a lead character. So I began again, this time from the angle of one of the real-life Norman mercenaries who Dermot had employed to help him reclaim his kingdom. With a bit of patience – and a number of re-writes – the book once called Spearpoint became The Outpost with the Welsh-Norman knight Robert FitzStephen as the protagonist for the first time. Further work and fine-tuning (mostly during my lunch break at work) saw The Outpost become Vanguard. It was only when I was certain that the book was ready for public view that I sent it to my father’s sailing pal, the late Wallace Clark, a respected (and much missed) travel writer, for his assessment. He loved it but suggested a name change. Thus, Swordland was sent out for the consideration of literary agents. I soon found a good one in London and a little while later it found a home with Accent Press. Swordland was published in paperback in April 2016.

 

Describe yourself using three words?

Talkative, redheaded, upbeat

 

What inspired you to write your first novel?

It was only when I began studying journalism in London in 2007 that the kernel of an idea to write a novel took seed. I was staying with a cousin and came across a whole raft of journals about the Butler family, and, having only the vaguest knowledge of what that meant, I started investigating. They had come to Ireland in the wake of the Norman invasion of 1169 and had won a large estate at the point of a sword. The more I read, the more I wished to find out, and not just about the Butlers, but about all the people who had become embroiled in the invasion. I had found an untapped treasure trove of stories, of intrigue and adventure, of men and women, in a land so alien to modern eyes. They were stories of remarkable deeds and fascinating characters. I had to write about it. I didn’t know how, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

 

What time of day do you like to write?

Mornings are for editing and re-reading, evenings are for writing. Although coming up to a deadline that schedule goes out the window! I used to be a journalist and spent a lot of time sitting down at a computer screen. At lunchtime I would work on the novel, my feet up on the desk, sandwich in my hand and laptop on my knees. It wasn’t long before I developed a very sore back. Because of this trouble I began standing up to write when I got home. It’s the best change I have made! It forced me to improve my posture and you would be shocked to learn how many more calories you burn up just by staying upright. Another benefit of standing is that you are forced into taking regular breaks rather than just continuing on working when you really should stop for a bit. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I thoroughly encourage all to stand while writing.

 

 

What is your favourite book and why?

Cripes! That’s a tough question. How does one get it down to just a single book? Under duress – and discounting several novels for the most minor reasons – I think that I can get this impossible task down to two: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers.

The former is one of the best adventures in literature and has one of its greatest heroes – Alan Breck Stewart. Kidnapped is packed full of intrigue and really serious themes including nationalism, loyalty, murder, slavery, love, and, above all else, hope in spite of all the odds. Stevenson also gives the reader a wonderfully evocative journey around the Highlands and Islands of western Scotland, its flora and fauna, its people and their beliefs.

Childers’ book is simply the best spy novel ever produced (although there are a few others that I really love). Two more unlikely heroes you could not hope to find, and I don’t think anyone else would’ve made their setting amidst the mud and shifting sands of the Frisian Islands. Childers’ love and knowledge of sailing in that region is obvious and infectious. If I can do even half the job portraying the Irish coastline as he does the continental, I think I’ll be really happy with the final outcome in my books.

 

How did you pick the title of your book?

My first book, Swordland, went through a number of titles until my father’s great friend, Wallace Clark, a writer himself, suggested the final word of the novel as a better name than the one I was using. I trusted to his judgement and thankfully it worked out very well!

When it came to writing my second, I already had the title before I committed a single word to the page. I wanted something that continued the theme of war as well as signifying my lead character, Raymond’s ambition to rise through Norman society. When I visited Baginbun Point in County Wexford as part of my research, the name came to me. Baginbun is remote and not well known, its importance to the history of Ireland marked only by a small plaque. I found it incredible. I fancied that I could feel the presence of my ancestors on that windswept headland. Better than that, I could stand upon the Norman earthworks and could see why they had elected to make Baginbun their landing site. It was a castle designed by nature and augmented by Raymond’s warcraft. It would be the scene of my climactic battle and Raymond’s glory. The book would be called Lord of the Sea Castle.

 

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

All the characters are lifted from history, but their activities are given a fictionalised twist. The story is based on the writings of a Welsh priest, Gerald de Barri, as well as the 13th century epic chronicle, The Song of Dermot and the Earl. There are a number of inconsistencies between the two accounts and that, to me, gives me licence to embellish and enhance some of the story, but I do admit all my changes at the end of the novel. One instance of this is the back story for my protagonist, Raymond de Carew. Nothing is known about him before he landed in Ireland in the summer of 1170 and so I have attempted to discern what might have been in order to flesh out the character. The same is to be said of Alice of Abergavenny, a woman who comes into Raymond’s life during the book and really drives the entire story. Some writers in my field aim for historical accuracy. My objective is period authenticity.

 

What’s your favourite word?

Converse

 

If you were a colour what would it be?

Burgundy – lovely colour, smashing region, delicious wines

 

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?

A bit of both actually. As a story set in history there are elements that have to remain the same. However, I tend towards the ‘fiction’ side of the argument and have often found gaps in the historic record which I feel need to be filled (without moving the story too far in the direction of alternative history). This may be as simple as placing a point of view character at a historic event which I know they did not attend, or even combining two people whose stories are similar to streamline the account. In Lord of the Sea Castle I saw an opportunity to give Alice of Abergavenny a much bigger role than the one afforded by history and I leapt at the chance to do so.

 

Who is your favourite author?

Oh no! Another impossible question to answer! My favourite writers include Robert Louis Stevenson, Bernard Cornwell, Joseph Conrad, Simon Scarrow, Ben Kane, Arthur Conan Doyle, David Gilman, H. Rider Haggard, Conn Iggulden, John Buchan, Giles Kristian and Henning Mankell. To choose one over the others is next to impossible.

 

You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?

That is a stressful undertaking at the best of times! But inviting our literary heroes? My mind immediately goes to what to serve – Argentinian-style steak and Malbec perhaps. The big question, however, is if you choose guests you think might get on, or people with different personalities and backgrounds, hoping that they will find something to talk about? I’ve decided that two ladies and two gents would make for the best night’s craic.

Portia from The Merchant of Venice would be the first to arrive, almost definitely on time and bearing a well-thought out gift. She comes across as intelligent and level-headed, good company with an ability to talk to anyone. If we are playing after-dinner games I definitely want to be on her team.

Alan Breck Stewart from Kidnapped might still believe the Hanoverian fuzz are after him so I’ll leave the back door off the latch so he can slip in as he pleases rather than use the front door. I am certain he will like the food and drink, but might put the pressure on everyone to make a donation towards the cause of the King-over-the-Water. Note to self: do not mention “The Red Fox” around Alan. It will only set him off.

Say what you like about Cersei Lannister, but she will add a bit of class to proceedings. I think she might be difficult at the start. Liberal glasses of wine will loosen her up. A night away from her cadre of court officials and all that intrigue and back-stabbing in King’s Landing will be good for her too. I’m betting she is a hoot if you can keep her off the subject of politics (and her family).

Why do I think that Cersei and Jay Gatsby would get on like a house on fire (if we can prise him away from the Long Island shoreline that is)? I’m not usually a matchmaker, but I think they would make a healthy couple. He could worship her as she wishes to be worshipped. And he could get access to her world of high grandeur and ancient prestige (albeit in Westeros rather than West Egg) that he so desires. If not, well I presume we can still all get a taxi over to Gatsby’s house and see in the wee hours there!

 

What book are you reading at the moment?

Trespass by Anthony J. Quinn, a noir literary crime story set in post-Troubles Northern Ireland. I’ve read the first three in the series and this one is the best yet. They are all beautifully written. I’m very much looking forward to the next which is out in November.

 

Where in the world is your happy place?

I’ve travelled a bit and have been some wonderful places, but few have the impact of Kilkenny. When my family first came to Ireland in 1185 they settled at Nenagh in County Tipperary and it wasn’t until 1391 that they moved into Kilkenny Castle. My branch of the family split off from the senior in the early sixteenth century, and the castle has since been given to the people of the city, but it still evokes strong feelings in me. My last visit was a few years ago. I did a summer research trip all around the south-east with the last stop in Kilkenny before heading back north. Sitting on the parkland in front of the castle in the summer sun, seeing people from the city enjoy the open space was just wonderful. It isn’t home but I do take a great deal of pride in the place. Completely silly!

 

If you had one superpower what would it be?

Consistent good luck, I think. I’ve had a bit of good fortune, of course, but it is not something you can rely upon. Having it on tap would be most welcome! Invisibility is one that a lot of people might choose, but you can’t stay invisible all the time. You might lose control with super-strength and hurt someone. The world would become a bit of a blur if you were constantly moving at Flash-like speeds. Good luck could only improve the experience of life. And some of it has got to rub off on those around you!

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?

I like the thought that somehow Professor James Moriarty managed to survive his tumble over the Reichenbach Falls, just as did Sherlock Holmes. Perhaps he had always wanted the opportunity to retreat into obscurity, leaving his criminal past behind. I actually have a cousin who is called Professor Moriarty, in his case Chris Moriarty, and this no doubt affects my choice. No more pleasant a chap could you hope to meet than my Professor Moriarty. It makes me grin to think of him, a mild-mannered world-renowned expert in eels as an undercover Napoleon of Crime!

 

Are you working on a new project?

My next novel is called The Earl Strongbow and will follow on from the events of Lord of the Sea Castle and the tumultuous events of 1170. It is scheduled to be released in April 2018. I also have an idea for a film script which I would like to try and write. I’ll not say too much about it, but I will require a trip to Sligo for research purposes.

 

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?

I will be appearing at the Kildare Town Medieval Festival in August and hope to get a few more events organised too.

Sneak Peak ~ Extract 

Extract from Lord of the Sea Castle by Ruadh Butler

Danger lay upriver. That, Raymond could feel in his bones as Waverider glided up the brown waterway where vegetation circled slowly and sank beneath her plunging wooden oars. On each side of the ship, trees hung limply, the longest branches dipping into the river from the bank and blanketing the land beyond from the Norman’s view. The sails had been robbed of wind by the tangle of trees and the summery conditions, and so the men rowed, their dipping oars the loudest sound on the slowly swirling river. It was stifling, this country and the sensation was not helped by the heavy armour which clad each warrior who journeyed north.

‘See anything?’ Fionntán asked. William de Vale hissed at him to quiet down. Everyone aboard, except the smirking Gael, conversed in hushed tones as they floated towards Cluainmín. Those who had been on ship during Amaury de Lyvet’s foraging trips told tales of darts, arrows and stones arcing suddenly from the shore from assailants unknown and striking down men as they toiled. Oddly Raymond had yet to meet anyone who had been wounded whilst sailing on the River Banneew despite the oft-told tales.

‘I can see nothing out there,’ Raymond squawked back at the Gael. His turn rowing was over and so he had taken up a position in the bows of Waverider, keeping watch on the shoreline for dangers unseen in the shallow riverway. Bright sunshine turned still pools of water on deck into vapour and more steam hung from dripping green leaves on shore. Beads of sweat ran down Raymond’s brow and he could feel more beneath his mail. The strong summer sunshine danced off shimmering surfaces and dazzled his eyes. As they rounded another bend in the Banneew, he espied a small homestead and farm carved from the forest. Two shirtless fishermen with long beards paddled coracles in the river, sweeping sculls in small circles to propel the ungainly craft forward. Both men gawped as Waverider swept past and began paddling with all their might for the riverbank. Raymond laughed at the men’s effort, their unwieldy vessels providing no speed for their getaway. The little coracles rocked as the wake from Waverider struck them and the fishermen clung onto the animal hide sheer-strakes as they span towards the reedy shallows.

‘How are we for depth?’ Amaury de Lyvet called from the starboard quarter. The steersman’s question was echoed up the boat by several men at the oars to the warlord’s earshot.

Raymond looked over the side into the brown, sandy river and began swinging the sounding line around his head. The hollowed out lead weight spun as it flew, dragging the thin knotted rope from his hand and forward over the bows of Waverider. As the lead hit the water, Raymond began doubling the line between his outstretched arms. He felt the weight impact with the riverbed and, as the line ran alongside the boat, he began counting the fathoms. He did not get far.

‘Less than three fathoms,’ he shouted back at Amaury, earning another appeal from William de Vale to keep his voice down.

‘Slow oars,’ the steersman shouted to the crew of Waverider. Happy to stop the work, the men complied immediately and sat back on their benches, swiping sweat from their faces.

‘What is her draught?’ Raymond asked Amaury as he walked down the length of the ship.

‘Two yards and a bit,’ the sailor replied. ‘Enough, I hope.’

‘But you have been further up river than here,’ Raymond said. ‘Haven’t you?’

Amaury raised his eyebrows, but did not answer.

‘No time like the present for a bit of exploring,’ Fionntán interjected. ‘The Ostmen can get up the river, so we can too. What is the bottom like?’ he asked.

Raymond swung the wet sounding line and caught the lead weight so that he could study a thick wad of tallow which he had pushed into the space where the rope was tied. As it had been dragged along the bottom the sticky material had picked up debris.

‘Nothing but sand,’ Raymond said as Amaury and Fionntán swapped concerned glances. Raymond had learned that the Gael was also a sailor and knew the waters of Ireland’s south coast as well as any man. The two launched into a conversation about whether or not they should continue upriver on foot or by ship. After a few minutes of discussion between the two, Fionntán sat down at his bench and Lyvet gave the order to continue rowing.

‘And you,’ Amaury added with a finger pointed at Raymond. ‘Keep your bloody eyes open. I don’t want to ground her on this damned sand.’ The journey continued as slowly as before with the noise from the sounding line falling in the water the only thing interrupting the squeak of wooden oars on the rails of the ship. The men continued to toil as the sun shone above them.

‘Two fathoms,’ Raymond shouted as the river began to narrow and sweep westwards. Amaury pulled the tiller into his stomach sending Waverider into deeper water closer to the eastern bank.

‘Keep bloody casting,’ he shouted at Raymond, but the warlord was no longer listening for, over a vast expanse of rushes and mud flats, were the masts of many ships. And beyond that, the Ostman longfort of Cluainmín came into view.

Raymond inhaled sharply as Waverider slid into enemy territory.

9781910939277.main

You can pre-order your copy ~ Amazon UK

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Excerpt

Perfect Summer ~ @karen_king @AccentPress #Excerpt #YALit

Perfect Summer final.jpg

In a society obsessed with perfection, 15 year old Morgan can’t help being a bit envious of her best friend, Summer.

Summer is beautiful, rich and seems to have an effortlessly perfect life. Whereas Morgan isn’t so rich, or beautiful and her younger brother Josh has Down’s syndrome, which according to the government, and society in general, is a crime.

Then Josh is kidnapped and the authorities aren’t interested, so Morgan and Summer decide to investigate. With the help of Jamie whose sister, Holly, has also been kidnapped, the two girls uncover a sinister plot involving the kidnapping of disabled children and find themselves in terrible danger. Can they find Josh and Holly before it’s too late?

Excerpt ~ Perfect Summer 

Summer and I hurried upstairs while Josh was busy watching TV. Summer plonked herself down on my bed while I got my things ready.

“Want some music?” I asked, pressing the silver button on the comm-panel. The latest hit from Krescendo, our favourite band, blasted out and a hologram of them playing beamed onto the wall.

Then I pressed the green button, my wardrobe doors glided open, and a rail of clothes slid out. I glanced over at Summer, feeling awkward as always, that my room was so small and my wardrobe so sparse. Summer’s wardrobe was a huge walk-in affair full of designer clothes. Luckily, she was sprawled out watching Krescendo so I quickly grabbed the clothes I needed for the weekend and shoved them in my rucksack. Thank goodness I’d found an immaculate emerald green Maliko dress at the recycle store the other week. That would be perfect for Roxy’s. I knew Summer would let me borrow her clothes but felt better if I wore something of my own.

I took out the dress and zipped it into a freshpack to keep it crease-free. I glanced at the image screen on my bedroom wall and grimaced. My make-up needed renewing and some strands of my chestnut hair were escaping from the ponytail I’d swept it into. I swiftly fixed it and applied more make-up. I didn’t want to turn up at Summer’s looking a mess, Tamara and Leo expected everyone to always look their best.  

“Ready.” I pressed the buttons on the CP again to close my wardrobe doors, and switched off the music.

“Have a nice weekend,” Mum said as we popped in to say goodbye. She looked so pale, with dark circles under her eyes. I could tell the visit from the Ministry had upset her and hesitated for a moment, wondering if I should stay. But Dad was due home soon and I was so looking forward to the weekend. I loved going to Summer’s house and being spoilt for a bit. It was like living in another world. She was so lucky.

“Thanks, we will.” I leaned over and tousled Josh’s chestnut curls. “Bye, Josh.”

“Play, Maw,” he said, scrambling up.

“Maw going out now. I’ll play with you when I come back.”  He puckered his face as if he was going to cry, but Mum took his hand. “Come on, Josh, let’s pick some tomatoes for tea.”  

Josh’s face lit up. He loved helping Mum in the garden. Everyone had a vegetable patch, compost and water butt by order of the Ministry as part of the Planet Protection Programme. I hated gardening but Josh loved helping Mum water the plants with the rainwater collected in the butt, and picking the vegetables. Summer’s parents had a gardener, of course.

Mum led Josh out into the garden while we went out the front door.  before Josh could realise I was leaving. I had no idea how much I was going to regret not playing with Josh one more time. Or not kissing him goodbye.

Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2mMXTzI 

Meet Karen King KK Head and Shoulders (1)

Karen King is a multi-published author of children’s books and romantic fiction. She has had 120 children’s books published, three romantic novels and several short stories for women’s magazines. Her first chick lit novel with Accent Press ‘I do – or do I?’ is out now. Her second one, ‘The Cornish Hotel by the Sea’ is out in July.

Author links

Website: http://www.karenking.net/

Twitter: @karen_king

Karen King Romance Author Facebook Page

Karen King Young Adult Books

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/karenkingauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenkingauthor/?hl=en

Perfect Summer final

Thank you to Karen King and Accent Press for the honour of being on this fabulous blog tour! 

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Q&A

Love Me Tinder @nicolamay1 @AccentPress #Q&A

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Dull security or risky freedom – which would you choose? With her marriage in pieces, shy Cali Summers is faced with this decision and hits the world of fast love on an internet dating app. Using room 102 in the hotel where she works as her dating ‘lair’, she opens herself up to a world of sex, lies, deception, as well as personal discovery and passionate love. With a charming F1 engineer, a handsome army officer and her adulterous ex all on the scene, a predictable love match is far from on the cards.

Buy your copy here ~ Amazon UK

About Nicola May 

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Hi, I’m Nicola May, lover of cats, flapjacks, sunshine and books. I successfully
self-published in 2011, but was then signed a book deal with Accent Press two
years ago. Love Me Tinder is my eighth romantic comedy novel and is out now. I
have won awards for Best Author Read at the Festival of Romance for The School
Gates and Christmas Evie respectively.

Twitter –  @nicolamay1
Author Website – www.nicolamay.com

Our Q&A with Nicola May 

Describe yourself using three words?  Fun, Feisty and Ambitious

What inspired you to write your first novel?

Working it Out is about Ruby, who on being made redundant decides to embark on 12 jobs in 12 months to find the one of her dreams. After taking on many random temp jobs myself, the idea was born.

What time of day do you like to write?  When I start a new novel I write all
day and sometimes into the night. I write in bed and often lose track of time.

What is your favourite book and why? 

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. The depth of her characters and her description of places and situations evoke true emotions.

How did you pick the title of your book?

I was actually walking in the sunshine with a friend brainstorming and Love Me Tinder was the obvious choice, as it’s all about the Tinder dating app, plus of course, it is a spin on one of the greatest love songs; Love Me Tender by Elvis.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

A lot of my characters are based on parts of people I know. I have named and shamed a few of the real bad dates I had when I was dating on Tinder!

What’s your favourite word? Nincompoop

Nincompoop

If you were a colour what would it be? Yellow, as I see myself as bright and

Yellow, as I see myself as bright and happy.

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow? 

I get the idea then just run with it and see where the characters lead me.

Who is your favourite Author?

Patrick Gale

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?

Captain Hook from Peter and Wendy. Purely because he could play the flute and
the harpsichord and loved Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Are you working on a new project?

I am currently in the most difficult stage of being an author, deciding on a new idea for my next novel.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?

I will be talking and signing books at the Lightbox Literary Festival taking place in Woking on April 22.

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Huge thanks, Nicola, for appearing on my blog today.

Kx

Favourite Five, Giveaway Prizes

The Magic Of Ramblings ~ #FavFive With Kate Field @katehaswords @AccentPress ~ #Win A Copy

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Kate Field

On the blog today, we have Kate Field popping by with her #FavFive. Her new novel is called The Magic Of Ramblings and is out now.

Running away can be the answer if you run to the right place…

When Cassie accepts a job as companion to an old lady in a remote Lancashire village, she hopes for a quiet life where she can forget herself, her past and most especially men. The last thing she wants is to be drawn into saving a community that seems determined to take her to its heart – and to resuscitate hers…

Frances has lived a reclusive life at Ramblings, a Victorian Gothic mansion, for over thirty years and now Barney is hiding away there, forging a new life after his medical career ended in scandal. He doesn’t trust the mysterious woman who comes to live with his rich aunt, especially when she starts to steal Frances’ affection – and maybe his own too…

You can buy your copy ~ Amazon UK

#FavFive Feature with Kate Field 

What’s your favourite book cover by another author and why?

I have cover envy all the time!

If I had to choose one, I’d say The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. The cover is an extraordinary work of art, and fits the story perfectly. It’s fascinating to watch the videos about how it was made. You couldn’t walk past it in a bookshop without stopping to take a look.

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Jessie Burton

What is your favourite time to read?

I can read at any time, and will snatch any spare minutes I can! My favourite times are probably on holiday, and when I’m waiting outside school on the school run, probably because it’s guilt-free reading time – there’s no nagging little voice in my head telling me I should be doing something else!

I try to read from 10pm every night, as it helps me relax before I go to bed. Reading in bed is my ultimate luxury!

Do you have a favourite snack to nibble whilst reading?

This is tricky because my favourite snack is chocolate, but I’m precious about my books and hate the thought of dropping chocolate crumbs on them! This is where my Kindle comes in handy! I like most chocolate, but I’m particularly partial to a Fry’s chocolate cream bar.

Who is your favourite book character that has stayed with you long after the book ended?

I’m going with the first answer that came into my head, and that’s Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I studied the book at A level, but was the only person in my class who enjoyed it: most people thought Anne was dull and uninteresting, and I suspect they thought the same of me! But ultimately Anne finds the love she deserves because of her goodness and kindness, not because she’s the loudest or the best looking, and that message meant a lot to me at the time. I think she was the first character in a book that I truly identified with.

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Jane Austen


What is your favourite book quote?

This is another difficult one because I have a notebook in which I write down quotes and it dates back to 1990! Some inspire me, others must have had special meaning on the day I wrote them down, and some are just sentences that are so beautifully written that I want to remember them.

I added this one when I was 21, and I still love it now. It’s from Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

‘I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. Today, wrapped in the complacent armour of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one but lightly and are soon forgotten, but then – how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal.’

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Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.
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Kate Field

Twitter: @katehaswords

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KateFieldAuthor/

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Kate Field

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Q&A

Q&A With Marie Laval @MarieLaval1 ~ A Spell In Provence ~ @AccentPress #WIN #Giveaway #Retweet

About Marie Laval

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Marie Laval

Originally from a small village near Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the beautiful Rossendale Valley, Lancashire, England, for the past few years. She works full-time as a modern languages teacher, and in her spare time she loves going for a walk and dreaming up romantic stories. Her contemporary romantic suspense A SPELL IN PROVENCE, as well as her historical novels ANGEL HEART, the award-winning THE LION’S EMBRACE, and her Scottish trilogy DANCING FOR THE DEVIL are all published by Áccent Press. She has also contributed to SHIVER, an anthology of Hallowe’en stories published by Áccent Press, LETTERBOX LOVE STORIES and the soon to be released ESCAPE TO AFRICA by international authors The World Romance Writers. Marie’s stories are filled with romance and always have what she calls ‘a French twist’.

About The Book 

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Marie Laval

After losing her job in England, Amy Carter uses her redundancy payment to start a new life in France, turning Bellefontaine, an overgrown Provençal farmhouse, into a successful hotel. Though she has big plans for her new home, none of them involves falling in love — least of all with Fabien Coste, the handsome but arrogant owner of the nearby château.

As romance blossoms in the beautiful Provençal countryside, disturbing events at the farmhouse hint at a dark mystery — a destructive, centuries-old attachment between the ladies of Bellefontaine and the ducs de Coste. As Amy struggles to unravel the mystery, she begins to wonder if it may not just be her heart at risk, but her life too

Our Q&A With Maria Laval 

Describe yourself using three words?

I suppose the words change depending on my mood and on how happy with myself I feel. Right now, I would say: creative, insecure, and chubby. (I am hoping to lose ‘chubby’ sometime in the next few months…maybe!)

What inspired you to write your first novel?

I was already writing short stories when I attended a creative writing workshop in Tordmorden, Yorkshire. It was a great, inspiring day organised by Calderdale Libraries, in the days when libraries still had enough funding to not only stay open but also run events to foster and promote writing and reading. There were wonderful speakers such as Jean Fullerton, one-to-one manuscript critiques, and a romance writing workshop. The teacher got us to think of a plot and write the first scene…And that was it. When I got home that evening, I carried on writing, and A Spell in Provence was born.

What time of day do you like to write?

When I work, I can only write in the evenings, after my youngest daughter had gone to sleep, but then I fall asleep at the keyboard and it’s not very productive at all. My absolute favourite time is early in the morning, either at weekends or during the holidays. I love it when everybody is asleep, and I can enjoy the quiet and a cup of tea. That’s when I usually feel the most inspired.

What is your favourite book and why?

Can I cheat and give you two books I just finished and really loved? The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman, and Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey. Both were superbly written, and had very attaching characters and were very emotional stories. They are wonderful novels and I highly recommend them.

 

How did you pick the title of your book?

I am lucky that titles seem to just pop into my mind, usually at the very beginning of the writing process. With A Spell in Provence however, things were a bit different. My editor thought that the title I had chosen sounded too much like the title of a historical romance and wanted me to change it. I was driving to work one morning and saying out loud a few title ideas when suddenly I got it. A Spell in Provence. It was perfect!

If you were a colour what would it be?

Blue, all shades of blue except electric blue. I have a predilection for navy blue.

 Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?

I usually have the outline of a plot with a couple of subplots in mind before I start a new story, but after that, I make it up as I go along, which often causes me to backtrack and waste quite a lot of time!

Who is your favourite Author?

The French nineteenth-century novelist Barbey D’Aurevilly, without a doubt. His stories are dark and atmospheric and his characters terribly tormented. I devoured all his short stories and novels when I was a teenager.

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Barbey D’Aurevilly

 

Are you working on a new project?

I am writing a romantic suspense novel set in Paris, in the world of auction houses and ancient manuscripts. I am very excited about this new project and probably boring all my family talking about it non-stop!

I also have a short story coming out in an anthology at the end of March. Escape to  Africa is the second anthology I contribute to together with a group of international and best-selling authors called ‘The World Romance Writers’ and I am absolutely delighted about it. My story is called The Ravine of the Wild Woman and is set in Algeria in 1865. North Africa, and Algeria have a special place in my heart because it’s where my mother was born and brought up, and where I set my historical romance The Lion’s Embrace.  

You can purchase your copy here ~ Amazon UK

 

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Marie Laval

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