Turning Points Series – Sheryl Browne

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Writing poignant romantic fiction looking at the fragility of love life and relationships, Sheryl would like to share something today from her latest book, The Edge of Sanity. Released 30 April, the book tells the story of a psychological battle between everyman Daniel Conner, who is forced into becoming a hero after being tortured and forcibly drugged, and drug addict Charlie Roberts, who has taken Daniel’s wife and daughter hostage. Separated from his wife and sensing his family is in danger, Daniel has definitely reached a turning point:

Excerpt:

Daniel slowed the car in the lane, glimpsing the bedroom light through the gap in the trees. No surprise there. Lights on the blink? Jo being fazed by the fuse box? About as likely as snow in June. She’d been forced to make that call. Daniel knew it with absolute certainty. He also knew she’d been trying to warn him. There was someone, maybe more than one, there with her.

So what the hell did he do now? Park the car and creep up to the house in the hope of gaining entry without alerting them? No. Whoever it was, they were obviously expecting him. And they were holding Jo. His blundering in not knowing how many they were, or where they …

Daniel stopped in his deliberations, swallowing back a hard lump in his throat as it occurred to him to wonder … Why was the only visible light, the one in the bedroom? Christ! Fear clutching at Daniel’s heart, he rammed his foot down, swung the car through the gates and skidded to a halt, full beams bouncing off the lifeless lounge window, and right outside the open front door.

Says Sheryl: No, I haven’t reached a turning point in my writing. If a character calls to me, I simply have to write his story. My books will always tend to turn around the family unit, looking at family dynamics and the tenuous bonds that might hold people together. I really hope you enjoy!

Book Blurb:

How far would YOU go to protect your family?

A decent, ordinary man, a man who has already suffered the loss of one child, Daniel Conner is forced by extraordinary circumstances into being a hero. Tortured, forcibly drugged—heroin still pulsating nauseatingly through his veins—his wife and daughter degraded, Daniel knows their kidnapper is beyond reasoning with.

But does being pushed one step beyond endurance justify doing the unthinkable?

High on drugs, indebted to his supplier, and desperate, Charlie Roberts takes Daniel’s wife and daughter hostage. Daniel does everything within his power to rescue the situation bloodlessly. Eventually though, Daniel realises that with or without violent mood swings induced by amphetamines and cocaine, Charlie Roberts is a psychopath. He wants more than Daniel’s money.

He wants him.

The Edge of Sanity: a harrowing story of hope amid loss and betrayal.

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, a little Ohhhh la la! and thrills! Sheryl Browne brings you poignant modern romance. A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for Innovation in Romantic Fiction, Sheryl now has six books published with Safkhet Publishing.

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Author LINKS:

Sheryl’s Website  / Safkhet Publishing  / Amazon.co.uk  / Amazon.com

Author Facebook  / Romantic Novelists’ Association

Sheryl is a Loveahappyending Lifestyle Author and Feature Editor.  Twitter: @sherylbrowne

Turning Points – Emma Calin

My guest today is author Emma Calin.

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Emma Calin – novelist, philosopher, blogger, poet, would be master chef. A woman pedaling between Peckham & Pigalle, in search of passion & enduring romance.

Emma Calin writes romance novels and gritty short stories about love and survival in the 21st century. She has published a number digital and paperback books which are available from Amazon worldwide.

She blogs about her dual life in St-Savinien sur Charente, South West France and Romsey, a market town in England. She feels extremely lucky to be able to experience the world and life through these two, very different, lenses. She spends any time she can, when not writing, on her tandem exploring the countryside.

Emma also records and produces audio books and plays the trombone (although not at the same time).

Shannon's Law 1MB

Turning Point – Excerpt from Shannon’s Law by Emma Calin

Of course they traveled at the front of the cabin on wide leather seats. She relaxed and watched him working seriously on his laptop. This was a business trip after all. The absence of chatter somehow allowed a wordless blanket to wrap around them. As they walked from the plane an Italian official greeted them. They bypassed all customs and immigration  checks as he showed the way to a waiting burnished motor launch. A couple of minutes later a bowing porter delivered their luggage and they set out across the still lagoon. The sky was white through to midnight blue and turning to rose. The sun brushed its last kiss before fleeing from the night. The scent was of the sea, summer heat, and humanity. The view ahead was a picture postcard. Slowly the Campanile grew larger as the onion-domed roof of the Cathedral of San Marco formed a silhouette against the hot pink sky.

She realized how little they’d spoken. They’d held hands, smiled, and let the presence of the other speak for itself. It was a quietness that was hard to kick-start into life. It had become a pause that had become a question. There was a depth in their simple presence together which their first new words mustn’t trivialize. Shannon knew that these coming words mustn’t fill their moment with chatter. She saw him  look at her seriously several times as they sat in the back of the speeding launch. However they moved on from here would set the agenda of her life. She was sure of that. So far they had run headlong like playing children along a corridor towards a door which would either open, or not. They paused breathless and silent looking at each other. They were about to try the handle.

The launch slowed as they neared land. He stood and drew her up beside him. Now the shapes of the buildings of Venice were overpowering against the twilight. He tilted up her chin and kissed her with a soft urgency that left her breathless.

“Such beauty, and the view’s not bad,” he said.

Her mood lifted a little as they kissed again. Other vessels and gondolas were close by. His words had awoken her but had left a void longing to be filled.

“It doesn’t seem real, this city and being here with you.”

“You’re real enough. I don’t have the talent to dream you up.”

“Spencer….” she began, not knowing how she was going to continue.

“This is Venice, Shannon. I have no obligations or rule book here….”

He was fencing and probing. There was no need to crowd him. She studied his strong, handsome face. He was one man with one woman. The world could make whatever it would of the rest of their story. It would never be more or less than that. They were  passing La Piazza San Marco and heading up into the wide mouth of the Grand Canal. Ahead was the fabulous church of Santa Maria Della Salute. They both  stared into the dusk. The navigation  lights of vessels were bright. A bridge spanned the canal ahead of them. She thought to ask its name but let it slide over their heads into the darkness. His arm was firm around her shoulders. She softened into him, willing him to understand his own strength through this metaphor of body against body.  She closed her eyes. His voice came deep from his chest.

“I love you,” he said.

The evening of Venice sighed and surrendered into the arms of night. The weight of all the words unsaid lifted from her heart and she was free.

“I love you,” she answered.

“Do you? Do you really? I’d been so afraid to say—in case you ran from some fool.”

“I’ve loved you since we sat by the lake.”

“Yes, that was it for me too.”

“So we’re both fools not to know that such a thing could happen,” she said. “I’ve been fighting it because I couldn’t believe anyone else was as crazy as me.”

The door had opened and they had charged headlong into a new space. She hugged his waist as his arms folded her in to him. Her mind raced ahead. What was the destination of this love?

“Before I said it, it was the most difficult thing on earth to say. Now I’ve let it out, it’s the only thing I can say,” he said.

“If I love you then it’s total, my hugga-bear. There’s no way back from love or murder. The jealous beast is out.”

“Jealous of a man like me?” he said smiling.

“Grrrrrr,” she replied.

“I wouldn’t want any other kind of love.”

“There is no other kind of love,” she said.

They were at the Rialto Bridge. They clung together in a kiss, oblivious of its magnificence. The launch had cut its engine and was coasting. There were only their words.

“My man.”

“My woman.”

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Emma Calin’s Links:

 

Amazon Universal Link: http://www.bookshow.me/shannons

Barnes and Noble Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shannons-law-emma-calin/1118020965?ean=2940045552899

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/shannons-law/id793730238?mt=11

Smashwords Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/395170

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18964441-shannon-s-law

Pinterest Page for Shannon’s Law:http://www.pinterest.com/emmacalin/shannons-law-launch-reveal-on-pinterest/

Facebook Page for Shannon’s Law: https://www.facebook.com/ShannonsLaw

Website for Shannon’s Law:  http://emmacalin.wix.com/shannons-law

Emma Calin’s Website

Emma Calin’s Twitter

Emma Calin’s Facebook

Emma Calin’s Blog

About.me page: http://about.me/emmacalin

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4915751.Emma_Calin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Turning Points Series – Miriam Wakerly

My guest today is Miriam Wakerly.

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Miriam launched Gypsies Stop tHere in Waterstones in 2008, the day after she retired. No Gypsies Served followed in 2010, as she felt there was more to say. To be self-published was pretty daring then!

This excerpt is from Miriam’s third novel, Shades of Appley Green, a heart-warming story that has nothing to do with Gypsies but is set in the same fictitious English village.

She lives in Surrey close to Hampshire with her husband, but hails originally from Tetbury, a small Cotswolds town that is local to Highgrove, home of Charles, HRH Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. As well as Surrey villages, this lovely place helped inspire the sense of community that shines through in her novels.

 ***

We have been taking a closer look at turning points in a novel; a point after which nothing is the same for one (or all) of the main characters.

Miriam will share a “turning point” excerpt with us from one of her novels, Appley Green.

Excerpt:

Years after the event, Steph looks back in her diary to a point she is about to make a momentous decision, blaming herself for ever entering into this mistake of a marriage. How will she extricate herself and her children? 

‘There’s a blackbird’s nest Barnaby has been watching closely while Faith is at school. It’s lodged in the woody tangle climbing up one side of the west wing.

“Look Mum! Is that the Daddy bird or the Mum one?” It strikes me he’s learning the concept of fatherhood in an unconventional way! We are watching the parent birds go back and forth with twigs and feathers and Barnaby is looking forward immensely to the day when the eggs will finally hatch. (All down to good parenting!) We can look down into it from Faith’s bedroom window and count the speckledy-blue-green eggs. I explained to Barnaby today how the tiny baby birds would be fed for a while before they could begin to fly. Barnaby runs around the house flapping his arms in a keen display of empathy.’

 ‘Small events help bed in my initial seeds of doubt. (I am turning poetic). This morning, Saturday, Richard decides to do a spot of tree pruning and casually mentions that he came across a nest that had fallen down with the detritus of branches resulting from his task. I wanted to beat him over the head with the axe still in his hand, as he stood there on the back terrace. I was sure I’d told him how excited Barnaby was about this nest, but he could not have heard or been in any way interested. Barnaby’s tears were hard to bear and, for Richard, rather tiresome.’

‘Last night, we lay in bed after having sex – it could hardly be termed making love as the act involves no affection from him, and no passion from me. He seemed content with this arrangement. Usually he turns straight over and slips into an untroubled sleep.

So it came as a shock when he said, “How long will it be before we have a baby, I wonder?”

I am on the pill. Absurdly, in retrospect, it never occurred to me that he would want to have children with me. His question came as more than a bit of a surprise, although I see now I am naïve and really pretty stupid; we’re married, he has none of his own and in theory the question was entirely natural. But we’re both living under different, unspoken, assumptions. He has never raised the subject before and he seems entirely lacking in paternal instincts, scarcely exchanging more than a few words in passing with either Faith or Barnaby. I could kick myself for being so blinkered, not appreciating this particular shortcoming of his before accepting his proposal – blindly, rashly, naively. I can detect no evidence of him understanding what children are, or are for! He must have been one himself, I tell myself.

I hesitated in my reply long enough for silence to supply a clear answer to his question.

I now fully realise that my own identity is slowly shrivelling, being eaten up and swallowed whole by this deceptively demanding husband of mine. My overall strategy must take a different course. I shall go back to work. Eventually I’ll escape this marriage from hell. How could I ever have entered into it?’

A  great read!

A great read!

Find out more about Miriam’s books at amazon.com and amazon.co.uk

Turning Points Series – Stephanie Keyes

Most novels have at least one scene that is a turning point in the story. Something changes.  It could be an outer turning point where something happens to change the way the story evolves or an inner turning point where the person’s inner resolve or attitude changes. Maybe this change affects a character so that after this point, nothing will ever be the same for him or her. Some turning points are dramatic; some are more subtle.

Star Catcher

In The Star Catcher, the final installment in The Star Child series, Kellen St. James is forced to choose between staying mortal and choosing immortality that will not only save his life, but save the life of his love, Calienta. Now, warning, MAJOR SPOILERS to come if you haven’t read it. Here’s an excerpt from that point in the novel:

Excerpt From The Star Catcher by Stephanie Keyes

“You offered me immortality before. Shouldn’t I at least get points for not being self-serving enough to take you up on it?” I ran my hand through my hair. “Please, you have to help me. I can’t let Ainmire win and I have to see Cali again.”

“You truly love Calienta, don’t you?” His features softened.

Cali. Did love even begin to cover it? I stared at him for a moment. “She’s the reason behind everything I do. Please help me save her. Give me the tools I need to get the job done and get rid of Ainmire.”

Síl walked over and sat on the librarian’s desk, his legs dangling beneath him like a college kid’s. “I will do this for you, Kellen.” Rowan and I both let out a breath at the same time. “With the power of the amulet, you will be tempted to abuse it. Yes, you. You will have more control than our kind has ever amassed.”

“Except you,” I said.

Síl frowned. “The temptation will be great to take advantage of it.” Something to look forward to.

“I promise I won’t. I just want to get Cali back.”

“Also, be warned, Kellen. This choice isn’t reversible. Once you become an immortal, I won’t undo the action. You can’t move back and forth as needed. This time it’s permanent.”

I cleared my throat, wanting to move past the moment. “I didn’t expect to be able to move back and forth. Though, I have to admit I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal.”

Síl appeared to contemplate this for a moment. Then I registered he’d been considering how to explain this to me, a mere mortal. “Your government restricts things, don’t they?”

“Yes.”

“Well, I am the government for the immortals. It is up to me alone to determine what is best for all of us.” Síl brought a hand to his chest.

“It’s clearly not a democratic society.”

Síl threw back his head and laughed. “Yes and no. Life isn’t always so straightforward, even for immortals.”

“I still don’t understand. If you’re in charge, why can’t people become immortal and then change back? Not that I want that for myself, or for Cali.”

“Think of it this way.” Síl walked in a small circle as he spoke. “It goes against the natural order of things. Normally, changing someone into an immortal or a mortal—that’s not how he or she was meant to exist. It interferes with fate. It is not a wise course to interfere with a person’s destiny, mortal or otherwise.”

“And I’m supposed to be a mortal.” Síl had changed his mind. He was going to deny my request. I could feel it. If he didn’t make me immortal, how would I save Cali? Sweat beaded on my brow and I squeezed the warm stone in my hand. The amulet would kill me before I ever saw her again.

“No.” Síl shook his head as I glanced over at him. “You’re supposed to be an immortal. The prophecy ordained it, remember? I interfered with your fate when I changed you back to a mortal. I’ve already delayed the inevitable, as well as gone against my own beliefs.”

A rushing sound echoed in my ears. “I’m supposed to be immortal.”

“Your father is the rightful king of Faerie now. The power that comes with your birthright and also with the amulet is awaiting you to claim it.” Síl spoke the last sentence in a soft voice.

“If you knew all of this, why not leave me immortal?” I asked.

“You sacrificed much to help Lugh and his family.” He gestured to Rowan. “I recognized you could have walked away from Calienta, refused to help her. I never would have taken away your free will.” Part of me wanted to explain walking away from Cali had never been an option, but I kept that to myself. “It should also be known I am not a dictator. Yes, I could have forced the change on you, but you’d been through much and asked for little. It was a small matter to put off your fate for a time.” Sadness had crept its way back into Síl’s gaze.

I cleared my throat. “But now.”

“The time has come for you either to embrace your power or for your mortal life to end.”

My breath caught. From beside me, I heard Rowan react, but I blocked her out. Not only was Síl going to help me, but also, if I’d understood correctly, immortality was my fate. All this time I’d been fighting being a part of the immortal world. Yet I’d belonged to that world and had all along.

Add To Goodreads / Amazon / Chapters Indigo

 

The Star Child series

When romance and magic intertwine… The Star Child series by Stephanie Keyes

 Add To Goodreads / Amazon / Chapters Indigo

 About the Author

Stephanie Keyes grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and spent years traveling and working as a Corporate Trainer before she made the decision to pen her first novel. As a teen, her family always accused her of having an “overactive imagination.” Now, she’s encouraged to keep her head in the clouds and share her world with readers.

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Still a resident of the ‘Burgh, Steph is now Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she’s best friend to her incredible rockstar of a husband. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), as well as a featured author for Love a Happy Ending Lifestyle e-magazine.

Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which currently includes The Star Child, After Faerie, The Fallen Stars, and The Star Catcher, all from by Inkspell Publishing. The Fallen Stars was a 2013 semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. The Star Child has topped the Amazon best-seller list several times since its 2012 release. Steph writes YA novels because she’s a hopeless romantic who lives to believe that magick truly does exist. She is hard at work on a new YA novel.

A Whale of a Tale

Three years ago when I began my other blog http://wordsfromanneli.wordpress.com this was my first post.

A Whale of a Tale

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Feeling sorry for myself, I slumped on an upturned white plastic pail at the back of the salmon troller. Here, I could easily hang my head over the side and wretch if necessary—and it often was. The sky was gray, the sea was gray, the boat was gray and everything, absolutely everything, was in motion. I was wishing my life away, wishing it was any time in the future. Anytime without this dreadful seasickness. Who knew it could be such misery?

Captain Gary, lounged in the wheelhouse, sipping coffee as he steered. He seemed quite at ease with the tossing of the boat. A bit of a break from work.  No need to check the gear. For the time being, it was too rough for fishing. The way we were pitching around, the lures we trolled were most likely doing a spastic underwater dance. Any salmon fooled into taking a bite would have the bait jerked right out of his mouth. I imagined the shiny spoons playing keep-away with the fish.

Anyone who has ever been seasick knows, except for sheer pain, there’s not much that feels worse than nausea. Dying would have felt good if it meant an end to this wretchedness. Is it coincidence that “nausea” begins like “nautical” and ends with “sea”? I wallowed in my misery.

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And then… a few hundred meters off our port side, a humpback whale jumped completely out of the ocean, turned on its side, and smacked down sending great splashes of water high into the air. I yelled for Gary and stammered excitedly, pointing at the place where the whale had been. He stared at the gray water for a few seconds, said, “That’s nice,” and went back in the wheelhouse.

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Photo courtesy of Ken Thorne

He had barely settled his butt into the captain’s chair when the whale leaped out again. I screamed for Gary, “Quick! Come and look!” He ran out of the wheelhouse and looked — too late — at the spot.

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Photo courtesy of Ken Thorne

“It only jumped out two-thirds of the way before splashing down,” I said, by way of consoling him. Back in the wheelhouse, he hadn’t even had time to sit down when I shrieked for him to come see the humpback who had jumped up for a third time.

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Photo courtesy of Ken Thorne

What are the chances? This time it only came out about halfway. I guess he was getting tired. Gary, also, came out of the wheelhouse only halfway before dismissing me with a wave of his hand. I guess he was getting tired too. I felt bad that Gary had missed the show, but for me, it was the highlight of the season. For a few magical moments, I had forgotten all about turning myself inside out with dry heaves.

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Photo courtesy of Ken Johnston

Goodbye!

Photo courtesy of Ken Johnston

The humpback seems to be waving to me. “Goodbye!”

***

Note: The photos by Ken Thorne were taken in one of the Pacific Inlets, not out on the open waters, but I wanted to include them to show how humpbacks jump out of the water. Besides, I was too seasick and surprised to take photos of the real humpback in this story.

 

Love Makes the World go Round

Apricot NectarWhat young woman doesn’t dream of finding true love? Julia dared to dream.
Saaz, northwest view

In this town, lived a baker’s boy who played the violin as if it were an extension of his soul. With the sweet strains of his violin and his roguish good looks, he captured Julia’s heart. At the annual hops harvest festival, he gladly helped Julia fill her basket. Since the hops plants were close together and very tall, they made a perfect screen to duck behind. (Keep in mind that the scene in the following excerpt takes place in the 1930s – when courting moved forward at a slower pace than it does nowadays.)

Excerpt from Julia’s Violinist: 

The rows of hop plants towered above them. Julia waited for Michael to snag the vines using a long pole with a hook. Then she carefully picked the prickly hop cones and let them drop into a large basket that stood nearby. Picking hops for the famous Saaz beer was an annual social event; a way to spend a few days on a working picnic while earning an extra bit of money.

“Oh-h-h-h, phooey!” Julia shook her hands. “Those darned hop lice. I hate the way they squish in my hands.”

“But you’re wearing gloves.”

“Still, they managed to get inside.”

Michael took her gloves off, brushed her hands free of lice, and then kept her hands in his. “You’re very brave.”

“What do you mean?”

“Most girls would have given up on the job rather than risk handfuls of squashed bugs.” He pulled her through the tall thick row of hop plants, out of sight of the rest of the pickers. “What’s this in your hair?”

“What?” Julia reached for her hair, but Michael took her hand and put it down by her side and behind her back. Still holding that hand, he pulled her closer. Her heart pounded. She inhaled his lemony aftershave. It was so manly and intoxicating, although being so close to him made her feel self-conscious and insecure. He was so handsome. Was she pretty enough for him? What if she had the wrong idea? Maybe he really was looking for one of those crawly things in her hair. She didn’t want bugs in her hair.

“Let me have a look. I think it might be one of those hop crawlers. I’ll get it if it’s there.” He inspected the top of her head. She felt hot all over as he touched her hair. Tingles raced up and down her body. She stood perfectly still, not even breathing for a moment.

“Do you see it? Can you get it off?” she said into his chest.

“Hmm … just a minute … I think it might be on the other side.” He laid his cheek on her head and then turned to nibble her ear.

“Michael!” The tickle that rushed from her ear to the pit of her stomach surprised her. She tried to pull away, but Michael’s grip tightened.

“No! Wait! I’ve almost got it. I have to check the other side once more.” He touched her hair so carefully, fingers lingering. She basked in the sensuality of it.

“And?”

“And, I think you’re all clear.” He kissed her.

Julia opened her mouth to speak only to feel Michael’s tongue probe inside. Another flush of heat washed over her body. Should she give in or pull away? Her knees felt weak and she let down the barriers to enjoy the kiss.

Voices. Her eyes widened. Was someone watching them? She pulled away.

“Where did those two lovebirds go?” It was Heidi. Why did she have to show up now of all times?

Then Julia recognized Jan’s voice. “I have a feeling Michael is reaping his harvest behind that row of hops.” A moment later she heard Heidi’s squeal of delight, giggling, and the sound of kissing and moaning. They were certainly enjoying themselves. Julia wished she could let herself relax like that, but she felt unsure of how far to let Michael go and whether she would be able to stop him or herself.

“We’d better get back to work,” Julia said as she straightened her sweater. “Thanks for checking my hair.” She looked down at the ground and smiled.

Michael shook his head. “Julia, if only you would submit. Isn’t that what women are supposed to do?”

She laughed. “Submit?” That word wasn’t in her dictionary. At least not in her current edition. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you, Michael?” She gave him a peck on the cheek and slipped back into the rows to continue picking.

Front Cover Only

Julia’s Violinist is available in paperback and all e-book formats at Smashwords.com

and at all amazon sites, particularly

amazon.com

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For a limited time (until May 15, 2014), it will be available for only $1.00 at all amazon sites and at smashwords.com.

If you have an e-reader other than Kindle, please go to smashwords.com to claim your copy of Julia’s Violinist for 99 cents by using your coupon code: NF43D after you click to buy it. This will reduce the price from $3.99 to $.99.

Find out more about Anneli Purchase, her copy-editing skills, and her books at her website:

http://www.anneli-purchase.com 

The Turning Points Series – Anneli Purchase

Anneli Purchase

Most novels have at least one scene that is a turning point in the story. Something changes.  It could be an outer turning point where something happens to change the way the story evolves or an inner turning point where the person’s inner resolve or attitude changes. Maybe this change affects a character so that after this point, nothing will ever be the same for him or her. Some turning points are dramatic; some are more subtle.

In my novel The Wind Weeps, Andrea is pursued by two charming fishermen. She is confused when one of them , Robert, pressures her to rush into marriage, especially when many of her friends try to warn her away from him. She goes to the beach to think and finally makes up her mind to take things more slowly. But just then, Robert appears at the beach with a bouquet of orchids. Here is an excerpt with a subtle turning point:

He was beaming happiness and I stammered as I stalled, dreading having to tell him the wedding was off. And now he’d bought these expensive flowers. I didn’t know how I’d find the courage to let him down gently. Oh, bloody hell! I’m so screwed up.

Jabs of panic churned at my insides. “You – you’ve been to Powell River already? T-today?”

“I had to take care of a few things.” He counted off the tasks on his fingers, like a to-do list. “Got the Justice of the Peace all lined up for us for tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., hotel booked, dinner reservation at the best restaurant in town, flowers for my girl.”

“You’ve already done it all?” No! No! No! I need more time. I need more time. Everything was happening too fast. I wished the gravel on the beach would open up and swallow me. My knees buckled as that sinking feeling became real and Robert was quick to catch me.

“Here. Lean on me.” He put his arm around my waist and pulled me close to him. His big, warm body, so strong, made me feel safe. Robert’s faint manly scent with a hint of lime aftershave drew me in. I reached up to touch his freshly shaved chin, meaning to push him away gently. I would take a moment, catch my breath, find a way to tell him I needed more time.

But Robert took my hand and placed a kiss on the inside of my palm. His lips continued to nibble feathery kisses up the inside of my wrist to my elbow.

“I … ah … Robert … I …” When his lips moved from inside my elbow to my neck, I knew I was in trouble. When he was this close to me, I wanted to believe in him and be his. If he had thrown me down on the beach right there, I would have helped him tear off my clothes.

“Come on down to the Hawkeye,” he said, his voice husky and urgent. He grasped my hand and walked briskly to the wharf. “You can’t imagine how good it is to see you. It’s been a long three months.”

Clutching the orchids in my free hand, and taking two steps for every one of his, I couldn’t manage more than mumbled replies.

Inside the Hawkeye’s wheelhouse, Robert closed the door behind us and latched it. He took the orchids from me and threw them into the sink. His hug almost crushed me, his kisses, as desperate as mine, engulfed me. He whipped my shorts off. His pants dropped and in a second we were in his bunk. He was hard and big. I was small and helpless. I was surprised to find myself so willing, and was ashamed at my weakness, wanting—no, needing—sex like that. I’ll tell him afterwards that I need more time. The logic was so ridiculous, I burst out laughing. Robert stopped cold. “What are you laughing at?” His tone was hard and accusing. He looked so stern it scared me.

“I was thinking we’re doing things backwards; first the honeymoon, then the wedding.” He smiled with relief, but his face was the only part of him that was relaxed. His lovemaking was urgent and insistent, like a man who’d been lost in the wilderness for too long. I tried to give him what he wanted, but with Robert intent on taking, I had to be satisfied with being taken from.

The Wind Weeps

Find out more about my books on my webpage: www.anneli-purchase.com

Available at:

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Turning Points Series – Linn B. Halton

My guest today is romance writer Linn B. Halton. If you like a good love story with a mild touch of the psychic influence, you’ll enjoy Linn’s books. Even if you aren’t a believer, you’ll find yourself caught up in the tangles of love.

Angels Among Us series

TURNING POINTS

I write about romance and relationships, but because of my beliefs and experiences in life there is usually a psychic connection. The Angels Among Us collection, published by Harper Impulse, is a trilogy of three thirty-thousand word novellas. I’d like to share a turning point from Falling (Angels Among Us #1), that defines the start of a romantic involvement between Ceri and Alex. They know each other well in a working environment, but have always kept their personal lives separate. Ceri has just admitted her big secret—she sees angels, everywhere. It’s not something she welcomes and it makes her feel different from everyone else. However, when it’s Alex’s turn, Ceri too is in for a surprise.

Falling 3D (2)

Excerpt: 

“Okay, your turn. What’s your little secret?”

Alex puts his empty coffee cup on the floor and sits forward, stretching.

“You think I’m not interested in women,” he turns his head sideways to look at me before he continues. “I’m not. I’m only interested in one woman, and for some really obscure reason it’s not meant to be.”

He looks sad, no—more than that—beaten. It had never occurred to me that he was nursing a broken heart.

“I’m so sorry Alex. I never thought for one moment… and the dating agency?”

“It’s lonely at times,” he says, and it’s almost a whisper. “Rather sad for a guy in his early thirties. However, I’ve realised that I’m not prepared to settle. Maybe some men are born to be single. I enjoy my own company, so I can’t exactly complain.”

I move around to sit up next to him. If you put a few books in between us we’d be a great set of bookends. Still, like statues, each consumed by our own thoughts. Sharing a sense of sadness for the things that life has given us to deal with.

“I think I need another drink,” I say, heading off to grab what’s left of the wine and two fresh glasses. It’s going to be a long night.

***

I squint as the light filters in through the window. Closing one eye to avoid the brightness, I wonder why I forgot to close the curtains last night. My arm flops over the side of the bed and I stretch, my head beginning to clear a little. Oh, I’m never going to drink too much ever again. I haven’t said that since I was a teen and had a drunken session with a couple of girlfriends. Hearing a groan, I roll over and my stomach does a queasy flip. Alex is next to me, thankfully facing the other way. I wriggle slightly and realise I’m naked.

 

How complicated can one moment make the lives of two people? In this trilogy I take the reader on a journey to think about fate versus life choices. Do we tread a path laid out ahead of us, only able to meander slightly as we make our way along it? Or can we make our own turning points? Can we change our fate?

I know one thing for sure, writing was a major turning point for me and maybe what I’m doing now is fulfilling my fate.

Book blurb:

Ceri knows she’s different. What she doesn’t fully appreciate is that her task in life is to correct a series of incidents that alter the course of many of the people’s lives with whom she comes into contact. She’s simply putting right little errors that could ripple outwards and change the course of their destiny. However; when she finds herself getting pulled into things that happen around her, how can she prove that she really has made a difference? Is it all in her head?

She’s alone for a reason; she’s not meant to fall in love in her earthly life. Alex is supposed to cross paths with her and help Ceri during a phase where she begins to question the signs she’s being given. It’s meant to be a turning point for them both—but in opposite directions. They are destined to travel very different paths…but Ceri doesn’t know that and neither does Alex…

Read chapter one http://linnbhalton.co.uk/falling/

linnbhaltonAbout Linn B. Halton:

I live in the small village of Lydbrook, on the edge of the Forest of Dean (in the UK) with the man I fell in love with, virtually at first sight. We were at a party and our eyes ‘met’ across a crowded room! My days are spent with characters who become friends and Mr Tiggs, a feline with catitude. I always knew that one day I would write romantic novels, but I never dreamed they would have a psychic twist! I’ve experienced many ‘unexplainable’ things, but it took a long time for me to accept the reality of what that means. Love, life and beyond…but it’s ALWAYS about the romance!

Amazon: http://viewbook.at/FallingAngelsAmongUs

Website
Twitter: @LinnBHalton
Facebook: Linn B Halton and Author Linn B Halton

Pinterest
HarperImpulse author page
Romantic Novelists’ Association page
Editor of Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine

 

 

 

Closing In – Sue Fortin

Today I welcome guest author, Sue Fortin, to Anneli’s Place.  Sue will tell us a bit about her new novel, “Closing In.”

The Villages Behind the Story

Having lived in West Sussex for most of my life, I really enjoy incorporating the local area into my novels.  With “Closing In” which is to be released on 15 May, I used the backdrop of two neighbouring villages, Felpham and Middleton-on-Sea.   I thought I would share some pictures of the setting.

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The beginnings of a storm at Felpham October 2013. My book is set in the autumn, and I thought this picture reflected the setting perfectly.

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A lovely sunset of the beach at Middleton-on-Sea. Mentioned in the Doomsday Book, Middleton, as it was then referred to, has in the past provided great opportunities for smuggling. With its gently sloping beach and the Elmer sluice, it was a favourite spot for bringing contraband ashore. In 1745 it was reported that five tonnes of tea was brought onto the beach and during this incident 36 smugglers were arrested.

However, Middleton was not destined to remain. It is believed that up to two-thirds of the village was reclaimed by the sea, with the medieval church succumbing to a high tide in 1838.

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Brightly painted beach huts are found along Felpham sea front. There has long been a debate as to the correct pronunciation of Felpham, whether the ‘ph’ should be a hard sound (Felf-fm) or whether it should be softer like ‘Felp-am’ with an almost silent ‘h’.

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Poet William Blake lived in Felpham for three years whilst writing his poem Milton. He also shared his thoughts on the village itself …

Away to sweet Felpham for heaven is there:
The Ladder of Angels descends through the air
On the turrett its spiral does softly descend
Through the village it winds, at my cot it does end.

Blake had been invited to Felpham by local resident William Hayley, also a noted writer. Hayley was so famous in his day that he was offered the position of poet laureate 1790, but turned it down.

Closing_in

Helen has had to leave everything she’s ever known behind; her home, her family, even her own name.

Now, returning to the UK as Ellen Newman, she moves to a small coastal village, working as a nanny for Donovan, a criminal psychologist. Attractive, caring and protective, this single father and his sweet daughter are a world away from Ellen’s brutal past. She thinks she’s escaped. She thinks she’s safe.

But Ellen can’t shake the feeling that something’s wrong.

Strange incidents begin to plague her new family, and their house of calm is about to become one of suspicion and fear. Who can be trusted? Who is the target? Who is closing in?

About the Author

Sue profile pic 1

Sue Fortin was born in Potters Bar, Herts, but had a rather nomadic childhood, moving often with her family before finally settling in West Sussex, where she now lives on the south coast. Before taking to writing seriously, Sue had various secretarial jobs, eventually settling as a PA at a high street bank for 13 years.Having said goodbye to the world of banking to look after her family, Sue published her debut novel ‘United State of Love’ in 2012 and is now looking forward to publication of her second book ‘Closing In.’

You can find out more about Sue Fortin and her second novel, “Closing In” by clicking on the link to her blog:

 

 

 

 

 

The Turning Points Series – Caroline James

Most novels have a scene that is a turning point in the story. Something changes.  It could be an outer turning point where something happens to change the way the story evolves or an inner turning point where the person’s inner resolve or attitude changes. Maybe this change affects a character so that after this point, nothing will ever be the same for him or her. Some turning points are dramatic; some are more subtle.

Caroline James will share a turning point in her debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me which shot to #3 on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun newspaper. The annual gypsy horse fair in Appleby, Cumbria, and a lifelong admiration for romanies were the inspiration behind the book.

 

Caroline James head shot low res

Caroline James was born in Cheshire and wanted to be a writer from an early age. She trained, however, in the catering trade and worked and travelled both at home and abroad. 

 

 

Excerpt:

As the River Bevan thundered by below, Jo watched the deep muddy water and wondered what the hell she was going to do with her life. The phone rang and the shrill bell startled her. Jo spun round to turn off the television and knocked a Cabbage Patch Doll from the table where it fell to the floor.

She kicked the ugly toy to one side and grabbed the receiver, fearful that Thomas would wake.  The doll was a gift to Thomas from Greg, and Jo felt like stamping on its face.

“Yes?”

“Is that you, Jo?” A man said.  “Robert Mann here, how are you?”

“Oh, you know, busy,” Jo lied.  What did Robert from Mann & Co Estate Agents want?  The last call had been to invite her to lunch, to celebrate the sale of the pub she’d owned with Greg.

“We’ve a property in the area that might be of interest to you,” he said.  Jo held the heavy black melamine phone to her ear and wiped her eyes. She tried to concentrate as Robert continued.

“It’s about six miles north of Butterly, in a lovely village with the River Bevan at the back and fells to the front. I have to say it’s a bit neglected. Been a guest house in its time and the chap had plans to turn it into a nursing home, but it seems all these new regulations and safety laws are putting him off.”

Robert droned on and Jo wondered what he was banging on about?

“What’s it called?” she asked.

“Well, it’s quite a large place and the owner seems to think he could get a good price if a hotel chain bought it.  Thinks it’s perfect for a country house hotel – that sort of thing, it doesn’t need planning permission.”

“What’s it called?”  Jo repeated as the image of a familiar building began to take shape.

“Of course he knows bugger all about catering.  Bit of a shark if you ask me, wants to make a quick buck.”

“What’s the name of the place?” Jo chewed the skin round her thumb nail.

“I think it’ll hemorrhage his money if he doesn’t move it on soon.  It’s a biggish place and needs a lot of work.”
Robert! What the hell is it called?” Jo shouted, no longer able to contain herself.

“Kirkton House, in the village of Kirkton Sowerby.”

Jo dropped the phone.  It bounced off her knee to the floor and she stared at it in disbelief then scrambled to pick it up.  Her heart hammered and she felt excited for the first time in ages!  She took a deep breath.

“Jo, are you there?”

“I’ll have it,” Jo heard herself say.

“What Jo? I can’t hear you, what did you say?”

“I said ‘I’LL HAVE IT!

“What! You don’t even know the price.  Are you mad?” Robert shouted back.

“I know the place and I know you’ll do the best possible deal.”  Jo smiled, her tears forgotten.  “Arrange a viewing and we’ll finalise everything as soon as possible.”

She slammed the phone down and jumped up then punched the air and spun around, tripping over the Cabbage Patch Doll.  Unable to stop herself she stumbled and fell to the floor.  Eye to eye with the creature, it stared soullessly at her.  Jo leapt to her feet and with a determined kick sent the vile object spinning across the room.

“Stuff you, Greg!” she shouted as she watched the doll hit the window, momentarily splayed out under a hail of icy bullets before it dropped to the floor.  Thomas woke up and began to cry and Jo reached into the cot.  She tucked the quilt around his body, cradled him in her arms and rocked him.

  “I’ll show your daddy how to run a business,” she whispered as she kissed the baby’s soft downy head. “Only this time it will be all on my own!”

 ***

CTTGM_CarolineJames_cover JPEGCaroline’s second novel, So, You Think You’re A Celebrity… Chef? has been described as wickedly funny: ‘Ab Fab meets Master Chef in a Soap…’  Caroline has owned and run many catering related businesses and cookery is a passion alongside her writing, combining the two with her love of the hospitality industry and romantic fiction. She is currently writing a TV script and accompanying book about the life of a well-known chef and has recently ghost-written a publication to be published at Easter 2014. Her third novel, Coffee, Tea, The Chef & Me will be published in 2015

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Links-
www.carolinejamesauthor.co.uk
Twitter: @CarolineJames12
Facebook: Caroline James Author

UK LINKS:

Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me 

So, You Think You’re A Celebrity…Chef? 

USA Links:

Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me 

So, You Think You’re A Celebrity…Chef?