Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Of Love & Betrayal

Aveline de Bondeville is on the run. Determined to keep out of the hands of the cruel Raimbaut de Blois she will do whatever it takes to stay alive. And so when she finds herself in the company of Troy de Gysborne she must quickly decide if she can trust him. But can she confess to murder knowing it would mean her certain death?
Troy de Gysborne did the unthinkable; he tore the bonds of brotherhood and left a path of destruction in his wake. And now Troy must face those he betrayed, including the father who long ago renounced him. But to confess to the crime he committed will cost him everything. Including Aveline. But can he remain silent if it means losing the woman he loves?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

My Top Ten... Dad Jokes!

In no particular order... *and no I'm not a dad!*

1. Tulips are better than one.

2. Did you hear about the guy who invented Lifesavers? They say he made a mint.

3. Where does Napoleon keep his armies? In his sleevies.

4. What did the late tomato say to the early tomato? I'll ketch up

5.  I went to the zoo the other day, there was only one dog in it. It was a shitzu. 

6. Velcro… What a rip-off.

7. What's Forest Gump's Facebook password? 1forest1

8. I dreamed about drowning in an ocean made out of orange soda last night. It took me a while to work out it was just a Fanta sea.

9.  I cut my finger chopping cheese, but I think that I may have grater problems.

10. A termite walks into a bar and asks "Is the bar tender here?"

Friday, 25 September 2015

BLURB BLITZ: Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn by Linda Bennett Pennell

Will seven days be enough time to save the Allied war effort and the girl he loves?

Casablanca, 1943: a viper’s nest of double agents and spies where OSS Officer Kurt Heinz finds his skill in covert operations pushed to the limit. Allied success in North Africa and the fate of the First Allied Conference—perhaps the outcome of the war—hang on Kurt’s next mission. The nature of his work makes relationships impossible. Nonetheless, he is increasingly torn between duty and the beautiful girl who desperately needs his protection and help.

Sarah Barrett, U.S. Army R.N., is finished with wartime romance. Determined to protect her recently broken heart, she throws all of her time and energy into caring for her patients, but when she is given a coded message by a mysterious dying civilian, she is sucked into a vortex of danger and intrigue that threatens her very survival. The one person who can help Sarah is Kurt, a man with too many secrets to be trusted.

BUY LINKS: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT - Part 1 - Of Love and Betrayal

“You cannot escape me, you murderous whore!”

Aveline remained pressed against the tree, desperate to be at one with it. Her heart rammed against her ribs, and she did not dare move, nor did she dare breath, afraid he’d be able to hear her. She glanced at the sky and caught glimpses of the moon through the lattice of leaves and branches. The shadows around her thrashed and snapped as the wind tore through the forest. She rubbed her wrists, bruised and swollen from having been tied. Her lips throbbed, and when she licked them, she tasted the saltiness of blood. Her back, still raw from the flogging, stung as sweat snaked down her spine.

“You are a fool if you think you can escape me!”

The fine hairs on her arms stood on end. Her knees shook. Her belly tightened. And when a twig snapped from somewhere behind, she shoved a fist into her mouth to keep from crying out. She risked a glance over her shoulder. She was greeted with only the blackness of the forest.

She felt safe pressed against the tree but knew she wasn’t. It would only be a matter of time before Raimbaut found her. She inhaled deeply. The scent of rotting leaves filled her nose. Another twig snapped and she pushed herself away from the tree, and with her arms held out in front of her, she sprinted deeper into the woods. Her booted feet skidded on moss-covered rocks, and her bare hands pushed through low-lying tree branches. She stumbled over bumpy roots and shivered as wet leaves brushed against her cheeks.

“You will hang for what you have done!”

His cruel, hellish, voice sounded near. Her heart pounded. Sweat broke over her brow, and she fought to get air into her lungs. He was right. She could keep running, but she would never escape him.

Footsteps sounded behind her. She leapt into the thick scrub and bit back a cry as a sharp twig tore at the flesh on her arm. But the pain was nothing in comparison to what she had already suffered. And would suffer if she allowed Raimbaut to recapture her.

Her hunter stopped in front of her. She could smell his pungent scent on the wind. She could see his yellowed teeth in the dull moonlight. She carefully felt around her, and when her hand landed on the solidness of a fallen tree branch, she wrapped her fingers around it.

He placed his hands on his hips as he peered at the thick scrub that was her shelter. Could he see it move as her entire body shook? Could he see the whites of her eyes? Smell her fear? He took a step toward her, and her teeth sank into her lower lip. Then he turned on his heel and headed further into the woods.

Aveline sat back on her heels as the sound of her heartbeat thrashed in her ears. Her hand shook as she wiped cold sweat from her upper lip, black spots appeared in her vision. Her nostrils flared as she bit down a primal scream. She needed to keep fleeing.

She sensed him behind her seconds before his heavy hand landed on her shoulder.

“I told you I would find you, you whore!”

Her scream was wild. In one fluid movement, she stood and swung the branch and whacked him on the side of his skull. His eyes widened, and he dropped his torch. The flame hissed and sizzled, but did not extinguish itself, as it hit the damp ground. Then he fell to the ground with a loud thump. Aveline dropped her weapon. And when he groaned, she picked up her skirts and raced into the darkness.

She did not dare look behind her. She did not dare cry out as she slipped and fell on the wet, rotting forest floor. Her chest burned, her lungs gasped for air as she fought her way through the thick undergrowth. If the devil took a human form, then it was of the man who pursued her with single-minded determination.

She raced across a clearing and came to a skidding halt as she teetered on the edge of a rocky overhang. The moonlight was not bright enough to see the ravine below. She backed away from the crumbling edge and looked wildly around. A gust of wind whipped her hair into her eyes, but she did not need to see to know he’d found her. He sounded like a bear as he charged through the scrub. Above the howl of the wind, his roar echoed through her ears.

He took slow, purposeful steps toward her. His torch glared in her eyes, and that’s when she saw the blood. On her hands. On her dress. None of it belonged to her.

“You murdered my father.”


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Turning a corner...

At the start of last year I was a different person. To start with, I was about 30 kilos (66 pounds) lighter. I was a bit of a gym junky - I would work out 6 times a week. And I LOVED to take part in obstacle races.

Then I injured my left foot. I had plantar fasciitis. Don't know what that is? Read about it HERE. It's freaking painful. My foot was so painful that when my physio even applied the lightest of touches, I was in pain. As well as having a lot of therapy done on my foot, three times a day I rolled my foot over a frozen bottle of water. I strapped my foot - but had to stop doing that as I became allergic to the sticky stuff on the bandage. I was advised to stop exercising, and after six months of this, I ended up getting a corticosteroid injection. And that worked.

I eased back in to exercise.

My left foot was holding up well.

But, then I got plantar fasciitis in my right foot. Granted, not as severe. But, once again I eased up on exercise and got treatment for my foot. I didn't have to have an injection this time.

And because these things happen in three - I injured my shoulder. I was told not to do any more obstacle races.

Now, I should have mentioned that the reason I was so active was because I was doing a weightloss challenge - actually, I was doing several, one after the other. They were being run by one off the trainers from The Biggest Loser Australia.

So, to me, being told not to exercise was shattering to me. I've battled with my weight all my life. I was devastated. And petrified of putting the weight back on.

My depression got really really bad. I slipped back into old habits of thinking. The negative thoughts were back. With a vengeance. I called myself every name under the sun. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror. I was too ugly. Too fat. Too blah. Hideous was a word I used often.

And, to top it all off, all the clothes I had bought to fit my fab new body no longer fit. And that was a challenge for me. Because when I went to buy more clothes I was going up a size, each time. 

Which, made me hate myself even more.

My new eating habits had long been forgotten.

And so the vicious cycle started again. And again. And again.

Recently, I've been going through a hard time. What? What I've just described wasn't a hard time? Well, it was, but things have come to a head.

I've come to a realisation that I can't keep going on like this. I have to make a choice. Continue the way I'm going. OR, do something about it.

I'm choosing to do something about it.

For the first time I admitted to my Doctor - I need help. And I admitted to my sister I need help. And I'm getting it. In the form of therapy. I haven't started it yet, and I'm apprehensive about it, but I'm looking forward to it.

I've also rejoined the gym - I know I won't be like I was before. Various injuries won't allow me to - and to be honest, I don't want to be like the way I was. I was obsessed with exercising. I would spend hours, six days a week at the gym.

That's way too much! And I still need time to do other things. Like write.

So, I'm going to go 3, maybe four times a week. And only for an hour each go. 

I've got a great, easy and realistic eating plan to follow.

And I'm feeling good abut this.

Will keep you all posted on my progress.

Friday, 18 September 2015

BLURB BLITZ: A Season For Killing Blondes by Joanne Guidoccio

Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation.

When three more dead blondes turn up all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders. Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.

As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.


BUY LINKS: Amazon (CAN), Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Amazon (AU), Kobo

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Murderess? Or just a woman trying to survive?

Aveline de Bondeville - murderess or just a woman trying to survive in the violent times that is the medieval period? That is the question.

But, before we go anywhere that particular elephant in the room, let's find out a little more about Aveline - the heroine of, Of Love and Betrayal

Unlike our hero, Troy, who we met HERE, Aveline doesn't come from a cast of thousands, otherwise known as family. She's an only child and her mother died when she was only eight. She lived with her step-father and to say things were hellish for her would be a slight understatement. Well, slight IS an understatement. Her step-father is not a cool dude, he's not a good guy.

In fact, it was because of her stepfather that Aveline ended up with the de Blois. Who are they? Well, they're a father and son duo you really do not want to meet in a dark alley.

But,  I digress.

Just like Troy de Gysborne, Aveline was born on 21 September 1105. I know right? They share the same birthday. Not as uncommon as you may think. I share a birthday with my sister - we're both born on 19 April, three years apart!

She has a most desirable quality to be able to forgive. Eventually. She doesn't hold grudges. She's a tough cookie. She can admit when she'd wrong. Eventually. And she can look after herself. Although, sometimes she can be a bit pigheaded about this. Others can help her - if only she was willing to accept their help.

A birthday isn't the only thing Troy and Aveline share. Like Troy, Aveline likes solitude, or at least this is what she wants people to think. Deep down, she yearns for what Troy has. A family. She wants to be someone's daughter. Someone's sister. Someone's aunt. Someone's mother. And she can have all this.


Well, there is the slight fact she is wanted for murder. Remember the de Blois father and son duo I mentioned above? Aveline kind of killed the father, Bertram de Blois. And his son, Raimbaut wants revenge. And this dude is one of these dudes who will not stop until he get's that revenge.

Now, I feel obligated to mention here that Aveline didn't just decide to wake up one day and kill Bertram. I want to be able to tell you what happened, but, this is Aveline's story to tell. So, I'm going to leave it up to her.

So, while on the run from this angry looking dude:

Aveline finds herself in the company of Troy de Gysborne.

And they lived happily ever after!

Yeah, right.

Troy, being the guy he is, wants to do everything to protect Aveline. So he takes her back to Gysborne Castle.

Troy will do whatever it takes to protect Aveline.
And then Eudes shows up.

Who the heck is Eudes? Oh, did I not mention Aveline is married? Yeah, slight over looking of facts there.

Eudes wants her back.
Troy doesn't want to let her go.
Raimbaut is still after her blood.

And what does Aveline want? 

I'm going to let her tell you herself. But, I can reveal this little bit of information about how both she and Troy are starting to feel about each other.

But Eudes is determined to get Aveline back. 

As determined as Raimbaut is to kill Aveline?

Rock. Hard place. Oh. Em. Gee.

So, if you want to find out how all this plays out be sure to pick up your copy of, Of Love and Betrayal. COMING SOON!

In the meantime, why not read the story that started it all - Of Love and Vengeance. OUT NOW!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

These are a few of my favorite things... well, eyeshadows!

Make up. I hold my hand up and admit I love the stuff. I would even go as far as saying I have a slight, but manageable addiction, to it. So much so, that recently, because I never use my bathtub I covered it up with the old canvases (I'm also into painting) that I don't use, slapped a table cloth over it, and created a make up shelf! To be fair, I rent my house so I can't go slapping up shelving willy nilly.

And if I'm being honest, I really do have too much of the stuff. Seriously, no one needs so much make up. But, I like to buy it and try new products. *shrugs* What can I do?

Well, I can start sharing some of my favorite goodies that I consistently go back to over and over. I'm going to start with eyeshadows.

I use a wide range from low to high end. I'm not one of these people who avoids make up because it's only a couple of $ at the drugstore. No, I'm more likely to buy it because it's only a couple of $.

I have noticed over the years that the lower end brands have really picked up their game. The quality of the products are amazing, They're long wearing and extremely pigmented.

I should point out I live in Australia and for some reason make up, compared to countries like the US and UK, is ridiculously expensive here. Even the drugstore products. So, I do order online from the US a lot. Plus, I also take advantage of the sales.

If I can impart only one piece of advice in my entire life - NEVER PAY FULL PRICE for anything. Except one of my books, because hey, I need the funds to keep up my make up addiction! 

So, without further ado - here are my top three eyeshadows I use religiously... (they're all long wearing so these bad boys aren't going anywhere and will last all day).

Oh, before we get started I will say I tend to buy more palettes than single shadows. This is simply because I think palettes are better value for money.

This came in at number 3 simply because I really only use one colour - Dusty Rose (top left hand corner). It makes a great transition colour in the crease of your eyelid. I tried to do some swatches but I can't take a decent photo one handed! These colours are highly pigmented and can be used wet or dry. The shadows range from velvety, to matte, to shimmery.

You can pick up this palette for $30 HERE.

OK, it would be remiss of me not to mention this straight away - these shadows smell like chocolate because the shadows themselves have been infused with cocoa. I kid you not! I love opening the palette and taking a good old whiff. Honestly, these smell good enough to eat. 

There is another palette from Too Faced called Chocolate Bar and I've heard more good things about that palette than the Semi Sweet one. I don't have the other palette so I can't comment, but I really love this one. The colours are highly pigmented and can be used wet or dry. They're great for days when you want a more neutral look.  

The palette has both matte and shimmer shadows. And the names of the shadows make you so hungry! Check them out: Licorice, Nougat, Truffled, Hot Fudge, Cocoa Chili, Pink Sugar, Puddin', Blueberry Swirl, Peanut Butter, Frosting, Rum Raisin, Mousse, Caramel, Bon Bon, Butter Pecan, and Coconut Crème. 

I honestly can't pick a favorite shade. I love them all.

You can pick up this palette for $49 HERE.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this palette. Aside from the fact you get 35, highly pigmented colors that can be used wet or dry, this costs less than $20! How amazing is that. Now, I'm not going to lie - I understand that people may get a little freaked out by using color. I'm not one of those people. I combine these colors with the ones from the Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar just to add a pop of color.

The only thing I don't like - the colors don't have names. So I'll point you to my fav...Forth color in on the bottom row. Makes a fantastic transition shade. Third one down on the right. Love it. I apply it wet to my lids.

I think these are great value for money. It usually retails for $40, but as I said you can get it for less than $20. They do a wide range of palettes and I'm thinking of getting some more. Not that I really need it. Yes, I do!

You can pick up this palette for $19.99 HERE.

So, there you have it. My top 3 shadows. I would love to hear if you've used any of them and if you have, what did you think of them? I would also love to hear what you're favorite shadows are as well. What would you recommend? What can/can't live without?

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Who is in the mood for a little love and betrayal? The fiction kind of course!

Artist: Diana Carlile
Let's start getting in the mood for a little love and betrayal! Ooooh la-la!

Over the coming weeks I'm going to start releasing a few interesting bits and pieces about the key players of, Of Love & Betrayal - the follow up to, Of Love and Vengeance.

Of Love & Betrayal (available for pre-order soon) - features the grandson of Laila and Aymon, the hero and heroine from, Of Love and Vengeance. You may want to pick up your copy of Vengeance, which is currently available for a limited for 99 cents.

I had so much fun writing Of Love & Betrayal. It was an interesting journey finding out what happened two generations after the happily ever after of the first book. How did Laila and Aymon's children turn out? Their grandchildren? Would we see Laila and Aymon's influence on the generations to come? Or did they go completely off the rails? Would Laila and Aymon be proud of the generations that followed? 

So many questions! And they have all (and then some!) been answered in, Of Love & Betrayal.

I'm going to break with tradition here. I know it is usually customary and polite to first introduce the ladies - but, I'm making an executive decision and I'm going to introduce you to the hero first. You'll soon see why! *swoon*

So, without further ado let's meet...

Standard License: Depositphotos
Picked your jaw off the floor yet? I haven't! I could look at him all day. And just between you and I, I practically have...

So, what do we know about Troy? 

Well, let's start with the usual stuff. Troy de Gysborne was born on 21 September 1105. He's the grandson of Lady Laila and Lord Aymon. His parents are Duke Heward and Duchess Bernadine (Lady L and Lord A's daughter). His siblings are Algernon and Hewett. All boys. Troy is the youngest. And he has several nieces and nephews.

You may have noticed that Troy comes from a family full of titles. But, don't think he rubs that in anyone's face. In fact, he downplays his titled family. He's not uncomfortable about it, he just doesn't see the need to highlight that fact. So, he's a bit of a cool dude but he doesn't necessarily want to be one of the gang. He's a bit of a loner. Partly by choice. Partly by circumstance. He likes his own company and could spend hours on his own. But, despite what he may tell himself, he really does need someone special in his life.

Oh, and he's good with his hands. *snigger* No, get your mind out of that place - I really do mean, he's good with his hands. He's very skilled at carving trinkets out of wood.

And he's also a mean storyteller too. Honestly, you could listen to him for hours as he spins tales of Orkney lore.

Like his grandfather, Lord A, Troy has a strong moral code. Sometimes overly so, if that is at all possible. And he's a bit of a black and white thinker. He has trouble seeing the shades of gray. This is both a good and bad thing.

And he's stubborn. Just like his father. Although, he can't really see the similarities between himself and his father. 

Troy is someone you definitely want on side. He'll fight to protect you, no matter what. Sometimes without much care for his own safety. Or life. 

When he raced into that burning hut to rescue that little girl? *tears*

Now, as much as I would like to, I can't gloss over the fact Troy has done something that has seen his father disown him and his brother want to kill him... *insert incidental music here*

Standard License: Depositphotos

Oh. Em. Gee. What has he done? Eeek, I can't tell you. It's not my story to tell. You'll need to read, Of Love & Betrayal to find out. All I can say is...yikes. And yikes again. And then possibly, oh okay.

And Troy makes the ladies swoon...

Standard License: Depositphotos

So, if you want to find out more about Troy de Gysborne be sure to keep an eye out on, Of Love & Betrayal. COMING SOON!

In the meantime, enjoy the story that started it all!

Cover Artist: RJ Morris