Cherry Blossoms, Umbrellas, and Heroes in Tutus.

About the Book

Literary Crush Publishing brings you a new spring anthology with four brand new sweet romance stories each written around the theme: April Showers.

 

About Your Story Jayne Kingsley

Cherry On Top

Adeline Miller has just accepted her dream job coordinating the final event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, but being back opens up old wounds she’d rather keep buried.

Mason Smith knows he’d be nothing without Clarise and Jeffery Miller. They fostered him when he was a teenager and gave him a chance. But he knows, better than anyone, that he is to blame for the rift between them and their only daughter, Adeline.

A young love that wasn’t to be, can Mason now prove he’s worth the risk? Is Adeline ready, finally, to admit why she ran away, and by doing so achieve everything she wants in life and love?

Jayne Kinglsey

Jayne Kingsley writes contemporary romance filled with fashionable and fun heroines and hunky heroes. She holds a Bachelor of Design – Fashion and Textiles and spent 12 years working in the Fashion industry before hanging up her stilettos (temporarily) for life as a mum.

Q. Have you ever read the ending of a book after only reading the first few chapters? If no, why, if yes…why? 

Yes, either to find out who the real hero is or to check there is a happy ending, I don’t like books that don’t have an obvious happy ending. Having just read Stella’s answer I might hide now though 🙂

Excerpt from Cherry on Top

                                “Adeline?” A soft voice sounded behind her.

Oh no.

He wasn’t supposed to be here. She’d checked the guest list. Twice. His name wasn‘t there, which was the only reason she’d ticked yes to coming tonight.

Taking a deep breath, she turned on the spot; the air whooshing out as her eyes met whiskey brown depths. She stared, unable to pull her focus away before a slight bump from behind and distant apology flicked the switch back on her brain. Taking another sip of her glass she realized she’d finished it. Well done Addie, not quite the sophisticated image she’d been hoping to project. Mason signaled a waiter, taking her empty glass and replacing it with a full one, his fingers brushing hers with a whisper touch, yet she still felt the sizzle all the way to her heart…

 

About Your Story Stella Quinn

The Umbrella Diaries

Duncan needs a hero — he just isn’t expecting her to turn up on his front porch under a tattered red umbrella.

Marianne needs a new venue for her dance school to escape the unwanted attentions of a creepy groundsman, so the For Let advertisement in the newspaper seems like a lucky omen. Enquiries to 241 Hope Street, Cathedral Springs, between four and five pm, today only.

She plucks an umbrella from the stand in the hallway and sets off for make her enquiry. Her dance school business means everything to her; since the injury which destroyed her career, it’s the only dream for her future she has left. And today, she’s feeling lucky.

Duncan doesn’t leave his house. Not today, not yesterday, not since he left the hospital all those months ago with steel pins holding his leg together and the words of a dying teenager imprinted forever on his brain.

Turns out, he doesn’t mind living grumpy and alone in his big old house. At least, that’s what he’s been telling himself.

But then one day a young ballet teacher knocks on his door and pirouettes her way straight into his heart. Duncan’s going to have to find the courage to forgive himself if he wants a chance at living in the world again. And now he’s got a reason to try.

Stella Quinn

Believes romance, adventure and escape are the reasons we love to read. They’re also the reasons she loves to write. She’s just finished a trio of holiday romance novels:  Tropic Storm, Stowaway, which came second in the RWA Emerald Award for best unpublished manuscript in 2018, and Island Fling, which won the coveted Valerie Parv Award in 2018. She is thrilled her novella, The Umbrella Diaries, is being published in Literary Crush Publishing’s 2019 April Showers anthology, and she has a short story, Beneath The Waves, published in an RWA Australia anthology.

Q. What sentences in writing have changed your life? 

Some poetry lines have stuck with me over the years. “Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gire and gymble in the wabe”, from Jabberwocky – I love this because it’s nonsense, but the heft and hew of it still manages to convey voice and imagery. Another is from a poem by Alfred Noyes: “The highwayman came riding, riding, riding; the highwayman came riding, upon a moonlit shore”, which I love for the sheer romance of it. Horse manes ruffling in a sea breeze, the thunder of their hooves … wonderful. There are heaps more, but those lines have been circling in my brain for decades.

Excerpt from Umbrella Diaries

Tuesday it was raining. Not that he was watching for her, because why would he be? He just happened to be at the window, that’s all. Purple leggings. Black boots with a heel that seemed a tad reckless given the icy conditions of the sidewalk. A coat of – what was that color? Grass green? Pea green? Frog green?

And today’s umbrella was tartan, like the tins of shortbread he remembered from the pantry when he was a boy. She’ll put the umbrella down to come through the gate, he thought. Then he’d see her face. But she put down the knapsack she brought with her each day to work instead. Dropped a hand over the latch and was through and out of sight before he could finish the thought. Not to worry. It couldn’t rain all week, and then she’d have no need of an umbrella. He could wait until the next day. He was good at waiting.

Connect with with these gorgeous Authors

Stella Quinn

I’d love it if readers could subscribe to my newsletter so I can let them know about all the upcoming releases I have scheduled for 2019.

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Jayne Kingsley

As Stella has said, I’d love if readers would like to subscribe to my newsletter to stay in touch, sign up even comes with a free short story!

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Thank You for taking the time to chat to us about your writing and your book.

Stella: Thank YOU Michelle and Melanie xxxxxx

JK: Thank you for having us lovely ladies! xxx

The Wild Wild West and a chat with a Hot Cowboy!

It’s a dusty afternoon; Mel and I are exhausted from the flight.

“I never drink beer, but I tell ya, one would sure as hell go down a treat about now.” I whinge as we plod into the local waterhole in Marietta.

“I hope they have decent tea.” Mel tries for a smile.

We amble up to the counter and a tall woman greets us. She is brisk and confidence. This is clearly her place. Her eyes are the colour of toasted barley. Chestnut hair with streaks of grey running through it is tied up out of the way.

“G’day y’all. Can see you ain’t from around here. What can I get ya?” Her smiles highlights the twinkle in her sharp gaze as Mel leans on the counter.

“An Earl Grey and a beer, please.”

The woman rubs her chin, “Can do for both, though I’ve never had such a strange order before.” She chuckles as she types our request in to the electronic till and I pay.

“So, what are two gals like you looking for in Marietta?”

“Nate Hansen,” is all I say as I turn around and squint at my fellow patrons, all drinking, eating and socialising.

“Hey Nate! There’re two ladies here looking for ya! Thought you’d gone and changed your ways.” The bar tender shouts out across the establishment to a man sitting in the farthest corner sipping from a mug. Both Mel and I jump.

Nate looks up from his table, “Hey, darlin’, now don’t be like that.” He shakes his head. Clearly it is an old joke between them.

The lady chuckles then looks at us, “I’ll brings yer drink over to ya.” She nods in Nate’s direction.

Nate rises from his seat and holds out a hand in greeting. “Take no note of her. She loves to remind me of the past.”

Mel takes it in hers, “No worries. Please to meet you.”

And then I do the same, “All good. How are you?”

“Nice to meet you both. I was intrigued when Ann called to let me know she’d arranged the interview.”

Nate is a man who has the whole ‘tall dark and handsome’ thing doing him all kinds of favours. His grip is frim and the callouses on his hands speak of hard work. But the scars on his face tell of some risky business too.

“Nice town.” I say as I sit down. Mel pulls out her iPad and its small keypad.

“Yeah. Been here my whole life.”

“You were born here?” I ask as I shift in the hard chair.

“Nope. Ma brought me and my two brothers here to live with my grandfather when we were younger. Never left.” He reaches for his mug of half-drunk coffee just as the bar lady arrives with our drinks.

“Do your brothers still live in Marietta?” I ask, then sip the ice-cold beer. Its bitter bubbles rush down my throat and wash away the dust and exhaustion of travel.

“Jethro took over the ranch when the old man got too weak to run it. He’s a good man. Set his life straight to help our grandfather out, better than I ever was.” A look of regret and shame crosses Nate’s dark eyes.

“I hope you don’t mind me saying,” Mel looks up from her screen and reaches for her cup of tea, “But you seem to harbour a lot of guilt?”

Nate sighs as he leans forward on the table. He pins us both down with a gaze that could melt underwear in two seconds flat!

“I’ve got a lot to make right. Spent my whole life blaming everyone and everything for losing our mother. I need to grow up, stop hurtin others. Hardest part is changing my reputation.”

“The one she eluded to earlier,” I point a thumb back over my shoulder in the bar lady’s direction.

Nate nods.

“Yeah. Had a bad habit of pickin fights, drinkin too damn much and waking up in a different bed each mornin. It ain’t a life I want to live. But now I have a reason to change.”

“And what’s that reason?” I ask, then take another large gulp of the bitter beer.

“Our Grandpa died before I could show him I was the man he wanted me to be.” I glance at Mel as we both note the deep regret and hurt which hugs the edges of Nate’s tone.

“I can see family means a lot to you, Nate.” Mel across her keyboard.

“Family. It’s everything!” His gaze shifts from that of a lost little boy to a man.

“So, do you work on the ranch with your brother?”

Nate leans back in his chair, pulling his hands through his dark hair as a grin spreads across his face. The smile speaks volumes and the twinkle which brightens his gaze tells of love, hope and good things.

“Nah, I work for Joy. She’s my… Read the book will ya.”

“I can’t help but notice the look of happiness in your eyes when you mention her.” Mel cocks her head.

Nate proffers a grin that has every buckle bunny in towns, knees turning to jelly.

“Well, Thanks for the chat Nate.” I reach out and shake his hand as Mel packs up her stuff.

“Pleasure.” Ever the gentleman, he stands to see us out.

 

About the Book

Nate Hansen desperately needs a reboot to his playboy image that doesn’t involve women, drinking and fighting. Rehabilitation and building a solid future proves elusive as he can’t land a permanent job until someone mentions local widow Joy Mitchell who’s advertising a full-time ranch job. Perfect.

Joy Mitchell is desperate for a ranch hand to help keep her dead husband’s legacy alive out of the greedy grasp of her manipulative father-in-law. Nate’s reputation precedes him, none of it good, but the ranch is running on empty, and Joy make the hard choice. Problem is the job she’s offering isn’t exactly what Nate had planned.

Nate knows what its like to lose everything, but seriously, become a mail-order groom? But Joy won’t or can’t compromise.

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Making wingspan in a wind-tossed world

My new romance, Grounded, is set in an alternative reality where human beings have wings – by my protagonists can’t fly.

My initial world-building entailed working out how buildings, furniture, clothes, transport and physiognomy worked, and then how that affected Clementine and Benedick, my couple looking for their Happy Ever After.

It soon became clear, though, that another aspect of a reality where most people can fly is how that would affect language. Every community and culture has its slang terms, its metaphors, its insults and in-jokes.

Creating a wing-related vernacular became one of my favourite aspects of writing Grounded, and in fact gave me my favourite metaphor for its theme.

Clementine Torres is an artist who was born without wings, which makes her quite tiny in a world where most others take up room with the span of the wings as well as the height of their bodies.  It’s easy for Clementine to be overlooked and people often bump into her.

Clementine is determined to be seen, however. She uses her art and her words to make ‘wingspan’.

Born wingless, she’d never known what it was to fly, but on days like this Clementine knew exactly what it would feel like. It was a rush in the blood, the flavour of air and sound, the uplift of beauty beyond the ordinary, the luminescent spark of life in commonplace things. And okay, maybe that’s not what flying really was, but Clementine didn’t care. This was her wingspan, the way she spread her metaphorical wings and soared through the world, capturing a part of it rarely seen by the winged.

 

The concept of ‘wingspan’ is only the beginning of course. So many aspects of life can be rendered with an apt bird-related metaphor.  In this alternative world, the inhabitants of Australis don’t have eBay, they use Magpie; they have a search engine called Echolocater instead of Google. And if you break the law, you end up in the Cage rather than the Clink.

People who fly would make reference to the elements, I thought. When people are feeling chirpy (aha!) they say they are ‘sunshiney with loads of lift’.  If things are going poorly, they’re ‘a sun-blighted mess’.

‘Sun blister it,’ they’ll snarl if they want to swear,  or they’ll refer to ‘sunblistering featherheads’.

Humans will forever find insults for other humans, and the Grounded world has its share of ‘entitled featherweights’, ‘feather-pluckers’ and ‘storm-blighted buzzards’, as well as ‘squawkers’ with a lot of flap but no lift.

There are the really nasty insults too. Crawler and grub are both pejorative terms for people who can’t fly, but in turn, fliers can be called ‘flappers’ –  a term for a ‘vapid winged idiot’.’ More flap than glide’ says one character, offended by the use of ‘crawler’.

Benedick uses the insult against himself in a fit of  self-recrimination:

‘Wind-blighted, feather-plucked, useless flapper,’ he cursed himself then stopped, shuddering, drawing heaving breaths.

He was not having a good day. Luckily, his brother Peri is good at teasing him back to good humour. Peri says Benedick is ‘so chill, like a crow in a blizzard’. He also calls him a stern old puffin.

Clementine is the type to not give a cold, salty crosswind what anybody thinks, while Benedick sometimes feels a-tumble, like a wind-tossed sparrow.

In the end, though, these two lovebirds will find ways to give each other lift and wingspan, and metaphorically fly into a golden sunset.

 

 

Narrelle M Harris

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve written over 30 novels and short stories, published in Australia, US and the UK. My award nominations include Fly By Night (Ned Kelly Award), Witch Honour and Witch Faith (the George Turner Prize), and Walking Shadows (Chronos Awards; Davitt Awards). My ghost/crime story Jane won the Athenaeum Library’s “Body in the Library” prize at the 2017 Scarlet Stiletto Awards.

My spec-fic het romance, Grounded, is out on 20 March 2019 with Escape Publishing, but I also write vampire novels, erotic spy adventures, het and queer romance, traditional Holmesian mysteries, and Holmes/Watson romances. On Patreon, I write the Duo Ex Machina series of M/M romance crime novellas. Number One Fan is currently being serialised there and will be on general release in around May.

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Grounded Blurb

In a world where flight is life, will two grounded people find other ways to fly?

When Benedick Sasaki’s wings are wounded in the line of duty, the former policeman doesn’t know if he has a place in a world where he can no longer fly.

The seductive truth about neighbours and Win!

 

Law & Disorder

by Liv Arnold

Lawyer Juliet Jackson has come head to head with Sergeant Jesse Burns on numerous occasions in court. He is provoking. Pigheaded. Punch-worthy. They don’t get along. Not one little bit. The unfortunate fact he’s also her next-door neighbour sends her loathing off the charts. But when Juliet’s caught locked outside her home in nothing but a skimpy towel, she must swallow her pride and turn to Jesse for help. She doesn’t expect the explosive chemistry between them and can’t help but wonder if Jesse’s as demanding in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom.

 

Law & Disorder by Liv Arnold

About Law & Disorder

I’ve watched the TV show Neighbours since I was a child. I used to come home from school, get changed, have a snack then sit down and watch. I love the community behind the storylines and the more light-hearted moments. So, I thought it would be a fun idea to have the heroine and hero as neighbours, but spice things up a little.

Liv Arnold AuthorAbout Liv

Liv Arnold has worked as a copywriter for several global companies and now runs her own freelance business. She grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and lives with her husband and their spoiled dog, who only eats freshly cooked meals. When she’s not writing, Liv’s avoiding the gym, devouring a cheese platter, or marathoning way too much TV. And of course, she’s a massive book addict and often reads until all hours of the night.

 

Q. What sentences in writing have changed your life?

That’s a hard one. There’re no sentences that spring to mind. I found The Kite Runner written so beautifully. So much so in another book I’m writing, The Kite Runner is the main character’s favourite book.

Q. Which book left you empty inside once you finished writing it?

Haven’t had that feeling so far. I’m so relieved when I finish my book and want to get stuck into the editing and my next book. I get distracted easily and work on multiple projects at once.

Q. What is the best opening sentence you have written?

I’m drafting a YA fantasy romance that moves at a fast pace. Every chapter ends on a cliff-hanger and I tried to build intrigue from the first sentence with: How to Tell the Difference Between a Regular Mirror and a Two-way Surveillance Mirror?

BookBaybZ John Jennings

Q. Have you ever read the ending of a book after only reading the first few chapters? If no, why, if yes…why?

I hardly ever do that because I like to read from start to finish. I read an erotica though called The Awakening of Sleeping Beauty. I usually don’t read erotica (must have a romance in the story for me), so I read the first few chapters and the end. Was curious if the main character escaped being a slave and if she got her HEA.

Q. What don’t you want to see in a well-written villain that happens frequently?

A villain that has no clear internal conflicts or motivation. There’s also so many clichés that comes with villains – they’re ugly, they wear dark colours, there’s nothing relatable about them. I love 3D characters where the reader might end up sympathising with the villain’s cause.

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Q.Who is the best villain you have written to date?

In my next book, Etched in Stone, I’ve written a Constable character who’s a little bit of a villain. Well she causes a lot of trouble for the main characters anyway through blackmail, abuse of power and threats. She stops at nothing to achieve what she wants to get her justice, but she has strong motives.

Q.Best closing scene, you have written?

My closing scenes usually has a little bit of humour in them or a twist at the end. Hard to explain without giving the ending away. For example, my short story The Commander and the Beast which was in the finals for the Monash Short Story Competition: Read it Here

This story was my first that placed in a competition and it ends with a twist that hopefully people wouldn’t have seen coming.

Competition Time

BookBaybZ and Liv Arnold Author

To win a copy of Law & Disorder, please follow my page www.facebook.com/livarnoldauthor and message me telling me you’ve followed. Winner will be drawn on 31 March 2019.

 

 

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Lost Love and Hard Won Happiness!

Mel and I exit the car and make our way down to the creek where we’ve been told we’ll find Fenella Rose-Waterman, heroine and manageress of, The Cranky Lizard Winery.

It’s a hot day and we both welcome the cool shade which envelopes us as we near the Creek. Clear, sparkling waters run down the ravine and over rocks creating an aura of sublime peacefulness.

“There she is.”

Mel points to our left where a petite woman with midnight hair and clothes that match, stands, skipping pebbles across the surface of the water.

“Hi, Fenella.”

I wave as the two of us toddle toward her.

“Hi.”

She steps off the log she’d perched on and saunters over to us, hand outstretched. Her green eyes are bright, but gaurded, unlike her expression which is open in a blank sort of way.

“Juantia said we’d find you down here. How are you?” Mel shakes her hand and we all stroll back to the log Fenella had stood on moments earlier and sit down, Fenella between us.

“Fine.” She leans back and picks up a reptile, “This is Lucky.”

I cringe a little and Mel admires the scaley spiked headed beast.

“He won’t bite.”

A soft grin lightens up her face as she strokes the Bearded Dragon, sporting a red collar and matching leash, before putting him down on the ground before us.

“So, care to tell our readers a little about yourself?” I decide to start the interview.

“Muzz and Liv Waterman adopted me after my own mum died. They accepted me with all my troubles and worries. Never gave up on me. So here I remained, and now I manage the place.”

“That’s wonderful. Do you have any regrets?”

“I trusted a ratbag with my heart and my business.”

“Ratbag?”

“My ex. He emptied out the winery’s bank account.”

Mel and I give each other a painful glance. Wolves in sheeps clothing are every where these days!

“How do you see yourself?”

Fenella cocks her head and a dark shadow passes across her gaze.

“A survivor. I’ll never let anyone break me. But the shadows of my past seem darker on my down days.”

Mel shifts on her seat, “I like your leather bracelts.”

Fenella subconcoiusly grips one and twists. The movement pushes it up and I catch a glimpse of keloid scarring. This girly’s been through helluva lot more than she lets on.

“Anyone special in your life?”

Fenella’s eyes shoot toward me before she looks down as a frown creases her brow.

“He’s back.”

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

“He?” Mel gives Fenella and interested look.

“Kieran Murphy. But it’s too dangerous to get too close.”

I give Mel a , What the heck?, look and she shrugs.

The distant rumble of a car engine and tyres on gravel echoes across the warm air.

“Look. I’ve gotta go. It was great meeting you guys. Please feel free to pop by for a bottle of wine, on me.” She proffers a small smile then stands up, “Come Lucky, works a waiting.”

 

When the shadows ride in Wongan Creek…

Juanta Kees

Fenella Rose-Waterman is happy running The Cranky Lizard winery until a broken relationship lifts the lid on the Pandora’s Box of her past. After years of repressed memories haunting her dreams, she is forced to face the truth to find justice. But with truth comes a danger that puts everyone she loves at risk.

Kieran Murphy left Wongan Creek a newly-wed and returned a widower. He believes he and his young son will find healing in the town that healed him once before. Instead, he finds the woman he loved running scared, her life in turmoil and her business under threat.

As the shadows of the past gather on the horizon, will they lose their chance of happiness or will they find healing together?

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A Forgotten Teen, a Killer, and a Town on Edge.

Today Melanie and I find ourselves in beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, USA!

It’s Cold! Queenslanders are so not used to snow and wind which cuts right through thermal undies.  Though we are rather enchanted by the soft white powder fluttering down from the clouds, covering everything in ice and wonder.

 

 

We’re here to chat with Bailey Johnson, the main character in Danielle’s suspense series , Mail Boat.

We find the teen waiting for us in a local coffee shop sipping hot cocoa and pretty much keeping to herself. Her light brown hair, which is tied back, has a soft wave to it with delicate wisps escaping from the sides.

“She looks like any other teen, but this bunny has seen some darkness,” Mel whispers into my ear as we make our way toward the table.

I nod and pay closer attention to the teen. Mel’s right. There’s pain in those sharp bright eyes, pain a girl her age should not know.

“Hi Bailey.”

We greet the girl in unison.

“It’s nice to meet you. Thanks for coming out all this way.” Bailey welcomes us.

We sit down and a waitress pops over to take our orders.

“Two hot cocoa’s please.”

“So Bailey, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?” I start the interview as Melanie places her Ipad on the table and readies her keyboard.

“What would you like to know?” She eyeballs the both of us before sipping her sweet chocolatey drink.

“Are you from Lake Geneva, or did you move here later in life with your family?” Mel asks as the waitress returns and places two steaming hot drinks before us.

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“I guess I really don’t come from anywhere. I went into foster care when I was five because my mom and her boyfriend-of-the-day were doing drugs and getting into fights.

I never knew who my dad was, but I like to dream he’s basically some badass superhero and he’ll come rescue me someday. ”

Her sad words cause both Mel and I to swallow hard.

“Is there any person you admire?”

“Oh, God, I wish you hadn’t asked. It feels so weird, how much I look up to him, but…

Tommy. He’s been the Mailboat captain for just about forever—fifty years or something—and, like, he just never changes. I can count on him, you know? No matter how many times I close my eyes and count to ten, he’s still there when I open them again. And he likes to listen to me ramble about stupid little things like my secret pet mouse—yes, I told him—and strange things I read in books, and… he’s just kind of amazing.”

 

 

I glance toward Mel. I know the teens words warm her heart as much as they do mine.

“What about school and do you have a part time job?”

“I go to Badger High School, and I’m a MAIL JUMPER!”

“A mail jumper?”

“If you live on the lake around here, you can get your mail delivered by boat. It’s a tradition that goes back, like, a hundred years and we still do it every summer. The mail jumper (that’s me) stands on the front of this big, old tour boat, then jumps off as it passes the pier. We have to run to the mailbox, put in the mail, then get back to the boat.”

 

 

“Do you enjoy it?”

“Oh yeah! I don’t think I’ll go far in life, but landing this job is more prestegious than being crowned home coming queen!”

“Thats awesome. We’ve heard you’ve seen a little action as a mail jumper. Would you like to tell us about it?”

Bailey sits back and stares out of the window before she returns her attention to us.

“Thing is, the boat’s so big, it can’t actually stop at every pier or the mail route would take forever. So the boat just cruises by. We mail jumpers have to get back on board in time… or we end up in the lake.

If we miss the boat, it’s usually a big laugh for the tourists. But then there was that one time I fell in and found a dead body…”

Mel and I stifle a Gasp. But Bailey’s face is straight, it’s only her eyes that  give us any idea of the shock she’d experienced.

 

 

“ ‘Debris’ really wasn’t the right word to describe the object submerged at the end of [the] pier. Actually, he probably would have been quite the hunk, if he hadn’t been all dead and everything. You know, tanned skin, sun-bleached hair, bulging biceps. Beach dude in a business suit. But the fact that he was tied to the pier post by his neck—with his head hanging at a weird angle—yeah. He needed to work on his approach if he was trying to pick up chicks.” ~ Bailey, Mailboat I

“Bailey, thank you so much for chatting with us, and good luck with school and mail jumping.”

About the Author.

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Danielle Lincoln Hanna is the author of the Mailboat Suspense Series, set in Lake Geneva, WI. While she now lives in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, her first love is still the Great Plains of North Dakota where she was born. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking, biking, camping, and kayaking. She also loves to spoil her readers with monthly giveaways featuring her favorite reads and souvenirs from her travels. For access to the drawings, be sure to sign up for her newsletter.

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Shunned, Lost, and in Danger. Will Victoria find Love?

AnneMarie Brear BookBaybZ

 

AnneMarie Brear has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, genealogy, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order!

Q. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Having lived in England, I was fortunate to travel to many places of historical interest where I’ve set my books. York in Yorkshire is one of my favourite places and was situated only an hour’s drive from where I lived so I was able to travel there quite often and walk the streets my characters did. I also visited a great many country house estates which helped my research enormously.

Q. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

Probably as a small child and learning to read and make up stories. My mother own a bookshop so I was surrounded by books all my childhood and was transported by the stories I read.

Q. What did you edit out of this book?

Nothing, really. When I first started writing my stories were huge, far too long for publishing and I was always being told by editors to cut the word count, which is so hard to do. Now, after years of practice I know how to write a story to the required word count that is considered more suitable for the publishing standards.

Q. On your writing journey, what has been the lowest and the most painful moment and vice versa?

The lowest would be when my UK agent died just as I was starting my career. That was a set back I wasn’t expecting and it took me a long time to get over it. The high was getting a review from a reader saying my books reminded her of Catherine Cookson’s book, an author I loved reading as a teenager back in the 80s. Another high was seeing my first hardcover book cover, it was perfect. Another high was holding my first book in my hands for the first time – actually that doesn’t ever get old. I love seeing each book arrive.

 

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The Slum Angel 

Orphan, Victoria Carlton is brought up by her uncle, a banker, to be a lady and make a good marriage. Yet, she is drawn to help the poor families in the slums, much to her family’s disgust. When her uncle dies suddenly, her cousins blame Victoria, and she is thrown out of the house with nothing.

Victoria flees to the poor side of York to start again in a world that is full of perils. To combat the heartache of being without her family, she befriends the destitute women and children in the slums, but such friendships come with the danger of disease, and increasing poverty, and the threat of a brutal man could cost her everything.

Can Victoria find the security she has lost? Will a certain doctor be the man she can give her heart to? Or will the ghosts of the past return to take away everything she has worked so hard for?

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