Sunday, May 28, 2017

Kiss Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

Title: Kiss Me at Willoughby Close
Author: Kate Hewitt
Part of a series: Yes but can be read as a standalone
No. of pages: 206
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Format: eBook only - will be available on NetGalley
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Chick-Lit

 Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

After her husband unexpectedly dies, Ava moves to Willoughby Close, trying to keep her chin up and herself to herself as she’s always done—not answering questions, not making friends, and not seeing much of a future. Her marriage was far from perfect, but it offered her a much-needed security that has now been ripped away. She’s not sure what to do now that she’s thirty-five, widowed, penniless… and unexpectedly pregnant with her late husband’s child.

Jace Tucker is the over-the-top sexy caretaker of Willoughby Manor, and he can see beneath Ava’s glamor girl act to the hurt she’s been hiding for so long. She has secrets for a reason—and so does he. The last thing she needs right now is a fling with a man who hides a past as regrettable as her own.

But with a baby to think about, and neighbors determined to be her friends, Ava finds herself starting to change and even more alarmingly, beginning to hope. Can Willoughby Close work its everyday magic on a woman like her? And when the past comes calling for both her and Jace, will they have to answer for their previous mistakes?


“I’m sure you understand.”
     Four words, Ava Mitchell decided then and there, that were code for "you’re screwed and I don’t care". So she did the only thing she could in response and lifted her chin a little, curved her lips in a small smile, and said, “Of course.”
     Nigel Farraday, her husband’s solicitor, a man she and David had had over to dinner several times, gave her a quick, answering smile [MS1] of apology before dropping his gaze. Bastard. Not that there was anything he could do. He was just the messenger. It was David, her husband of five years that had left this world a week ago, who had really screwed her over.
     How could he have done this?
     “I hope,” Simon said, clearing his throat, “you don’t have any notion of contesting the will.”
     Ava swiveled to give her stepson—not that either of them would have ever referred to their relationship that way—what she hoped was a scathing look of disdain. It was one she’d mastered a long time ago, practicing it in the mirror, making sure she got it right. Mouth pursed, eyes electric before the lashes swept down, dismissing the person in question. It was important to have a look like that in her arsenal, to be able to dismiss someone before he or she dismissed her.
     But now, for some reason, she couldn’t quite manage it. She did the downward sweep of her lashes and felt [MS2] her eyes fill. No. No, no, no, she was not going to cry here, not in front of Simon and Emma, who had hated her from day one of her marriage to their father[MS3] . They’d probably given each other a victory high five when they’d found out about the will.
     Or maybe they’d already known? No, Ava didn’t think they had. Otherwise, she would have sensed it over the years—the smugness, the certain knowledge that all would be made right in their eyes. They just had to wait for their father to die first.
     “Ava?” Simon sounded impatient now. “I’d advise against taking legal action, if you’re thinking about it.” He pressed on, an iron edge to his tone. “The will is watertight. Isn’t it, Nigel?” He glanced back at the solicitor, sounding so smug it made Ava want to choke.
     Next to him Emma sat ramrod straight, her hands clenched together so tightly her knuckles were white. She hadn’t said a word to Ava since she’d entered the room ten minutes ago and had been lobbed this emotional grenade.
     The solicitor shifted in his seat. “Ah… yes, I would say that it is. More or less…”
     Ava almost felt sorry for him, squirming in his chair. He obviously didn’t want to be party to Simon and Emma’s—and David’s—ruthlessness. Or maybe it was just uncomfortable for him to feel so much hostility in the room. Either way, Ava didn’t have the energy to pity anyone else—her own situation was too dire.
     She blinked rapidly, willing her eyes to clear, and then lifted her chin. Again. “I won’t contest the will.” She didn’t have the money for a court case, and she had no doubt Simon and Emma would fight tooth and nail to make sure she didn’t get another penny, a penny they didn’t think she deserved. Brother and sister, they were a perfect pair, each as bitter and resentful as the other, at least when it came to her.
     The trouble was, she had no idea what she was going to do. How she was going to survive. After five years of fidelity, loyalty, and, yes, love, David had left her with ten thousand pounds, her clothes and jewelry, her car, and her Yorkshire terrier, Zuzu.

 [MS1]Noted for repeat use a little soon.
 [MS2]Noted for filter words / extra layer.
 [MS3]Noted for reference. I added this to avoid confusion. I didn't realize Emma was Simon's sister until later in the narrative.
About Kate Hewitt

Kate is the USA Today-bsetselling author of over 40 books of women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life at


Lucía Zárate by Cecilia Velástegui

I am happy to be a stop today on Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour’s Book Blast for  Lucia Zarate, a new book that shares the tale of young woman born in a difficult time for someone with a physical deformity. Read on to learn more.

Lucía Zárate by Cecilia Velástegui
Publication Date: June 5, 2017
Libros Publishing
Hardcover & eBook; 278 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
In this thrilling new historical novel, award-winning author Cecilia Velástegui again demonstrates her talent for creating spellbinding and haunting period pieces. Lucía Zárate is based on the poignant, real-life odyssey of the world’s smallest woman.
Pretty and gregarious, Lucía Zárate was just twenty inches tall. A celebrity after her ‘display’ at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, Lucía’s extraordinary, heartbreaking story is one of exploitation by greedy sideshow hucksters and a fishbowl existence on the road, from New York to Victorian London.
Snatched away from her parents at the age of twelve from Veracruz, Mexico, minuscule Lucía Zárate began her life’s arduous journey among Frank Uffner’s traveling troupe, in the care of an interpreter and protector. Despite Velástegui’s rigorous and extensive research, the name of Lucía’s interpreter has disappeared with the dust of time. Nonetheless, Velástegui masterfully creates Zoila, Lucía’s companion, as a character of depth and emotion.
Zoila is a woman who’s felt the sting of exploitation and exile at the hands of powerful vanilla growers in Mexico: her linguistic talents, wily temperament and compassion help her protect Lucia at all costs. She foils kidnapping attempts, teaches Lucia how to hold her own among European royalty, and facilitates a budding romance between Lucia and General Mite, a member of the traveling troupe of little people.
We follow the adventures of diminutive Lucía Zárate and the devoted Zoila as they grapple with life and death, finding joy and adventure in their bumpy sideshow journey of more than fourteen years. This is an artfully balanced novel that is a mesmerizing tale of survival, resilience, and the uplifting force of friendship.

About the Author
Cecilia Velástegui was born high up in the Andes mountains in Quito, Ecuador, where she spent her childhood. Although she now lives at sea level in Monarch Beach, California, she still has two friendly alpacas, Tupac and Khipus. Cecilia was raised in California and France, and has traveled extensively in over 50 countries. Her favorite country is always the most recent country she visited.
She received her graduate degree from the University of Southern California, and speaks four languages. She was a marriage and family therapist, but now she is a devoted writer. Cecilia is on the board of directors of several cultural and educational institutions.
Cecilia Velástegui’s novels include Gathering the Indigo Maidens, Traces of Bliss, Missing in Machu Picchu, Parisian Promises, Blessings from the Edge, and Lucía Zárate.
For more information please visit Cecilia Velástegui’s website:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Africa Online Book Fair

The Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Books is a weekend event, featuring 13 authors and 1 interview with an aspiring romance author. Each day will have a certain amount of authors that will showcase their books and who they are.

The online book fair takes place on Facebook. Here's a link to the event page.

Readers, you can come and go as you please since you don’t have to pay a ticket to enter or register. So come and meet your next favorite author! We’ll have discounted and free books, play games, you can win Amazon Gift Cards. Get a little bit closer to authors you want to chat with in real time and generally see what Africa’s got to offer for your romance taste buds.

There will be a Scavenger Hunt that you can enter and stand a chance to win a prize. You’ll have to go to every author’s post (“booth”) at the event and hunt for the number each author has “hidden” in one of their posts. At the end of the weekend you need to add up the amount and inbox co-host Kathy Bosman with your answer and she’ll draw a winner.

We are also running a sign up for our Newsletters competition that will start running with the Africa Online Book Fair blog tour from 17 to 31 May. You could win a 20$ Amazon Gift Card.

Sign up for as many newsletter as you want, each one is an entry:

The Winner will be announced after the fair.

Attending the online book fair and how it works is straightforward, especially for readers who’ve attended Facebook book parties. But also for readers who use the social network site daily.
All you need to do is go to our Event and click 'Going'. It's that easy!

The online book fair is for romance authors who are from Africa and authors who write romances set in Africa.

And don't forget to invite your friends!
Also join the group if you want updates on future book fairs from us.

Hope you have lots of fun and discover awesome reads.

Sheritha Singh 

1.     Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live on the KZN North Coast. By day I'm a a lecturer at a TVET College. 
I write in between work, studies and life. I've been writing since the age of 9 and decided I wanted to be a writer when I turned 13.  

2.     What do you enjoy about being an author?

Losing myself in an alternate universe where nothing is as it seems.

3.     What type of romance stories do you write? And why?

Young adult paranormal, New Adult sci-fi and contemporary, romantic suspense, adult contemporary. 
I write in different genres because my imagination allows me to. 
Some days I prefer contemp, others something extraordinary.
It depends on my muse, I guess.

4.     Favorite place in Africa? 

The Boathouse, Ballito. I did a photoshoot there when I turned 40 last year

5.     Why do you think African romance authors and stories set on the continent are important?

In my opinion we as African writers are under rated. South African hotspots like Cape Town, Sandton, Durban, Ballito, Plettenberg Bay are all ideal locations for jet-setting billionaire romances but are under used. It's important for readers to know we fall in love too, we have bilionaires, we have upper class hot spots. Perhaps this can influence tourism also.

6.     Do you think romance stories set in Africa & Africans vital to the publishing industry? If yes/no, why do you say so?  
Yes. As above.  

7.     What traditional food do you love, that one can only find in Africa? 

Bunny Chow. Curry and phutu.    Braaied meat.  

Contact the author
Twitter: @Shersinghzn

Africa Online Book Fair Links:

Facebook Group Page:

Twitter: @AfricaOnBookFr

Instagram: @africaonlinebookfair

The Antique House Murders, book two in Leslie Nagel’s OAKWOOD MYSTERY SERIES

The Antique House Murders
by Leslie Nagel

In this irresistible cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders, amateur sleuth Charley Carpenter fights to avenge a crime that hits far too close to home.

Mulbridge House stood, silent and decaying, deep in the woods at the heart of Oakwood, Ohio, long before the passing of Augusta Mulbridge. Yet suddenly everyone in town seems to have a stake in its fate: the greedy heirs, eager to tear it down for a tidy profit; the local preservationists, determined to maintain it as an historic site; the angry neighbors, staunchly opposed to the construction of a modern subdivision. Even Charley Carpenter is forced to admit that her beloved shop, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, could use an infusion of the estate’s treasures.

 The clock is ticking. The wrecking ball is ready to swing. All that stands between Mulbridge House and oblivion is one final vote. That, and murder . . .

 The trouble begins when Charley walks into auctioneer Calvin Prescott’s office to find her cherished family friend crumpled on the floor. Detective Marcus Trenault quickly connects his death to a string of increasingly violent burglaries plaguing Oakwood. But when Charley uncovers a link to a massive land swindle worth millions, not to mention a drug ring operating out of the manor’s abandoned outbuildings, that theory crumbles faster than Mulbridge House. Now Charley’s racing to catch a killer before everything falls apart.

Purchase Links -

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ibook

A complicated set of connected mysteries that lead Charley Carpenter into circumstances she can't control. 

Charley loves vintage fashion. She is struggling to keep her Old Hat clothing store operating in the black. Fortunately she has an "in" with an estate sale planner, and good friend of her father, the Coach.
Not everyone is happy about the sale of everything at Mulbridge House. Tempers flare at every turn. The neighbors fear increased traffic and noise, a local group of seniors want to preserve the crumbling house as a historical monument. Even after the public auction and sale, confrontations continue. Charley finds herself and her store amidst the controversy even when she has not taken a side.

Her dear friend, the sale planner, is murdered and Charley discovers the body.  What is this knack she has for being in the wrong place at the worst time?   Her boyfriend, Detective Marcus Trenault, tells her to keep out of the investigation. She tries to stay out of his way, but this murder is personal.

Several mysteries are tangled together, entwining past and present relationships.
Everything centers around the neglected and vacant Mulbridge House but the whole town is involved. 

Charley has the best friends ever. References are made to Scooby Doo and Mystery, Inc. Charley's friends are just as loyal and adventurous. Each has a unique character and comes to her aid over and over. You just know danger is shadowing them as they search for clues. Being in a relationship with a detective does not seem to protect Charley, as hard as Marc tries.

Sometimes Charley believes things to be black and white, the good people always good and the bad guys always bad. She discovers life is made up of shades of gray.
I enjoyed how this cozy mystery kept the action hopping and did not easily point to just one solution.

Leslie Nagel is the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders, the first novel in the Oakwood Mystery series. She lives in the real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where she teaches writing at a local community college. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son and daughter, hiking, tennis, and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.

Social Media Links -

Follow the Tour  and check out the reviews-

May 26th - Bibliophile Reviews - REVIEW
May 27th - Christa Reads and Writes - REVIEW
May 27th - The Girl with Book Lungs - INTERVIEW
May 28th - A Blue Million Books - INTERVIEW
May 28th - Storybook Reviews - SPOTLIGHT
May 29th - Laura's Interests - REVIEW
May 29th - The Books The Thing – REVIEW & INTERVIEW
May 30th - The Girl with Book Lungs - REVIEW
May 30th - Bella Reads & Reviews - REVIEW
May 31st - Sleuth Café - SPOTLIGHT & REVIEW