Welcome to my place in the blogosphere!
feel free to explore the Flight Deck and check out my books and website.
Then fasten your seatbelts, sip a glass of something sparkling and let's chat awhile!
I hope you'll stop by again for 'Snippet Sunday' every week and guest authors and spotlights from time to time.

Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017 and nominated for the RONE Award 2017

I'm 'guesting' on Darlene Fredette's blog today, I'd love you to come and say hello, if you have a moment.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

An Interview with Echo Shea author of 'Light A Candle For The Beast'



It's a real pleasure to be able to welcome Echo Shea to the Flight Deck once more. Congratulations on your new release, Echo. What a stunning cover! Help yourself to something sparkling while you ponder on this question, if you would - Tell us, what is your personal definition of success?

Echo: Writing a good story. To know that I wrote the best story I could at the time, edited, revised and gave my best. If I know in my heart I did that, then I feel successful.

HL   When did you start writing?

Answer: When I was eight, I learned that writing felt special to me. It wasn't until I was twelve that I knew I wanted to be an author and I haven't looked back since.


HL   What comes first: the plot or the characters?

Echo: Answer: For the most part my characters lead the plot. Their actions affect what comes next in the story.


HL: We're kindred spirits!  My stories are always character led too, In fact they sometimes narrate the plot to me! LOL   Is there any advice, as a new writer, that you were either given, or wish you had been given?

Echo : I've read a lot of books and blogs but only one stands out to me at the moment. My favorite advice didn't even apply to writing. It was a magazine doing an intereview with an actress, and I don't remember the question, but I remember her answer: "I don't want to be a great actress, I want to be a good one."

I don't write with hopes for movie deals or because I'm convinced it'll be on the bestseller list. I do it because I love writing and it makes me feel myself. It gives me something that nothing else could, and to share it with a reader and have them enjoy it--this makes me happy, this is what I aspire to, this is what I love. I don't have to be a great writer, I just want very badly to always be a good one.
It's the best advice, because when you can admit you love writing this much, it sets you free--free to do the work you need to make your craft better, free to be rejected or accepted because at the end of the day you get to go back to doing the only thing that feels worth doing, the thing you most love. Only others and fate can say you're a great writer, but your persistence and hardwork? That makes you a good one.


HL Do you have a support system? Do you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them?

Echo:  I have a wonderful writers' group that cheers me on when I do well and commiserates when I have set backs, and I get the chance to do so in turn and that makes me feel good. I also have a wonderful family and beta readers/crit partners that make me better than I could ever be alone. My beta readers/crit partners are second to none--I respect their writing and their notes and consider myself lucky to have them in my life.


HL: What is your latest release and what was your favourite part of writing this book/series?

ECHO: My two most recent releases are a short story released by Spooktacular Seductions called If This Be Madness" which came out October 31st, and a stand alone short story called Light a Candle for the Beast which was released yesterday, November 26th. An earlier release though is free and is  called Manor of Sweet Souls: Gladys Celebrates. My favorite part about this? I fell in love with the character. I had so much fun and loved writing it so much that I didn't want to let it go. And to be honest I haven't. With any luck, you'll be seeing a lot more of Gladys. I hope you enjoy her as much as I do.

Oh, I love her already!  Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog today, and I wish you much success with this, and all your books!

Light a Candle for the Beast by Echo Shea

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Keywords: Romance, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Fairy Tale, Beauty and the Beast

Release Date: November 26, 2014

If you’ve ever been caught in a riptide, pulled down into the water, then you know me. Or, more accurately, what I’m like when I’m angry.

Delia was beautiful, smart, and kind. He wasn’t. He said he loved her, but he didn’t know what love was. He was manipulative and cruel—more than a thief. A beast.

All she wanted was a rose… 

These are the words on my sister’s grave. Her sadness, her obsession, forever a reminder I didn’t--couldn’t save her.

I’m not vindictive or cruel. I’m simply as the river--my memory is winding and my reach is long. I watched him steal her beauty, her essence. Watched him become a beast. He thought he'd get away with it, thought he'd go free.

I lay a rose upon my sister's grave.

Light a candle for the beast.

PURCHASE LINKS
Roane Publishing
Amazon
Amazon (UK)
Smashwords
Barnes and Noble
Kobo Books
Bookstrand

About Echo Shea
Echo Shea is an Urban Fantasy writer. Known for fast-paced and sometimes chilling prose, she hunkers down at her desk with characters that not only enchant, but excite her. There’s something so freeing about writing beyond what seems possible.

Who says there’s not something more hiding in these Maryland woods?







Book Blitz & tour-wide giveaway: ecopy of Light a Candle for the Beast and a $10 Amazon gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

An Amish Christmas Quilt - Blog tour and Review



AMAZON PURCHASE LINK




An Amish Christmas Quilt
by Charlotte Hubbard, Kelly Long, Jennifer Beckstrand

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant

Seth Brenneman didn’t expect his holiday would include rescuing pregnant young Mary Kaffman and her two children…or having unexpected feelings for the still-grieving widow. But when they must play the leads in an impromptu live Nativity pageant to help his Amish community, will their roles reveal their hearts—and work a miracle for a lifetime?

A Perfect Amish Christmas

Anna and Felty Helmuth’s grandson, Gideon, plans to spend Christmas on a beach in sunny Mexico. But Anna is quite sure he’d rather be with them, snowshoeing, ice fishing—falling in love. And she knows the perfect girl. Not only is Dottie Schrock an excellent quilter and baker, she’s having a party. There’s just one complication—Gideon is not invited. Dottie has her reasons, but Anna trusts that the spirit of Christmas—and true love-will change her mind, and her future …

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT
A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant

“Are we ready? I think our Nativity’s going to be a huge success, with such a heavenly little angel and a regal king,” Rebecca said as she grinned at each of the kids. “And how’s our main attraction?”

Emmanuel, cradled in Mary’s arms, wiggled when Rebecca smiled down at him.

“He’s been fed and changed, so he’s ready,” Mary replied. She smiled at the little parade walking up the Hooleys’ lane. “And here come our shepherds and the other wise men and angels. Everybody looks really gut, Rebecca. We couldn’t have done this without your help.”

As Rebecca murmured something in reply, Mary lost track of it. A tall, broad-shouldered man in a flowing brick-red tunic was striding up the lane toward her, and while she couldn’t see his eyes, she sensed Seth was looking right at her . . . just as she was gazing at him. Thank you for this night, Lord, as we celebrate the birth of Your son and the beginning of our new life in Willow Ridge, Mary prayed quickly. Help me be your faithful handmaiden, as the Virgin Mary was so long ago.

“Let’s hope this works the way I envisioned it,” Rebecca said as other folks began to gather from around town.

Mary turned just in time to see a star-shaped balloon rise into the air, on a long ribbon tied to the light post—and when Rebecca turned on the second lantern, which was aimed skyward, the star glowed and sparkled. Miriam, Ben, Bishop Tom, and the Zook family all let out a delighted oh!

“Folks will be able to see that from quite a ways off!” Tom said. His face shone with boyish wonder as he gazed raptly at the shimmering star above them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Jennifer Beckstrand

Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series and the
Forever After in Apple Lake series, set in two Amish communities in beautiful Wisconsin. She has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth, the two scheming Amish grandparents who try to help their grandchildren find suitable mates in Huckleberry Hill. Who would ever suspect two elderly Amish folks of mischief?

Jennifer has a degree in mathematics, which comes in handy when one of her six children needs help with algebra. After twenty-five years of being a chauffeur, cook, maid, and nurse, she embarked on a writing career. Jennifer is a member of Romance Writers of America and is represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.

She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and two adorable grandsons, whom she spoils rotten.

You can find out more about Jennifer and her books by going to her website: jenniferbeckstrand.com or visiting her Facebook page: Jennifer Beckstrand Fans.

http://www.jenniferbeckstrand.com
https://www.facebook.com/jenniferbeckstrandfans
Twitter: @JenniferBeckst1

Kelly Long

Kelly Long was born and raised in North Central Pennsylvania. There was an Amish hitching post at the small grocery store in her town. She loves to write Amish romance and is the author of novel, Sarah's Garden, the novella Amish Christmas Expanded Edition with some other great Amish authors, Amish Love with Beth Wiseman and Kathy Fuller, and Lilly's Wedding Quilt--the sequel to Sarah's Garden. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and children.


BLOG

FACEBOOK




Charlotte Hubbard

Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while I was still a school librarian—I sold my first story to True Story magazine. This launched me into writing about seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and I’ve been a slave to my overactive imagination ever since. My stories invariably take on a life of their own, different from the way I’ve proposed them: I love it when unforeseen characters and plot twists come along, because they keep me guessing right along with my readers!

I love touring historic homes, trying new recipes, crocheting, and playing with my border collie Ramona—although it’s humbling, having a dog smarter than I am! I’m an ordained Presbyterian deacon, and I devote a lot of time to singing in my church choir and to practicing/performing with our percussion ensemble. I’m celebrating more than thirty-five years with my husband, who—bless him—has never once suggested I get a real job!

www.CharlotteHubbard.com
https://www.facebook.com/charlotte.hubbard1

Buy Links:

Kensington Books: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/30305
The Book Depository:  http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781617735547
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=161773554X/

Barnes & Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=9781617735547
  B-A-M: http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781617735547

Chapters: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/a/9781617735547

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781617735547

Powell’s: http://www.powells.com/biblio?isbn=9781617735547

Ebook:

Kensington Books: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/30377

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Amish-Christmas-Quilt-Charlotte-Hubbard-ebook/dp/B00JVW6H5U/

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-amish-christmas-quilt-charlotte-hubbard/1118482472?ean=9781617735554

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/an-amish-christmas-quilt/id868217805?mt=11

The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.


MY REVIEW 

I had a wonderful holiday in Pennsylvania and Ohio last year, and stayed in Amish country. I was fascinated by the glimpses of Amish life I saw, harking back to earlier, gentler times, with a voluntary lack of modern tools technology and convenience,  and their dedication to God. These three stories reflect these ideals and also subtly bring across the true message of Christmas.

I thought each of the three stories in turn was my 'favourite' but in truth, by the time I'd finished the book I realised the three were so different, although linked together by the common theme of a 'Christmas Quilt' that it was quite impossible for me to choose between them. They each bring something special and delightful to the theme,each quilt serving its own unique purpose in the plot, and each story is a lovely illustration of the true meaning of Christmas.

The first story, 'A Willow Ridge Pageant',by Charlotte Hubbard, is rich in symbolism and the story begins with the main character, Mary, a young, pregnant widow, nearing the final stages of labour and stranded in a buggy in the snow with her two stepchildren.The relationship between Mary and her stepchildren is really touching, as are the feelings Seth has for Mary and her new baby, whose arrival into the world he helps bring about,and a gentle romance between  Mary, and Seth the carpenter gradually develops throughout the tale. The climax, featuring a Christmas pageant of the Nativity story, brings about a reconciliation, and hope for a new future.

'A Christmas On Ice Mountain' by Kelly Long has a haunting 'Romeo and Juliet' quality. Two former best friends, John  and Luke, have turned into lifelong rivals, and not spoken for years, although none of their family or friends  really know what their quarrel was about. However, their children, Laurel and Matthew fall in love despite their fathers' enmity, and conduct their romance in secret, desperate to marry, but unsure how to gain permission to do so. The matter is resolved in a way neither of them could have anticipated, and there is a final twist when the reason for the two men's quarrel is discovered and they realise that twenty five years of bitterness could have been avoided. Christmas is a time for forgiveness and healing.

The third story ' A Perfect Christmas' by Jennifer Beckstrand, features  grandparents Anna and Felty Helmuths. Anna is determined to bring her grandson, Gideon and Dottie Schrock togther in what she sees to be the perfect match. However, all Dottie cares about is organising the perfect Christmas for her mother, who is recuperating from cancer. She carefully plans for the Christmas celebrations and organises a party, to which Gideon is not invited. When all her carefully laid plans go awry, Dottie comes to realise that a perfect Christmas is not about perfectly folded napkins, beautifully iced cream horns, or even the lovely Christmas quilt for her mother that she has been so painstakingly working on, but is about the Christchild, family - and love;

This anthology of three delightful and heartwarming stories is perfect for getting into the Christmas spirit and reminding us of the Holy First Christmas, and would make an ideal Christmas gift.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Release day for Echo Shea's 'Light A Candle For The Beast'

Happy book birthday Light a Candle for the Beast!
Light a Candle for the Beast
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Keywords: Romance, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Fairy Tale, Beauty and the Beast
Release Date: November 26, 2014
If you’ve ever been caught in a riptide, pulled down into the water, then you know me. Or, more accurately, what I’m like when I’m angry.

Delia was beautiful, smart, and kind. He wasn’t. He said he loved her, but he didn’t know what love was. He was manipulative and cruel—more than a thief. A beast.
All she wanted was a rose…  These are the words on my sister’s grave. Her sadness, her obsession, forever a reminder I didn’t--couldn’t save her.
I’m not vindictive or cruel. I’m simply as the river--my memory is winding and my reach is long. I watched him steal her beauty, her essence. Watched him become a beast. He thought he'd get away with it, thought he'd go free.
I lay a rose upon my sister's grave.
Light a candle for the beast.

PURCHASE LINKS
~~~oOo~~~

About Echo Shea
Echo Shea is an Urban Fantasy writer. Known for fast-paced and sometimes chilling prose, she hunkers down at her desk with characters that not only enchant, but excite her. There’s something so freeing about writing beyond what seems possible.

Who says there’s not something more hiding in these Maryland woods?






TO FIND OUT MORE FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT ECHO, PLEASE BE SURE TO COME BACK HERE TOMORROW FOR MY INTERVIEW WITH HER,  AND ANOTHER CHANCE TO ENTER THE RAFFLECOPTER CONTEST

Book Blitz & tour-wide giveaway: ecopy of Light a Candle for the Beast and a $10 Amazon gift card!
a Rafflecopter giveaway Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Choccy


The house has felt empty since we lost our beloved Jack Russell, Bouncer, in August, so...
The DH and I paid a visit to the Blue Cross Adoption Centre




where I'd seen an on-line picture of this little scrap named Choccy

After some visits to get to know him and take him for walks...
(Well wouldn't you know I'd find a chocolate themed doggy!)




We bought a smart, matching Blue Cross collar, harness and lead


and took him home with us


Where he soon made himself at home in his new bed with his blanket and toys...
before calling round to see the neighbours
Bonnie and Ellie, belonging to Sara-Jane and Neil.
(Poor Bonnie was abandoned in a box. she had a badly infected
eye which had to be removed, but she's such a happy little girl now
with her lovely adopted mum and dad.)





At this rate I'll never get that novel finished and submitted to my publisher! But who could resist  such a sweet little dog - even if he does put his paws on the keyboard so he can give me big doggy kisses!