Wednesday 31 December 2014

Fish Tails - Sheri S. Tepper

In FISH TAILS, two of Tepper's beloved characters - Abasio and Xulai (A PLAGUE OF ANGELS and THE WATERS RISING) - and their children travel from village to village scattered across the sparsely populated land of Tingawa. They are searching for others who might be interested in adopting their sea-dwelling lifestyle.

Along their journey they encounter strange visitors from the far-off world of Lom, characters from Tepper's nine-book True Game series of novels - Mavin Manyshaped, Jinian Star-eye, and Silkhands the Healer - all of whom have been gathered up by an interfering, time-traveling, rule-breaking do-gooder to do one last good dead on earth before its metamorphosis is complete. For the waters are rising and will soon engulf the entire planet, transforming it utterly and irrevocably. 

My thoughts:
This is a strange book, a weird book. A very well-written book. A analytical book. A philosophical book. A book about the environment, social order, and just about the stupidity of men. We really are a stupid race.

The book had so many lovely quotes, I'd love to write down all of them but that would be one long review. So here are some.

They were talking about old religions

"I am not joking. While millions of children were starving at various places on the earth, some religions were still insisting that it was sinful to prevent excess births. I am fascinated by the religions of that time. Without exception they simply denied reality. They were completely myth-driven. Self-inflicting pain was a common religious practice..."

"If a man seeks to make his faith a law, this action alone disproves his faith, for the law cannot define kindness."

"If a man seeks to kill others who believe otherwise, this action alone disproves his faith, for those who kill are not kind."

It was a long time since I went quote crazy, but she just tells it so well, so cleverly. About every subject too.

This is a sci-fi book. It takes place in the future where we have killed the earth, then we invented machines that went on killing us. Those left live in a strange medieval world mixed with some tech at times. And people are still stupid and do stupid things. But some are trying to save the human race as the waters are rising and soon we will all drown.

I would not recommend this book without having read earlier books. Sure it is strange, so for that reason I am sure you could jump right in and still understand, but to really grasp it you really must start at book 1.

The main characters of Abasio and Xulai, Needly and her grandma, are all fascinating. And truth be told, I can't really tell you much. Because as I have said before, Tepper writes strange books. You have to be in the zone. To read about them discuss monkey-brain willy-waggers, the future of the earth and how men became men and forgot the earth. To see them meet new people and strange things man have created. There is a lot of talking going on, and I found myself nodding my head and agreeing.

I do recommend this series, just, take your time with it. 

I like the woman

Pages, 720
Published December 26th 2014 by Gollancz
Plague of Angels #3
For review

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Armed and Magical - Lisa Shearin

My name is Raine Benares. Until last week I was a seeker—a finder of things lost and people missing. Now I’m psychic roommates with the Saghred, an ancient stone with cataclysmic powers. Just me, the stone, and all the souls it’s ingested over the centuries. Crowded doesn’t even begin to describe it. All I want is my life back—which means getting rid of the stone and the power it possesses. To sort things out, I head for the Isle of Mid, home to the most prestigious sorcery school, as well as the Conclave, the governing body for all magic users. It’s also home to power- grubbing mages who want me dead and goblins who see me as a thief. As if that’s not enough, Mid’s best student spellsingers are disappearing left and right, and I’m expected to find them. Lives are at stake, goblins are threatening to sue, mages are getting greedier, and the stone’s power is getting stronger by the hour. This could get ugly.

My thoughts:
This is a fun series, and I would call it UF in a fantasy land. Cos it's so UF! Just you know, set in a fantasy world with elves, goblins and humans and magic.

Raine is a seeker, she has some magic but not a lot. But in the last book she became the host of this magical stone. And trust me, that is NOT a good thing. The stone is not a nice stone, and if Raine can't get rid of it then she will probably die.

But before that! An adventure on the island of mages. Mages are disappearing and she is the right woman for the job. All while trying to find a way to get rid of that stupid stone.

She is so cool. I like her. I like her pirate cousin, and I especially like Tam, mmm Tam. Yes choose the sexy bad boy goblin. Do not look at that pretty boy elf! Ok so yes I admit, there is a love triangle there, but I can live with it, as long as she goes for Tam ;)

I enjoyed it, and I want more.


Mass Market Paperback, 293 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Ace
Raine Benares #2

Monday 29 December 2014

The Silvered - Tanya Huff

The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen—she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader—to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. But with every step the odds against their survival, let alone their success, grow steeper..

My thoughts:
I liked this, it was fantasy, but at the same time it did not even feel like fantasy all the time cos it was different.

We have the BIG Empire that wants more land. They, oh let's say they are steampunk, or well just industrialized. But you get the point.

Then there is Aydori. Where Mages and Pack live together. Mages who if they canm marry Pack and have more mages or puppies.

Then the bad Empire comes with soldiers and silver bullets. FU Empire! They call the Pack abominations and if you can show a pelt you get money. Innocents are dying and the Emperor is insane.

I know right, what a good premise!

Our hero is Mirian a failed mage escapes being captures and then sets out to save others. Her I liked, and what she could do.

Then we have Thomas, a wolf, who helps her because the road is long and many dangers lay ahead.

We also gets to see how the captured mages are faring. I kept rooting for them, and Mirian, and hoped to see the Empire burn.

I liked how most are flawed. Shit goes down. It gets bad. People are people and will do what they must to survive

The end, is an ending. But I do want more. The world was so fascinating and I'd like to explore it more. But for now I am happy with a book that ended in one.

My favorite Huff book to date.

eh, ok I guess

Paperback, 496 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by DAW

Sunday 28 December 2014

Carole Reviews: Daughter of the reef - Clare Coleman

Author: Clare Coleman
Title: Daughter of the Reef (Ancient Tahiti #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction & Drama
Pages: ebook
First Published: December 1992
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

"Tepua, the daughter of a chief sails from her coral atoll home toward her planned, and ritually mandated, marriage. But she never reaches her destination because a violent storm damages her vessel and leaves her stranded on the shores of Tahiti, a land previously unknown to her. She is made unwelcome because of her foreignness and is victimized because of her weakness and innocence, but her spirit is strong and her will to survive and thrive is boundless. The world of Tahiti is very different from the one she has known, beautiful, savage and mystical by turns. But she is determined to build herself a new life and, in the process, she will change the destiny of all for generations to come."

This took me a little bit of time to get through, because the beginning was slow, but after about 30 pages it got better. Drama ensued and it made the story better. I was at first really, really worried this was soley going to be a boring ol' story, but there is a lot at play. There is a love triangle, political intrigue, and a growing into a woman story. Some parts where very, very dry, but the not dry parts did make up for it sort of. 

I actually didn't mind the love triangle. Crazy, right? It wasn't over-the-top and it wasn't annoying. It didn't take over the whole story. Honestly, though, I knew who she was going to pick after a certain event and plus she would be a fool to pick a certain someone. Okay...after a while, it was no longer a love story - the one boy was trying to fight for her, but she was not having it because he was an idiot and did stupid things. Idiot.


It was a fun adventure. It was certainly an interesting location and I'm glad I saved this for winter time. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, I wanna go to the beach and be all warm and stuff. I def recommend this to those that want a huge change of scenery in their reading especially to escape for a moment from the cold. 

The THAT was a twist I did not see coming. Honestly, I don't know what made Tepua change her mind. I was lost on that front. I think the author forgot to mention her change of her somewhere, because I thought her one ultimate goal was set in stone if occasion arised. Did I miss her change of heart? Mmmmmmmm.... 


In the end, this was certainly a good shake-up in my reading. It was a good way to end the year. :) A nice book about love, politics, the ancient world, and a girl turning into a woman story. I liked how it ended, so I'll have to see what the second book in the series is about (I hope its about a different character or something - because I liked the ending Tepua got). I do recommend this to those that like historical fiction and are looking for a change up in their reading. Well, I shall stamp the last book of the year with 3 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Tepua & Tepua's sister-in-law (I can't remember the names that well lol)

Not-so Favorite Character(s): Tepua's brother & the main bad guy


By the way...IT IS MY BIRTHDAY! WOOT WOOT! 23 years young today! I'm not really doing anything today. I decided this year not to party it up or go out. Just chilling at home with Boyfriend like a cool kid. 

Note from Blodeuedd:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAROLE! :) Thank you for this review and everything else  :)

Saturday 27 December 2014

#BookBlogWalkers: Last Weekly Check-In December 26 2014 #FitReaders + fantasy review

This challenge is organized by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger's Book Blog

Sat, no idea, I did not write it down on twitter :/
Sun, 40 min walk + 45 min walk
Mon, 40 min walk
Tue, 1 hour walk
Wed, 45 min walk
Thu, 50 min walk
Fri, 1.25 h walk

Good week as I walked on Xmas (that is Xmas Eve) and the day after when we celebrated at my parents. No biking as I am on vacay ;)

Join us for next year when the challenge changes name! :)


Her heroism saved a village from destruction; now Auraya has been named Priestess of the White. The limits of her unique talents must be tested in order to prove her worthy of the honor and grave responsibility awarded to her. But a perilous road lies ahead, fraught with pitfalls that will challenge the newest servant of the gods. An enduring friendship with a Dreamweaver—a member of an ancient outcast sect of sorcerer-healers—could destroy Auraya's future. And her destiny has set her in conflict with a powerful and mysterious, black-clad sorcerer with but a single purpose: the total annihilation of the White. And he is not alone . . . 

My thoughts:
Oh it was so freaking boring! After page 100 I started to skim cos I could not read on when NOTHING happened, 600 pages of nothing.

The heroine, Au whatever was perfect. Happy, kind, beautiful, gods, could she be more boring? I did not enjoy reading about her.

The rest of the cast, forgettable. Only one person in the ENTIRE book stood out, a witch, she was the only character that had been developed.

The book was about..something, they talked and did nothing a lot.

And then there were the constant POV changes. I do not mind many POVS. But through out the entire book: A few pages with one POV, new paragraph new POV etc. I could be reading and then what new POV? When did that happen? It was messy.

I will not read more, I do not recommend it. And YES it would be a DNF if I had not bought the book this week! Darn it.

Paperback, 608 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Harper Voyager
Age of the Five #1

Friday 26 December 2014

2 Xmas novellas- Historical romance style

With one more errand to go—the purchase of a hunting falcon—Andrew Blackshear has Christmas completely under control. As his sister’s impending marriage signals the inevitable drifting-apart of the Blackshear family, it’s his last chance to give his siblings the sort of memorable, well-planned holiday their parents could never seem to provide. 

He has no time to dawdle, no time for nonsense, and certainly no time to drive the falconer’s vexing, impulsive, lush-lipped, midnight-haired daughter to a house party before heading home. So why the devil did he agree to do just that? 

Lucy Sharp has been waiting all her too-quiet life for an adventure, and she means to make the most of this one. She’s going to enjoy the house party as no one has ever enjoyed a house party before, and in the meanwhile she’s going to enjoy every minute in the company of amusingly stern, formidably proper, outrageously handsome Mr. Blackshear. Let him disapprove of her all he likes—it’s not as though they’ll see each other again after today. 

…or will they? When a carriage mishap and a snowstorm strand the pair miles short of their destination, threatening them with scandal and jeopardizing all their Christmas plans, they’ll have to work together to save the holiday from disaster. And along the way they just might learn that the best adventures are the ones you never would have thought to plan. 

My thoughts:
Xmas freebie was on my mind as I downloaded this book and at once I went to my nook.
Reading about a couple, oh forget this, I can't rhyme.

Andrew needs a hunting bird and meets Lucy. She wants to go to a xmas party, he is all proper and stiff.

Long story short, he saves the day so she can attend the party but boom! they get stranded and get to know each other. And fall in love :)

Cute and fun.

Kindle Edition, 188 pages
Published December 4th 2014 by Cecilia Grant
Blackshear Family 0.5
Historical romance

Down through the years, enchantment touches a tall gray house in Grosvenor Square. The legend of Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball promises true love and happiness to one lucky couple. Who will feel the magic this winter?

1803 - The Seduction of a Duchess by Shana Galen 

Rowena Harcourt, the Duchess of Valère, never forgot the handsome footman who helped her escape the French Revolution. For fourteen years, Gabriel Lamarque has loved Rowena—now at Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball, has fate finally delivered a chance to win her hand?

1818 - One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly 

Nigel Dash is London’s most reliable gentleman, a reputation he never minded until he fell in love with beautiful Amelia Easton. Unfortunately, Amelia sees Nigel as a dependable friend, not a dashing suitor. At Lady Winterson’s famous Christmas ball, Nigel vows to change Amelia’s mind—by sweeping her off her feet.

1825 - His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell 

At the season’s most glittering ball, a girl who has never dared to dream of forever after discovers a Christmas miracle.

1830 - The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble 

Susannah Westforth has always loved Sebastian Beckett – but he’s only ever seen her as a friend. When Sebastian takes his Grand Tour, Susannah transforms herself into a woman he’ll notice. Now Sebastian is back, just in time for Lady Winterson's Christmas ball – but the last thing he expects to see is his little Susie, all grown up...

You’re invited to join the whirling dance at Lady Winterson’s sparkling Christmas ball, where miracles happen and true love shines forever. How can you resist? 

My thoughts:
1803 - The Seduction of a Duchess by Shana Galen 
It was a good short story. I got the backstory and could just fall into the world. Also it was nice that an older woman found romance for once. Wohoo for her! And with a younger man ;)

The story does mention people from her series, but it works splendidly as it is.

1818 - One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly 
This was a sweet story where the beta gets the girl. And I liked Nigel, sure he was dependable, but hey when did that turn bad? He was wonderful :) I am glad she finally saw the light.

1825 - His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell 
A Cinderella story, where I went all awww, how sweet! A girl of meager means gets her Lord :)

1830 - The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble 
I did like this one, he came back, and she was all changed and he was all no! You are my little Susie! But oh no, she was a woman now. And he fell fast and then they lived happily ever after.

I liked these short stories! Cute, fun and they all took place during this Winter Ball :) Perfect before xmas.

Kindle Edition, 166 pages
Published October 10th 2013
Historical romance

Thursday 25 December 2014

MacKenzie Family Christmas - Jennifer Ashley

The Mackenzies gather for a clan Christmas and New Year's in Scotland. In the chaos of preparations for the celebration--the first of Hart and Eleanor's married life--one of Ian's Ming bowls gets broken, and the family scrambles to save the day. Daniel busily runs a betting ring for everything from the time Eleanor's baby will arrive to whether Mac's former-pugilist valet can win a boxing match to who will be the first of the many guests to be caught under the mistletoe. Ian begins a new obsession, and Beth fears the loss of one of his precious bowls has made him withdraw once more into his private world. 

My thoughts:
Ok so I have not read a single book in this series, I do have book 1 though..Still it worked perfectly like this :)

I may not know who anyone except Ian is (that is the book I have). But it was still fun to see couples being in love, having babies and worrying about xmas. As Ian's bowl breaks and his wife is scared he will go into himself again, and then the rest of the family worries too.

A nice xmas novella :)

Kindle Edition, 203 pages
Published December 13th 2012 by JA / AG Publishing
MacKenzies & McBrides #4.5
Historical romance

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Xmas Surprise and Giveaway: Penny Watson and Klaus Brothers


Holiday Epilogue

Hey! How was your girls’ night out? I heard you and Lucy and Kiana closed down Dag’s Bar. Good time?

Had a blast. I love my new sisters-in-law.

Dag said you guys got a little bit wild.

We did Christmas Shooters. Lucy crushed us.

Dag also said you were asking a lot of weird questions about Hendrik. What’s up with that?

Nothing. Just curious about “elfin culture.”

Really? Coz Dag said you were pestering him about illegal gambling, production of handmade liquor in the North Pole, and exchange of stolen goods.

Really? We were just chatting. I can’t remember the topics of conversation. I was stewed.

Uh huh.


You wouldn’t be trying to pursue an investigative piece in Glasdorf. Would you?

Bah. Gah. Wha?


Gotta run. I’m curling today with your Dad.

K. Have fun. And Andi…leave Hendrik alone. He’s harmless.

Aye aye cap-i-taine!


***Four Hours Later***

Hey you. How was curling?

Awesome! Your dad is super competitive. We made a great team.

Glad to hear it. Anything else happen this afternoon?

Nope. Nothing.


Yep. Nothing.

Really? You can’t think of anything else that happened?

Not a thing. *yawn*

Interesting. Coz I got an email from Hendrik.


Uh huh.

In my defense, things were looking REALLY SHADY at Dag’s!

Hendrik said you accused him of illegal gambling, liquor production, and exchange of stolen goods.

Well, first of all I saw him and Gottlieb playing cards, and then he handed him a huge sack of…something…at the back of the bar. He looked suspicious!

They were playing cards. And it was a bag of magik pebbles. That’s the currency for elves. And it’s totally legal.

Fine. Whatever. Legal-schmegal.

What about the liquor thing?

I saw him take a huge jug out of his backpack and give it to Kurt. Kurt sniffed it, then took a swig and smiled. And then he handed him something wrapped in burlap. They were WHISPERING! RED FLAG! RED FLAG!

That was a jug of homemade eggnog Hendrik made for Kurt’s wife. Egg. Nog.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It was an honest mistake.

And the exchange of stolen goods?

Hendrik had vials of something in his pocket, and he looked around the room furtively before making an exchange with Rolf. Rolf opened a small box, and I saw something sparkly. Like stolen gems!

Hendrik was exchanging honey from his bee skep for a ring. Rolf is a jeweler. And elves barter for everything.

So I gather.

Are you going to tell me what happened when you confronted Hendrik?

Ugh! It was so embarrassing. I burst into his cottage and started taking pictures and peppering him with questions about his suspicious activity, and…um…


And he was proposing to his girlfriend! He’d exchanged the eggnog for a bottle from Kurt’s champagne collection. And he was offering Gertrud a sack of glittering magik pebbles and a diamond engagement ring. And…I wanted to crawl under the Christmas tree and die. EMBARRASSING!

So, maybe you overreacted a bit.

Yeah, maybe.

Hendrik wasn’t mad. He said you made their engagement evening “unforgettable.”

He and Gertrud sent me home with gingerbread cookies, eggnog, and some magik pebbles. Cripes.

I think you need a new project.

I already started one. I’m writing about the history of eggnog for the ELFIN HOLIDAY NEWSLETTER. If you hurry home, you can help me with the taste test.

On my way. Love you, Pit Bull!

Love you, Shaggy Lion! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


For a fun holiday shot, try the LAYERED CHRISTMAS SHOOTER. Link here at the Food Network!


Love, Penny

Thank you for this Penny :D

A bundle of all 3 books :) Ebook form

1. Open to everyone
2. Ends Dec 31st
3. Just enter :)


And a note from me, today we celebrate Xmas here so I am taking the chance to wish everyone a 


Now on to food, too much candy and pressies

(The "santa" I believed in as a kid...they might still be out there! ;)

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Sweet Adventure - Penny Watson

Sven Klaus, Chief Toy Designer for Klaus Enterprises, will protect his family at any cost. He's prepared to battle the most threatening adversaries to do it--frost flowers, snowstorms, Yeti. And beautiful tenacious tabloid journalists.

Andi De Luca's reporting career is built on lies--about corrupt politicians, greedy Hollywood stars, and Bigfoot. Now she's determined to uncover the truth about Klaus Enterprises, and she always gets her story. Even if it means revealing her own secret desires to Santa's son.

After all the lies and deception are exposed, will Andi and Sven survive this North Pole adventure? Or will YETI MAKE THEM DEADY?

Penny Watson presents a 45,000-word holiday fantasy romance, #3 in the Klaus Brothers Series. Includes paranormal phenomena, Christmas spirit, and abominable snowmonster.
SWEET ADVENTURE can be read as a stand-alone story. 

My thoughts:
I think I have said sweet about them all, but hey, sweet is in the title!!

A sweet novella set before xmas :) There is romance, and a tiny adventure.

But ok the book. Sven is a toy-maker, but he wants to make furniture instead. Andi is a pitbull who has sniffed out a story. Honestly, Sven was adorable and cute. Andi, eh, do you really go from they do not want an interview to they are for certain the mafia who employs kids. She sure has a wild imagination...but, here is the but. She needs to make money for her family. I get that. And she does see the light and fall in love.

The tiny adventure is when they take a trip... ;)

This was really their story, falling in love, the drama thing and then living happily ever after. Nice.

Oh oh, I really like how it started and ended with emails. So fun to read. 

Kindle Edition, 204 pages
Published October 27th 2014 by Penny Watson
Klaus Brothers #3
Holiday pnr romance

Come back tomorrow when Penny is here with a special epilogue! And a giveaway :)

But if you can't wait until tomorrow, then there is a bundle of all books on Amazon for 99 cents :)

Monday 22 December 2014

Sweet Inspiration / Sweet Magik - Penny Watson

What if the legend of Santa Claus is in fact, true? What if Santa has five big strapping sons who help him run his empire? Five single, sexy sons looking for romance...

Nicholas Klaus is a master pastry chef, a strict disciplinarian, and the eldest son of the legendary Santa Claus. One look at café owner Lucy Brewster sends him into an unexpected tailspin of lusty desires. When Lucy is injured, Nicholas makes a decision that catapults both of their lives into turmoil ....

Lucy Brewster, the free-spirited proprietor of Sweet Inspiration, has a flair for concocting sugary confections but no time for adventure. She gets more than she bargained for when she awakens in the North Pole...rambunctious elves, a fitness-obsessed Santa, and the man of her dreams. Does she have what it takes to become the next Mrs. Klaus? 

My thoughts:
A sweet novella :) About Santa's son!

Nicholas Klaus is a good chef. His love for it takes him to a cafe' where the owner's cookies enchant him. And she enchants him too. Yes they do fall at once, but hey it works. Nicholas is strict and well...a bit German ;) *cough*. Hey, he just wants discipline in his kitchen. I like order too.

Lucy bakes the best cookies and has the hots for a certain costumer. She is his opposite, bakes without measuring (the horror). But they fit each other and makes each other better.

And then they start to fall for each other and goes to the North Pole. I did wonder about the whole Santa thing and was all..really? But I then got an explanation about who and how Santa came to be, and it worked. I liked the explanation.

Did I say it was sweet? And made me want cookies? Oh yes, mmm cookies. 

Sweet (I said it again), a fun book to read before Christmas. 
Kindle Edition, Second Edition, 164 pages
Published September 22nd 2012 by Penny Watson
Klaus Brothers #1
Holiday fantasy romance

Oskar Klaus' job is killing him. Not even his favorite hobbies (extreme snowboarding and browsing old bookstores) are enough to snap him out of his funk. It's not easy living in the shadow of four successful older brothers and a father named Santa. Little does he know that a kiss on New Year's Eve is about to turn his life upside-down.

Kiana Grant's Manhattan life is a world away from her childhood in Oahu. She traded sunsets and surfing for a respectable career in library science, but Oskar Klaus is a temptation that's hard to resist. Before she knows it, she's in the midst of an outrageous adventure in the North Pole, dealing with mischievous elves, wicked demons, and a devastating attraction to Santa's youngest son.

There's just one problem...a bitter elf hell-bent on revenge threatens the future of everyone in the North Pole, even Santa himself... 

My thoughts:
A sweet story set around New Year. If there only was snow outside then I'd totally be in the xmas zone ;) (edit: snow now, yay).

Oscar ...oh well he has green hair, tats, a Seuss hat and loves to snowboard. And super models drool after him. 

Kiana hides herself behind ugly glasses and clothes. She does not want a bad boy who is after a super model, and she does have a hard time looking past his exterior. Cos in reality he is a really sweet guy!

Oscar is of course doing the chasing , and she will fall, and they will live happily ever after.

But before that, trouble is brewing in Glassdorf and I liked the other side shown. Just cos they are elves, does not mean they are all nice.

Sweet, fun, read it with some cookies beside you ;)

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published November 18th 2013 by Penny Watson
Klaus Brothers #2
Paranormal romance

Sunday 21 December 2014

2 Author Interview and Giveaway

 Today I interview Clare Chase and Sarah Waights. And at the end there is a giveaway :)


First up is Clare:

Thanks so much for inviting me on to your blog; it’s lovely to be here!

1. Tell me about yourself?

I got hooked on mysteries with a romantic element a long time ago, and I write what I enjoy reading! I love the pulse-racing mix of romantic drama and criminal intrigue.

I read English Literature at London University, and went on to work in author and book promotion. I organised events in all sorts of venues, from prisons to pubs. (Both those settings were useful for research!)

More recently I’ve worked in public relations (which turned out to be great practice for creative writing...) and also fundraising.

When I’m not reading or working on a book, I love cooking, drawing and exploring the galleries and cafes of Cambridge, where I live with my husband and teenage daughters.

2. And your new story, You Think You Know Me?

It’s a murder mystery set in London and the UK’s Lake District in the run-up to Christmas. Journalist, Anna Morris, meets a stranger in a smart city gallery. She falls for him on sight; but that’s before she realises he’s given her a false name... Torn between backing off and allowing him to explain, Anna gets drawn in. Before she knows it, she’s part of a history that’s already been written, where a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing.

The story is set in the arts world, which has always fascinated me. My mother trained as an illustrator, and my brother’s an artist, so that’s had an influence. The sector also provides lots of potential for mystery fiction. The proceeds from art and antiques crime in the UK are second only to those from drugs.

3. What inspired you to become an author?

It sounds like a cliché, but I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. Even my genre preference seems to go back a long way. I found a school book from when I was ten that’s filled with mini mystery stories. I’ve always loved reading novels that mix romance and intrigue, too. Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn was a firm favourite. I also devoured the works of Mary Stewart, and romantic thrillers like Jilly Cooper’s Bella. That reading diet inspired me to keep going!

4. Are you working on something at the moment?

Yes, a new mystery set in my home city of Cambridge. It’s about Ruby, who’s house-sitting for a man she’s never met, having made a bolt from home. Within days she’s caught up in the unhealthy relationships he’s formed and, when one of his contacts finally snaps, she finds herself enmeshed in a chain of deadly consequences. It’s a race against time to discover who’s meting out their version of justice.
Ex-PI, Nate Bastable gets drawn into her search for the truth. But why did he give up his old job? Ruby ends up with two mysteries to solve…


Sometimes, it’s not easy to tell the good guys from the bad …

Freelance journalist, Anna Morris, is struggling to make a name for herself, so she’s delighted to attend a launch event for a hip, young artist at her friend Seb’s gallery.

But an exclusive interview isn’t all Anna comes away with. After an encounter with the enigmatic Darrick Farron, she is flung into the shady underground of the art scene – a world of underhand dealings, missing paintings and mysterious deaths …

Seb is intent on convincing Anna that Darrick is up to no good but, try as she might, she can’t seem to keep away from him. And as she becomes further embroiled, Anna begins to wonder – can Seb’s behaviour be explained away as the well-intentioned concern of an old friend, or does he have something to hide?

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And now on to Sarah:

1.Tell me about yourself?
First of all, hello and thank you for having me… it’s lovely to be invited onto your blog ... and what a fabulous first question!   Doesn’t everyone just love talking about themselves?   I could go on and on...

I remember writing my first book at five years old.   It was about a squirrel as I recall. I was sent to show it to the scary headmaster who patiently ploughed through the entire thing and wrote a nice comment on the back page which, because of the joined up handwriting, I didn’t manage to read until years later. My first review! 

I was sent to boarding school when I was nine, because my father was in the air force and diplomatic corps, and was posted overseas a lot.   That was when the avid (OK, obsessive) reading started. I read absolutely everything I could get my hands on but my favourites were the smuggled in, heavily dog-eared novels by authors like Danielle Steele and Virginia Andrews. My goodness I loved them, the more dramatic the better. I also started creating great long narratives in my head, with me as the plucky heroine getting up to all sorts of ridiculous things which my handsome hero, modelled loosely on David Essex or Oliver Tobias, was terribly impressed by. There was an awful lot of being swept up into his arms too - although I was a bit hazy about what happened after that. 

I only really joined planet earth again in my late teens when I was required to decide what I wanted to do next. Oddly, I settled on becoming a classical singer and went off to do a music degree. It didn’t lead to anything very much because I never overcame my crippling performance nerves, which I probably wouldn’t have had if I’d been more talented. I then ended up working in PR, which I was much better suited to because it involved a lot of writing. The great limitation of writing for PR is that making stuff up is frowned upon, so – when I was on maternity leave – I started writing my first novel.   I didn’t finish it until child number two came along five years later. It is still unpublished. I’m definitely a late developer. 

2.And your new story, ‘Never Marry A Politician’?
There are two main drivers for the story and the setting here.  The first is that, having seen my mother being just as tied to my father’s job as he was, I wanted to explore what happens in a marriage where one person commits to living a life dictated almost entirely by the other’s career choice. My poor heroine, Emily, struggles hugely with the pressure to be a perfect politician’s wife, constantly toeing the party line and never daring to have an opinion on anything until the party has told her what it is.   When her ex-lover journalist Matt turns up, he unsettles her, not only because of the overwhelming attraction between them, but also because he challenges her to be herself again, something she hardly dares to believe she can be, or, at least, not without toppling her marriage at the worst possible time in her husband Ralph’s career. 

Of course there are lots of settings where I could have explored these ideas but the world of politics is so perfect because it is full of egotism, ambition and lies. It is a world where how things look is so much more important than how things truly are. Matt’s role is to rip away the artifice and expose the truth, which Emily is frightened to let him do because she has learned it’s safer to suppress her real feelings and, with two children to think about, she has a lot to lose. The big question, throughout the book, is whether she will allow Matt to persuade her to break free, or if she is too trapped in the life she has created with her husband Ralph.

Emily’s character is great fun to write because of the mess she gets herself into whenever she opens her mouth. Try as she might, she is desperately ‘politically incorrect’ (my original title) and Ralph’s party spend most of their time trying to keep her under control. I treasure the comment from one reviewer where they likened Emily’s character to Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones. I hope I have captured some of that comic eccentricity in Emily’s voice. 

3. What inspired you to become an author? 

Goodness knows why I thought it would be a good idea … I think initially it was an intellectual challenge just to see if I could actually write a full length novel.   And then there was a long period where the challenge was to write a GOOD full length novel.   And then it was all about finding a way to get published. I struck gold with Choc Lit who agreed to put my early manuscript in front of its panel of real readers.   As far as I know, they are the only publishers who screen submissions like this and it’s a brilliant way to pick the best stories.   It was my proudest moment to date, when I heard from the Choc Lit team that the readers liked my book.   At the end of the day, it’s the only thing that counts.   Seeing ‘Never Marry ...’ being read and reviewed by real people (who aren’t even my mum, or anything) and actually saying they enjoyed it is the best thing ever.   I’m hooked.   I hope I will be able to carry on getting my stories in front of readers for years to come because, however enjoyable it is to write - and it really is - my aim is to be read.   

4. Are you working on something at the moment? 
Ah, well, there’s the thing…   I have two books on the go at the moment and I am frankly failing to get on with either because I can’t decide which one I want to write the most. Perhaps your readers can help me choose which one they would most want to read:     
Devon and Hell - When her godfather has a heart attack Maddy rushes to his aid, even though it means returning to the scene of a devastating event which changed her life – if only she could remember what it was… Shocked to discover Cecil’s beloved pub is set to be closed by its owners she works hard to transform its fortunes despite the best efforts of his enemies, seen and unseen.   She is also using her marketing talents to help local artisan friends capture the imaginations of the country’s homes and interiors fashionistas. Soon Maddy buckles under the pressure of her godfather’s illness, saving the pub, helping her friends and keeping her London business and boyfriend happy, and returning memories of a past traumatic event threaten to overwhelm her. As her life starts to unravel ex-army psychology lecturer Ben may be the only one who can help – if she can bring herself to let him.

Saving Grace - When newspaper boss Kevin ‘what’s the story’ Whatling decides that – actually – his wife understands him after all, Grace is dumped, finding herself suddenly single and out of a job...
With her journalistic career floundering she turns to her flamboyant brother Julian for help and is quickly engaged to write the memoirs of Rosalind, retired grande dame of espionage. At the older woman’s secluded country retreat Grace meets Rosalind’s son Guy, an uncompromisingly tough aid worker.

Unfortunately, Guy loathes journalists in general and Grace in particular. When she is whisked off – against his wishes – as the embedded journalist to report on his latest rescue mission, sparks are set to fly. Her reporting grabs the attention of the world but, when her hunger for a story leads her to ignore her own safety, Guy has to switch from saving the world to saving Grace…

Which one shall I do?   Please comment, tweet, post and let me know!   

‘Never, under any circumstances, marry a politician …’
In trying to be the model wife to Ralph, a fiercely ambitious politician, Emily has betrayed her heart and her principles. Once she was a promising journalist, but now reluctant domestic goddess is more her scene.

When unexpected events lead to Ralph becoming a candidate for Prime Minster, Emily finds maintaining the façade of picture-perfect family life an increasing struggle –especially when her romantic past comes back to haunt her in the form of tough-talking journalist, Matt Morley.
Matt is highly skilled at ‘digging the dirt’ and, sure enough, Ralph has a sordid secret that is soon uncovered. In the aftermath of the discovery, will Emily finally find the courage to be true to herself, or is she stuck in the world of PR tactics and photo opportunities for good?

Finalist in the 2014 Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition.

Buying links: 

A chance to win ebook copies of both books.

1. Open to everyone in the world.
2. Ends December 31st
3. To enter, answer Sarah's question ;)

Good Luck!


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