Friday, 31 May 2013

Familiarise Friday meets Rhia Ashton

Familiarise Friday meets Rhia Ashton from Monogamy Twist.
Monogamy Twist is an ancestral mystery, a weird Dickensian-style bequest where a dilapidated old English mansion lands in the lap of someone who hasn't a clue why he has been chosen for the honour. Luke Salieri, the beneficiary, aims to find out why Amelia Greywood has given him the Hall and 'contracts' Rhia Ashton to help him find the answers. The bequest has some very weird conditions which have to be met, but let's meet Rhia... 

I’ve managed to catch her in one of the upstairs rooms in the fabulous old house called Greywood Hall that you see on the left. She a  fascinating, and very busy, lady but she’s agreed to stop and answer some questions for me.

Hi Rhia. How are you today? 
I'm feeling absolutely wonderful, thank you. I'm so excited about what I'm doing at Greywood Hall that I'm almost bubbling over! 

Yes, I've heard a little about this incredibly weird and antiquated contract that you've signed. It's quite strange for this day and age!
I know, I'm still stunned that I've said I'll marry Luke Salieri in a few days, but I just couldn't pass up the chance to research this fantastic place for a whole year.

Even though you didn't know the man a week ago you've said you'll marry him and live with him as his wife and researcher for a whole year? 
I know it's totally crazy, but I've said yes and I'll do it! He 's the most gorgeous man so I don't think being his wife will be any great hardship. Well, would you not want to marry him if he asked you? Just take a look! And researching Greywood Hall is my ultimate dream job. It couldn't get any better than being the sole person in charge of cataloguing and handling the contents. It's like a mothballed museum in there.

If that's Luke contemplating you then I really don't think you'll have a problem with living with him. Resisting him will be something else, though.

But no digressions or daydreams about Luke Salieri. Back to the interview. For my readers I’d like you to describe yourself using only 6 words.

hardworking, tenacious, thorough, outdoors-type, dog-lover, reliable

You've got a dog, haven't you? 
Here's my Thor.  He's a huge Irish Wolfhound, but he's a great big softie. Just as well Luke likes him, or I'd have a problem because there's no way way I'd have given up Thor for anything.

Where are you from, Rhia?
England. I’m originally from the south, but moved around the Home Counties when I was younger. My parents divorced when I was quite young and I lived with my mother. When she changed jobs we tended to move closer to her work, to cut down on her travel. I spent term time with mother, and most of my school vacations with an aunt, or my maternal grandparents. Sometimes my aunt brought me up here to Yorkshire, mostly to Border Cottage.

I know you're working here every day at Greywood Hall, but where are you currently living?
I’ve got a long lease to rent Border Cottage, right next door. It’s a tiny little place but I adore it and it holds a lot of great memories for me.

That’s the pretty little cottage just before the main gates to the Hall?
Yes! That’s the one.  It’s only a step away from here.

Apart from your cottage, what would be your most favourite place in the whole world?
Last week I would have said I don’t really have one, but now that I’ve actually been inside Greywood Hall that is my absolute dream place. I know it’s a bit dilapidated, and it needs a lot of work done to restore it, but it is the most fascinating house. It’s like it’s been bubble-wrapped in cobwebs and left to sleep for many, many decades. There are so many wonderful things to touch, and to research, it’s just heaven for me. And Luke wants to move into Greywood Hall when enough of it has been renovated. That'll be so exciting!

Who would be your ideal holiday companion if you took off on a sudden unplanned trip?
Again, before last week I’d have had trouble answering that question- apart from taking Thor, of course. But now that I’ve met Luke he would be the one. 

I'd definitely take him, too. But back to your work. What’s your main occupation just now?
I’m a historian and a family researcher. For the last year or so I was building up my internet family researching business, but as of last week Luke has given me the tremendous opportunity of researching every single thing in Greywood Hall. I’m so excited I hardly know where to begin. No. Scratch that! I’m a professional so I really do know where to begin, but it’s a dream come true for someone like me to do it- even though I’m highly qualified for it, and used to work for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London as a researcher. I'm babbling but so thrilled by it all.

Are you a gadget freak, or a technophobe?
Probably neither. I use the internet and various computer resources for my researching, but I can’t say I’m really a technophobe. I only learn what suits my needs and work with those till I require something else to help me in my work. As for a gadget freak? If it’s an old gadget that’s got amazing technical merit for it’s time then I’m all for it. I’d research everything about it and will wax lyrical about it.  Really new gadgets I steer clear of.  Hey! I’m a historian after all.

If you were granted a whole week where you can choose every single thing you want to do what would you do?  
Well, there would be three big things. 
First thing: I really want to crack the mystery of why Amelia Greywood left the Hall to Luke. He had never heard of the woman yet she bequeaths him such an incredible place. Wouldn’t you want to know why as well? The answers have to be somewhere in that wonderful house, but to find that answer I’ll have to get to know Amelia first.
Second thing: It would be pretty much what’s been happening to me during this incredible and amazing past week. I’d continue to work over at Greywood Hall. The research over there is going to take me the whole year I’ve signed a contract for, because there are so many artefacts of historical note. But as well as working on the cataloguing of the interior contents I’d want to be sure the first renovations to the Hall will not damage anything. It’s such a wonderful place it needs to be really well restored to grandeur.
Third thing: Maybe this should actually be the first thing? I want to learn everything there is to know about the man I’ve got myself temporarily hitched to. Luke Salieri is the most incredible lover, and I’m already way under his spell even if to him I’m just a ‘convenient’ and legal wife for just now. He's got me totally snared in his web!

I can't help noticing that you're looking a bit edgy just now, peering at the door. Are you just keen for me to leave? Or is there someone, or something, that you're trying to avoid just now?
Right this very minute I’m trying to avoid Luke. Just so that I can get some work done, you know? We’re at that stage of a relationship where it’s all so new and novel that every time he looks at me all we want to do is make love and not stop! It’s such a fantastic thing, and it’s never happened to me before like this, but I’ve also contracted myself to do a research job and when I sign on a dotted line then I mean to fulfil whatever that condition is! The only problem is I keep wanting him to disturb me as well...oh dear...

I think we'll skip any more details if you don't mind. Any interested reader can find out in the book. It's pretty sensual isn't it?
Oh, it's definitely sensual. Luke just can't keep his hands off me and ...I guess I'm pretty much the same.

One last question. What new cuisine would you like to try?
I’m quite happy to eat in at my cottage, but I can already see that Luke likes to try out the local restaurants every night. We don’t have a huge variety around here, since it’s a very countrified area, but there’s a new restaurant opened up not too far from here that serves five different types of Far Eastern cuisine. I quite fancy the Indonesian section first. I eat anything and everything though, not fussy at all.

Well, Rhia. Thanks for the great interview and good luck with finding out why Amelia left Greywood Hall to Luke, and the best of luck with the rest of your weird contract. I'd hang on to him if it were me, but a girls' gotta do what a girls gotta do! 

 See the tab above to sample Chapter One of Monogamy Twist. 
Luke Salieri thought he'd seen everything. But when he inherits a dilapidated English estate from a woman he's never heard of—and with quirky conditions besides—it’s a mystery he wants resolved immediately. There must be a woman out there who can meet his needs. But how far will he have to go to persuade her? Lucrative employment for a whole year? The job of researching the old house and its fantastic contents is enticing – but Rhia Ashton can’t see herself living with gorgeous Luke Salieri and not wanting his body as well. Can she live and sleep with him for a whole year and then walk away? Rhia has her own ideas about what will make it worth her while.

Buy from:


All images used are from


Thursday, 30 May 2013

Capital D

I've a special promotional post today from Natasha Johnstone, author of Capital D.
I wondered what made Natasha begin to write. She wrote that this was the prompt...

I went for a hysterectomy in December last year and was booked off work for 6 weeks. As I was unable to do much I bought all the books on the New York Time's best sellers list and started reading. In a matter of 3 weeks I had read all 20 books. I loved them all, but I got so sick of reading books where I could not identify with the characters, that I decided to finally write one of the stories I'd been dreaming about since I was a teenager.

I wrote the book in two weeks flat and then took another week to make changes and additions after a National Geographic journalist friend read it. I still have 3 more books to write until the series is complete after which I shall be writing more books - characters and stories that I've had in my head all these years.

About Natasha Johnstone:
I consider myself to be a Blogger for life and an Author of life. As a fat teenager my social calendar was fully booked with reading engagements rather than parties and thus my love for the written word was born. Through the years I wrote thousands of novels in my mind because of those awesome years. Then in December 2012 my hectic life was brought to a complete standstill after an operation and so I started writing my stories. Because I come from a very conservative family and I would like my own kids to read the adventure, my book is available in both adult and PG rated versions. I was born on Christmas day and live in South Africa with my husband and children.  Since I work full time and clean, cook, do the laundry and look after my two boys when I get home, my only hobbies are blogging and posting on all my social networks. When I do get time to read I do a bang up job and the same goes for writing. My whole lifestyle, including exercising, is crammed into as little time as possible. If there is a short cut, I’ll be the first to find it. 
Book Synopsis:
Silka Fontein returns to her home town after disappearing 15 years ago, shortly after her graduation after party. She reunites with Taber Blake. Taber and Silka grew up together and reconnect after all those years apart. Their unexpected attraction to one another and their will power is tested when a series of events turn their lives upside down.  Her secrets have put her life in danger and his secrets are lethal. Together they face various kinds of threats and danger but in the process discover the truth about each other. Will their chemistry and friendship be enough to sustain them through it all?
Men will love the action adventure and woman the erotic love story based on timeless topics with lots of twists! 
Capital Promo:
Capital D is the first book in a series of four books. Only the readers will know what Capital D stands for and why the title is so mysterious. The whole series is suitable for men and women of all ages as well as teenagers. This is the reason each cover was designed to be monochromic and indeterminate. Research showed that women respond to cursive fonts, whilst men responded favourably to the shape of a circle. Both preferred covers with contrasting colours and opted for a cover that was not too busy and provocative.  People of all ages also prefer titles of two to three words over an entire sentence. The design in the whole series does not give the title or the story away and only the reader will know which version they are reading. Never before has a reader received so much power. Only the reader will know the secrets in this story and be entrusted to keep the book title‘s secret.
This action adventure is packed with comedy, suspense, romance and sexual tension with lots of twists and turns along the way. The strong, confident and witty characters are easy to relate to and grab your attention from the start. The plot itself is timeless and will remain relevant for centuries. This is the book to read if you want to lose yourself in a great read.

Natasha is found at : wol

Capital D is available in many forms from main ebook sites including amazon; kobo;; lulu

Best wishes with you tour Natasha!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Visiting today!

I've been interviewed at Jane Bywe's today. Hop on over and see her fantastic blog.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Monday Moments presents Topaz Eyes

I've got no one booked for my Monday Moments slot today so I'm featuring my own multi 5* rated ancestral mystery Topaz Eyes.

A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910.
Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.
Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota?  Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery?
As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?
Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love. 

Buy from: 


Amazon US

 View my book trailer video

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Rooty Ma Toot-y- and a free mystery

Last night I went to the local jazz club- Garioch Jazz in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  The Garioch Jazz Club is approaching it's 30th anniversary and it's the longest continuously running jazz club in Scotland. The club has a very varied programme of events over the year and feature: new bands and familiar ones; traditional ones; local ones; small and large ones. Last night they welcomed back a big band whose last appearance was back in 2003.

The band playing were called 'Rooty Ma Toot'. The 15 piece Big Band is based in Inverness, Scotland and the name means  'looking out my best suit' and were fantastic to listen to.

This is one of the very well known numbers they played last night, although the video was taken at an earlier venue. (The band members were also slightly different last night) This version is much more traditional than many others played last night of tunes from films and shows.

I thought I'd write a little bit about them today, and then pondered about how people write reviews all the time. Mingling aspects of a book review with my music review went something like this....

Very professional the 15 piece Rooty Ma Toot band arranged themselves into the space available in a short time, some sound checks finalising their set up. The first couple of numbers were slightly slow, announced as arrangements of well known tunes. Jazz afficionados would have been quicker at recognising them as different versions of tunes/songs which made it into 1930s- 1960s films, but I'm no expert and sat at times thinking "Do I know this one? Yes. No. Yes. Definitely yes...". The mystery was defintiely set up and the arrangements keep me guessing.

 And that was how the night progressed - a little supposition, a little anticipation, some presumption here and there to solve the mystery of whether or not I knew what they were playing, and was I enjoying the arrangement. The night warmed up beautifully both literally(outside) and musically (the audience inside). The featured guest singer's arrangements of Broadway hits were, again, slightly different but much more like the 'original' versions I'm more familiar with.

There was something nice about that familiar feeling of 'knowing'. The piano player was superb and her couple of vocals were spectacularly funny and entertaining- though I'm not sure I'd ever heard those songs before. Like a novel should be at times. Perhaps not exactly funny if it's a danger-laced mystery but definitely entertaining and a little bit different, is what I'm looking for as a reader.

But I'm not only singling out a few of the band - every single member added their considerable talent to the concert. Sometimes, to me, particular instruments are always background players, as are some secondary characters in a novel and that's exactly how it should be. It's excellent to give them a little 'spot limelight' but they should most definitely make a valuable contribution to the whole rounded experience. It made me hope that my secondary characters make that all too important contribution, but I'll only know that if people tell me they do. 

Going to hear the band play was well worth the time of an evening away from my keyboard. My thanks to Rooty Ma Toot...and to the Garioch Jazz club. 

So that was 'Rooty Ma Toot' but what about that free mystery? 

Since it's the 'end of the month Saturday' it's time for me to do another 'review freebie' competition.

How can you get an ecopy of TOPAZ EYES?

If you love to read and review novels, and regularly post them on your blog, amazon, Goodreads etc why not have a go at winning a review copy of my ancestral mystery 'TOPAZ EYES'?

All you have to do is tweet the following:

I'd desperately like a #free e-copy of TOPAZ EYES by Nancy Jardine @nansjar

 ...then pop your contact/ blog details in the comments box (so that I can make contact with you) Your name will go into my draw, as easy as that!

               *****More than one ecopy is available*****

The offer is available for Sat 25th and Sunday 26th May. I'll choose my winner at midnight 26th May. (UK time)
Good luck.

Topaz Eyes

A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910.
Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.
Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota?  Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery?
As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?
Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Familiarise Friday meets Nairn Malcolm

Familiarise Friday welcomes Nairn Malcolm from the contemporary, light-hearted, humorous, corporate sabotage mystery - Take Me Now

Nairn has been having quite a few, unexplained, work related problems. Someone tampered with his motorbike, the result being he's now sporting quite a few dramatic injuries, but he's determined to get on with things and has agreed to be interviewed. Here's what he had to say when I asked him some quick questions:

Where do you hail from?
I'm Scottish. I was brought up in Mariskay, the biggest town on the island of Lanera. That's an island off the west coast of Scotland, roughly opposite the mainland fishing town of Oban if you've ever heard of that?

I have!  I've seen Oban on the maps and have visited it myself. It's a lovely part of the world if you can stand its variable weather! Is that where you currently live?
Ah, great question! Not a simple answer, though. 
near Oban
My main base is meant to be at Garvald Castle, not far from Mariskay town, on Lanera. I’ve only lived at Garvald for the last few years since I had the shell of the old castle renovated, but I spend more time travelling and living in and out of hotels to keep my businesses going. I’ve got apartments in London and New York that reduce the hotel living a little bit. I fly in and out of London a lot so it makes sense to have an apartment there. I found this fantastic butler who keeps the place ticking over and doesn't fuss about me dropping past at zero notice. I've more business clothes there than at the castle and he's a whizz at organising anything I need. My Mediterranean villa on Corsica is a fantastic little place, but neglected since I don’t visit it very often. My mother hops over from Barcelona and stays in it more often than I do.

What would be your ideal place to stay for a month?
Nice one! Right now my ideal would be to stay at Garvald Castle and get healed quickly. I hate the nuisance factor of being wrapped in two bl**dy plaster casts, but at least at home I’d be able to fall over without embarrassing myself.
No…scratch that…my ideal would be to find a log cabin somewhere almost totally isolated and spend the time with Aela. No work, no mobile phone, no satellite communications- just nature and Aela.

What would you do there?
TMI. I'm not giving you all the details! 
I’d be fully fit, of course, and we’d go on hikes to acquaint ourselves with the area. We’d kayak the rivers and do a bit of hill walking- camp out for a night or two if that suited. We’d eat simply and do whatever the nearest locals do, find the watering spot and enjoy what local talent and entertainment might be around. A four by four would get us to some of the best views but we’d limit the time spent travelling in a car- I'm a soppy guy, I like holding her hand...
She's a lovely girl so I can understand that! Tell me 6 things about yourself.
I love flying myself around; I love my work; I love trying out new sports; I enjoy new places; I’m not very patient; I suppose I’m a bit restless.

How would Aela describe you?
Ah, well. I’m only just getting to know Aela but I’m pretty sure they’d be something like…overconfident; demanding; workaholic; funny (sometimes she laughs, but that might be at my battered state); hopefully generous and of course handsome.

The photograph here is from before your accident, but I can see what might make Aela think you a cool guy!

You've been having some problems lately and look like you need to change your lifestyle. What would you change first?
I’d cut down the work load since Aela is absolutely magic at helping in the office and with travelling. That would give more time to explore the bits of the world neither of us have visited-sometimes flying ourselves and sometimes just enjoying the places we visit using other transport like taking safari treks and stuff like that. Of course, I’d have to persuade her to stay with me in the long term for that to happen. I guess the very first changes will be for me to do whatever it takes for me to persuade her to be my girl forever.

What leisure pursuits would you want to take up in 2013?
Well… I’ve tried everything I have on offer at Adrenalinn Adventuring -that’s my adventure sports business- except the newest one that will be starting soon. In a nutshell, it’s a cross between a bungee jump and skiing—or cycling—off a ramp over a valley, or a canyon. And I’d obviously like to try any sports Aela has done that I haven’t tried yet.

Wow! Still the thrill seeker. I thought seeing the state you're currently in that you'd say that you'd be taking up stamp collecting or something sedentary. 

Me? No chance. Except if Aela persuaded me otherwise.

Another question. What’s your most favourite way to travel?
Flying my floatplane is the best thing ever.

What kind of novels do you tend to read? 
I don’t have much time for novels. I mostly read economics, or adventure sports, magazines but I like thrillers when I have the opportunity. And mystery or adventure novels which highlight lovely world destinations- especially places I’ve never been to yet, but so well described that it makes me want to hop right into my jet and go and visit. 

Thanks for a great interview, Nairn. Here's to your full recovery and to getting that future with Aela sorted out. I hear she's a lass with a mind of her own, so you might just have to work quite hard to persuade her that you're her forever guy.  

 Amazon UK 
 ...And other ebook stores
View Youtube trailer

Nairn Malcolm’s looking for the impossible. He needs a highly skilled, enterprising aide who’ll be at his beck and call 24/7. No ordinary Jane Doe will do. He doesn’t expect the only candidate who drops in at his Scottish castle for an interview to be so competent…or so stunning.
Aela Cameron’s got exactly the right mix of talents to satisfy all Nairn Malcolm’s needs, and more. She loves the jobs he needs done, adores his castle, and finds his frenetic lifestyle energising. But she’s only looking for temporary: not to fall in love with the man.
Can Nairn convince Aela she’s tailor-made for him in every way…and not a passing fancy?    


Tuesday, 21 May 2013



Lunaria annua - annual honesty is a favourite plant of mine. When the honesty leaves begins to appear in my garden it makes me hopeful that the winter is over and that spring is really springing into action. The leaves grow tall very quickly, followed by the delicate looking flower clusters- though it is actually quite a hardy plant.

Lunaria means 'moon shaped' in Latin. This is normally attributed to it because of the shape and fragility of the seed pods.

A versatile plant, lunaria is easy to grow and gives pleasure when in flower and also afterwards when the seed pods are drying out.   

It is thought the name 'honesty' was started in the 16th century, perhaps when the transluscent seed pods were likened to the moon.

Found worldwide the plant is known by many different names. In the United States it is commonly known as 'silver dollars' or sometimes 'Chinese money/ Chinese coins'. In South East Asia is it referred to as 'the money plant'. In parts of Europe (Denmark) it is called 'judaspenge' named after the 'thirty pieces of silver' that Judas Iscariot was paid for betraying Jesus Christ in the biblical story.

When I look at the honesty in my garden it reminds me to think about my writing and to decide just how honest I am having protrayed myself as a self- styled full-time author. Sadly, that is not quite true. I spend some of my time gardening- looking after my lunaria and a multitude of other plants; I look after my 20 month old granddaughter two days a week; and do varius necessary domestic duties.

What's left is my writing time!

Enjoy my honesty? 


Monday, 20 May 2013

Monday Moments presents... This or That and Morgan Kelley

Today I'm featuring Morgan Kelley - author of a number of books which are being featured on an Eternal Connections Crew Tour.  Morgan's brought us a fun quick fire 'This or That' for us today to get to know her a little bit better. 

So... Morgan... This or That?

Books or Magazines? Books
Night or Morning? Morning
Kisses or Hugs? Kisses
Bicycle or Motorcycle? Motorcycle
Weird or Normal? Weird
Roses or Lillies? Roses
Love or Hate? Both! kill people for a living, if there was no hate, half my books would be useless!
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Teacher or Student? Student. We should always keep learning
Rich or Poor? Poor. Money doesn't buy happiness. It only brings bigger issues.
Sports or Reading? ALWAYS reading.
Cookies or Cake? Cake- but only if it's chocolate and cookies if they're chocolate chip.
Sausage or Bacon? Bacon wins hands down.
Bad or Good? I like my men bad and my children good.
Halloween or Christmas? Being pagan, Halloween always

More About Morgan
Morgan Kelley lives in the beautiful Pocono Mountains with her husband and two children.  After attending college at Penn State University and studying Criminal Justice, Morgan knew here only true passion in life would be murder and books.  She put them both together and began her career as a writer.  Other than books and writing, you can find Morgan hanging out in her garden and digging in the dirt.
Her other works include: The Junction, Serial Sins, The Killing Times (book 1), Sacred Burial Grounds (book 2), True Love Lost (book 3), Deep Dark Mire (book 4), Fire Burns hot (book 5) The Blood Betrayal, The Blood Redemption, The Blood Vengeance, and The Blood Retribution.

Upcoming Projects and Released Projects
FBI Stand Alones

The Junction
Serial Sins

The FBI Series

Darkness Of Truth (6) Out summer of 2013
Home Sweet Evil (7) Out for Halloween 2013 
The Blood Series - Vampyres
The Blood Betrayal- (1) Currently only available in paperback 
The Blood Redemption (2)  kindle and paperback 
The Blood Vengeance (3)  Kindle and paperback 
The Blood Retribution (4)  Kindle and paperback 
The Blood Seduction (5) Christmas 2013

The Private Investigator Series
Stolen by Moonlight (1) out fall of 2013

The Croft & Croft Series
Vegas is Dying - Out fall 2013 
Please feel free to visit Morgan at her website:,  drop her an email at, or pop into her blog at

Morgan says:

The Killing Times
I hope you love the story behind Elizabeth, Ethan and Callen as much as I do.

The killing Times is the first book in the series, and starts the journey of Elizabeth LaRue and Ethan Blackhawk. The two come together despite the odds, and find the one thing we all want and search for every day. True love. 
Sacred Burial Grounds
This book continues the story of Elizabeth and Ethan. It also introduces Callen Whitefox, who becomes cemented back into the life of his brother and sister-in-law in so many ways. Hearts are broken, hearts are mended, and life goes on.
True Love Lost
True love lost is book three in the series. It takes you on a little trip into the lives of Callen and Desdemona.
Sometimes True Love is easily found, and sometimes it's fought hard to achieve. True Love Lost is the first half of the series, culminating with the conclusion in 'Deep Dark Mire'.

I hope you enjoy the journey!
Much love!
Morgan Kelley

Thank you for featuring today, Morgan. Best wishes with all of your work!  


Sunday, 12 May 2013

Sunday Surprise- Oh Vienna!

I felt a bit nostalgic this morning. I've not been anywhere in mainland Europe since April 2012 and it made me think of all the fabulous places that are around to visit.  

Vienna came to mind first. I've only spent around 5 days in the area and they were a fantastic 5 days. 
Kunsthistorisches Museum

The tourist spots are endless, the architecture amazing. There are so many museums, art galleries and famous public buildings it is so difficult to choose which to visit. Walk on any street in the central old city and I can guarantee something will catch your eye and make you want to stop and savour.

Full of grandeur, the wealth of different architectural styles is absolutely breathtaking. I have some lovely photos of my October trip (school holiday week) but unfortunately I'm not so good at writing down where photos are taken. If you can identify any of the unlabelled ones please jot it down in the comments box!

So much can be done on foot in the central old city, but equally there are other ways of seeing the attractions of this splendid place. On my visit we either walked or used the tram system. Back then, in 2002, we got used to working out the different tram routes around the old city centre but today that's not necessary.
Vienna tram 2002

Recently inaugurated, the new Ring Tram system makes it easier to see the old inner city areas since it has a hop-on, hop-off system. Around half an hour will take you round the perimeter of the old city making it just perfect for a first reconnaissance, after which you can choose which attractions first take your fancy. Look for the Yellow trams now!

Or what about trotting around the old city in a horse drawn carriage? That was fantastic fun, though not exactly for the limited pocket!

The huge Kunsthistorische Museum has such wonderful collections it’s far too difficult to decide exactly what to spend time on. I could have spent my whole week’s holiday in that one museum. Go early in the day would be my advice because you just might need to rest your legs now, and again.

If you’re more of a modern art lover you cannot go to Vienna without visiting the Gustav Klimt collection. The Kiss, by Klimt, is quite amazing to view, its golden hues and deep colours have a vitality that I found astounding considering the painting is now more than a century old, painted in 1907/1908.


There are so many art galleries in Vienna that the decision to visit boiled down to what my husband and I could reasonably fit into our short holiday. Visiting the Schonbrunn and Belvedere Palaces were a must since the belongings of the Habsburg rulers are at the heart of Viennese culture.

I would love to have seen the famous stallions of Vienna- a Lipizzaner show being described as a feat of unparalleled horsemanship, and a stupendous ballet. Unfortunately it wasn't to be- it was expensive but there was no convenient show which fitted into our packed timetable.

The New Year’s Day Concert broadcast from Vienna and seen on millions of TVs worldwide was no stranger to us since it's a regular Ne'erday feature for us. I really fancied a night in that fantastic building of glittering chandeliers, full of splendidly dressed patrons. We didn't manage that either-although we did a tour of the building one morning.

Time and money were major considerations on my short visit, but a night at the opera was a must. What we saw was absolutely splendid. A Mozart Opera performed by the Statsopera, in the Musikverein was breathtaking. Our holiday fund didn’t run to seats close to the stage-but where we were was such fun! 

We were way up in ‘the gods’, in seats at the very font, though if you are the least bit inclined to suffer from vertigo-don’t go up so high. The view was incredible - opera glasses definitely recommended - and the overhead translation of the libretto was an extra bonus. 

Alternatively you might prefer to laze away your afternoon at the park called the Prater. On a sunny, warm day you can loll about the wonderful park areas, picnic on the grass, enjoy the world pass by…or you could be up on the giant Ferris wheel getting a bird’s eye view of the city. My trip was during October, and not so warm, but the view from the top of the Ferris wheel was stunning. No ordinary Ferris wheel, the Prater wheel has cars, holding quite a few people- as in a cable car. Since we visited in October we had a private viewing. Nice. Very nice. 

I've forgotten to mention the plethora of fantastic sculpture that is also all over central Vienna, on the facades of buildings and in free standing statues. 

I've got this lovely photo of a classical Roman statue which would have been great to use for my Celtic/Roman A to Z blog posts in April, but sadly I have no idea who is meant to be represented in the sculpture. If you know please tell me! 

That’s only a tiny bit of what we saw in Vienna, and what’s available to see. Vienna truly is a fabulous city to visit and I’d love to go back again. What about you? 

It was such a beautiful city to visit I just had to sneak Vienna into my writing. It features in my ancestral mystery Topaz Eyes, though my main character Keira has some scary moments there.

Please read on and find a nice long Sunday excerpt for your coffee break read. You'll see that at this part of the story Keira's experience is just a little different from mine!


Instead of walking back to her hotel, she hopped onto the Ring-tram as it squeaked to a halt outside the impressive museum frontage. Entering through the middle doors, she punched her ticket and squeezed her way to the rear of the car. It was jam-packed, but she found an empty seat when a couple made an impromptu late choice to get off at the stop, jumping up in a flurry. As she settled down, her gaze drifted to the front of the tram. Just before the doors closed and the car slid into motion, a man forced his way through the closing space at the front doors.
            Oh God! That shit again?
            Panic set in. She stared out the window for guidance, from who knows what, or whom. The grip on her bag threatened to break the leather strap, her fingers trembling against her chest.
            Rat in a trap.
            Not absorbing a thing outside, she willed calm to descend. She was being ridiculous again. The back of one hand snaked up to towel her sweaty brow. The tram was packed full of people, the man trailing her couldn’t do anything to her while she was on… but when she got off? Her eyes tracked her surroundings. Wide open. Squelching down her fear, she made plans. Exit really quickly, so fast her hunter would be unable to follow her. He was still wedged down near the front and that was a good thing. Wasn’t it?
            Oh God! Why was the tram so hot? The window close to her was open, but she felt as if she was a tasty bit of meat on a spit… just ready for the picking. Or more like the meat in amongst all the vegetables on a plate: her pursuer the fork, poised and ready.
            Having got on at the Museumplatz area, she guessed the tram might get less busy by the time it reached the University quarter. That was a good few stops ahead. She had to get off before then to lose her shadow. Once she lost him, she could do normal things like... find somewhere to eat? She felt nauseous already. Drawing on reserves of strength, she fought back the bile threatening to erupt and concentrated on the elusive being-normal thing.
            According to her guidebook, there were plenty of good restaurants around the area called Schottenkirche, and it wasn’t too far from her hotel. She yanked open her map so fast a split screeched down the middle. Her eye movements were feverish as she blinked to a clear vision, one finger tracing her route. When her tram passed along the Rathaus Park, she could get off and walk down the street named Schottengasse, and stop at some place when she was sure the man wasn’t following her.  
            She avidly scanned to confirm her bearings. When the car hissed to a halt at the next stop, lots of people around her were exiting. Finding no street name, she swallowed her alarm. She must be at Schottengasse already! How did that happen?  Scrambling from the seat, she ducked down as low as she could and followed the queue. When she was almost out of the door, she leaned to the side to track her snowy-haired follower.
            Her stomach almost heaved up its contents. He’d forced his way to the nearest doors. Panic overtook her; her foot froze on the lowest step, her body fully out of the vehicle. In slow freeze frames, her pursuer got off. A pile of travellers surged behind him and forced him to move further onto the pavement. 
            Keira’s chin whipped around. No-one exited behind her. Zipping back inside, the doors hissed to a close before the tram wheezed into motion. Thumping down onto the nearest seat, her eyes gravitated to the window. Her stalker speed-walked alongside the tram. She was terrified. He looked furious. Now he wasn’t just a white head as his features imprinted on her memory banks. An aquiline nose sat above tightly-drawn thin lips. Strong blue eyes flared his anger. 
            Keira shut her eyes tight. She couldn’t look out the window any more. Her hand willed the rapid pulse at her neck to still. Involuntarily, her lips curled up in a nervous smile. Her nerves were still a jingle, but she also felt exhilaration, a heady excitement. She’d lost him. Steeling herself to be braver, she scanned the street up ahead. He’d have to run much faster to keep up since the stretch they were travelling on moved alongside the edges of the Rathaus Park, now a greater distance between the tram stops.
            That was confusing.
            Pulling up her map, she checked again. A genuine smile of delight split her face; her body slid even further down the vinyl seat, beginning to relax a little. All those people had exited at the Burgtheatre, the city theatre, and there was still a bit of park to pass along before the next stop. She wasn’t near Schottengasse yet. Relief flooded as the tram clicked into an even faster pace. No-one got off or entered at the next stop. Keira heaved a sigh of relief when there was no sign of her shadow alongside.
            Her legs trembled like mad when she got off at Schottengasse.  As she walked down the fairly major thoroughfare, she willed her nerves to calm. She sporadically scanned back on her speed-walk, relieved there was no sign of her pursuer. After a few long blocks, she slowed her pace and regained her breath. She couldn’t truly appreciate the marvellous architecture around her, though she tried. When she was close to the Schottenkirche, the local parish church, she selected a place to eat.

A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910.

Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.

Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota?  Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery?

As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?

Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love. 

You can see my book trailer video here: