Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!


Merry Christmas everyone!! 

Hope you all have the most wonderful time with your friends and family during the holidays.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

GUEST POST by Blair Howard on writing mystery

It's been less than six months since I decided to try my hand at writing detective novels. It was something I'd wanted to do for more than 30 years. The first book in the series, Harry Starke, was published in September and was quickly followed by two more, Two for the Money and Hill House.

All three are, I'm happy to say, doing quite well. Harry Starke has just received its 20th review, and is rated overall at 4.5 out of 5. Even the few 3-star reviews are good. Thank you one and all. And so the series continues with Checkmate, the 4th in the series due in February 2016, and I continue to try to write the best detective novels I can. Speaking of which:
It ain't easy folks. To write a true who done it is in itself a puzzlement. The task is to craft a believable story, a mystery that will keep the reader guessing right to the end, to hide the solution in such a way that when revealed the reader says: Wow, I didn't see that coming. To do that, I have to hide it from myself. I never know the solution to the mystery myself until the story is almost complete. You can't cheat the reader. The solution must be believable. You can't make the perp some obscure character that's mentioned only in passing, nor can it be the obvious choice, although I have seen that done.

The solution to Hill House came to me in a flash of inspiration as I was writing the third to last chapter. Up until that point I had no idea 'who done it', then suddenly, the light went on, and I had it. When it happens, and it always does, it's a moment like no other. When the solution to Hill House came to me, I sat there and smiled at the screen. It was the same with the first two Harry Starke novels, but Hill House was different. I wasn't expecting it, at least not then. Wow. It's moments like that I live and write for.

All of my detective novels start out in the same way, with a single scene. For Harry Starke, it was a beautiful girl jumping off a bridge at midnight. In Two for the Money, it was a late night phone call. Hill House? The body of a girl long dead discovered under the floorboards of a derelict house. For my new novel, Checkmate, it's the discovery of a body on a golf course. Once I have that first scene, I look for photographs I can use for inspiration. I take that first scene and play with it. I ask myself the eternal questions: Who? Why? How? When? The answers to those questions, hoy Harry Starke and the rest of the characters handle them, drive the story to its conclusion.

I have to confess that ideas for my detective novels don't come easy. No, I don't suffer from writer's block, but if I didn't manage to find those first, inspirational scenes, I probably would. Where do they come from? They are everywhere. Life is full of such scenes. All you have to do is recognize them, grab them, and then develop them. Hill House came from an old three-story house, now demolished, that I passed by several times a week on my way into town. Each time I did, I saw it out of the corner of my eye, and it intrigued me. The opening scene in the first Harry Starke novel, the suicide, came to me one day several years ago as I stood on Walnut Bridge and looked down into the water. You'll know them when you see them.

Finally, to write a true detective story is to have more fun than any human being deserves to have. Who said that? Dave Ramsey, I think. No matter. It's true, and I am ever grateful to my readers and the validation they provide.


Harry Starke is available on Amazon U.S. and Amazon UK. You can find Two for the Money on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

About the author


Blair Howard was born and raised in a small town in England, near Stratford-Upon-Avon, on the edge of the English Cotswolds. He is the author of the Harry Starke series of novels: hard-boiled detective stories set in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The first book was released early in September 2015; the second book, Two for the Money, was released on October 19, 2015. Book 3 in the series, Hill House, will be released early in mid-December. Blair also writes sweeping historical epics, five historical novels of the American Civil War and the American West. He is also the author of more than 30 non-fiction books and more than 4,500 magazine, newspaper and web articles. You can follow Blair on Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter, or visit his blog and his website.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

COVER REVEAL for Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully by Megan Tayte


Hey everyone! I'm incredibly excited to be hosting this cover reveal for Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully, the fifth instalment in Megan Tayte's fantastic series The Ceruleans. I read and reviewed the first book, Death Wish, this summer, and seriously can't wait to delve deeper into the series! And now, on to the cover...

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

November 2015 Wrap-Up!


November is over already... and I seriously don't know where all the time went. I've been terribly busy all month, running around trying to fit everything in my schedule. I'm ready for some holidays now, even though I know I'll have to wait quite a while before I can actually get any. Oh well, at least now that December is here I have an excuse to drink hot chocolate... because everything is better with some hot chocolate! I'm also really happy to see the lights and Christmas trees starting to go up. It's getting me in a festive mood early, and I really like it!

Reading and blogging-wise, November has been just as dreadful as October. I only read four books this month, posted very little, and was absolutely rubbish at keeping up with visiting other blogs. But three out of four of these books were on my reading plan for this month, so I'm happy that I managed to follow it at least a little!

covers link to Goodreads

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton - 4/5 (review to come)
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro - 3/5
Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell - 4/5
Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons- 5/5

Links in titles take you to my full review


Also, this month I hit 100 Instagram followers!! That really surprised me, since I don't actually post very often (I'm just too lazy when it comes to taking pictures), but I'm ever so grateful that people actually like some of the stuff I post! Massive thanks to each and every one of you who take the time to read my posts and like my tweets and pictures. You are so wonderful, I want to hug you all!! 
If you don't already follow me and would like to, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter, and as usual, you can follow me on Bloglovin or by email by clicking on the links on the right.

What I added to my shelves


How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern - from the library
Grudging: Birth of Saints Book One by Michelle Hauck - review copy from Edelweiss. Huge thanks to Harper Voyager!

Not many new books this month, but that's not too bad since I have a lot of older ones that I want to get through first. I'm particularly excited to have had the opportunity to host the wonderful Michelle Hauck (author of Grudging) here on the blog this month to talk about NaNoWriMo inspiration. If you missed her guest post, be sure to check it out!

My Plans for December


I've been pretty good at following my reading plan for November, so I'll try again this month. I'll definitely try to read:

-How to Fall in Love - since it's from the library, I have to read it before the deadline. That's motivation for you! 
-Grudging by Michelle Hauck - because it makes me very curious and I feel in the mood for a good fantasy.
- Never Never by Brianna Shrum
- The Traitor by Seth Dickinson

Both of these last two were in my plan for November, but I didn't manage to get to them in time. I'll try again this month, and maybe I'll be more successful!

What about you? How was your November? Any plans for December? Tell me EVERYTHING in the comments!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

ARC Book Review: Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons

I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Published: September 2015

Pages: 283


Summary


After ten years of being told she can't tell the difference between real life and a fairy tale, Alice finally stops believing in Wonderland. So when the White Rabbit shows up at her house, Alice thinks she's going crazy. Only when the White Rabbit kicks her down the rabbit hole does Alice realize that the magical land she visited as a child is real. But all is not well in Wonderland. The Ace of Spades has taken over Wonderland and is systematically dismantling all that makes it wonderful. Plain is replacing wondrous, logical is replacing magical, and reason is destroying madness. Alice decides she must help the Mad Hatter and all those fighting to keep Wonderland wonderful. But how can she face such danger when she is just a girl? Alice must journey across the stars to unite an army. She discovers that fairy tale are real in the magical world beyond the rabbit hole. But they are not the fairy tales she knows. Fairy tales have dangers and adventures of their own, and Alice must overcome the trials of these old stories if she wants to unite the lands against Ace. With the help of Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White and heroes old and new, Alice may have the strength to take back Wonderland.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

ARC Book Review: Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell

I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.


Publisher: Bookouture

Series: Detective Jennifer Knight #2

Published: September 2015

Pages: 338


Summary


He will predict your life... and your death. Don't ever cross his palm with silver. He will reveal your most shameful secrets. He will predict your death. He is hiding a secret. He is hiding a monster. And all his predictions come true. Investigating a series of chilling murders, Detective Jennifer Knight finds herself tracking a mysterious tarot card reader known only as The Raven. As the death toll rises, Jennifer and her team build a picture of a serial killer on the edge of sanity, driven by dark forces. But these are not random killings. And the method behind the madness could be the most terrifying thing of all... Especially when it seems the death of one of their own is on the cards. Time to Die is an absolutely gripping serial killer thriller with a breath-taking supernatural twist.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

GUEST POST by Michelle Hauck - How NaNoWriMo Motivated Me

Hey everyone! Today, I'm really excited to be hosting Michelle Hauck, author of GRUDGING (out today!), who's here to share with us her experience participating in NaNoWriMo. Thank you so much, Michelle!



I want to tell you why entering NaNoWriMo (National Write a Novel in a Month) can be a blessing. But first let's go back a little ways.

It was fall of 2013, and I had just landed a literary agent as summer ended. My middle grade manuscript was out on submission with all the big name publishers. People from HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin and Random House (this was before their imprints merged) were reading my little story. There was really nothing further I could do. It was out of my hands. That meant it was time to move forward with a fresh manuscript. Something to give my agent if the middle grade didn't get a six-figure offer.

If you're not a writer, you don't know how hard that can be. These are your darling characters. You've slaved over them for months. You've become attached. You know them as well as you know yourself - how they'll react, how they think. The characters from your last book are familiar friends. It hurts to leave them, sort of like a break up. And for someone new. Some character you don't know the least thing about yet. Ugh. It's so difficult.

But necessary.

Maybe some writers can jump straight into another story, but I always need a bit of cooling off period first. I took a month. A month wasn't too long. Then things came up. It stretched to two months. How could I concentrate on something new when the big people were reading my pages? Might contact me at any moment with a high-powered deal.

But a little voice kept saying, "And what if they don't. What will you have to show your agent?"

Darn it all. The little voice was right. I needed to get busy. So I searched around for something to write about and came up with a big, fat nothing. I'm not a big idea person who can crank out ideas for novel plots at the drop of a hat. Luckily, I heard a song on the radio. I won't go into details too much because I talked about this in several other interviews, but this song (Come Along by Vicci Martinez) had marvelous lines for a fantasy story. It got me thinking about sirens using their voices to lure people. About characters who might be friends or they might be enemies, and maybe it took them a long time to decide which. About a city surrounded by foes and a blood-thirsty army, and the desperate lengths it would send people.

So I had enough of an idea for a couple of chapters. I could picture a character or two. As a pantser writer (no outline or detailed plan), that's really all I needed. Now I just had to sit down at the laptop and face the blank screen and put down some words. But... but what if it wasn't perfect. Or what if my agent called with good news and I had to switch gears again? Maybe I should check my email inbox about 500 more times first. I could start this new story tomorrow. Tomorrow was soon enough.

A couple of days of this and it became apparent that I needed help. That's when inspiration struck. NaNoWriMo started in a few days!

I'd never tried to enter this before. There was no way I could write 50,000 words in a month. I'm way too slow of a writer. I average a chapter a week on a good week. That would be four chapters in a month, possibly 12,000 words. Far short of the 50,000 word goal to enter NaNoWriMo. And I didn't like that kind of pressure. But this year was different. This year I tasted desperation. I needed to get going on writing something.

So I took the plunge and signed up for NaNoWriMo in November of 2013. On November 1st, I took off like a shot and got a respectable word count for a single day of close to 1,500. I was impressed with myself. And better, I was learning about my new characters, getting a feel for the new story. And the page wasn't blank anymore.

The days went by and I reported my word count on Twitter under the #NaNoWriMo tag. I was falling farther and father behind on the goals. Within two weeks, other people were declaring themselves finished. They'd reached the 50K mark. I was still at 10K. But I didn't feel bad. NaNoWriMo had motivated me. By the end of the month I'd reached an astounding total for me - 20,000 words.

But despite "losing" at NaNoWriMo my new story was off. I had ideas. I had an interest in seeing where the characters would take me. I forgot to stare at my inbox, waiting to hear from my agent. (That middle grade story never did sell.) I knew I would finish this one. And finish I did, in an unspectacular ten months, instead of one.

But you know what else?

I edited that story that lost in NaNoWriMo. I sent it to my agent and we revised some more. It went out into submission land where big people read it. It landed a three book deal with a Big 5 publisher called HarperCollins. Now I have the first installment of a trilogy coming out from Harper Voyager on November 17th. A little story called Grudging that came from a song, and was made possible because NaNoWriMo forced me to be responsible and write.

About the book


A world of chivalry and witchcraft...and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa... demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power. And time is running out.

A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.

GRUDGING is out TODAY
November 17, 2015
Published by Harper Voyager

Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads

About Michelle


Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. She is a co-host of the yearly query contests Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, New Agent, PitchSlam, and Sun versus Snow. Her Birth of Saints trilogy from Harper Voyager starts with GRUDGING on November 17, 2015. Her epic fantasy, KINDAR'S CURE, was published by Divertir Publishing.


Find her online

Goodreads: Grudging
Goodreads: Kindar’s Cure

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Book Review: Mistress of Justice by Jeffery Deaver


Publisher: Rizzoli

Published: March 2012 (first published 1992)

Pages: 466



Summary


Taylor Lockwood spends her days working as a paralegal in one of New York's preeminent Wall Street law firms and her nights playing jazz piano anyplace she can. But the rhythm of her life is disrupted when attorney Mitchell Reece requests her help in locating a stolen document that could cost him not only the multimillion-dollar case he's defending, but his career as well. Eager to get closer to this handsome, brilliant and very private man, Taylor signs on... only to find that as she delves deeper and deeper into what goes on behind closed doors at Hubbard, White & Willis, she uncovers more than she wants to know - including a plentitude of secrets damaging enough to smash careers and dangerous enough to push someone to commit murder. Yet, who is capable of going to that extreme? With her life on the line, Taylor is about to learn the lethal answer...

Sunday, 1 November 2015

October 2015 Wrap-Up!

Bye-bye October, hello November! 

Another busy, busy month is over, and a new one is beginning. Reading and blogging-wise, October has been a terrible month. I have fallen behind on SO MANY activities! I have been working a lot outside of home, so of course that has taken its toll on my free time (spoiler: it's been basically non-existent). And I have a feeling that November will not be that different...

BUT! I still managed to read three books in October! This is quite below my average so far this year, but I'm still very pleased, considering I had very little reading time this month. 


Once Upon a Time: Red's Untold Tale by Wendy Toliver - 4/5 stars
The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen by R. T. Lowe - 3.5/5 stars
Mistress of Justice by Jeffery Deaver - 3/5 stars (full review to come)

What I added to my shelves


Mistress of Justice by Jeffery Deaver - from the library
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro - from the library
Io Amo: Piccola Filosofia dell'Amore by Vito Mancuso - gifted by a friend
The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher - thanks to the publisher and NetGalley!
Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons - thanks to Curiosity Quills Press and NetGalley!
Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn - thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy!

My Plans for November


I'm always kind of wary of making big plans for my reading, since I have a distinct tendency not to follow them. I'm definitely a mood reader, so I often change idea on what book to pick up at the very last moment. But, this month, I will try to stick to my schedule!

- The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro - I'm reading this now, and I will definitely finish it very soon, because it is due back to the library. That's motivation for you!
- Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell - My other current read, this one for review. I definitely plan on finishing this pretty soon, because I am very curious to see how things will turn for DI Jennifer Knight.

I also hope to get through some of the review copies that I have neglected until now. In particular, I'll try to read:
- Never Never by Brianna Shrum
Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons
- The Traitor by Seth Dickinson

I'm linking up with Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
What about you? How was your October? What are your reading goals for November? Tell me EVERYTHING in the comments!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

ARC Book Review - Once Upon a Time: Red's Untold Tale by Wendy Toliver

I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.


Publisher: Kingswell Teen

Published: September 2015

Pages: 416



Summary


Red is 16 and lives with Granny in a cottage in the village, where boarding up the house and hiding during Wolfstime is a means of survival. Red helps Granny with her baked goods business, catering as well as door-to-door sales. Red has a constant internal battle between her wild side and her strict, overprotective upbringing, and the issue of "control" as she discovers she has a hot temper when the "mean girls" push her too far. She is plagued by nightmares she doesn't understand, but the Once Upon a Time fans will recognise them as her wolf side coming out. Red balances the difficult times with Granny at home and the girls at school with an emerging and satisfying romance with Peter.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

COVER REVEAL + GIVEAWAY for Grudging by Michelle Hauck


Today Michelle Hauck and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for GRUDGING, Birth of Saints Book One series which releases November 17, 2015! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win a copy if the eBook!

On to the reveal! 




Title: GRUDGING
Author: Michelle Hauck
Pub. Date: November 17, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Format: eBook

A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power.  And time is running out.

A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.




About Michelle: 

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Two papillons help balance out the teenage drama. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.

She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her epic fantasy, Kindar's Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, is published by The Elephant's Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer's Double Edge. She's repped by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.



Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive an eBook of GRUDGING. International


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 9 October 2015

Book Review: The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen by R.T. Lowe

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

Publisher: CreateSpace

Published: May 2015

Pages: 500



Summary


Reeling from a terrible accident that claimed the lives of his parents, Felix arrives at Portland College hoping only to survive the experience. In time, however, his reality star roommate shows him there is more to higher education than just classes, shared bathrooms and bad dorm food, and Felix gradually dares to believe he can put his past behind him. But a fateful storm looms on the horizon: in the nearby woods, two hikers become the latest victims in a series of gruesome murders; a disfigured giant embarks on a vicious cross-country rampage, killing teenagers who fail his 'test'; and an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence. Only one man - the school's groundskeeper - knows that the seemingly unrelated events are connected, and that an eighteen-year-old boy stands in the centre of the storm.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

RELEASE DAY PARTY + GIVEAWAY! The Devil and the Deep by Megan Tayte


Hey everyone! I'm incredibly excited to be hosting this release day party for The Devil and the Deep, the fourth instalment in Megan Tayte's fantastic series The Ceruleans. I read and reviewed the first book, Death Wish, this summer, and seriously can't wait to delve deeper into the series! Be sure to scroll down this post for a great excerpt from Megan's latest book, and enter the giveaway for your chance to win a copy!

STORM CLOUDS ARE GATHERING, AND THEY WILL RAIN BLOOD.
Scarlett is living her happy-ever-after, back in the real world. Only the 'happy' part is proving problematic.
For starters, there's the isolation. Being a Cerulean among humans is fraught with risk, so her time with people can only be fleeting. Which means being with Luke but not being with Luke.
Then there's her Cerulean light, her power over life and death. Less awesome talent, as it turns out, and more overwhelming responsibility. And it comes with rules - rules that are increasingly difficult to obey.
But what's really pushing Scarlett to the precipice is something much bigger than herself, than her life in the cove. A force to be reckoned with:
Blood.
When long-buried truths are exposed, will Scarlett keep her head above water - or will she drown in the blood-dimmed tide that is unleashed?

Buy The Devil and the Deep on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Excerpt


It began with screaming. Shrill, ear-piercing, horrified screaming.
A girl shrieked, 'Blood! Look, look - it's everywhere!' and pressed her hand to her mouth.
A man shouted, 'Good grief!' and another, 'Great Scott!'
An old lady swooned gracefully and would have tipped over the balustrade of the riverboat had a lanky lad not caught her.
The cause of the excitement - a women lying slumped on the long table on deck, cheek on her bread plate, headdress in the butter dish - twitched a little.
'She's alive!' cried a lad beside her delightedly. 'She moved!'
'Did not,' argued another.
'Did too!'
'Gentlemen,' interjected a short, portly man with a twirly black moustache, 'if you will forgive my intrusion, it must be noted that this woman has a bullet hole in her head and is logically, therefore, quite definitely deceased.'
Another old dear folded to the deck with a prolonged 'Ohhhhhh' and her husband grabbed a feathered fan and began wafting cool evening air in her face while calling, 'Smelling salts - does anyone have any?'
I tried to keep a straight face. Really I did. I bit my bottom lip until I tasted my cherry-red lipstick. I pinched my leg through the cream satin of my gown. I dug my long cigarette holder into the sensitive flesh of my arm.
But it was no good.
The 'What ho, chaps' posh accents.
The buxom woman sagging in the arms of an elephant hunter wearing Converse All Stars.
The production of smelling salts in a bottle whose label read Pepto-Bismol.
The corners of the little round man's moustache coming looser with his every word.
The fast-pooling puddle of pinkish blood on the bread plate, buffeted by the steady in-and-out breaths of the corpse.
Take it from a girl who's really died - death on the River Dart, Devon, is hilarious.
'Dear me, Ms Robson here appears to be quite overcome with shock', said the guy at my side suddenly, and he slipped an arm around me and turned me away. 'Come, madam. Let us get some air.'
I smiled at him. Then grinned. Then chocked back a guffaw. Thankfully, by the time full-scale hilarity hit me I'd been led to the rear of the boat, away from the rest of our party, and could bury my face in the bloke's chest and shake mutely with laughter.
The gallant gentleman rubbed my back soothingly as I let it all out and said loudly, for the benefit of any onlookers, 'There, there, pignsey, there there.'
'Pigsney?' It was the final straw. My high-heeled sandals gave way and I melted into a puddle of mirth on the deck.
'I'll have you know, Scarlett Blake,' hissed Luke, my boyfriend a.k.a. gallant gent, hoiking up his too-tight corduroy trousers so he could squat down beside me, 'I Googled "old-fashioned terms of endearment" and pigsney's a classic.'
I wiped tears from my eyes, dislodging a false eyelash in the process, and tried to catch my hiccupping breath as Luke went on.
'Means pig's eye. No idea why that's appealing, but apparently in the seventeenth century, calling a lady pigsney was the very height of courting.'
Through his fake specs Luke's blue eyes fixed me with a stare so earnest I almost managed to stop laughing.
'But this is a Death on the Nile-Stroke-Dart murder mystery night, Luke,' I managed to get out. 'Set in the nineteen thirties, not the seventeen thirties.'
'Ah,' he said, 'but my character tonight, Mr Fijawaddle, is a historical fiction writer, isn't he? So as well as dressing like a brainy recluse - and I'm warning you now, I won't hear another slur against this tweed jacket - and he'd know all kinds of obscure terms. Like ginglyform and jargogle and nudiustertian and bromopnea and farctate and quagswag and philosophunculist.'
His showing off sobered me just enough to control the giggles. 'You made those words up,' I accused, poking a crimson talon into his mustard-yellow shirtfront.
He blinked at me innocently. 'Did not. I told you before we left the house, I did my homework.' I narrowed my eyes. 'All right then, Mr Fijawaddle, what does the last word you said mean?'
'Philosophunculist?'
'Yes, that.'
'Er...' Luke gave me a sheepish grin.
'Spill it,' I said menacingly. As menacingly as a girl dressed up as a vintage Hollywood starlet with cute little pin curls and rouge aplenty can be, that is.
'Philosophunculist,' recited Luke. 'Noun. A person who pretends to know more than they do in order to impress others.'
I threw my head back and laughed. 'Busted!'
Luke slipped an arm around me and pulled me close. Really close.
'Bet you like it when I use long word,' he said huskily, eyes fixed on my too-red lips.
'Bet you like it when I wear a clingy nightgown as a dress,' I replied, eyes fixed on his too-kissable lips.
'Brazen hussy,' he growled at me.
'Randy boffin,' I murmured back.
Then neither of us said another word for quite some time.

About the author


Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. 'Write, Megan,' her grandmother advised. So that's what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction - young adult romance with soul - recently earned her the SPR's Independent Woman Author of the Year award.

Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in Robin Hood's county, Nottinghamshire. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a paleontonlogist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she's not writing, you'll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.

Find Megan online on:

Time for a Giveaway!


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