Blog Tour & Giveaway: Resistance by A.S. McGowan

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Resistance
Cockiest Red Planet Trilogy Book 1
by A.S. McGowan
Genre: SciFi
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What would you do if the laws allowed anyone with money to Trademark an
everyday word? Or the copyrighting of a name, so no one could ever
use that name again?
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Over a hundred years ago, Earth was dying. A few rich men and women banned
together to create a kingdom on Mars. They hand picked the people who
would join them in this new kingdom. Then they brought their arrogant
beliefs and made them laws. The Trademark Commission was established
to allow anyone who could afford it, the ability to trademark any
common word. The laws stated that once a word was trademarked no one
could speak that word again. The Naming Commission ensures that all
names are copyrighted and no one uses another person’s copyrighted
name. Fines and even prison time are given to those who violate the
trademark and copyright laws.
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Kathryn 5.0 was pregnant with her first child when the word ‘baby’ is
trademarked. Forced to refer to her baby as “little human”
she is tired of the 100 year old laws. Reaching out to friends, she
works to create a resistance. Together they fight against the
trademark and copyright laws. Battle lines are drawn and it is family
against family. Those who resist the laws are branded “Bullies”
while those who support the ancient laws wave the “Victim” banner.
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**Only .99 cents!!**
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Kathryn 5.0 walked down the hard-packed, red dirt streets. The heat wave sucked the air from her lungs. With her hands under her swollen belly, she tried to elevate some of the strain on her back. Only three weeks to go and her baby would be born. She should be excited, but she was worried. The Naming Commission told her today that the name she wanted has already registered. Sadly, Luna was registered last month to someone else’s baby girl. The only option they offered her was to name her baby Luna 2.0. She did not want her child to be a point anything, she wanted her child to have a unique name. To be the first registered.

When she reached her house, she darted inside. The cool air was a blessed relief from the outside heat. The sweat on her body practically froze on her skin. Plopping down on the bright teal wooden bench, she removed her shoes. She slid them under the bench then stood and shook the red dust from the bottom of her long blue skirt. It was a daily struggle to keep the dust out of the home, especially when it clung to everything. It seemed all the women in the kingdom sported the red stains upon the hem of their skirts. She hated it. Not long ago she had petitioned the Fashion Commission to allow shorter lengths to prevent this. They shot her down instantly. The women who sat on the Commission were the fashion superiors and their word was law.

Inside the living room, she sat on the bright yellow sofa. Her feet propped up on the white wooden coffee table. She put her earphones in and clicked the button on the sound system remote. She was that way when her husband came home. She noted that he had removed his shoes but still wore his cream-colored cotton pants and matching tunic work suit. He joined her on the sofa, placed his hand on her stomach, and smiled. She took the earphones out and turned off the sound system.

“How did it go at the Naming Commission?” His voice held a hint of anticipation. His smile lit his face up.

“Not good. The name we wanted was already registered. I want a unique name for our baby.” She looked at him, her eyes pleaded with him to offer up a unique name.

“Well you need to stop referring to the child as ‘baby.’ I heard on the city speakers that the word “baby” is now a registered trademark. We can’t afford to be sued for using the word.” He shook his head.

“Surely the use in our home if acceptable.” Turning she faced him, her eyebrow lifted.

“There are eyes and ears everywhere, Kathryn 5.0, we can’t risk it. Use the term little human from now on.” He lovingly patted her stomach again. “So, what’s for dinner?”

“I thought we would have cucumber soup. With this heat, a chilled dish would be most welcomed.” She hated the way he deflected from the subject at hand. She knew he was looking forward to the name Luna just as much as she was. Instead, he focused on a trademarked word and violations.

“Kathryn 5.0! You know that James 3.0 registered a trademark for the word soup a couple of months ago. Remember, it is liquid puree now.” He looked at her the way a parent would look at an errant child.

“I am sorry, Matthew 7.0, of course. Dinner is cucumber liquid puree.” She smiled at her husband. He was more concerned with the Trademark Commission and all the trademarked words than she was. Then again, in his line of work as a lawyer, she could see how such things would affect him more than her.

They ate their dinner in silence at the small table in the kitchen. Finishing his dinner, Matthew 7.0 disappeared into his private office. She remained in the kitchen to clean up. There were nights like this where she wished she was one of the Elite. The Elite were allowed various servants to take care of daily chores. Uppers such as herself were denied these luxuries.

She was placing the dishes into the dish cleaning machine when her husband came in. He had changed out of his work suit and now wore a sage green tunic with matching pants. He was smiling the smile that always meant he had big news to share. She couldn’t help but smile back at his infectious smile.

He grabbed her and spun her around. Laughing and squealing, she begged to be put down. When he put her down, he kissed her. Breathless, she smiled up at him. His sparkling blue eyes mesmerized her, pulling her in.

“I have the perfect name for our little human.” He was giddy. “Minka!”

“Minka?” She scrunched up her nose. What kind of name was that? Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Prisoner of the Crown by Jeffe Kennedy

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PRISONER OF THE CROWN
Chronicles of Dasnaria #1
by Jeffe Kennedy
Genre: Fantasy
Pub Date: 6/12/2018
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She was raised to be beautiful,
nothing more. And then the rules changed . . .
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In icy Dasnaria, rival realm to the Twelve Kingdoms, a woman’s role
is to give pleasure, produce heirs, and question nothing. But a plot
to overthrow the emperor depends on the fate of his eldest daughter.
And the treachery at its heart will change more than one carefully
limited life . . .
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The Gilded Cage
Princess Jenna has been raised in supreme luxury—and ignorance.
Within the sweet-scented, golden confines of the palace seraglio,
she’s never seen the sun, or a man, or even learned her numbers.
But she’s been schooled enough in the paths to a woman’s power.
When her betrothal is announced, she’s ready to begin the
machinations that her mother promises will take Jenna from ornament
to queen.
But the man named as Jenna’s husband is no innocent to be cozened
or prince to charm. He’s a monster in human form, and the horrors
of life under his thumb are clear within moments of her wedding vows.
If Jenna is to live, she must somehow break free—and for one born
to a soft prison, the way to cold, hard freedom will be a dangerous
path indeed…
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I grew up in paradise.

Tropically warm, lushly beautiful, replete with luxury, my childhood world was without flaw. My least whim was met with immediate indulgence, served instantly and with smiles of delight. I swam in crystal clear waters, then napped on silk. I chased gorgeously ornamental fish and birds, and enjoyed dozens of perfectly behaved pets of unusual coloring and pedigrees. My siblings and I spent our days in play, nothing ever asked or expected of us.

Until the day everything was demanded—and taken—from me.

Only then did I finally see our paradise for what it was, how deliberately designed to mold and shape us. A breeding ground for luxurious accessories. To create a work of art, you grow her in an environment of elegance and beauty. To make her soft and lusciously accommodating, you surround her with delicacies and everything delightful. And you don’t educate her in anything but being pleasing.

Education leads to critical thinking, not a desirable trait in a princess of Dasnaria, thus I was protected from anything that might taint the virginity of my mind, as well as my body.

Because I’d understood so little of the world outside, when my time came to be plucked from the garden, when the snip of the shears severed me from all I’d known, the injury came as a shock so devastating that I had no ability to even understand what it meant, much less summon the will to resist and overcome. Which, I’ve also come to realize over time, was also a part of the deliberate design.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me go back to the beginning.

I grew up in paradise.

And it was all you’d imagine paradise to be. A soft palace of lagoons and lush gardens, of silk bowers and laughter. With little else to do, our mothers and the other ladies played with us, games both simple and extravagantly layered. When we tired, we napped on the velvet soft grass of the banks of the pools, or on the silk pillows scattered everywhere. We’d sleep until we awoke, eat the tidbits served us by watchful servant girls, then play more.

Hestar and I had our own secret games and language. All the ladies called us the royal pair, as we were the emperor’s firstborns and we’d been born less than a month apart.

My mother, first wife, the Empress Hulda, and the most highly ranked woman in the empire, spent much of her day at court. When she was home in the seraglio, she preferred to relax without noisy children to bother her. Hestar’s mother, Jilliya, was second wife and kept getting pregnant, forever having and sometimes losing the babies. So, by unspoken agreement, we kept clear of her apartments, too. Something else I understood much later, that the miasma of misery has its own brand of contagion—and that those who fear contracting the deadly disease stay far away.

Saira, on the other hand, third wife and mother of our half-sister Inga, had a kindness and sweetness to her, so we kids often played in her apartments when we grew bored of games like climbing the palm trees to see who could pluck the most dates while a servant counted the time. Inga, along with my full brother, Kral, were the second oldest pair—the second-borns, also arriving in the same month, to my mother and Saira. Less than a year younger than Hestar and me, they completed our set of four. Our six other brothers and sisters played with us, too, but they were babies still, needing to be watched all the time. Whenever we could, the four of us ditched the babies, exploring the far corners of our world, then making hideouts where no one could find us.

Though, of course, when the least desire took our fancy, someone always appeared instantaneously to satisfy us. Another of the many illusions of my childhood.

Hestar and I, we had a cave we’d made under a clump of ferns. He’d stocked it with a box of sweetmeats and I’d stolen one of my mother’s silk throws for a carpet. Embroidered with fabulous animals, it told tales of a world beyond our corner of paradise. We loved it best of all our purloined treasures, and made up stories about the scenes and creatures, giving them names and convoluted histories.

One day—the kind that stands out with crystalline clarity, each detail incised in my memory—we played as usual. Hestar had been mysteriously gone for a while the day before, or perhaps several days before or for several days in a row. That part fogs in with the timelessness of those days that never ended, but blended one into the next. What I remember is the elephant.

“And the miskagiggle flapped its face tail, saying nooo—”

“It’s called an elephant,” Hestar interrupted me.

“What is?”

“It’s not a miskagiggle. It’s an elephant, and the face tail is a trunk.”

Hestar beamed with pride at knowing something I didn’t.

“You’re making that up.”

“No, I’m not! My tutor told me.”

“What’s that?”

“A teacher. My tutor is named Ser Llornsby.”

“Is that where you went?” Hestar and Kral had been whisked off by servants, and no one would tell me or Inga where they were, just that we’d see them again soon.

Hestar’s blue eyes went wide and he looked around to see if anyone was listening. “Want to know a secret?”

Oh, did I. Even then I understood that secrets were the carefully hoarded and counted currency of the seraglio. “Yes!”

We pulled the silk throw over our heads to make a tent. It was the usual grass beneath, so we didn’t really need the carpet. Having it just made our hideaway more special—and the throw became a blanket, excellent for exchanging secrets.

“We went through the doors!” Hestar told me, whispering but much too loudly.

I hushed him. I didn’t question how I knew, but this secret held power. Most of our secrets had been silly, frivolous things, like how Inga kept candied dates under her pillow. Or ones everyone already knew, like that Jilliya was pregnant again. With the unabashed enthusiasm of children, we absorbed all the murmured gossip and repeated it with equal relish. This, though—I recognized immediately how important it was.

No wonder no one would tell us where they’d gone. Children didn’t go through the doors. Only my mother and some of the women. The rekjabrel and other servants, they went in and out all the time. But a lot of times they came back crying or hurt, so we understood the doors led to a terrible place. And yet Hestar had gone and returned, beaming.

“Was it terrible? Were you scared? Did Kral go, too?”

Hestar nodded, solemnly. “We were brave boys though. And it’s not like here. There aren’t the lagoons and it’s not as warm. They took us to a library and we met Ser Llornsby. We looked at pictures and learned animal names.”

I couldn’t bring myself to ask what a library might be. I wanted to look at pictures and learn animal names. Though I didn’t know the emotion to name it at the time, a jab of envy lanced through my heart. Hestar and I always had everything the same, only I had the better mother, because she was first wife. It wasn’t fair that Hestar got to go through the doors and learn things without me. An elephant. I whispered the exotic word to myself.

“Elephants are huge and people ride on their backs, and the elephants carry things for them in their trunks.” Hestar continued, full of smug pride. “Ser Llornsby is going to teach me everything I need to know to be emperor someday.”

“Why do you get to be emperor? My mother is first wife. Yours is only second wife. Besides, I’m older.”

Hestar wrinkled his nose at me. “Because you’re a girl. Girls can’t be emperor. Only empress.”

That was true. It was the way of things. “Well then you can be emperor and I can be empress like Mother.”

“All right!” Hestar grinned. “We’ll rule the whole empire and have lots of elephants. Kral and Inga can be our servants.”

For the rest of the day we played emperor and empress. Kral and Inga got mad and decided they would be emperor and empress, too, not listening when we said there could only be one of each and we were firstborn so they had to be our servants. They went off to play their own game, but we got Helva to be in our court, and also her little brothers, Leo and Loke. The boys were identical twins and liked any game they could play together. Baby Harlan could barely toddle, so he stayed with his nurse. Ban went off with Inga, of course, as he followed her everywhere, but her full brother, Mykal came to our side.

We didn’t care, because our court was the biggest. Besides, everyone knew the emperor gets to pick his own empress, and Hestar already promised me I’d be first wife and I could pick his other wives, just like Mother did. Which meant Inga wouldn’t get to be one. Maybe not Helva, either, though I told her she would be.

Mother didn’t much care for Saira and Jilliya, so maybe I wouldn’t have other wives at all. I didn’t need them to be empress.
Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Mary Rosie’s War by Catherine M. Byrne

 

WW2 has been declared. A strange find on the beach gives Mary Rosie the chance to fulfil her dreams and contribute to her country, but all is not what she imagined.

After witnessing the first bomb to be dropped on mainland Britain, Mary watches her friends leave to join the forces and longs to be with them, but is held back by loyalty to her widowed mother.

France has capitulated. Johnny Allan’s regiment has been annihilated by German troops north of Paris. Johnny has to find a way to get home and to the girl who no longer waits for him.

Leisel is a German Jew who lost her family to the Nazis and has to make her way in Britain, a strange new country, while harbouring a desire for revenge.

Their lives become entangled in a way that no one could have envisaged.

A story about war, family ties, love, loyalty and loss.

Purchase from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

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Excerpt

Living in an isolated Highland community, Mary is expected to marry her childhood sweetheart. But when war is on the horizon, and the county is flooded with young men from the forces, she meets a handsome pilot, who makes her feel things Johnny Allan never did.

Saturday night came round at last and Mary took extra care with her looks. She dressed in her best frock and curled her hair, taking care not to overheat the tongs. She even borrowed a bit of make up from Rita. Deep down she wondered who she was really doing this for. Johnny wouldn’t care if she came in a sack. She thought about the airman’s striking eyes and laughed at herself. He must be somewhere in his twenties and he’d sounded posh, not someone who would ever be interested in her with her broad, flat accent and country ways. Anyway, if she did marry Johnny, years down the line when they were old and settled with several children, it might be good to sometimes remember a handsome pilot who had once held her hand too long. That’s if she married Johnny.

Mary was disappointed that the promised band failed to turn up. Instead the music was provided by a gramophone, but she was in such high spirits just to be there, that the scratchy records could not dampen her mood. She turned to Rita to say just that, then stopped, the words instantly frozen inside her.

The two young pilots, looking smart and polished in their uniforms, walked through the door. Mary was surprised at her own reaction. There was something about this man that gave her a squeamish sensation in her belly, made her heart beat high in her chest and dried her mouth, all of which were new, embarrassing, but exciting sensations, sensations that Johnny never raised in her. Aware that she was staring, she snatched her gaze away, then sneaked a sideways glance at Greg. He was watching her, a slightly amused look on his face.

Was he laughing at her — pleased that yet another silly young lassie had fallen for his smooth good looks and wonderful eyes? Well, she would show him how disinterested she was. Pulling her shoulders back and tilting her head, she looked around for Johnny who was in the far corner, seemingly not noticing her at all.

‘Let’s go get some lemonade,’ she said to Rita, who stood next to her, swaying to the beat of Glenn Miller.

Rita shrugged. ‘That’s if Lily’s made any.’ Lily was the caretaker of the hall and usually laced beakers of water with whatever berries she could get her hands on, berries and her home-made wine. The word ‘lemonade’ covered a variety of flavours.

They were about to go when she heard the voice at her shoulder. ‘May I have this dance?’

Even before she turned, she knew it was him. She tried, unsuccessfully, to look nonchalant when she nodded. He slipped an arm around her waist and clasped her hand in his. Greg was taller than she thought and he led her effortlessly onto the floor.

‘Penny for them,’ he said.

‘I thought it was a band tonight. I’m a bit disappointed.’ She spoke in a little rush through dry lips.

He smiled. ‘Not too disappointed, I hope.’

Not now, she thought, aware of the pressure of his arm and the minty smell of his breath. She laughed, a silly giggly little sound.

‘We’d best introduce ourselves properly if we’re to dance all night. I’m Greg Cunningham.’ Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Persephane Pendrake Chronicles by Lady Ellen

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The Cimaruta
Persephane Pendrake Chronicles Book 1
by Lady Ellen
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
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A young 13-year-old witch and wizard. A quest for 9 Magical Objects –
Winner Takes All. An evil sorceress, determined to beat them and rule
the planet.
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Enter a magical world of mystery and wonder, where fantasy reigns supreme
and casual chatter sparkles green. Meet Persephane (or Persy as she
prefers), Thaddeus, Benson and P-C as they embark on their enchanted
adventures to thwart the evil, black witch Melanthios…
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Push the outer boundaries of your imagination into a world where Persy (a
very talented almost 13 year old witch, magic her ‘modus operandi’)
and her close friend Thaddeus (a 13 year old wizard) with their
familiars –Benson (a very cheeky dragonfly) and P-C (a far from
brave dragon) pit magic, bravery, skill and allegiances from a swarm
of magical creatures against the tall, dark and malevolent
Melanthios. “Best new fantasy series books” one reader claims….
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Follow them as they wind through periods in time, to discover ancient magic
from cultures all throughout the history of the world in this best
fantasy book in a long time.
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Success for Melanthios means that the entirety of this planet will fall under
her control. Our world will become dark, bleak, cold and lorded over
by her demons – forever.
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Pull up a chair, sit back, and join them in their quest as Persy and her
friends race against fate and time, to stop Melanthios from her evil
plot to collect nine mystical objects of power scattered throughout
the world to become the –All Powerful One.–
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Persy, Thaddeus, Benson and P-C are assisted by a highly adept, scrying
gypsy named Vadoma, a vampire with a rather warped sense of humor –
Count Pseudomorphius the Sanguine who is known as Murph…for obvious
reasons.
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Not to be forgotten is the twelve member Magical Governing Council, which
Persy’s grandmother Laurel is one of the lead members. Each member
specializes in a particular area of magic and all have a gift to give
our heroes to further enhance their chances against Melanthios.
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But is it enough? Melanthios is evil and heartless….and VERY powerful…
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As if she isn’t enough to worry about…also on the dark side is a
slippery, loathsome Chinese Sorcerer…aiming to usurp Melanthios and
beat her at her own game..and along the way…dispose of Persy and
her crew!
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Will this ever end? What chance does our team stand? You’ll see…
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**Only .99 cents!**
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The Cauldron of Ceridwen
Persephane Pendrake Chronicles Book 2
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Krak Ling’s Ring calls to Persy and she, Thad, Benson and P-C rush into
an unauthorized trip to retrieve it, narrowly missing being killed by
guards, when P-C unleashes a power no one knew he possessed or could
use, even him.
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As expected, Krak Ling hunts them down to take his ring back, but in the
negotiations, he reveals the next Magic Object which Melanthios is
about to attempt to capture…The Cauldron of Ceridwen. Why this
cauldron? The best person to explain that is Lady Druanna, the
resident authority on all things Celtic Magic.
They make their way to Killarney, an area in Ireland, where Lady Druanna’s
manor is located and there she tells them the tale of The Cauldron.
It’s not the vessel which is so important to all Magicals but the
first three drops of the Brew it creates. But their visit to Lady
Dru’s is violently interrupted, resulting in severe injury to the
Lady and the kidnapping of Thaddeus by the malevolent Melanthios.
Persy is beside herself with grief and worry, both for the survival of Lady
Druanna and the whereabouts and safety of Thad.
xAnd so her journey begins. Of course, things get worse…much worse
before even the haze of a solution appears:

Persy has lost he comrade in arms and so much face this quest
alone.


She ultimately finds out that Thad has been tossed into a multiverse.
Where? When? Can she ever get him back?


There is another Dark organization, supporting Melanthios in her evil
quest.


Someone at school has found out who and what she is and is trying to
expose her. Good-bye privacy and Hello World Lab Rat!


There is someone who Persy always believed to be a mundane…normal
human who is about to ‘come out’ as a Magical. Who knew?


Romance sparks from unexpected corners
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Who will possess Magical Object 2 at the end of this tantalizing
escapade? The only way to find out is to read: The Persephane
Pendrake Chronicles – Two- The Cauldron of Ceridwen.

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Lapis Draconis
Persephane Pendrake Chronicles Book 3
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A powerful magical stone embedded in the tooth of a Fire Dragon. Being
tossed into a Multiverse. All before starting college at The
Illuminary Incantorium.

Persephane, Thaddeus, Rix, Sniv and Darson are on the trail of the third Magical
Object – The Lapis Draconis. The malicious Melanthios is calling up
Demon help to capture the stone before they do. And death. Death
comes too soon to one of them. Who?

The fast-paced, no-holds-barred quest continues in Book 3 – Lapis
Draconis. Get Your Copy Now!
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GET THE COMPLETE BOX SET HERE!
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Weaving and scribing of the eight remaining tomes continues in Lady Ellen’s
remote witch’s hut…on her tiny piece of Ontario’s Cambrian Shield”
…and indeed that’s where the series began.
After more than 3 decades as an alternative health care practitioner, I
finally managed to start devoting some serious time to my secret
love–fantasy fiction.
I’ve always loved fantasy, magic and mythical kingdoms. We
home-schooled our kids and lived on a 100 acre farm..which had about
twenty-five acres in forest.

We’d make up stories and adventures..lots of fairies, witches, wizards,
etc.
Now, all these years later, I’ve started on my nine-book, three trilogy
magical series…The Persephane Pendrake Chronicles and have released
Books 1, 2 and 3… The Cimaruta, The Cauldron of Ceridwen and Lapis
Draconis.
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Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Bound by Jennifer Dean

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Bound
by Jennifer Dean
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
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When fate leads Emma Morgan back to her small hometown of Washington, she
learns that the life she knew three years ago has changed once she
meets the charmingly, mysterious Liam Alexander. But when her brother
Sean, voices his disapproval, Emma finds her loyalty in the way of
her newfound curiosity of the youngest Alexander. Only the more she
tries to avoid Liam the more she finds him in her constant company.
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A risk that leads down a dangerous path once Emma begins to discover a
secret about the Alexanders that no human should ever know.
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I had woken early Saturday morning with a panic plaguing my mind. I must have checked the Daily Washington News five times, front to back. I even watched two early morning news editions before my dad had even gotten out of bed. It felt excessive and I realized it must have looked that way too as the corner of my eye caught sight of my mother’s many worried glances. But I was almost certain I would find one of the horrid reports that had haunted my dreams most of the night before. Teenage Boy Found Dead or Local Boy Presumed Missing. But nothing stood out among the articles of birth announcements, city budget cuts, and girls’ basketball playoffs. Not even in the obituaries. It was the same on Sunday too.

By Monday I felt nauseous from the tightened nerves of my stomach. My mind was utterly useless in my first five periods. Luckily, for my sanity, as I entered the cafeteria for lunch I caught sight of both Ross and Nick almost instantly at a corner table. The tension in my shoulders dropped. Even though I knew I would never see them the same, it was comforting to know they would live another day. At least this way they would have a chance at redemption.

Wait, I thought. My eyes shifted back to notice something strange about the two boys. They weren’t in their usual seats, which was always on either side of Sean at the left corner table, in the back of the cafeteria. In fact, they weren’t even near his table at all. They sat in the front left corner of the room as if they had been shunned from popularity.

What was worse was catching Ross’s remorseful gaze as I walked toward the lunch line. I couldn’t stand the uncomfortable melancholy that his slumped body held. Nick, on the other hand, couldn’t even find enough courage to look up from his thumbs. Had they shunned themselves from guilt?

I forced my eyes away so that I could grab some tea. My stomach was settling but still against the idea of food. I pursed my lips at the cause of my loss of appetite. The sight of them only brought back memories I hoped to soon forget, and hopefully that would be sooner rather than later.

But if I had felt the nerves at lunch, it was nothing compared to the way the anxiety of walking into English made them jump around. Once I had spotted Liam in his assigned seat I felt a dizzy spin from my stomach. I sat looking at my books, suddenly dissatisfied with the placement of my seat. Why did I have to be next to him?

I looked up at the overhead slides and back at my paper with determination when class began. It was a blessing that today’s notes gave my hands and mind something to do.

I was so anxious to leave when the bell sounded that I elbowed my pens right off my desk with annoyance. Just as my body swiveled, I found myself face to face with Liam. My eyes froze on his as I inhaled with the awareness of the increased pace of my heart. I felt the slight gulp from my throat as a shiver traveled down my arms and into my fingers. Just like the memories of Ross and Nick, seeing Liam had flashed the images of what he had done to them. When I woke this morning I knew how foolish I was to dismiss, or deny, it all, especially after the weekend had left me with nothing but time to relive the night. But maybe it was easier that way. At least until I saw his face to remind me that I was merely lying to myself.

“What are you?”

I was still, watching as he leaned his neck closer. I wasn’t sure where my courage had come from to ask. I certainly had none Friday night.

“A high school student,” he said.

I narrowed my eyes, forgetting that I was even slightly terrified of him. As if I hadn’t been plagued with nightmares over the weekend. As if the slightest unfamiliar sound didn’t make me jump, leaving a trail of goosebumps behind as proof. As if I hadn’t asked Sean, like a child, to come over Saturday and Sunday night. No, right now I was only led by my curiosity.

“I wasn’t under the impression that most high-schoolers could move things with their minds.”

“I didn’t,” he said.

My eyes squinted as I leaned in closer with my whisper. “I saw him floating. It was like magic or something.”

“Did you actually see me doing that?” Liam asked.

“Yes. Well….” I scrunched my lips as I took a minute to remember. He was right. I had never actually seen him lift Nick because I was too shocked to look away.

Liam’s lips were straight as he stood. I followed his movement. “Okay, no I didn’t see you doing it.” He nodded, making it clear that was his point. “But you did move me away from getting hit by the truck. I know that.”

He opened his mouth, ready to speak, but said nothing. In his eyes, I thought I could see, the conflict, the same I had seen before. I didn’t like to see him that way. Finally, he closed his mouth and gathered his books before turning his back to me.

“Thank you,” I said.

It was impulsive but needed.

“For what?” Liam said. His back was still facing me but his neck had turned at my words.

The shock of being so frightened by Liam had overshadowed my gratefulness for his presence Friday night. I watched as he turned back to face me.

“I realized that I never thanked you for what you did. I don’t know what would have happened if you had not been there.” Continue reading

Blog Tour: The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane Part One: New Beginnings by Emily Harvale

 

#LilyPondLane

The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane

New Beginnings

Mia Ward is amazed to be told she has inherited her great-aunt Matilda’s thatched cottage in the tiny seaside village of Little Pondale – especially as Mia didn’t know she had a great-aunt Matilda.

She’s even more astonished to discover she’ll only inherit the place if she actually lives there for one year. Mia’s a city girl at heart, not to mention she’s afraid of water, so the fact the cottage backs on to a sandy beach, is not, in her opinion, a bonus.

But Mia’s struggling to pay her rent since being fired for inappropriate behaviour at the office party, and her boyfriend’s also dumped her. When her best friend, Ella and Ella’s brother, Garrick offer to help her move and settle in, Mia decides to see this as a new beginning.

It may also be the start of an exciting adventure because now Mia wants to know just who, exactly, was great-aunt Matilda. And she’s determined to find out. But it soon becomes clear that someone is trying to make sure Mia doesn’t stay in Little Pondale….

Purchase links: Amazon

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Excerpt

Here’s an extract from The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane-Part One: New beginnings. This is where Mia and her friend, Garrick hear about the curse of Frog’s Hollow, a secluded pond halfway up Frog Hill, from the village gossip, Hettie Burnstall. Enjoy!

 

‘So why should we avoid Frog’s Hollow on a Monday?’ Mia asked. ‘And what, exactly, is Frog’s Hollow anyway?’

‘Terrible place. I’ve not been there more than once or twice in my lifetime, but many go there deary, especially in the winter when the pond is frozen over. They skate on it! Madness, deary. Utter madness. But there’s no accounting for some people, is there? And of course, Alexia and her brother, along with all the other young things, go there on Midsummer’s Night and bathe in the pond. Naked, deary. Naked!’

A clatter of spoons made Mia glance at Garrick. His head had shot up and he half turned to Hettie as if he was suddenly interested in her story.

‘Need some help there, deary?’

‘No thanks, Hettie. I’m fine.’ Garrick brought three mugs to the table and smiled. ‘I’ll make a pot of coffee and one of tea in case we’re here awhile. What were you saying about Midsummer’s Night?’

Hettie chuckled and poked a finger at his stomach. ‘I thought that might get your attention, deary. Naked as the day they were born. I’ve seen them myself, so I know it’s true. But that’s the thing with witchcraft, isn’t it? All naked bodies and dancing and getting up to who knows what.’

‘Witchcraft?’ Mia shot a look at Garrick but his mind was clearly elsewhere as he had a dreamy look in his eyes and a strange sort of smile on his face. She could guess where that was.

‘Yes, deary. The tale goes that if you bathe naked in the pond at Frog’s Hollow on Midsummer’s Night, your loins will be fruitful and your body will forever be entwined with the one you love.’

‘That doesn’t sound like such a terrible place to me,’ Garrick said, grinning. ‘When is Midsummer’s Night?’

‘Next month. But it’s nonsense, deary. Even the vicar agrees with me on that.’

‘So what does that have to do with not going there on a Monday?’ Mia asked, giving Garrick a reprimanding look. She couldn’t stop the image popping into her head of him and Alexia frolicking naked in a pond though and she made a mental note to go on a strict diet right away.

‘Nothing. That’s another tale.’

The kettle boiled and Garrick made the tea and brought the pot, together with a pot of coffee over to the table. He took milk from the fridge, found a jug and poured it in, placing that and a sugar bowl in front of Hettie.

‘Would you like a biscuit?’ he asked. ‘We’ve got chocolate digestives.’ He retrieved them from one of the cupboards and offered the half empty packet to Hettie.

‘Trying to sweeten me up, deary?’

‘Impossible,’ he replied, and winked at Mia.

Hettie chuckled. ‘Just one then.’

‘So, Monday?’ Mia persisted.

Hettie munched on her biscuit before replying, her face suddenly serious. ‘Well deary, when people moved here and built the village hundreds and hundreds of years ago, they chased all the frogs and toads from the pond opposite. The toads moved elsewhere but the frogs kept coming back, so the villagers bundled them all together and took them to a new pond they had dug, halfway up the hill. But the frogs didn’t like it so back they came. The villagers weren’t having that, so they captured a pack of wolves, which ran wild in England in those days, and a skulk of foxes, a kettle of hawks and a flock of wild ducks and once they’d taken all the frogs back to the new pond, they set all the predators loose. Well deary, you can imagine what happened, can’t you? Wild creatures are just that, deary, so not only did they eat all the frogs, they ate one another, and then the ones that were left, turned on a couple of the villagers who were daft enough to go and watch what happened. It was a Monday and to this day, anyone who goes to Frog’s Hollow on a Monday is asking for trouble.’

Mia gasped in horror, picturing the scene but Garrick sniggered. Continue reading

Blog Tour: Running from the Sky by Amanda Malben

Title: Running from the Sky

Author: Amanda Malben

Release Date: 30th May 2018

Genre: YA

Publisher: Wrate Publishing

Format: Paperback

Three years into the civil war that has turned his country upside down, Sami’s home village in Syria is hit by a deadly bomb attack and he is forced to leave behind everything he knows and loves. Eventually, Sami and his family are given refuge in Coventry, England, but city life is hard to adjust to. It’s grey and cold and there are no fields to play in or animals to tend. Worse still, Sami worries about the fate of his uncle and cousins back in Syria and struggles to make new friends. In a bid to take his mind off his homesickness, Sami is introduced to Harry Adams, one of the elderly residents at the care home where his mum works. Although wary of one another at first, the pair gradually form a bond, as Harry tells Sami the story of the unusually named Splen and his dog Bobby, who lived through the Second World War and the infamous Coventry Blitz. As Sami discovers more about Splen and his dramatic escape from the horrors of conflict, the two unlikely friends make peace with their troubled pasts and forge a new sense of hope for the future.

Available On Amazon

 

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Excerpt

“From behind the curtain of his bedroom window, Splen could see it was a lovely day – the sun had his hat on! That was a silly song that Mrs M sang whenever she hung the washing out. ‘The sun has got his hat on, hip, hip, hip hooray. The sun has got his hat on and I’m going out to play!’

“It was an easy choice; not only was it the last day of term but a Friday as well. The thought of enduring Mr Green’s sarcastic tongue on such a beautiful day settled it. Splen would start his holiday early. Today was a canal day.

“He crammed his shirt and old shorts into his satchel – a cunning trick he’d devised to avoid discovery. Without his school uniform on, he could mix in with the canal kids so that the Snatcher couldn’t spot him. Despite Splen’s earlier conviction, the Snatcher did sometimes go down to the canal, to round up the boaters’ children and get them to attend school. However, he was never very successful as the boaters always had a good reason why today was not a school day for their children. They would argue that any time now they would be moving off, so attending school was out of the question – maybe next time.

“The boaters knew what Splen was up to. but never let on. One of the boat women gave him a red kerchief to tie round his neck, so he looked even more the part. Oh yes, the canal worked well for Splen.

“A derelict shed served as Splen’s base camp; here he changed his clothes and hid his satchel and school clothes under a pile of old bricks. Sometimes Mrs M would have a lot of questions – ‘now here’s a mystery to me Splen why on earth are your school clothes so dirty and crumpled? How come your everyday clothes are in the same state? I can’t for the life me work it out.’ Mrs M was a wise woman, she never pressed too hard, and Splen was almost sure she knew but he never told and she never asked.

“Splen sat leaning against the warm brick wall in the sun, enjoying the to-ing and fro-ing of the boats. Lazing in the sun, he plopped stones into the canal, soon lost in a daydream of being a boater. How did you do that? Could you apply for a job? That’s what he wanted to be, a boatman; to live and work on a boat.

“’Go on Jack, throw it in!’

Three boys were coming over the bridge, their laughter loud and vicious. Splen recognised that sound, having heard it many times at school. His stomach clenched and he wondered if he could make it to the shelter of his shed without being spotted. One of them lifted something up dangling it over the side of the bridge. ‘Do yer reckon it can swim?’

“’Not with its legs tied it can’t.’ There was baying of nasty laughter. ‘Here, give it me.’

“Splen watched with horror. The boys had a little dog, a little brown bundle of fur that looked like a puppy. He could hear it squealing and yapping.

“’Oi, it bit me! That’s it – it’s going in! Go on, tie those legs tight.’

“Something inside Splen roared up, a tightness of fury knotted in his tummy, tighter and tighter until it exploded.  Without thinking he leapt to his feet and ran yelling at the boys.

“’Leave it alone! Leave it alone!’ His arms waving his voice loud and shrill, he headed straight at them.

“The boys looked at him, great grins spreading across their faces. What’s this – more fun?

“’What have we got here? The dog police?’ one of them said, throwing a stone at Splen, hitting him on the face. ‘Come on, come on, come and save the little doggy then, superhero.’ He held the dog up higher over the water.

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About the Author

Amanda Malben trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama but has dedicated herself to teaching.  She taught adults with learning difficulties at Northampton College, specialising in drama, and English as a foreign language to adults.  A fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, she co-founded a project with Northampton University to help improve the language skills of immigrant children and their parents.  Now retired, she lives in the Northamptonshire countryside close to the Warwickshire border and enjoys writing and walking her dog.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amandamalben

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Coletti Warlords by Gail Koger

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***Note- the first two books are not available to the general public, however
the storylines are incorporated into later books in the series and
you can easily read these books starting with #3, Vexing Voss!
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Vexing Voss
Coletti Warlords Book #3
by Gail Koger
Genre: SciFi Romance, Adventure
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For Voss, a Coletti Warlord, conquering the universe is a piece of cake.
After all, he’s a master of psychic seduction; no one can resist him
when he sets his mind to it.
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Zoey Jones is determined to find her mother’s killer. Surrendering to a
fierce Coletti warrior is the last thing on her mind. When Voss is
determined to make Zoey his mate, she unleashes her own brand of
whoop-ass to discourage his pursuit. When her clever disguises, skunk
perfume, stun gun, and smoke bombs fail to stop the ruthless warlord,
she’s forced to negotiate her surrender: she would mate with him if
he would help her find her mother’s killer.
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To Zoey’s surprise, Voss agrees, and the hunt is on. Their quest to
bring the villain to justice leads to unlikely alliances in an
interplanetary war, and more surprisingly, to love.
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Reality Bites
Coletti Warlords Book #4
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Bree never thought her dimwit act, military grade mace, cattle prod, or
dumping a ton of stinky manure on Jaylan’s head would encourage his
pursuit. Who knew a Coletti warlord would think being zapped with a
cattle prod as foreplay? Or that a clever opponent only heightened
his enjoyment of the chase?
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The chase comes to an abrupt halt when the Tai-Kok attack Tucson, forcing
Bree to team up with the Coletti warlord to stop them. Suddenly
plucked from Earth by a crazed Tai-Kok commander, Jaylan and Bree
find themselves stranded on a hostile alien world, and being tracked
by a deadly Askole assassin. Neither of them expected to find love.
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Just Desserts
Coletti Warlords Book #5
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Kaylee knew being a Coletti Warlord’s mate wasn’t going to be easy. Not only
was Talree downright scary, he had a bossy streak a mile long and
collected enemies like most men collected lovers. But while Kaylee’s
life might not be perfect, Talree truly loved her.
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Flash forward nine months to a very pregnant, insanely hormonal and cranky
as hell Kaylee. If the pregnancy wasn’t enough to drive her crazy,
Talree’s enemies are tap dancing on her last nerve. The Shani Queen
Mother, a psychotic alien with a bone to grind against Talree,
decided she wanted the planet Tartum–a barren piece of crap loaded
with Ditrum crystals, and part of the Coletti Empire. Her master
plan? Kidnap Kaylee and hold her for ransom. If the Overlord refused
to give Tartum to the Queen Mother, she would feed Kaylee and her son
to the Tai-Kok.
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She thinks Kaylee will beg for mercy. Boy, is the alien bitch in for a
surprise. She’s about to meet a woman suffering from hormone overload
and a serious lack of chocolate. The only one begging for mercy will
be the Queen Mother.
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Wulf and the Bounty Hunter
Coletti Warlords Book #6
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Wulf knows Yakira is his soulmate. Now he just needs to convince her. But
with intergalactic terrorists on Yakira’s trail, there’s little
time for romance. What’s a hot-blooded Coletti warlord to do?
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Yakira feels safe and cherished with Wulf, but he is a Coletti–the ultimate
predator with a taste for blood, a passion for battle, and the need
to control everything in his life. The big question is: how does she
make Wulf understand she’s a powerful psychic with kick-ass bionic
limbs and quite capable of taking care of herself?
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Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Knox by Crimson Syn

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Knox
Hellbound Lovers MC Romance #8
by Crimson Syn
Genre: Adult MC Romance
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I’ve loved Jade ever since I first laid eyes on her.
She’s always been mine.
And now a dangerous evil wants to take her away from me.
He wants to hurt her, cage her free spirit.
Over my dead body will he lay a finger on her.
No one takes what’s mine.
And no one hurts what I love without paying the price.
She’s my life, my love, my everything.
And I’ll be damned if I lose her.
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I’ve been captivated by Knox ever since I met him.
He’s the only man who’s ever cared about me enough to protect me.
There’s no way I’d ever turn my back on him,
or any of the Hellbound Lovers.
They’re not the traditional family, but they’re mine.
I’ll fight tooth and nail for them.
But I’ve been propositioned by an enemy
And now I face my fate.
Protecting Knox is the only things that matters.
No one will take him away from me.
And no one is going to keep me from the man I love. No one.
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Wolf
Hellbound Lovers MC Romance #1
Grayson
Hellbound Lovers MC Romance #2
Riggs
Hellbound Lovers MC Romance #3
Cain
Hellbound Lovers MC Romance #4
Seth
Hellbound Lovers MC Romance #5
Gunner
Hellbound Lovers MC Romance #6
Diesel
Hellbound Lovers MC Romance #7
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My name is Crimson Syn,
not really, but what fun is it to use my real name. Instead I’ll
use my inner goddess’ name, it’s much more fun that way. I
grew up in New York City where I had a wonderful education, loving
parents and awesome friends. What more could a girl ask for?
I started writing at the age of sixteen. The first romance I read was
Stephanie Laurens’ Devil’s Bride. Since then I have been
influenced by dozens of flourishing romance authors and even more
dashing and daring rogues. I must say it, but Fifty Shades was not my
first erotic romance, nor did it influence me to start writing them.
If you’ve never read Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Hoyt, Lisa Kleypas,
Bertrice Small or A.N. Roquelaure’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy, then
you’re missing out. Those were my sweet introductions to erotic
romance, and boy were they hot.
So here I am, after reading so many wonderful stories, I have too many
sinful tales of my own not to share. I like my alphas rough and
possessive, and I have no shame in saying it or writing it. I had
delightfully wicked teachers growing up, their books took me to new
worlds and brought me new loves. So, I want to do the same for you. I
want to indulge my readers in those steamy reads that will send them
into the arms of dangerous alphas and deliciously sexy rogues,
without leaving the confines of their nice warm bed. If I am able to
entice your inner goddesses, then I have done my job and I am
satisfied.
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Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!
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Blog Tour: One? by Jennifer L. Cahill

Title: One?

Author: Jennifer L. Cahill

Release Date: 21st June 2016

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Format: Paperback

 

It’s London in the mid-noughties before Facebook, iPhones and ubiquitous wifi, and One? follows the highs and lows of a group of twenty-somethings living in leafy SW4.

Zara has just moved to London for her first real job and struggles to find her feet in a big city with no instruction manual.

Penelope works night and day in an investment bank with little or no time for love. At 28 she is positively ancient as far as her mother is concerned and the pressure is on for her to settle down as the big 3-0 is looming.

Charlie spends night and day with his band who are constantly teetering on the verge of greatness.

Richard has relocated to London from his castle in Scotland in search of the one, and Alyx is barely in one place long enough to hold down a relationship let alone think about the future.

Purchase on Amazon

Goodreads

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About the Author

Living  in  Notting  Hill,  Jennifer  L  Cahill  works  with  both  individuals  and  blue  chip  clients  to  help  them  navigate  and  master  change  and  transformation.  She  has  over  seventeen  years’ experience  in  consulting  specialising  in  change,  communications,  business  transformation  and  personal  development.    She  has  a  graduate  degree  in  International  Commerce  and  Spanish  and  a  Masters in  Business  Studies.  In  her  spare  time  she  loves  embracing  her  more  creative  side. For more information please visit www.JenniferLCahill.com or follow her @JLCAuthor

Website: http://www.jenniferlcahill.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JLCAuthor

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