Here is a new lovely collection to celebrate the festive season with great reads and the right mood. I posted about a writing contest back in June and maybe among the winners there may be one who entered it through FLY HIGH! and is now among the debuting authors published in "Then Comes Winter"! I'm really glad for all of them on their achievement. Congratulations and to greater success! The blog tour to promote this new Meryton Press anthology starts right out from our blog, here and today. To open it, a lovely guest post by the editor of the collection, Christina Boyd. Enjoy and don't miss the chance to win your copy (to enter the giveaway use the rafflecopter form below this post - the contest is open internationally)


Thank you so much for kicking off the Then Comes Winter blog tour at your gorgeous site, FLY HIGH! I have been a facebook fan since the autumn of 2011 so I am especially thrilled to be here.

Christina Boyd
It all started as an idea for one anthology and then someone at Merton Press suggested a summer theme anthology and then someone else suggested maybe a holiday collection. Or vice versa. I do not recall which was first. Eventually, I signed on to edit the summer anthology as 1) the editing would begin late winter and release early summer since 2) editing and promotion for a holiday anthology would be in full-swing during autumn and that is my busiest time of the year with my pottery business for holiday purchase orders, and 3) anyone that knows me, knows that winter is my third, if not fourth favorite season. So, yes the sensible choice for me would be to edit the summer anthology. Long story made short (no pun intended), after months of wrangling an amazing group of authors from many different time zones, June 1, 2015, Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer was born. Sometime in those heady, early days of publication, the publisher at Meryton Press announced the editor who had originally been slated to edit the holiday anthology had a conflicting commitment, and asked if any of the Meryton Press’s editors were interested. I was still on a publishing high, much like after child birth when you hold your baby for the first time and you have forgotten all about the agony and are all about the hope. Of course, I raised my hand. After all, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” John Steinbeck

Like the Sun-kissed anthology (left), this winter/holiday anthology was comprised of short stories from contracted Meryton Press authors but also submissions from any writer—previously published or not—in a two-tier judging process. There was a team of volunteer judges (bloggers, reviewers, great readers, and writers) who read and rated the numerous contest submissions. Their first impressions were invaluable in narrowing down the submissions to eight. Then another set of judges read and scored the stories to cull the submissions again. Unlike Sun-kissed, however, the publisher included all of the eight top submissions to add to the initial four Meryton Press authors’ anchor stories. Our first place winner is Natalie Richards for her modern story, “A Man Whom I Can Really Love.” 

Natalie was also published in Sun-kissed. Our 1st runner-up was the modern story “Becoming Fanny” by Melanie Stanford. In the end, we published eleven of those stories: four Regency romances including three inspired by Pride and Prejudice, one modern Northanger Abbey, one Sense and Sensibility-inspired modern story, one modern story inspired by Fanny Price of Mansfield Park, three modern Pride and Prejudice-inspired stories, and one modern retelling inspired by Persuasion.
All of the short stories are prefaced by a quote from a famous person to set the tone for the short story and hopefully make a cohesive collection. In looking for fitting quotes, I came across a line from an obscure mid-20th century American poet, Gertrude Tooley Buckingham. “Then comes Winter, with bluster and snow, that brings to our cheeks the ruddy glow…” and it struck a chord with me as I had been reading short stories filled with glowing cheeks from romantic interludes and, or the winter chill…and all it took was a few interested colleagues to like it and we had a title!

A book is rarely the consequence of a single person. Therefore, this editor would be remiss to not acknowledge a number of gifted and generous folks who supported this project from its inception: Michele Reed, publisher of Meryton Press for underwriting this project; Ellen Pickels, editor/proofer/art director extraordinaire; our ever talented cover designer Zorylee Diaz-Lupitou; and marketing lead, Jakki Leatherberry. Thank you to the brilliant authors who were such pros to work with: Lory Lilian, Linda Gonschior, Suzan Lauder, Beau North, Brooke West, Natalie Richards, Melanie Stanford, Maureen Lee, Sophia Rose, Denise Stout, Erin Lopez, and Anngela Schroeder. It’s not easy to submit a story, only to have initial edits returned and marked up in a blood bath of red with entire paragraphs slashed or with suggested re-writes. I have found only the most courageous professional can humbly accept, smartly defend, and trust that this editor has their best interest at heart. I am grateful for their confidence and dedication to the craft and commitment to get this done right.

I am proud to present this collection and have my name on the cover. Not only did I enjoy working with all the authors but I made a few new friends along the way. Each has a wonderful story, not only here in this anthology, but as well as in their remarkable lives. I feel blessed to have been a part of the process. I hope everyone who reads Then Comes Winter is uplifted and can find even a moments escape from the troubles of the day—and fill their heart with the Spirit of the season. Bob Hope says it so well, “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we wait for Christmas to do that?” Cheers! 

Christina Boyd

Christina Boyd wears many hats as she is an editor at Meryton Press, a contributor to Austenprose, and a ceramicist for the Made in Washington stores under her own banner, Stir Crazy Mama’s Artworks. A life member of Jane Austen Society of North America, Christina lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers, and a retriever named BiBi. Visiting Jane Austen's England remains on her bucket list. On Twitter @xtnaboyd.

About the book

Then Comes Winter holiday anthology blog tour     

Edited by Christina Boyd

Authors:  Beau North & Brooke West, Melanie Stanford, Natalie Richards, Erin Lopez, Sophia Rose, Anngela Schroeder, Suzan Lauder, Maureen Lenker, Denise Stout, Linda Gonschior and Lory Lilian

“Then comes Winter with bluster and snow,
that brings to our cheeks the ruddy glow…” Gertrude Tooley Buckingham

If you long for a toasty snuggle on a cold winter’s night, this compilation of original short stories inspired by the magic of the holiday season—and more than a nod to Jane Austen—is fancied as a sublime wintertime treat. On the heels of the summer anthology, Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer, and in concert with some of Meryton Press’s most popular authors, this romantic anthology introduces more promising writers. With a robust mix of contemporary and Regency musings, Then Comes Winter rekindles passionate fires with equal wonder, wit, and romance. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour step by step

11/30: Guest Post & Giveaway at FLY HIGH
12/1: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…
12/2: Character Interview & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged
12/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at Jennifer Vido
12/4: Guest Post & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life
12/5: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
12/6: Guest Post & Giveaway at Delighted Reader
12/7: Review at Just Jane 1813
12/8: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm
12/10: Review at From Pemberley to Milton
12/11: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
12/12: Excerpt & Giveaway at The Calico Critic
12/13: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
12/14: Author/Character Interview & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
12/15: Author Feature at Songs and Stories
12/16: Author Feature & Giveaway at Tome Tender
12/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at Chick Lit Plus
12/17: Author Feature at Skipping Midnight



Played by Alexander Dreymon, Uhtred is the protagonist of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Tales book saga, adapted for the screen as The Last Kingdom. As the first season is going to wrap with episode 8 - on BBC America tonight  and  on BBC Two in two weeks -  I'd like to share with you what was that drew me to this historical fiction series so distant from my tastes. 

I started watching it by chance, sure I wouln't like it and wouldn't go past the first episode, as it had previously happened with widely popular series set in  a wild, distant past like Game of Thrones, Vikings or The Bastard Executioner. 

What lit the spark, instead? Well, I think Uhtred is to blame. I felt immediate sympathy for this unconventional, smart, ironic, fearless character. I couldn't stop watching and have been looking forward to any new episode. 



The Book Thief 

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

It's a small story, about:
a girl
an accordionist
some fanatical Germans
a Jewish fist fighter
and quite a lot of thievery.


Liesel, Death and The Power of Words

I read this book out of curiosity,  since I heard about it from my students.  After reading it myself, I made up my mind to work on both book and its movie adaptation with one of my classes this year and added both to a section of my syllabus, which consists of a series of readings dedicated to the theme The Power of Words.



Roman's holiday cover

Roman's Holiday by Susan Aylworth

Four years after Roman Kincaid was catapulted into stardom as a country-western singer and A-list movie star, he is burned out: exhausted by a grueling schedule, drained by the ceaseless demands of producers and managers, weary of meeting the needs of others at the expense of his own. Leaving a sold-out show in Phoenix, he rents a car and drives north and east, landing in the Painted Desert town of Rainbow Rock.
Nearly three years after leaving her old life behind, Lottie Beale is feeding people and baking pies, managing the Kachina Café and tending secrets of her own. When circumstances conspire to give two attractive people some time alone together amid the world-class vistas of the Four Corners, they discover more than either had bargained for.

  Read an Excerpt

“Ro-man! Ro-man!” A capacity crowd in the Ak-Chin Pavilion chanted his name under the starry desert sky, but Roman Kincaid barely heard it. He stood in the stage wings, gearing up for an encore and wondering when his dream had become a nightmare. “Okay, guys,” he said to his back-up band via their ear buds. “One encore only. Let’s do ‘Gamble.’ Start with the chorus.” He took two steps toward the stage entrance, swinging his guitar into playing position. Sam, his manager, caught his



Pardon Me: A Victorian Farce

The year is 1896 and following a brief, if lively, spell in the diplomatic corps, Madagan Rùn is being executed for Treason. The prima facie case against him is compelling. Madagan coerced the normally temperate Dr Jameson into raiding the Boer Republic, then tipped off the Boers and pocketed a cheque for 30,000 krugerand.

Now here's the pity of it. All his unfathomable schemes have been driven by a selfless devotion to Queen, Country and Empire. Trouble is, to save himself he must perforce lay bare the grievously stained undercarriage of Victorian high-society: starting with fantastical revelations vis-à-vis the making, lending and subsequent mislaying of the world's first ever celebrity sex celluloid.

No less an august triumvirate than Cecil Rhodes, Joseph Chamberlain and Prince Victor Albert have reason aplenty to pray Madagan takes his secrets with him to the gallows. Sadly for them the florid and faintly familiar Mr Melmoth has just posted a Remington Typewriter® to the Tower and instructed his chum Maddy to tell the old Queen everything. Pardon Me.



, travel

(by guest blogger Jason Biondo)  Have you ever watched an inspiring film that gave you a serious case of wanderlust?  Movies are, in my book, one of the most influential and powerful mediums for inspiring a trip to a far-off place. From awe-inspiring landscapes to blissful and memorable adventures, movies can in many ways give you an irresistible urge to travel and see the world. As a matter of fact, motion pictures have encouraged countless of moviegoers from all corners of the world to duplicate some of the scenes they’ve seen on the big screen with their own escapades.
Looking for an inspiration for your next vacation? Check out this list of movies that have moved thousands of travelers to places all over the world in search of their own heavenly picture-perfect paradise.

Wild is the inspirational and heartwarming story of Cheryl Strayed – a courageous young woman who went on an eye-opening 1000-mile journey across the US, in the wake of her mother’s passing. Even though Cheryl had no previous experience in backpacking and solo traveling, she still was able to survive, flourish and conquer the famous Pacific Crest Trail on her own with very little help. Filmed in Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park and other picturesque places, this epic travel movie also romanticized the unforgiving and magnificent grandeur of the Pacific Crest Trail.



espionageEspionage (Book 1) 

France, 1944: Nobody expects Peter Eddy to survive his first commando mission—to retrieve a code book stolen by the Nazis—so when he does come back alive, his success is rewarded with an even more daunting assignment. Partnered with French Resistance leader Jacques Olivier, Peter must identify which of three Allied contacts in Calais is a double agent and use the traitor to help implement a strategic Allied diversion that might win the war. Peter secretly crosses the English Channel to confront the suspects one at a time. But what appears to be a clean assignment soon turns disastrous, and even the aid of Jacques and his sister Genevieve can’t prevent a Gestapo triumph. As the Allied invasion approaches, treachery in the least likely places leads to fresh graves in the bloodied European soil—and only the power of loyalty and love can transform tragic endings into new beginnings.

sworn enemy

Sworn Enemy (Book 2)

After narrowly escaping her Nazi captors, French Resistance worker Genevieve Olivier has fled to Allied territory with the help of American Lieutenant Peter Eddy. Their connection is undeniable, forged in the crucible of danger. But despite their blossoming feelings for each other, they must both finish the work they began . . . In the safety of England, Genevieve hopes to find purpose as a nurse—all the while unaware that the Gestapo still seeks the woman who slipped through their grasp. When she is called upon to resume a life of danger as a French spy, will her desire to prove herself be her downfall? Recruited by an elite special-ops team intent on thwarting the Nazis, Peter finds himself engaged in a personal battle as well—there is a traitor among his comrades. Deep in the Carpathian Mountains, Peter combats an unknown foe. The stakes are high as he fights to save the lives of his teammates. They are miles apart, yet as Genevieve and Peter fight for their own survival, they find a common well of strength in their faith—and their determination to be reunited.



It’s National Novel Writing Month, and that means that writers around the world are working hard to write an entire book during the month of November. Congratulations to everyone who has taken on this challenge—it’s no easy task!
To help you with your masterpiece-in-progress, Grammarly compiled a list of the most frequent writing mistakes they encountered as they edited their 2014 NaNoWriMo project, a crowdsourced novel called Frozen by Fire. When it’s time to proofread and revise your manuscript, make sure to watch out for these common pitfalls.



(from SoloIdiomas Language School

Nowadays both language teachers and learners have an immense choice of learning resources and it is obvious that traditional methods usually applied during classes are being substituted by digital activities. This is an inevitable outcome considering we live in a digital era and our students are digital natives. Sometimes we teachers question ourselves about what language learners would choose : using a popular app to memorize new words or reading a well-known novel? Of course, many of them would find the former far more appealing than the latter.



Maria Sofia and two of her little friends in Bethlehem
Maria Sofia was in a peculiar class I only taught for one year, in their final year, in preparation of their school - leaving exams. It was back in 2008. What was peculiar in their group? It was made up of really motivated, hard-working young people. I can assure you,  that is rare, precious experience for a teacher nowadays. 
I have often written about teaching, about my students and the ups and downs of a difficult job here at FLY HIGH! But, as I told you in "And then they come back", sometimes it is meeting students after they leave school that makes me understand how important our work was and is. That is the moment I can sit and learn from them. This is why I decided to introduce a few of them to you. Because we all can learn something from these young people. 

Hello, my name is Maria Sofia and I am one of Mrs Spila’s former students.

When I left school I wanted to discover the world, to travel, to meet people; for this reason I decided to study Arabic Language and Culture at Rome University "La Sapienza". The Arab world is so close to us, geographically speaking, but it can be considered so far for the misleading idea that we, the westerners, have of it.

So during my studies in Rome I had the opportunity through the Erasmus Mundus Project to spend eight months in Cairo, in the aftermath of the Revolution,  then ten months in Irbid, a Jordanian town located 30 km from the Syrian border. These experiences gave me the chance to know several people, to learn and understand their culture, to discover, that despite the different religion and traditions, we have more in common than we can imagine. I noticed more similarities between Italy and Arab countries than between Italy and Northern Europe, we are Mediterranean people after all!

After graduation,  I was not completely satisfied of my achievements; I had learnt the language  and studied the culture of Middle East and North Africa, but the chances that the University could offer me did not match my expectations.
So I decided to sign up to a Master in Cooperation and Development in Pavia.  I wanted and I still want to do my part to improve our world, I want to contribute to the creation of a beneficial change and have a positive impact on people's lives. Development is freedom, as my wise professor says, so I like to think that I’m working for freedom in the world.



Are you on the hunt for that special Christmas book, the one that will get you into the holiday spirit, bring back memories of your own family traditions, and inspire you to revel in this Christmas season like no other? (What about $200 in Christmas cash to go along with it?) Every year, I search for stories that will fill my Christmas reading list--romance is always a fun read, but  I want them to be clean and wholesome too. That's why I'm sharing this spectacular book. Christmas Kisses is not just one story, but five romances, all clean, wholesome, and beautifully written in one anthology now on sale for  .99 cents!

Let's show the world that there is a demand for clean and wholesome romances by purchasing this book today. For less than a dollar, you get a delightful read and help send a message that we want more of these kinds of books. Purchase your copy here, or your preferred vendor and then, will you please help spread the word about this book? Feel free to share any part of this post or share or like the Facebook or Twitter post. Oh, and don't forget to enter the giveaway for $200 in Christmas cash!



 The Book

The Echoes of Love is a touching love story that unfolds at the turn of the new millennium, set in the romantic and mysterious city of Venice and the beautiful landscape of Tuscany. It is a tale of a lost love and betrayal, unbleached passion and learning to love again – and a terrible truth that will change the lives of two strangers forever.

Venetia Aston-Montagu has escaped to Italy’s most captivating city to work in her godmother’s architectural practice, putting a lost love behind her. For the past ten years she has built a fortress around her heart, only to find the walls tumbling down one night of the carnival when she is rescued from masked assailants by an enigmatic stranger, Paolo Barone.

Drawn to the powerfully seductive Paolo, despite warnings of his Don Juan reputation and rumours that he keeps a mistress, Venetia can’t help being caught up in the smouldering passion that ignites between them.

When she finds herself assigned to a project at his magnificent home deep in the Tuscan countryside, Venetia must not only contend with a beautiful young rival, but also come face to face with the dark shadows of Paolo’s past that threaten to come between them.

Can Venetia trust that love will triumph, even over her own demons? Or will Paolo’s carefully guarded, devastating secret tear them apart forever?



First of all Nicola welcome back! It’ s been a while since you visited last time (HERE).  It’s a great pleasure to have you as my guest again. Now, here’ s my first question for you.

Thank you so much! It’s lovely to be here.

Your novel tells the story of three women connected to Ashdown House in Oxfordshire where you volunteer as a guide and local historian. What is it like to work in such an amazing place?

Right from the start, Ashdown enchanted me. There’s something about the place that grabs you and doesn’t let you go. All my fellow volunteers say the same. Perhaps it’s the combination of the sheer beauty of the house and the fascinating story of the family who owned it – a rags to riches story of fortune and passion and scandal. It inspires me every time I step over the threshold and it feels sich a huge privilege to be allowed to work there.

How crucial was your work at Ashdown House in your decision to   write House of Shadows?
Can you briefly introduce the 3 protagonists of your book?

I’ve known for several years that I wanted to write a fictional story inspired by Ashdown and its history so it was absolutely crucial to House of Shadows. The story of Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen, is a usually portrayed as a sad one because she lost her kingdom and was forced into exile, but there is so much more to Elizabeth as a person and I wanted to demonstrate her strength and the way she still campaigned for her children’s future after her husband died. Then there is Lavinia, the 19th century courtesan whose story is inspired by that of another Craven connection, Harriette Wilson who was the mistress of the 7th Lord Craven. In the present day, Holly is desperately trying to find her brother, and she is the one who unravels both Elizabeth and Lavinia’s story and sees the destiny that binds them together across the centuries.



Halloween celebrations are almost upon us and I just want to remind you the Spooktakular Giveaway Hop here at FLY HIGH! You still have a couple of days to enter the contest and win two great spooky reads,  which would make your Halloween just perfect: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children  and Six of Crows. Don't foget to scroll down below the end of the post for the huge list of blogs taking part in this great hop organized by Kathy at I Am A Reader.

That 's not all I have for you today! What about a literary quiz? To celebrate the spooky season our friends at Grammarly  created  a monster of a quiz!!!



The One Who Sees Me Cover The One Who Sees Me by Kandi J. Wyatt
Teenage slave girl Faru’s life has been turned upside down when she discovers she’s been traded to a new master, forcing her to leave all she‘s ever known. Upon her arrival, Faru meets a friend, Cailean, who helps her adjust to life in the strange location. Life settles into a new pattern, and romance blossoms between the young friends. But as soon as they plan to get married, another proposal comes about – one that cannot be ignored. Being a slave means not always marrying who you love. On a daring journey to heal her heart, Faru encounters the Existing One. Will she trust Him and do His bidding even if what He requests is so hard? Follow Faru’s tale in author Kandi J Wyatt’s retelling of a Biblical story found in the Old Testament book of Genesis, showing that when things don’t make sense, God will guide the way.

Praise for the book

 "Kandi Wyatt has taken historical fiction and elevated it to a higher level. Her world building pulls you in and puts you right in the middle of the adventure. This is why I love her books." - Sandra Stiles 

 "Well worth the read. Kandi has done an wonderful job bringing this captivating story to life!" - Christianonfire2 on Goodreads

  add to goodreads



north for christmas cover
North for Christmas by Christina Dymock

Ruby Jeavon takes a position as a Christmas elf in order to evaluate the Nashville North Pole Program from the inside. For years, the program has been losing money and investors want a reason to pull out. Ratting out a Santa isn't Ruby's style, but someone has to do it. She’s mortified by the striped tights and elf shoes, but she has a goal and nothing, not even the handsome Nashville native, North Foxwell, will stand in her way. North’s dad was diagnosed with cancer. The news brings North home to Nashville for the holidays where he’ll have to face his past, his grudge, and his bossy sister. North gets more than he bargained for when Ruby steps into Santa’s workshop. He’ll do everything he can to save the North Pole Program, but in the end, it’s North that needs saving – and Ruby’s just the girl to take on the task.

Read an excerpt

“Are you Mr. Foxwell?” ”Yes, sir.” “I’m Mitch.” He tucked the clipboard back under his arm. “We’re waitin’ for one more passenger.” “Will it be long?” North’s stomach rumbled. “Her flight just landed, so it should only be a few minutes.” They made small talk as they watched the people gather around the baggage claim. “I’ll bet that’s her,” said Mitch. North followed his gaze. Walking toward them was none other than Ruby Jeavon in a pair of designer black boots, tight jeans, and an oversized, but somehow still flattering, sweater. She expertly maneuvered two large bags, a carry on, and her purse in their direction. Maybe it was Karma that brought her here. Or maybe it was an angel with an overactive funny bone. Either way, North was not at all surprised to see the one woman who could make his trip home more awkward. He’d gathered from Ruby’s inclusion in the charity review meeting that she was on some sort of training schedule with Kathleen, and being here was probably a step up the ladder for the spoiled daughter of a powerful executive. He still hadn’t figured out a way to explain his behavior yesterday. He hadn’t meant to embarrass Ruby more than she embarrassed



Immigration Then and Now
The United States is a country of immigrants. Ironically, anti-immigration views have a long history. We can site John Adams's signing of the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts, Millard Fillmore's run for the Presidency on the Know Nothing/American Party ticket of the 1856 opposing Irish-Catholics immigration. A Wisconsin and an Illinois governor were defeated for promoting anti-German immigrant laws in 1890. The Chinese Exclusion Act was enacted in 1882, and a 1907 unofficial agreement between governments stopped Japanese immigration to the United States. The Immigration Restriction League out of Boston, New York, Chicago and San Francisco in the 1890s believed southern and eastern Europeans were racially inferior and threatened the American way of life. The Dillingham Commission consisting of both Senate and House members agreed with the Immigration League and in 1911 recommended reducing southern and eastern European immigration. United States immigration laws were tightened after World War I.



House at homecoming cove

From New York Times Bestselling Author GINNY BAIRD A breathtaking romantic mystery set at the Virginia Eastern Shore... Seeking out solitude in which to work, New York City music composer Melissa Carter rents a century-old farmhouse on the Virginia Eastern Shore. There, she meets a loner with rugged good looks and smoldering gray eyes, who has long-term ties to the property. When strange things start occurring at the historic home, the handsome groundskeeper comes to her aid, but is Melissa really safer in his arms? When Stone Thomas meets a pretty northerner with a musical gift, he's immediately drawn to her. He's also determined to protect her from the increasingly odd happenings at the fifty-acre farm where he's employed. Soon, Stone finds himself wondering whether he and beautiful Melissa might share a future. Yet the secrets of Homecoming Cove threaten to drive them apart.

add to goodreads



Hello Spooktacular friends of FLY HIGH! Like every year the spooky time to win a great fantasy or mystery story to celebrate Halloween has come. The giveaway hop is organized by Kathy at I'm A Reader Here at FLY HIGH! the winner will get  two best sellers in their kindle edition and the giveaway contest is open internationally. Remember to check the list of blogs participating in the hop, you've got hundreds of chances to win.  Join the fun and good luck!

Book 1. Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

New York Times #1 best seller
On the New York Times Best Seller List for more than 52 consecutive weeks
Includes an excerpt from the much-anticipated sequel and an interview with author Ransom Riggs
A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an



Valley of Decision (The Chartage Chronicles)

Every choice has a consequence in the explosive conclusion to the Carthage Chronicles as Lisbeth returns to third-century Carthage for a thrilling final adventure.

Thirteen years ago, Lisbeth made an impossible decision—leave third-century Carthage and her husband Cyprian behind for good. She knew it was to protect her daughter Maggie, so Lisbeth gathered the strength to move on with her life.

All these years, Lisbeth has thrown herself into her work and raising her headstrong daughter, all to live up to the promise she made to Cyprian. But Maggie is sick of being protected. In an act of teenage rebellion Maggie decides to do what her mother can’t—secretly returning to the third century on a quest to bring her father back, leaving Lisbeth no choice but to follow.

With Maggie’s surprise arrival in Carthage, chaos ensues. She finds her grandmother on trial for murder and attempts to save her, but instead the diversion sparks a riot that nearly destroys the plagued city. Only one thing will appease the wrath of the new proconsul of Carthage: the death of the instigator. 



Writers submit your Story
Enter for a chance to join the House of transmedia stories company

What is World's Best Story?

"This is not just a literary contest, we're looking for stories that will be consumed in multiple media formats – from books to the big screen and beyond," says Vincent Salera, founder of World's Best Story. "Our goal is to revolutionize the traditional literary contest and identify a story with blockbuster appeal. We're looking for a story that audiences will love and help authors turn that story into trans-media franchises, which is why we're empowering readers to judge the contest."

How does it work?

Readers will vote for stories and awarded judges will declare the final Top 10 winners.



Book Blurb 

Disguise of every sort creates difficulties for recent Yale grads Elizabeth and Jennie Blackwell, who are eager to begin the next chapter of their lives.
Elizabeth hopes her remarkable voice and academic training will help crown her the new darling of the Met. But will her burgeoning romance with world-renowned philanthropist Lliam Dafydd benefit her career or derail it before it begins?
Elizabeth’s minutes-older twin, Jennie, plans to translate her impressive résumé into a successful medical research program, but her demanding academic pursuits leave little time for romance.
Feeling trapped by her girl-next-door image, Jennie adopts a daring alter ego who behaves as she never would. As “Ariel De Mer,” Jennie becomes captivated by mysterious photographer, Chance Bly. Handsome and suave, he smoothly awakens her desires, while Ariel’s sexiness and sassiness mesmerize her smitten lover.
But Jennie’s innocent charade has a powerful impact on the lives of those she loves, and she is not the only one playing games.



I still remember my primary school teacher, her sweet,  authoritative style and her fundamental teachings. I owe to her my starting reading books very early, though coming from a humble family and from a house with very few books inside. She gave me my first two novels,  when I was 7 or 8, Little Women and Cuore, thus  giving start to a never-ending passion for literature. 

A few years later, I started loving everything British when an extravagant, cheerful, colourful teacher of English entered my classroom.  I was 12  then, and I became curious,  eager to learn that language so foreign to me and to discover more and more about Britain, which I would only visit at 21 for the first time, but which I started dreaming of since our first lesson together. 



The Cast of a Hand
At dawn on the outskirts of Paris in 1869, Hortense Kinck lies buried alive and surrounded by five of her children. Violently attacked, tormented and trapped, she sifts through the truths and deceits of her marriage to self-made industrialist, Jean Kinck. Why had he lied? 
France, snug in the prosperity of Napoleon III’s Second Empire, is shocked by the vicious destruction of the bourgeois Kinck family. Under pressure from his superiors, the Chief of Police, Monsieur Claude, must unravel the baffling connections between the family and a mysterious young man, Jean-Baptiste Troppmann, a cold case, a famous palmist and France’s rising tide of dissatisfaction with the Emperor Napoleon III. 
The Cast of a Hand is an unforgettable love story and a murder mystery based on one of the most shocking crimes of 19th century Paris. GS Johnston’s razor sharp prose interweaves and cross-pollinates the two narratives, both desperately trying to arrive at the truth. 



courtlight overdrive

Courtlight Series Comes to Overdrive, Ingram & 3M Cloud Library

The Courtlight Series is now available in Overdrive, Ingram, and 3M Cloud Library. We're excited to announce that the titles have sold to over a dozen libraries in three countries since this initiative launched on July 31st.

Lauded as a “fantasy world that you don’t want to miss out on”, the Courtlight Series consists of seven full-length novels that give readers an imaginative escape into a high fantasy world. With over 100,000 English-language books sold, global readers have become “captivated from beginning to end”. The series weaves an epic story of fantasy and romance, with avid comparisons to Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey, as a girl struggles to overcome the odds of her place in society while saving a prince and his empire from mortal peril. You’ll find that each book adds to an intricate storyline that enchants an young adult audience (Grade: 7 – 12 / Age: 12 – 19) and leaves the reader wanting more unforgettable magic. 



Rogue Rogue by Karen Lynch

Sara Grey is done hiding and done being afraid. The Master thinks he has her running scared, but she’s taking matters into her own hands and taking her life back. With the help of her friends, she sets out to find the one person who can answer her questions about her past, and who may be able to lead them to the Master. On her journey, Sara faces new challenges and dangers, and learns that the world of good and evil is not as clear cut as she had believed. She makes new friends, unexpected allies, and reconnects with people from her past. As her powers continue to change and grow, she transforms from a struggling girl into a strong young warrior. But at what cost? How much is Sara willing to sacrifice in her need for independence and her quest for the truth? And will her newfound strength be enough to save her and the people she loves when she finally comes face-to-face with her powerful nemesis? Nothing could have prepared her for what is to come, and it will take everything in her to survive the final test of courage and love.

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Do you recognize this shop? A clue: Claire in ep. 1 of Outlander 
Readers, I have discovered, are drawn to the mystical, dreamy highlands of Scotland as the backdrop for contemporary romance. As a writer, I heartily agree with that sentiment. Tall, Dark and Kilted, features a sexy laird Ruairi (Roo-ary) Urquhart who has to fight to safeguard his land and inheritance. In Scotch on the Rocks, kilt-wearing American, Brodie arrives on Eilean na Sgairbh on the back of a storm wind and turns my heroine's life upside down.  Both novels have gone down a storm in countries where there are ex-pat Scots – USA, Australia, New Zealand or Canada; it appears that second and third generation Scots are eager to learn about the old traditions and their former homeland. And if they learn through my novels, then so much the better. My novels are meticulously researched and, as a true born Scotswoman, I write with complete authenticity about the land and its people.
Falkland, in the Kingdom of Fife where the first scenes in Outlander were shot
Romance readers simply love a novel which features a man in a kilt. The element of ‘costume’ (ie the kilt), especially in a contemporary setting, removes the hero and the reader from the here and now and transports them into the realm of fantasy. And, in the case of a kilted hero, there is also the tease of whether he’s followed tradition and gone ‘commando’.
The kilted hero in my novels is, generally, aristocratic – a laird, at the very least. And, while he does not have to work to earn his daily crust, he carries the weight of his inheritance and the welfare of his tenants and family on his shoulders. He often has emotional scars which only the heroine can heal. All of my novels have a happy ending and readers can close the book with a satisfied sigh knowing that all the obstacles which have prevented the hero and hero from leading a happy life, have resolved.



What’s Your Lucky Charm?

a)  a rabbit’s foot
b)  a gobbo
c)  a four leaf clover

Did you pick the gobbo? Unlikely but probable if you’d lived in Calabria, southern Italy one hundred years ago when people credited the hunchbacked creature with magical power.

The Inheritance is set from 1897 to 1913 in Calabria, a region in southern Italy. It tells the story of Caterina, an atypical peasant woman who challenges social norms and the tragic chain of events her determination to live a life of her choosing ignites. Authenticity makes historical fiction come alive and the gobbo appears in Chapter One. A peasant mother is in thethroes of a difficult childbirth and Mafalda, the village midwife, wears the talisman on a piece of twine around her neck and entreats it to grant the baby a safe delivery.

What Keeps Your Home Safe?

a)  surveillance cameras
b)  a walled compound
c)  lavender

I doubt you picked lavender. An ancient herb used by various cultures to treat wounds, headaches and depression, Calabrian society at the time of The Inheritance also believed lavender shielded against evil.