Little Boxes by Celia J Anderson #giveaway

I’m honored to introduce to my blog followers author Celia J Anderson and her new contemporary romance novel, Little Boxes as part of her blog tour.

tourbutton_littleboxesCelia, the floor is yours.

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Talking of boxes, on this promotion tour for Little Boxes release, I’m going retro – all the way back to Forest Gump talking about life being ‘like a box of chocolates’.

If you were faced with a massive choice of your favourites, which would you eat first? There’s an old quote from Jilly Cooper that I always loved from the days before her blockbusters when she wrote much shorter books, such as Prudence, Octavia and Imogen. I loved those early stories, and it’s driving me nuts which one had the line linking choosing your man to picking a sweetie, something about holding out for the coffee creams. Well, I would do just that. Coffee creams are my all time favourite chocolate.

In Little Boxes, Tom is the coffee cream – dark chocolate, slightly bitter, but smooth and sensual when you get past the first kick of flavour. He’s had a difficult life so far but he’s ready to let Molly in, if she can acquire the taste …

Molly herself is more like the rum truffle. She’s dark, sweet and packs a powerful punch when she’s angry, but the effect is delicious, and Tom is soon addicted. He can’t live without her but he can’t work out how to convince Molly that he’s the one for her.

Dot is a chunk of popping candy that’s sneaked into the box – she adds fizz to any occasion and is ready for adventure. Shaun, however, has got to be a thin sliver of chilli chocolate – spicy and vaguely dangerous, with a bite. And Kate’s a caramel, hard to get into, even harder to get away from, sometimes painful!

So, in your personal; box of chocolates, who’s the one that always gets left till last? Who’s the strawberry soft centered one? Who has the pulling power in your world?

Extract:

Molly, breathless and pink in the face, came to a halt next to her youngest son and wondered why he was turning out to be so uncontrollable. Her eldest, Sam, had been completely different – happy to play with his Lego for hours, or draw endless pictures of his tortoise. Mind you, there hadn’t been all this open space available to go wild in when Sam was small. They had still been living in the little village on the outskirts of Leicester where she and Jake grew up. Theo and Hattie had been born there, too – it was only Max who had this giant beach playground to trash.

Bribing Max with promises of ice cream, she herded her brood back towards the promenade. The girls were sulking again. She could see Tom making his laborious way over the stones – a clever balancing act involving two sticks and a lot of muscle power. He was placing each stick carefully each time he was ready to move forward, picking the biggest, steadiest stones and testing them for steadiness as he went. A folding easel stuck out from Tom’s bag, and he was weighed down by his picnic chair and painting sack. It must be an enormous effort for him to get from A to B, Molly thought, flushing again as she remembered how she’d let herself down by ogling him.

She’d always had a weakness for strong, tanned forearms, and Tom’s were definitely worth looking at. In fact, his whole upper body looked amazingly toned. Molly watched him swing himself over the stones with only the occasional pause to balance. How blue his eyes were – piercing and yet thoughtful, looking right inside her as if he was able to read her soul. It was a good job he couldn’t.

Molly had noticed Tom painting on the cliffs for the first time last winter, and had been trying to think what she could do to get to know him ever since. There was something intriguing about his level of concentration and the way he set his jaw when he was painting. You would never dare to interrupt someone who cared so much about their work.

What kind of man would brave the bitter cold to paint such fresh, clean pictures day after day? Molly had stood in the shelter of the Ferrymead-on-Sea lighthouse on that first morning, muffled to the eyeballs in scarves and a woolly hat, but Tom’s short blond curls were unprotected by any sort of headgear and he had nothing thicker than a battered leather jacket to protect him from the icy east coast wind. Molly had wondered whether to offer him some coffee from her flask, but had chickened out. He’d looked as if interruptions would definitely not be welcome.

‘Mum, look at that man you were just talking to – he’s very brave, isn’t he?’ said Hattie as Tom, reaching the concrete of the promenade, picked up speed and reclaimed the wheelchair that he’d left chained to a lamp post.

‘Hattie, you’re so wet. And you’d better not let him hear you say stuff like that, either,’ her sister replied, giving her a shove.

Hattie righted herself and glared at Theo. ‘Why not?’

‘Duh, it’s obvious. He’ll think you pity him ‘cos he can’t walk without sticks. Even I know you should never do that.’

Hattie stuck out her bottom lip and watched Tom bowl away out of sight. ‘He’s fast though, isn’t he, Mum? He could do Paralympics or something,’ she said after a moment.

‘He really gets a move on,’ agreed Molly, trying to banish the unfamiliar ripples of lust that were making her slightly breathless. ‘Come on, we said we’d go and have an ice cream with your dad at the bistro. He’ll think we’ve abandoned him.’

Here’s the blurb:

Little BoxesSuddenly bereaved, Molly White realises that she has never really known her feisty husband Jake when random boxes begin to appear through the post, each one containing a tantalising clue to the secrets of Jake and Molly’s past. Someone who knows them both well, for reasons of their own, has planned a trail of discovery. The clues seem to be designed to change Molly’s life completely, leading her around Britain and then onwards to rural France and deepest Bavaria.

Meanwhile, waiting in the wings is Tom, a charismatic artist who runs a gallery in the same town. Strong, independent and wheelchair-bound from the age of fifteen, he leads a solitary life and has no idea how devastatingly attractive he is to women. When Tom meets curvy, beautiful and funny Molly, he knows that she is his dream woman, but she seems way out of his orbit until the boxes start to weave their spell and the two of them are thrown right out of their comfort zones.

Little Boxes is a story of love in a variety of guises – mother-love, unrequited passion, infatuation and the shadow-love held in memories that refuse to go away.

Buy links: http://celiajanderson.co.uk/books/little-boxes/

Carol here. I’m hijacking this post for a bit to insert my two cents.

Carol’s review: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thanks to the author who gifted me an e-copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

I was intrigued by the blurb for Little Boxes, then followed my usual routine of taking a peek inside the book via Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature. I liked what I read, so I requested a copy to review during Celia’s blog tour.

Celia J. Anderson’s Little Boxes pulled me in from the start and kept drawing me back every time life interrupted my reading time. The characters were multi-faceted and interesting, the pace steady and the plot twists unexpected. The little boxes in the story were ingenious, each one a revelation, adding another layer to the story like a lovely tiered cake.

I thoroughly enjoyed Little Boxes and hope to read more of Anderson’s work soon.

celiaandersonAuthor Bio:

Celia J Anderson spends most of her spare time writing in as many different genres as possible, including children’s fiction. In her other life, she’s Assistant Headteacher at a small Catholic primary school in the Midlands and loves teaching literature (now comfortingly called English again but still the best subject in the world.)

She tried a variety of random jobs before discovering that the careers advisor at secondary school was right, including running crèches, childminding, teaching children to ride bikes (having omitted to mention she couldn’t do it herself) and a stint in mental health care. All these were ideal preparation for the classroom and provided huge amounts of copy for the books that were to come.

Celia enjoys cooking and eating in equal measures, and thinks life without wine would be a sad thing indeed. She is married, with two grown up daughters who have defected to the seaside. One day she plans to scoop up husband and cats and join them there.

Links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / http://theromaniacgroup.wordpress.com

Click here for Rafflecopter Giveaway and good luck!

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Here and there 11-6-14

I’m blogging on PFHT today about my daughter’s wedding reception last Saturday in Denver, romance in general and writing. Pretty pictures and more are being shared!

Between edits on Nobody’s Baby, I’ll pop in and reply to comments.

Coming soon…

nobodys-baby-e-reader-copyNew release info on NOBODY’S BABY

 

 

 

 

Guest author blog tours

Giveaways

and more!

Posted in Books, Carol Burnside, Everyday blather, Going Places, Here at home | Tagged , , , ,

One Uploaded, One to Go!

CarolBurnside_Heart2Heart_smHeart 2 Heart, my short story collection, has officially flown the coop. It went live on Smashwords and All Romance ebooks last night. I’m posting new links on my Books page as soon as they’re available and I see them.

Problem is, I’m traveling all day, going to my daughter’s wedding reception in Denver. But I’ll try to keep up with links as best I can.

And on the “as soon as is humanly possible” agenda is Nobody’s Baby. I’m hoping to have it live with a week.

I’m officially debuting my cover art for Nobody’s Baby today. I think this is my favorite cover yet. What do you think?

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Posted in Books, Carol Burnside, Cover Art, Going Places, Good News, New Release | Tagged , , ,

It’s tea party time!

Yesterday’s post, On the way to the tea party, was about the reason why there was a tea party to attend, and the relaxation and nature during the days leading up to said party. No, make that THE TEA PARTY.  I even bought a dress for this, y’all!

My hostess/date for this event was a terrific writer and friend, Susan Carlisle. I tease her about her throwback ideas of how people should dress at certain kinds of events, but even she draws the line at pantyhose, so we were good.

Susan drove us all the way to Madison, Georgia to the Madison Tea Room & Garden, which was decorated for fall.

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Inside were pretty rooms of fragile, fine china, lovely gift items and well presented tables. While our table was being set, we moved into the back room and tried on hats from days gone by. What fun! We were too busy admiring each other and laughing to take pictures, but I did snap one of the hats before we left.

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They were fabulous, as was the decor.

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Did you think I’d gotten so wrapped up in the hats and decor that I’d forgotten about the tea and food? My weigh scale would tell you (if it could talk — and some days it seems to) that I absolutely did not forget about the aromatic teas or the savory sandwiches and fluffy clotted cream on delicately sweetened scones. We worked our way up those tiers without reservation.

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I think all Susan and I left was a lonely piece of celery. Yep, that means we ate all the deserts too. Bad Carol, but I loved every minute of it and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Have you ever enjoyed a tea party?

Posted in Everyday blather, Going Places | Tagged , , , ,

On the way to a tea party…

WP_20141009_010So, there was this charity auction earlier in the year that I forgot to contribute to due to writing deadlines. That led to me feeling I needed to support in some other way, so I bid on a listing which sounded wonderful: a tea party with one of my favorite people, Susan Carlisle.

Susan is a tea party enthusiast and I wanted to be, except I’d never attended one outside of the one she gave at her house a few years back. That one was lovely and I wanted to experience it again. I selected a maximum amount to bid then forgot about it until the auction was over. I figured I had a good chance, but was still surprised to receive notice that I was the high bidder. Yay!

Just one catch… Susan lives in Georgia, I’m in Arkansas. The tea was offered for the time frame surrounding the RWA National Conference in San Antonio. Susan and I were both attending, but our schedules were crazy. Plus, there was the whole hot tea/Texas in July issue. Not so appealing. We decided to wait until the fall, when I would attend Moonlight & Magnolias in Atlanta, like I usually do.

  I arrived several days early for the conference. Susan and I schlepped out to her mom’s lake cottage for some writing and workshop building.??????????????????????????????? It’s a lovely, serene setting, but a bit isolated, so we didn’t look like tea party types during our stay. Not to worry. We clean up.DSC04339Still, no pics of us at our retreat will grace this post. Instead, I’ll show you the feathered and furred friends who visited us.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Reluctantly, we left the serenity of this place and headed back toward the Atlanta area for an overnight stay, cleanup and to re-pack for the conference. Our tea would bridge the gap between backwoods bliss and metropolitan bustle.

Tomorrow I’m sharing pictures of our tea party, the hats we tried on, delicate china, the beautiful setting and more.

Posted in Everyday blather | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Facebook Party and Spookapalooza!

cropped-cropped-spook5_headerToday through Halloween night, I’m posting excerpts and information about my books and offering occasional prizes. There are tons of authors participating and as many prizes to be given away. Jump on over there and scan through the authors posts for all the goodies and bargains to be had. Click on my name in the sidebar to find my posts and giveaways.

Update 10/26 5pm:  TRS recently changed over to a new self-hosted site and my login doesn’t work. They’re trying to get it fixed so I can post, but you won’t see anything from me right now. Sorry!

Also today, from 9:30-10:00 pm Eastern time (EST), I’ll be doing the same at A Romance Caper on Facebook. It’s going to be a blast! Here’s the schedule and lineup of authors:

All times below are EST
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Posted in Everyday blather | Tagged , , ,

Ugly chairs

Once upon a time in a Atlanta area Hilton there was an ugly chair. A lot of ugly chairs, I’m told, but during a recent writer’s conference, I spent a few days with one in particular.

This one:WP_20141009_020

Yep, that’s one awesome chair. Dunno how much Hilton paid for these beauties, but it was too much. How long have they been there? Too long, even if it’s only a year. They’re cheap vinyl and peeling worse than a fair-skinned beauty after a beach vacation as evidenced below.

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WP_20141009_020seatGnarly, eh? It looks like it should be in the No Tell Motel. As if it wasn’t bad enough that it was poop brown and peeling, the pneumatic lift was broken, so it sat too low for comfortable use of the desk.

My roommate, Susan  Carlisle and I decided that Paris must’ve needed a new handbag, so they skimped on the chairs and this is the result.

We really began to wonder about the financial stability of the place when we noticed a lamp without a light bulb. At our request, that was replaced, but as darkness fell, we realized there were two other lights with spent bulbs. We left a request for replacements at the desk. Later that day, we arrived back in the room and saw they’d replaced one, but pulled the bulb from the beverage alcove and used it in either the bathroom or another lamp.

Ah, well. At least the beds were comfortable and we had plenty of hot water.

Posted in Everyday blather, Going Places | Tagged , | 1 Comment

New books and freebies

sunset-beach-sizzle-web-miniLike books and freebies? Check out the TRS party blog today for a baker’s dozen in prizes and new releases. Excerpts and more, including my latest release, Sunset Beach Sizzle.

You’ve got two chances to win a copy of Sunset Beach Sizzle: through the “prizes” link above and by commenting on any of my posts today on the TRS party blog.

I love to give stuff away, so come on over!

Posted in Books, Carol Burnside, Free Stuff, Going Places, Promo | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Giveaway: SUNSET BEACH SIZZLE

sunset-beach-sizzle-web-copyThe e-book:

I’m blogging at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales today about my release this Friday, SUNSET BEACH SIZZLE. It’s an erotic romance novella set in Hawaii and Denver and is the first in my new Tropical Heat series. You can read the blurb here, since I don’t have the permanent page up yet. Blurb and excerpt are HERE.

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Kudos go to the awesomely talented Dar Albert at Wicked Smart Designs, who paints great covers and makes great logos like the “Tropical Heat” one on this cover and as shown on my “Coming Soon” page.

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logo-clear-backgroundThe giveaways:

Comment here for a chance to win a copy. Yep, it’s that easy.

Comment on the PFHT post for a chance to win a copy. Double the chances because I’m feeling generous today and giving away a copy at each blog.

 

Posted in Books, Carol Burnside, Everyday blather, Free Stuff, Going Places | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Jenny Kane: Romancing Robin Hood

jennykane_tourbuttonby Jenny Kane

Jenny KaneMany thanks for letting me visit today as part of my blog tour to promote my brand new novel Romancing Robin Hood.

The last thing I expected I’d be doing during the drafting of a romance novel was plotting my first murder (on paper that is!), and yet, that is exactly what I did when I wrote Romancing Robin Hood.

Perhaps, with a legendary outlaw in the title, it isn’t so surprising that I have found myself sorting out the finer points of a murder mystery- and yet I didn’t see this coming. Whenever I begin a new novel, I have plenty of ideas, sketch out a plotline, and cobble together a synopsis, but at the same time I very much like my characters to take hold of the story themselves. I enjoy travelling with them, and being as surprised (hopefully) as my readers will be when they read my finished work.

Romancing Robin Hood is a contemporary romance all about history lecturer Dr Grace Harper, who is nuts about Robin Hood and the historical outlaws that may have inspired him. So not only does Romancing Robin Hood tell the story of Grace’s fight to find time for romance in her busy work filled life, it also contains a secondary story about the fourteenth century criminal gang Grace is researching- the Folvilles. This family, based in Ashby-Folville in Leicestershire, were a group I researched in-depth as a student many moons ago.

In the novella she is writing, Grace’s fourteenth century protagonist Mathilda is getting to know the Folville family rather better than she would have liked. As well as living with them, she suddenly finds herself under a very frightening type of suspicion.

I must confess I’m rather enjoyed weaving this sub plot around the main romance of the modern part of Romancing Robin Hood.

I had no idea killing someone off could be so much fun!! It was rather like doing a jigsaw from in the inside out, while having no idea where the corners are!

romancing robin hoodHere’s an extract:

Mathilda thought she was used to darkness, but the dim candlelight of the comfortable small room she shared at home with her brothers was nothing like this. The sheer density of this darkness seemed to envelop her, physically gliding over Mathilda’s clammy goose-pimpled skin. This was an extreme blackness that coated her, making her breathless, as if it was stealthfully compressing her lungs and squeezing the life from her.

Unable to see the floor, Mathilda presumed, as she pressed her naked foot against it and damp oozed between her toes, that the suspiciously soft surface she was sat on was moss, which in a room neglected for years had been allowed it to form a cushion on the stone floor. It was a theory backed up by the smell of mould and general filthiness which hung in the air.

Trying not to think about how long she was going to be left in this windowless cell, Mathilda stretched out her arms and bravely felt for the extent of the walls, hoping she wasn’t about to touch something other than cold stone. The child’s voice that lingered at the back of her mind, even though she was a woman of nineteen, was telling her – screaming at her – that there might be bodies in here, still clapped in irons, abandoned and rotting. Mathilda battled the voice down; knowing it that would do her no good at all. Her father had always congratulated Mathilda on her level headedness, and now it was being put to the test. She was determined not to let him down now.

Placing the very tips of her fingers against the wall behind her, she felt her way around. It was wet. Trickles of water had found a way in from somewhere, giving the walls the same slimy covering as the floor. Mathilda traced the outline of the rough stone wall, keeping her feet exactly where they were. In seconds her fingers came to a corner, and twisting at the waist, she managed to plot her prison from one side of the heavy wooden door to the other, without doing more than extending the span of her arms.

Mathilda decided the room could be no more than five feet square, although it must be about six foot tall. Her own five-foot frame had stumbled down a step when she’d been pushed into the cell, and her head was at least a foot clear of the ceiling. The bleak eerie silence was eating away at her determination to be brave, and the cold brought her suppressed fear to the fore. Suddenly the shivering Mathilda had stoically ignored overtook her, and there was nothing she could do but let it invade her small slim body.

Wrapping her thin arms around her chest, she pulled up her hood, hugged her grey woollen surcoat tighter about her shoulders, and sent an unspoken prayer of thanks up to Our Lady for the fact that her legs were covered.

She’d been helping her two brothers, Matthew and Oswin, to catch fish in the deeper water beyond the second of Twyford’s fords when the men had come. Mathilda had been wearing an old pair of Matthew’s hose, although no stockings or shoes. She thought of her warm footwear, discarded earlier with such merry abandon. A forgotten, neglected pile on the river bank; thrown haphazardly beneath a tree in her eagerness to get them off and join the boys in their work. It was one of the only tasks their father gave them that could have been considered fun.

Mathilda closed her eyes, angry as the tears she’d forbidden herself to shed defied her stubborn will and came anyway. With them came weariness. It consumed her, forcing her to sink onto the rotten floor. Water dripped into her long, lank red hair. The tussle of capture had loosened its neatly woven plait, and now it hung awkwardly, half in and half out of its bindings, like a badly strapped sheaf of strawberry corn.

She tried not to start blaming her father, but it was difficult not to. Why hadn’t he told her he’d borrowed money from the Folvilles? It was an insane thing to do. Only the most desperate … Mathilda stopped her thoughts in their tracks. They were disloyal and pointless…

…Does Mathilda seem miserable and scared enough? Grace wasn’t sure she’d laid the horror of the situation on thick enough. On the other hand, she didn’t want to drown her potential readers in suffering-related adjectives.

No, on reflection it was fine; certainly good enough to leave and come back to on the next read through. She glanced at the clock at the corner of the computer screen. How the hell had it got to eight thirty already? Grace’s stomach rumbled, making her think of poor Mathilda in her solitary prison.

Switching off her computer, Grace crammed all her notes into her bag so she could read over them at home, and headed out of her office. Walking down the Queen’s Road, which led from the university to her small home in Leicester’s Clarendon Park region, Grace decided it was way too hot, even at this time of the evening, to stand in the kitchen and attempt, and probably fail, to cook something edible, so she’d grab a takeaway.

Grateful it wasn’t term time, so she didn’t have to endure the banter of the students who were also waiting for associated plastic boxes of Chinese food, Grace speedily walked home, and without bothering to transfer her chicken chow mein to another dish, grabbed a fork, kicked off her shoes, and settled herself down with her manuscript…

Romancing Robin Hood – Blurb.

Dr Grace Harper has loved the stories of Robin Hood ever since she first saw them on TV as a girl. Now, with her fortieth birthday just around the corner, she’s a successful academic in Medieval History, with a tenured position at a top university.

But Grace is in a bit of a rut. She’s supposed to be writing a textbook on a real-life medieval gang of high-class criminals – the Folvilles – but she keeps being drawn into the world of the novel she’s secretly writing – a novel which entwines the Folvilles with her long-time love of Robin Hood – and a feisty young girl named Mathilda, who is the key to a medieval mystery…

Meanwhile, Grace’s best friend Daisy – who’s as keen on animals as Grace is on the Merry Men – is unexpectedly getting married, and a reluctant Grace is press-ganged into being her bridesmaid. As Grace sees Daisy’s new-found happiness, she starts to re-evaluate her own life. Is her devotion to a man who may or may not have lived hundreds of years ago really a substitute for a real-life hero of her own? It doesn’t get any easier when she meets Dr Robert Franks – a rival academic who Grace is determined to dislike but finds herself being increasingly drawn to…

Buy Links
Available in e-format (Paperback coming soon!)
Amazon UK        Amazon.com

Happy reading everyone!
Jenny Kane xx

Bio
Jenny Kane is the author of Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and the novella length sequel Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013)

Jenny’s next novella, Another Cup of Mulled Wine, will be published in November, and her third full length novel, Abi’s House, will be published by Accent Press in 2015.

You can keep up to date with Jenny’s book news via her blog – www.jennykane.co.uk
Twitter- @JennyKaneAuthor
Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance?ref=hl
Jenny Kane also writes erotica as Kay Jaybee. (www.kayjaybee.me.uk)

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