Daisy's War, Guest Post, Historical Fiction, Merryn Allingham

Guest Post: Merryn Allingham, Author of ‘The Girl From Cobb Street’…

My guest, Merryn Allingham

Today I’m interviewing Merryn Allingham, who is the author of the Daisy’s War series. Book One, The Girl From Cobb Street, is out now.

Thanks for dropping by, Merryn. Where did you get the idea for The Girl From Cobb Street?


It started with a marriage certificate – my parents’ – which I unearthed from a pile of papers at the back of a cupboard I was clearing. My mother travelled to India in April 1937 and was married in St John’s Afghan Church in what was then, Bombay. Even now India is exotic, hitting you in the face with its difference. But in the 1930s, the journey took three weeks at a time when most people rarely ventured far beyond their home. I tried to imagine how it must have been for a working class girl who had never been further from London than a day at the Southend seaside, to travel to what was an alien world, thousands of miles away, and marry a man she hadn’t seen for some time – six years in my mother’s case! And so my heroine, Daisy Driscoll, was born, facing the same hazards in her new life as my mother had – and then far more, with a deceitful and desperate husband who threatens her with disaster.


How long did it take you to write?


Much longer than I expected because one book turned into three. I think it took me around two years to write the whole of the Daisy’s War trilogy. I found I couldn’t leave my heroine at the end of The Girl from Cobb Street. I knew she was going to have more adventures, but I also knew that eventually she would reach a safe harbour. 


Who is your favourite character, and why?


It has to be Daisy. She was the character that pushed me into writing more books than I intended. She is such a mix of vulnerability and strength, someone who at the beginning of the trilogy is still being formed. Bad things happen to her, but she fights every inch of the way and by the end of the third book has become the person she was always meant to be.


Have you ever had any rejections in your writing life? How did you cope?


I’ve been very lucky in having every book I’ve written published but, of course, along the way there have been plenty of rejections. Sometimes it’s been a resounding ‘no’ and other times a  tantalising near miss. I think you have to remind yourself that it’s not you personally that’s being rejected, but your story. Either it doesn’t appeal to the person you sent it to or it doesn’t fit what they’re looking for at that time. Writers put so much of themselves into their work, though, that it can be difficult. 


What’s the most useful piece of writing advice of your own you’d like to hand on?


Writing can be a lonely business, never more so when rejections start to flow in, but you have to continue to believe in yourself and keep writing. Determination and patience are essential. If you look at the biographies of many of today’s most popular novelists, they’ve often been writing for years. As Lee Child said, ‘It took me ten years to be an overnight success.’ 

Who’s had the most influence on your writing life?


I would have to say Georgette Heyer. When I began writing, I had a daunting background of academic research and teaching and hadn’t a clue how to begin writing popular fiction, although I knew I wanted to. Then one morning I woke up and the idea was there. I would start where I felt most comfortable – in the Regency with a book along the lines of Georgette Heyer, who I’ve read and reread a hundred times since my teenage years. And so I began writing as Isabelle Goddard and published six Regency romances before deciding to broaden my scope into mainstream women’s fiction. But GH definitely got me going. 


What’s next for you?


I’m toying with writing another trilogy, three separate stories set in 1914, 1941 and 1965, but linked together by the same house and its various occupants. It sounds like quite a challenge and at the moment I’m not sure just how it will work. But it’s an idea that keeps buzzing through my mind and I know it won’t let go until I put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. I even have a rough title for the three books: The Summerhayes Saga!


Good luck with The Summerhayes Saga—I’ll look forward to interviewing you when it’s finished! 

Here’s an excerpt from The Girl from Cobb Street, to give us a taster of your latest release…



Nandni Mata was as beautiful as she had been days ago. Daisy stroked the shining black stone with gentle fingers,willing the goddess to come alive. It was foolish, but this statue was the only connection she had with her mother, this and a creased photograph. Lily must have bought the brooch in a shop or from a market stall, as Grayson had suggested, but what if the connection were closer than that? What if the brooch had come from here, from this very place? What if her mother had been here? It was a fantasy, she knew, and she traced the necklace once more with her fingers, smoothing the stone pendant over and over, trying to feel her mother’s presence. But she could not. All she could feel was the still, suffocating heat. 


She looked at the statue again and the goddess stared back. Her look was baleful. Daisy hadn’t noticed that before. A strong impulse to leave was flooding over her, for the temple hadn’t brought the peace she sought and she didn’t know why. It was as though the spirit of the place had withdrawn and left her exposed. Yes, she must definitely leave, and leave now. She backed quickly away and walked through the regiment of columns to the top of the temple steps. A sudden noise above her head made her look skywards and there, held in suspension, was a stone, a very large stone, hurtling through the blue, hurtling towards her. She stepped back into the shelter of two columns a second before a deafening crack shattered the stillness of the arena and a rock lay in splinters on the steps below.

Thanks for sharing with us, Merryn. Good luck with The Girl From Cobb Street! 

You can find out more about The Girl From Cobb Street here.

Extract, Guest Post, Snow White and The Huntsman, Sydney St Claire, Wild Rose Press

Guest Blog—Sydney St Claire: Snow And Her Huntsman

Sydney St Claire

Today, I’m welcoming Sydney St Claire to my blog. As well as telling us something about herself, Sydney is giving us a taste of her erotic romance, Snow And Her Huntsman. This is part of the Once Upon A Dom series. The theme is Fairy Tales Your Mother Never Read You, and it’s another new title from The Wild Rose Press.

About Sydney…

Sydney St. Claire is the pseudonym of Susan Edwards, author of 14 Historical Native American/Western/Paranormal romances and the author of the popular “White” Series. 
Sydney takes her readers into the world of erotica romance where her characters come together in explosive passion as they solve life’s problems and find true love along with the best sex our hero and heroine have ever experienced. 
Sydney’s office is quite crowded with three dogs at her feet and five cats to keep her company while she writes. Three cats always insist on beds on her desk, barely leaving enough room for her monitor and keyboard. Life gets fun when all five insist on supervising…
A Little About Snow And Her Huntsman…

Rylee Kincaid’s business is about to go under. Lucky for her, she’s found an investor. Ready to sign papers, she learns her knight in shining armor is Hunter Finnegan, the man who once gave her multiple orgasms then crushed her young, tender heart. Her world comes crashing down as it becomes clear the rich businessman intends a hostile takeover and to cast her out. Then he agrees to discuss a new deal, but only if Rylee will play Snow to his Huntsman at a BDSM fairy tale event.


Hunter has never forgotten the weekend of kinky sex he shared with Rylee in college. Unfortunately, he had to let her go to keep peace in his family. Now he’s back to claim the only woman he’s ever loved. He’ll stop at nothing to make the black-haired, fair-skinned beauty hear the truth of what happened so long ago, even if he has to tie her up. And that’s exactly what he does. But as the Huntsman reawakens the submissive in Snow, Hunter isn’t so sure he can do the same to Rylee’s heart.

Available from http://bit.ly/17aXsY9

And here’s a little taster…(PG13)

Rylee couldn’t believe what she’d done. She’d totally lost control, something she’d never done with another man but Hunter. Sex between her and her husband had never come close to the heat level between her and Hunter. Her hands dropped from his shoulders to his chest. Palms flat, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to push him away or bunch her fingers in his shirt and draw him even closer. God, what must he think of her? One kiss, and she’d gone up in flames, like a desperate and hungry woman. 
Which was true. But to show it and behave in such a manner horrified her. “I…” She didn’t know what to say. 
Hunter stepped away, she assumed to give her time to adjust her clothing. He picked up the invitation from the gray carpet. “My limo will pick you up at two on Thursday.” 
“Thursday?” Damn, her mind and body felt as though she were swimming through a thick gel. 
Handing her the invite, along with a large envelope he snagged off his desk, he held her gaze. “I’ll see you at Pleasure Manor. Your costumes will be delivered to your office this afternoon.” 
He tapped the envelope. “Instructions and rules. I suggest you go get your bloodwork done this afternoon. You’ll need to bring the results with you.” Hunter handed her the briefcase and her purse and hustled her to the door. 
Rylee blinked in confusion. Damn the man for being in complete control while she was a quivering mass of need. Her orgasm hadn’t eased her ache for this man. But she hated being manipulated, and he was a master. He’d lured her in with hopes and dreams of saving her business and probably used Glorie to make her mad enough that she’d confront him. Now, he’d had the nerve to use her own body against her. “Dammit, Hunter, I never said—” 
Hunter halted her with the single lift of his brow. “Your body spoke for you.” He lowered his head and kissed her hard, swallowing her protests. “Thursday. And don’t bother wearing panties.”
Wow—nobody ever read fairy tales like that to me! You can find out more about Sydney and her work here: 

Trailer:             http://youtu.be/ap0UHxLoFCA
Website:         http://sydneystclaire.com
                     http://susanedwards.com
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/Sydneystclaire
Blog:          http://sydneystclaire.wordpress.com

While the buy links for Snow And Her Huntsman are:

Wild Rose KINDLE           Nook         KOBO             IBOOKS

And Sydney is celebrating the release with a new contest. Prizes include a roomy  “Fairy Tales Your Mother Never Read You” tote bag, 4 GB Flash Drive, Key Ring Light, Notepad & Pen, Mug and assorted other goodies. Find out more here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/09f02d866/

Christy Effinger, Guest Post, Paranormal New Adult, Say Nothing Of What You See

Guest Post: Christy Effinger And Paranormal New Adult…

Christy’s Novel

Today, Christy Effinger’s is going to tell us about her Paranormal New Adult novel, Say Nothing Of What You See. Christy’s poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in various print and online publications. She lives near Indianapolis. Her website is www.christyeffinger.com.

To give you a taste of the novel, here’s the blurb…



When her aunt steps off a grain elevator into the emptiness of a prairie evening, Mira Piper loses her one protector. Chloe, her flighty mother, impulsively drags her daughter to Bramblewood, an isolated spiritualist retreat in northern Michigan, run by the enigmatic Dr. Virgil Simon. 


Chloe plans to train as a medium but it’s Mira who discovers she can communicate with the dead. When her mother abandons her, Mira discovers a darker aspect to Bramblewood: the seemingly kind doctor has a sinister side and a strange control over his students. 


Then one winter’s day Troy Farrington arrives, to fulfill his mother’s dying wish and deliver her letter to the doctor. But calamity strikes and he finds himself a captive, tended by a sympathetic Mira. Haunted by her dead aunt and desperate to escape Bramblewood, Mira makes a devil’s deal with Dr. Simon. But fulfillment comes with a steep cost…betrayal. 


Now you’re in the mood, here’s an extract:

“You are absolutely stunning, Mira.” 


I stole another glance in the mirror. The material was a rich, shimmery gold that fell from my shoulders in folds of liquid light. It looked like something a Greek goddess might wear. Oh, how I wished the girls from Amberville High School could see me in this dress! 


“When you came here,” said Dr. Simon, “I had a vision of you like this. I looked at the girl before me, but I saw the woman you are now.” 


“Thank you,” I murmured, gesturing toward the piles of clothes on my bed. “You’ve been so generous. I know you’ve spent a good deal of money on me—” 


“Money means nothing,” he interrupted abruptly. “I have more than I could ever spend, more than I know what to do with. Don’t consider the cost.” 


His tone was brusque, and I wondered if I had offended him. 


But the next moment Dr. Simon smiled. “I think of you as my charity case. You were like a doll thrown out in the garbage. I simply rescued you from the trash, cleaned you up, and dressed you in something decent. But the beauty was present all along.” He touched my cheek. “Here.” Then he touched my forehead. “Here.” Then he touched my chest. “And here.” 


I knew he was referring to my heart, but even so, his hand on my chest made my face warm with discomfort. 


“You blush so easily,” he laughed. “You’ll never be able hide anything, Mira, with such a transparent face.” 


“That’s all right,” I said, taking a small step back. “I don’t have anything to hide.”

To find out more about Say Nothing Of What You See, click on any of these buy linksWild Rose PressAmazonBarnes and Noble

Thanks for sharing this with us, Christy, and good luck with Say Nothing Of What You See.
Blues At Eleven, Guest Post, Rebecca Grace, Wild Rose Press

Guest Post: Rebecca Grace, Author of Blues At 11

See http://bit.ly/1BbqyTe for details

 Today I’m welcoming Rebecca Grace to my blog. Rebecca’s going to tell us about the background to her new release, Blues At 11, and treat us to an excerpt.

MEET REBECCA GRACE…


My newest book, Blues at 11, came out last week, and I have to admit it is the book I had the most fun writing. I started it out as a serious mystery, and it seemed to go nowhere. Then I changed it to first person, and began re-writing it in a humorous vein and suddenly the words just seemed to come so easily.
I started with the premise of a bar conversation I had with a good friend when I had just broken up with a boyfriend. We were drinking margaritas and discussing how we should kill him for being such a jerk. Halfway through the conversation, the bartender came by and promised not to tell the police everything he’d overheard when the body turned up.
Well, that got me to thinking – what if one of the women at the bar was well-known? Not just well known but a TV anchorwoman who has just broken up with a boyfriend. What if she is suspected of killing him? And what if the chief of police in the town is a guy she once dated?
Suddenly things fell into place.
Rebecca Grace
I’ve been writing stories based on just that sort of a “what if” concept ever since I was in high school. I’ve loved mystery books and suspense since I was a pre-teen but then I read Pride and Prejudice and started devouring romance novels. It was natural when I began writing fiction myself that I would go in the direction of writing romance, romantic suspense and mystery. I always wanted to be a writer, which was why I eventually chose to major in journalism in college. I didn’t know I would end up in television news, but I was there for more than 30 years, a good many in Los Angeles where Blues is set. I am currently working on new adventures for Kimberly.
Here’s an excerpt from Blues At 11:
“Someone needs to find the killer,” I said. “What if he’s after me too? Think about Lindy’s accident. She was driving my car. The hit and run driver might have been after me.”
 Hank waved an impatient hand. “From what I’ve heard, she was driving too fast and may have been racing the other car.”
“She told me she was careful.”
“You think she’d tell the truth if she was racing? Look, I would appreciate it if you hired a PI and left my dad out of this.”
“All you’re worried about is looking bad for your mayor and rich people like the Brookings family. I’m sure they’ll give you a nice contribution to your next campaign for providing personal attention.”
“I am not elected,” he said through gritted teeth.
“But you are worried about your job and appearances. Isn’t that why you were making such a big deal out of my ‘security arrangement’ with your dad?” It was my turn to hold up the quote fingers.
The coldness that grew in his eyes was like an approaching glacier. “Look, I know what’s happening. You’re doing your normal Kimberly crap.”
His harsh words smacked into me like a slap of hard wind to my face. “My what?”
He unloaded on me with the force of a blizzard. “You’re a pampered princess who is so damned used to getting your own way that you can’t handle it when the real world invades your private fantasy life! Well, it’s here, lady, and it’s real. But I won’t stand by and let you hurt my father by getting him involved.”

Thanks for starring her today, Rebecca. I love the idea of an eavesdropper getting the wrong idea. Anybody looking at the search history on a writer’s computer ought to be ready for a few shocks, too! Good luck with Blues At 11, and the further adventures of Kimberley, too.

To enjoy more of Rebecca and Blues At 11, here are her buy links and contact details:
Buy Links:
http://amzn.to/1G87Z5B                         Amazon       
http://bit.ly/1BbqyTe                               TWRP
http://bit.ly/1yEZTMX                            BN.com
On the Web
Twitter: @RebeccaGrace55 
Assassin, Guest Post, J.C. McKenzie, Paranormal, Shifter, Urban Fantasy, Vancouver, Wereleopard, Werewolf, Wild Rose Press

Guest Blog: J.C.McKenzie, author of ‘Beast Coast’…

J.C’s Latest Release

Today, J.C. McKenzie’s giving us a taste her latest release for Wild Rose Press, Beast Coast.  Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance with a PG13 (spicy) rating, so to get you in the mood for her extract, here’s the blurb for Beast Coast


Sometimes the greatest danger comes from within…

When Master Vampire Lucien Delgatto threatens her potential mate Wick’s life, Shape Shifter Andrea “Andy” McNeilly will employ a den of witches, a bedazzled thong, and her ability to shift into multiple animals to meet his demands. She plans to keep Wick safe—even if she’s not speaking to him. Lucien’s unwelcomed control over Wick’s life has thrown Andy into a whirlwind of emotions. 

Though Wick vows to do whatever it takes to earn Andy’s forgiveness and win back her trust, it may be too late. This recent conflict awakens something within Andy, an animal she’s never learned to control. For hidden beneath all her forms is a beast whose anger and brutality rivals none.


And she’s pissed.

Here’s the extract…

Letting my falcon drift close to the surface, my eyesight sharpened. A dark figure moved in the brambles near the deer path ahead of me. About to step closer, something tugged at my senses.
Come to me, a voice echoed in my head. I froze.
An overwhelming urge to walk into the forest on my right consumed my body. I hadn’t felt anything like this since…
Since I was fourteen, and walked into the forest to meet three feras.
Sweat beaded on my brow and the bridge of my nose. I wiped it away, while fighting the compulsion to move.
Come to me, Carus.
Leaning forward, I tried to locate the animal. A branch snapped, and my attention darted to where the sound originated from. The forest hummed with the sound of summer insects. My heart beat loud and heavy in my chest.
Underbrush rustled. There!
A flash of orange.
Pop! A sharp sting, much like a rubber band on bare skin, radiated across my right butt cheek. I yipped and jumped three feet in the air.
Whirling around, I found Wick with an ear-to-ear grin and his paintball gun resting over one of his shoulders. If he had a leg propped up on a recently deceased moose, he’d look like a hunter from a photo.
“Tagged you,” his whiskey voice crooned.

To find out more about Beast Coast, click on any of these buy links:



Thanks for sharing this with us, J.C., and good luck with Beast Coast.