Author Archives: Alison

Excited About Outlander

Having read some of the books I’m really intrigued to see this series!  I hope we get it in the UK – preferably on a decent channel I can watch!

Anyone else excited?

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Dressing Chessington, Or Decorating for Shehanne Moore!

The lovely Shehanne had me creating the scene of the homecoming of Lord Devorlane Hawley for her latest book Loving Lady Lazuli.  (Go and buy it!)

You can find her post about it here: Welcome to Chessington and my original pinboard ideas here.


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Book Review: Hunting the Hero by Heather Boyd

Hunting the Hero by Heather BoydI received a copy of this book via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Although this is book 4 in a series, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story, and it was only at the very end when I lost my way a bit with ‘Meredith’s’ family.

I was pleasantly surprised at this book, I’ve only read a little of Boyd’s work before – and wasn’t quite sure where the story would be going when the hero makes it quite clear early on that he’s only interested in visiting a local brothel. I couldn’t quite see where a heroine was going to appear…then Meredith or actually that’s not what she goes by in the brothel – but Calista. She certainly makes an impression however, and it’s not long before a long term arrangement is made for regular appointments with Constantine – the Earl of Grayling, our hero.

This was fine, until a family friend suggests that he might remove her from the brothel and into his own house. While I could see that Meredith the person wouldn’t harm a child, it did seem a little odd that someone, especially a female family friend would find this acceptable. Though I suppose that’s the beauty of the book. There’s a lot of characters that are well away from the norm – and this is a very sensual book, with lots of sensual scenes. So be warned if you don’t like your historicals hot.

So on, so kind of quiet for a while – Meredith becomes the children’s governess after falling out with the owner of the brothel and Constantine wanting to ‘keep’ her, and so the relationship continues. Until we hit the whole Randalls storyline head on and it becomes complicated. I didn’t really understand why she would run and hide from her family for years and turn to prostitution for the experiences given alone in this book – but I am intrigued enough to try the others to see why. Plus 3 names was beginning to wear a little thin by the end.

An entertaining adventure a bit different from many historicals I’ve read and well worth a read. In fact, Heather Boyd’s books haven’t disappointed me so far.

This ebook is available to download now via LLD Press.

A copy of this review can also be found on my Goodreads page.

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A New Year’s Eve Treat! Giveaway with Aimee Duffy and New Book A Week in Milan

AWeekInMilanI’m really excited to welcome the lovely Aimee Duffy to my blog for another chance to win – this time in her giveway!  Good luck everyone!  Here is Aimee to tell you more:

Thank you for stopping by! To celebrate the release of A Week in Milan, I’m giving away a mini-Kobo and a signed copy of Isle of Sensuality, the first book Amanda from A Week in Milan makes an appearance in!

Here’s a little about the story…

Getting what she wants isn’t going to be easy…

Designer department store owner Giovanni Monastero thought moving to LA would help him forget the nightmare of his childhood. Until he visits Milan during Fashion Week with one of their designers he doesn’t realize how much his past still haunts him.

Fashion designer Amanda Hart has been chewed up and spat out by her son’s father. The only dating she does now is in her dreams. None of the guys she fantasizes about can hurt her. When the star of those fantasies offers her the career chance of a lifetime “no” isn’t an option even though it means spending a week in close contact with him.

With one dream coming true, will Amanda have the courage to go after another?

Content Warning: contains smouldering sex, enough doubt to keep an island afloat, and more persuasion than a guy should need.

Buy link (All Formats)

Beachwalk Press

Enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!

About the Author

Aimée writes steamy, contemporary romance for the 21st century woman who enjoys the 21st century alpha male. She’s addicted to reading, shopping and can’t go a day without music. When she’s not writing you can find her traipsing up the Ochils (weather permitting of course) or procrastinating on Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest / Google +


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Book Review: The Dragon Legacy by Jane Hunt

I was given a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

I love a bit of paranormal, and dragons – so I was excited to read this debut novel from Jane Hunt.

Ever met a dragon on the bus? (I wish, if he was like Lukas.)

An enjoyable, quirky story we follow the heroine Fleur, who is taking a trip away to a murder mystery weekend in a country house in the middle of nowhere. Fleur has had a tough time recently – and it (for us, perhaps not for her at first!) is a pleasant surprise to literally bump into Lukas, the hero, on the bus going there. I really loved this beginning as it was so different.

Lukas is unbeknownst to Fleur, a dragon, and is on his way to the same weekend in order to retrieve a special dragon’s egg hidden for thousands of years on the property.

The attraction between them is instant, and very unwanted to Lukas, who should not be distracted from his task – as another evil force is also going to the weekend and looking for the egg…

Fleur and Lukas’ attraction is explosive and there are sensual scenes. There are also some other interesting characters like Jasmine and Kane who I suspect we will see more of – hope so.

My copy had some funky things going on with the layout and Lukas’ name was mis-spelt in a few places, but it may just have been my copy, and obviously is not the author’s fault.

All in all it is a very promising debut, I look forward to reading more by this author.

You can also find a copy of this review on my Goodreads page.

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A Christmas Eve Treat! A Visit and Giveaway With Jane Hunt and Her Book The Dragon Legacy

The Dragon Legacy Cover I’m very excited to have Jane Hunt with me today on her blog tour to introduce her début novel The Dragon Legacy.  I do love a spot of paranormal.

When emotionally fragile Fleur Curwen decides she wants excitement in

her boring life she signs up for a Murder Mystery Weekend in the wilds
of the English Lake District. She enters a paranormal world where
danger and death are common occurrences.

Demon slayer Lukas Draco is a loner. He lives by two simple rules: No
emotional entanglements and duty must remain his first priority. His
beliefs are challenged when he’s inexplicably drawn to Fleur, a human
woman with an unusual psychic aura. Sparks of sexual attraction ignite
threatening both his search for the dragon’s egg he buried a thousand
years ago and Fleur’s life. Under the cover of a murder mystery weekend
an apocalyptic hunt begins.

Are you suitably intrigued yet?  So, Jane’s here to tell us – why dragons.


Dragons and Unicorns are popular mythological creatures. Whilst Unicorns are universally seen as a magical force for good, Dragons are not.

In western culture the dragon which derived from the Greek drák?n symbolised evil. European fairy tales characterised the dragon as the antagonist; an evil force the hero must destroy to save the princess and kingdom.

Ancient eastern societies saw the dragon as Yang; symbolic of universe, life, existence and growth. They honoured the majestic dragon and ensured its potentially destructive power helped their society’s prosperity.

A statue in Varna Bulgaria depicts a dragon family

A powerful dragon holding a jewel in its claws inspired Lukas’ mission creation. Research revealed many ancient sects believed the winged dragon protected the pearl of purity. Its safety ensured the delicate balance of nature and nurture and good and evil. This often involved confrontation between humanity and the dragons when the former threatened the status quo.

My love of a bad boy and the anti hero created Lukas Draco the dragon lord and demon slayer. Not evil but with enough knowledge of the darkness to fight it and win. Over a millennium of demon slaying and defending humanity made Lukas a courageous, wise protector.

I love dragons myself, and I really enjoyed this book.  I will post my own review here shortly, but in the meantime, enjoy an excerpt (drools over Lukas):

“Welcome to Hallow House.”

Jasmine walked around the truck for their luggage. The grey, windswept house stood hidden among the hills. Paint peeled from the window frames and moss grew along the grey stone walls. A wave of coldness swept through Fleur. She shuddered. “It’s so atmospheric, perfect for a murder mystery.” She looked across at Lukas. He seemed preoccupied. A woman appeared at the house’s front door. Lukas’ face lost its shuttered look. He smiled.

“It’s lovely to meet you both. I’m Grace.”

“It’s lovely to meet you too,” Fleur smiled at the older woman, reassured by her kind smile.

“I’m delighted to meet you.”

Lukas shook Grace’s hand. Her gaze widened as their physic auras merged. Lukas controlled his response; his face remained devoid of expression. Jasmine frowned and touched her mother’s shoulder. With one last puzzled look at Lukas, she said,

“I’ll show you to your rooms. Afternoon tea is at three. The conservatory is at the back. You’ll have an opportunity to meet the other guests there.”

Lukas smiled. He sensed her interest and strength. They’d met once, years before. She owed him, and he needed her help now.


Fleur unpacked her bags in her shabby-chic room. Her mind strayed to Lukas’ surprising effect on her. Vivid recollections of his strong embrace and the hardness of his muscular body bombarded her. She splashed cold water on her face in an attempt to cool the burn from her inner heat. Why did she crave this man’s touch? Intimate images danced through her confused mind. She sprayed perfume on her heated skin. Nothing in her life prepared her for this tangle of conflicted emotions.

Perhaps she’d hidden away too long? She needed excitement. Her ex-lover didn’t understand her grief after the premature deaths of her much-loved parents. Instead, he chipped away at her self-esteem. Lukas saw through her layers of self-protection. He noticed her. The heat in his stare scorched her deep inside. She needed this man. She blushed at her wickedness. The alarm on her mobile sounded, almost three; time to go. She took a deep breath, determined to dampen her aroused state. With a final check of her appearance, she retrieved her bag and headed downstairs.

Fleur stood inside the conservatory until her eyes adjusted for the brightness. She walked further into the room and scanned the occupants for Lukas, but he wasn’t there. Disappointed, Fleur looked around the room. Jasmine’s companions drew her gaze. Something set the unusual men apart from the other people there. She saw a familiar face. Grace was deep in conversation with two of the older guests. She looked busy, so Fleur didn’t disturb her.

The designer-clad men recaptured her interest. The dark-haired man appeared fascinated with Jasmine. His face darkened as Jasmine interrupted his diatribe.

“You’ll have to excuse me. I need to welcome Fleur.”

Jasmine headed in her direction. Without Jasmine’s vivacity, the conversation between the two high-powered men lapsed into silence. The younger man looked bored and distracted. The delicate rose- patterned china tea cup appeared awkward in his large strong-boned hands. He ran his long fingers through his shaggy, platinum blond, almost silver, hair. It masked the paleness of his silver-colored eyes. He looked handsome. Fleur waited to see if her heart flipped. It didn’t. Her stomach lurched at the implications of her discovery. Her attraction to Lukas was based on something deeper than eye candy.

In order to have a chance to win you can sign up for the giveaway by Rafflecopter using the link below.  Good luck!

The Dragon Legacy Blog Tour Giveaway

Jane Hunt 1Author Bio: As a child I had a complete stable of make believe horses and my imagination remains as vivid. Now it creates characters and scenarios which provide the inspiration for my stories.

I am so excited to finally have career as a writer. My love affair with the written word started as a teenager. I secretly dreamed of writing the romantic novels I loved to read. Life had other plans for me. Marriage at twenty-one whilst still at university launched me into a career in health service management. I often thought about writing in my spare time but my career and two wonderful children kept me occupied 24/7.  Illness forced an abrupt end to my career. Always the optimist I seized the opportunity to write full time in 2012.

The Dragon Legacy is my first published novel and I am excited to be sharing it with a wider audience.

When I’m not writing I enjoy reading, book reviewing, social media and walking in the countryside. Passionate about animal welfare.

  Jane Hunt Writer Website

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The Dragon Legacy Facebook Page



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Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+ Page 

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Book Review: The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh by Ella Quinn

The Secret Life of Miss Anna MarshI was given an ARC of this ebook in return for an honest review via Netgalley.  Apologies for the late posting of my review due to a family bereavement.

This book is number two in the Marriage Game series, and follows Lady Phoebe’s story.  It can be read stand-alone however.  Both books so far I should say have had very pretty covers.

Anna Marsh has loved Sebastian since she was a child, but after her brother Harry’s death (from whom she inherits the responsibility of looking after spying activities at home), she becomes disillusioned with love after her own parents’ marriage begins to disintegrate, and she fears that Sebastian although he may ask her to marry him – will never love her in return.

I found the first part of this book quite hard to get into, which is surprising since I liked Anna, and her hero Sebastian, Lord Rutherford.  It’s just the spy sub-plot mostly annoyed me.  I liked that Anna was a strong heroine who knew her own mind and could look after yourself – but there was a later problem with this – which I’ll come back to.

After my initial struggle to get into the story and to deal with Sebastian’s ham-fisted wooing of Anna, I began to enjoy the story.  With the introduction of a stranger with a lost memory, and a young lady sent from overseas for a London Season things definitely begin to hot up!  I won’t spoil it for others to say who they are – just that with their introduction the story became much, much better.

The dastardly fool Percy was an odd distraction, though Georges the French spy whom I hope to see again – though his part in the story was confusing – and Lord Florian made the spy plot more interesting, poor old Florian though – I did feel a bit sorry for him.  The warmth of the Marsh household and Rutherford’s sisters also improved the story.

As I said before, I didn’t really enjoy the spy sub plot, more the amnesiac one – and for all of Anna’s feistiness, once the relationship with Rutherford hotted up with several sensual scenes (as with another couple there were some sensual scenes) I felt she lost a lot of her individuality and spirit, and when the days counted down to their marriage, it seemed rather smugly assumed that she would knuckle down, run a household and have lots of children.  Nice for them, but I hope she used her mind for something too!  The counting down of each day/date I found a little irritating after a while too.

It was a mostly fun read, though I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Seduction of Lady Phoebe – I do enjoy the heroes being the ones to have to convince the heroines to believe that they are loved and should marry them.  A nice trend to follow.

This is only Ella Quinn’s second book so far, so I shall watch to see how her writing develops further.

The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh is available to download on ebook and in trade paperback now from Kensington, as is The Seduction of Lady Phoebe (you can read my review of that book here).

You can also find a copy of this review on my Goodreads page.

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Wombat Friday: Brings You Festive Greetings

Ruskin, Top and Lizzie wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  Look what gifts they got!

Wombat gifts

Happy Wombat Friday!

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Merry Christmas 2013

We’re not really up for the seriously festive at the homestead, but I have been enjoying some historic/traditional music which I thought I’d also share here.

Music is good for the soul right?  This is from Of Kings and Angels.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy 2014 to you all.  I hope there are still some of you readers out there anyway!

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Another Year at the Castle Goes By

It’s that time of year again when the Castle is now sleeping for the Winter.  I didn’t even get to see it for the Christmas events this year, which has made it seem like a strange end to my season.

For me, I found it a relatively quiet year this year – some new people starting, a few leaving – but the year falling into a regular pattern very quickly.  This year has certainly flown by.

Personally, it’s been good for me to do some different tours this year for visitors, mainly my new art tours.

I hope everyone found the information useful on the events for this year.  I’m not sure if I’ll continue posting those in 2014 with no feedback.

What will happen next year?  Well we’ll see.

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