Monday, 15 September 2014

Welcome UK romance writer, Julia Ibbotson...




1.    What do you wish men understood about women?

Oh, so many things (but we love them anyway!)! Firstly, that we like to tell them stuff without expecting a brilliant solution from them; if we want that, we’ll ask for it! Many men seem to imagine that women only talk when they want a resolution/decision/suggestion for action, when actually we just simply want to share. Men and women’s communication styles are very different: men’s are purposeful and task-directed while women’s are about building relationships based on sharing (you can tell I’ve done some research on this fascinating area, can’t you?!). Secondly, that we might say we can manage all the clearing up, washing up, preparing three-course meals and presenting them on the table while they watch football, but actually we are lying through gritted teeth. Lastly, that women NEVER untangle their feelings for their first love or the father of their children. All these come into my new Drumbeats trilogy.

2.    Do you only work on one book at a time?

Yes, I can’t hold more than one in my mind at a time, and really want to focus completely on my current project without distraction - although I do often begin to plan and research a little for the next one as a bit of light relief as I love the research bit of writing novels. With the trilogy I’m working on at the moment, I have had to scope out all three books but I don’t ever start the proper writing until I’ve finished the previous book.

3.    Who is your favorite fictional couple?

You know, it just has to be Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy, because their story is so romantic, both strong wilful characters resisting what they see as weakness, but love wins through in the end. Whenever I read Pride and Prejudice again, or see dramatisations, I love it all over again.

4.    Favorite TV show?

It has to be Scott and Bailey because the characters are strong women but with personal issues that are the chinks in their armour, and I love the writing; it’s very realistic. I used to love Cagney and Lacey for similar reasons. But I have to add Death in Paradise too because I’m a succor for beautiful locations and cosy mysteries.

5.    Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?

I write every day on something or other. Sometimes I get absorbed with the research and write loads of notes or semi-articles on the period or the context or the background culture (music, current events, and so on). For Drumbeats I was researching 1965-6 in both Ghana and England, and of course the culture of Ghana so that the story was authentic and established a real sense of time and place. I try to write three or four days a week as a novelist but I also work two days a week as an academic when I am also writing but in a different genre. I am now turning over a new leaf and making weekends work-free, although I don’t really see writing novels as “work” – perhaps I should say “away from my laptop”! I set targets like writing 1000 words a day and I think “wow I could write a whole novel in four months”, but it doesn’t really work out like that! Often it’s either much less or sometimes much more if I’m on a roll. If the latter, I just want to keep going while it’s flowing and my poor long-suffering husband has to cook dinner and bring me mugs of coffee.

6.    Who was the last person you hugged?

Hmmm … thinks carefully …my husband  -  but it’s a close call with a friend who was upset and needing comfort, and my daughters and grandchildren who I adore. I’m a hugger.

7.    What are you working on now?

I’m writing the second novel in my Drumbeats trilogy which is called “Walking in the Rain” and continues Jess’s saga into the 1970s and 80s. The final novel will be entitled “Before I Die” but is not about dying; it’s about Jess’s bucket list and how she goes about fulfilling her dreams.

Published by
July 2014
Drumbeats: can you ever escape your past?

Drumbeats is the first novel in a trilogy and follows 18 year old English student Jess through her gap year in West Africa. It's a rite of passage novel set in the mid-1960s when Jess flees her stifling home background for freedom to become a volunteer teacher and nurse in the Ghanaian bush. Apprehensively, she leaves her first real romantic love behind in the UK, but will she be able to sustain the bond while she is away? With the idealism of youth, she hopes to find out who she really is and do some good in the world, but little does she realize what, in reality, she will find that year: joys, horrors, and tragedy. She must find her way on her own and learn what fate has in store for her, as she becomes embroiled in the poverty and turmoil of a small war-torn African nation under a controversial dictatorship. Jess must face the dangers of both civil war and unexpected romance. Can she escape her past? And why do the drumbeats haunt her dreams?

Drumbeats Trilogy:
Drumbeats
Can you ever escape your past?

Walking in the Rain
How do you cope when your worst nightmare comes true?

Before I Die
Can Jess’s bucket list bring resolution to her life?
Excerpt

August 1965, Ghana

It was hotter than Jess had ever imagined in her eighteen years. Flying in from the UK bound for Accra, she had left the late August skies of the dull wet dreariness of an English summer. But as she stepped off the Ghana Airways VC10, she felt the heavy all-encompassing heat which shocked her system. Although it was only six o’clock in the evening, it was already dark and close.
The flight from London Heathrow had been a long and tiresome six hours and she had felt drained as she pulled down her cabin bag from the overhead and shuffled along the aisle behind the other travellers, nodding and swaying to the strains of the Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride” on the VC10’s tannoy system. Her mother would have a fit: her Rulebook said no pop music; it’s the work of the devil, and no dancing:  Jessamy, anyone would think you were a slut. So in the holidays, when she was home from boarding school, she’d listened to Pick of the Pops furtively in her bedroom, ear pressed to the radio.
Now, as she climbed down the steps in the heat-stifling darkness to take her first stride on African soil, she was recharged with excitement.
            She was aware of the male flight attendant standing at the foot of the aircraft’s steps, watching her with undisguised admiration as she climbed down. She navigated the steps as gracefully as she could in her tan wedge-heeled sandals. In the heat, she was glad that she had thought to scoop up her auburn-gold hair loosely into a ponytail.  She let go of the rail with her left hand for a moment to smooth her pale pink cotton mini dress over her slim figure. At least she wasn’t irritable and demanding like the other passengers who pushed behind her as if they were in a great hurry.
            The flight attendant watched her all the way down the steps and then wiped his palm on his trousers, and held it out courteously to steady her from the last step. She took it in her own cool soft hand for a brief moment.
            “Thank you so much, John. Bye now,” she smiled as she passed him and headed for the small wooden shack that served as an airport building.
            “No problem, miss. Welcome to Ghana.”
            “How did you know his name?” hissed Sandra, from behind her. Jess turned. She noticed that John did not take Sandra’s hand. His eyes and grin were still focussed on her.
            “It’s on his name label,” whispered Jess. They walked together across to the arrivals building. “OK?”
            “OK. Long flight. Tired,” answered Sandra curtly. She had been unusually quiet during the flight and, it seemed, almost close to tears on occasion. Jess put her free hand on Sandra’s arm.
            “It’ll be fine. Honestly. I know you’re missing Colin.” In the short time Jess had with Sandra after they were teamed up to travel to the same school in Ghana for their gap years, she had learned all about the chap Sandra was leaving behind for a year. Sandra showed her a photograph. Oh dear, he looked a lot like Maurie. Not fanciable. AT. ALL! She herself had said little about her own personal life, and the guy she had left behind. She wanted to keep him to herself. Her first real grown-up relationship. Simon. His name still tasted so new on her lips and in her head. Had she done the right thing in dutifully fulfilling the contract to come out here, even though they had only just got together? Would he wait for her? They were an item, weren’t they? She frowned and bit her lip.

BUY LINKS
About the Author
Julia Ibbotson lives in a renovated Victorian rectory in the English countryside with her husband (four children, now grown up, having fled the nest), along with lots of apple trees, a kitchen garden and far too many moles. She is an author and academic, and loves choral singing, walking, swimming, gardening and cooking (not necessarily at the same time). She started writing as soon as she could hold a pencil in her tiny fist and has not stopped since, much to the bemusement of her long-suffering husband who brings her endless cups of coffee and sometimes even makes the dinner when she is distracted and frowning at her laptop.
She wrote her first novel when she was 10 years old, sadly never published and long since consigned to the manuscript graveyard. She loves writing novels with a strong sense of time and place and that is the basis of her latest, Drumbeats, the first of a trilogy which follows Jess through the trials and tribulations of her life. It starts with Jess on her gap year in Ghana in the 1960s.
She has also written the story of the restoration of her rectory in The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country  Kitchen, which also interweaves recipes from her farmhouse kitchen and which has won a number of international awards.
Recently she found an old manuscript gathering dust in her drawer, one she had originally scribbled when she was still at school, many years ago. It was a children’s story about a boy who slips through a tear in the fabric of the universe to find himself in a fantasy medieval world. She is currently blowing off the dust and redrafting it for her publishers to let it loose on the world in the autumn. It’s called S.C.A.R.S.
She loves to hear from readers (it’s a pleasant distraction from her steaming keyboard), so do get in touch via the links.
Author Links

Author page on Amazon:


Author email:


Author facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Julia-Ibbotson-author/163085897119236

Twitter:

Author website:
http://www.juliaibbotsonauthor.com

Pinterest page:
http://pinterest.com/juliai1/

Goodreads author page:

Book Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OYlEXhHvsc&list=UUP3hKZjeUBuTMoyvZmBXbow

Overall tour giveaway on tour is 1 x ecopy of Drumbeats (International), Postcards/Key Rings/Bookmarks (UK) and will be managed via Rafflecopter. 


Comments?? Questions??

Saturday, 13 September 2014

A Weekend Thank YOU!!


Today, I just want to say a big thank you to all my author friends and readers who have supported me and my work throughout the last ten years. Time goes by, successes and failures happen––I would’ve given up on my dreams a long time ago if it weren’t for the tens of people I have met online and in person.
Over the last decade, I’ve written countless short stories (in the formative years!), fourteen books and two novellas, all of which are either published or contracted –all my wonderful author friends both sides of the Atlantic have played a massive part in my success!
Knowing there are people out there to support you in your dreams means everything for a feeling of inner strength and belief. It’s human nature to doubt what you are thinking or doing, and worrying people will laugh or put you down. When you meet people who cheer you on, love and admire your work, and most of all, share your struggles, it gives an incredible sense of excitement and optimism.
Writers are introverts and happy in their own company, which all too often provides far too much surrounding silence allowing that horrible voice in your head to shout loud and clear, “give up!” “You’re not good enough!” “This story is your worst yet!”
My advice to aspiring writers? Fill your head with your stories, not your ‘internal editor’. Keep writing. Never EVER give up and believe in your dreams, ALWAYS! Ten years ago, I was first published and then 2011 brought me an agent, 2012 contracts with Harlequin Superromance and Kensington. Yes,
I am living a dream I never thought would happen. Am I still shy? Yes. Am I still a teeny bit scared ongoing success could mean having to stand up in public one day, YES!!! Terrified, would probably be a better description of how I feel about public speaking!
I am happy. I’m loving my work, but more than anything, love my writer friends and readers so much. Mix up your social circle, reach out through social mediums such as Twitter and Facebook and surround yourself with optimistic, supportive and fun people. You will be amazed how quickly you realize your fears are echoed and conquered every day.
Stand tall and know you are no better or worse than others out there. Let yourself grow and shine until you feel as though your star is in reach – because it is!
 Rachel x

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Welcome Carina Press author, Alison Packard...


 Breaking His Rules
by Alison  Packard

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Losing fifty pounds is an incredible achievement. But for Melissa Atherton, progress doesn’t come with praise—a scathing comment from an evil cousin at a bridal shower threatens to crush her new self-esteem. Who will she bring to the upcoming wedding? Showing up without a date would be humiliating. It just isn’t an option.

Personal trainer Jake Sawyer was attracted to Melissa before she lost weight, but her progress has him floored. When she admits she plans to hire a male escort—and why—his heart all but breaks. Melissa’s come too far to be knocked down, especially by her own family. He’ll go as her date…and figure out a way to keep his hands to himself.

But when a steamy hotel room encounter takes them both by surprise, Jake balks. He’s sworn never to date one of his clients, not again. And Melissa can’t bear to be just friends with the man who treated her so tenderly, even if it was only for a weekend. Jake’s helped her see she’s strong enough to stand up for herself, but will she find the strength to pursue the only man who’s ever seen the real her?

EXCERPT

“Jake. There’s something I have to tell you.” Melissa pointed a pale pink-tipped finger at him. “It’s important.” She paused to stare deeply into his eyes and when her tongue stroked her lips with a soft sensual lick, Jake had to fight the urge to lower his head and do what he’d wanted to do all night. Taste that tempting mouth of hers.

“You gotta fight for your right to party.” Her impish smile and the sound of the elevator doors opening snapped him out of the sexual undertow that had almost pulled him under and he guided her out of the elevator and onto the carpeted hallway of the second floor of the hotel. “I love that song,” she added, oblivious to the effect she was having on him.

“Yeah. I could tell by the way you were belting it out in the truck.” Jake pulled the room key card from the back pocket of his jeans as they reached their room.

“Thanks for letting me pick the radio station.”

He let go of her to slide the card into the card reader and open the door. “You’re welcome.”

“Whoa, Nellie.” Melissa clutched at his arm as she swayed to the side. “Sorry. It’s the shoes,” she said as she steadied herself.

“I think it’s the tequila shots.”

“No. It’s the shoes,” she said emphatically as she let go of him and moved into the room. “I don’t normally wear heels this high.”

Jake grinned and shook his head as he closed the door and tossed his keys and the card on the dresser. Melissa’s tolerance to alcohol was much like that of his brother, J.T., who after a couple of beers was pretty much toasted. Odd for a guy J.T.’s size, but true nonetheless.

“And you normally drink two beers and four shots of tequila?”

“It was only three shots.” A cute frown furrowed her brow. “I think.” She flung her purse on the bed and put her hands on her hips as she turned to face him. Her eyes raked boldly over his body. “You know what? I bet I could teach you to dance.”

“I know how to dance. I’m just not good at it.”

“That’s because you don’t practice.” She snapped her fingers and did a little shimmy. Jake’s breath jammed in his throat at the sight of her full breasts bouncing under her form-fitting top. “You can’t improve if you don’t shake what your mama gave you.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alison now lives in Southern Nevada where she’s still getting used to the blistering summers and the slot machines in every grocery store.

When not working at the day job that pays the bills, keeps a roof over her head, and supports her book and chocolate habits, Alison spends most of her free time writing. But when she takes a break, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.






Alison will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Comments??








Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Please welcome Choc Lit author, Laura E, James...



 Hi, Laura! Happy to have you here and be able to interview a fellow RNA member - I saw you several times at this year's conference but I don't think we managed to speak. This is a great opportunity to learn more about you and your books. Let's get started!

1)   Did you set any goals for 2014?

I did. I was attempting to write book 3 within 9 months, half the time it took me to write Follow Me, Follow You. I’ve been hampered by wrist surgery, followed by a frozen shoulder, but I have made progress in all areas.

2)   How long does it take you to write a 50,000-60,000 word manuscript?

Oh no. It’s a maths question.
My novels are usually in the 90,000 word region, and realistically, that would take about a year, so … 60,000 words should take about 9 months. My first drafts take the longest, as I edit as I go.

3)   Tell us about a new author you’ve recently discovered

I recently read The Haunting of Highdown Hall, by Shani Struthers, and loved it. I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

4)   Name two romances you’ve read more than once

I don’t recall reading any book in its entirety twice, not as an adult, but I do keep the 
ones I loved. I read Folk of the Faraway Tree countless times as a child.

5)   Tell us about your first car

My lovely step-dad sold his Saab and with the proceeds bought my mum a Mini Metro, and my brother and me a Mini Sprite. We shared the Sprite. It was a brand new A reg, with chunky wheel arches, in dashing red, my favourite colour. Sprites came in red or yellow and 2500 only were made.

6)   Tell us something you’ve lied about?

I may have elaborated on the life of the tooth fairy …

7)   Kissing in public? Yes or no?

My children would say no. I think kissing in public is fine. Why not?

Follow Me, Follow You by Laura James

PB:                        Choc Lit Paperback and Digital
Release Date:            7th September 2014


Blurb:

You save me and I'll save you...
Victoria Noble has pulled the plug on romance. As director of the number one social networking site, EweSpeak, and single mother to four-year-old Seth, she wrestles with the work-life balance.
Enter Chris Frampton, Hollywood action hero and Victoria's first love. His return from LA has sparked a powder keg of media attention, and with secrets threatening to fuel the fire, he's desperate to escape.

But finding a way forward is never simple. Although his connection with Victoria is as strong as when he was nineteen, has he been adrift too long to know how to move on?
With the risk of them breaking, will either #follow their heart?

Excerpt:

Victoria was attempting to create the impression she was engrossed in her work. From the moment Dan collected Seth, she’d buried her head in buff-coloured files, raising it once to study her monitor. At that moment, she realised Juliette was watching her.
‘I’m all right, Joo, honestly.’ That was a lie. She was preoccupied with thoughts of Chris Frampton returning home, considering ways to stop EweSpeak’s Board of Directors from travelling a destructive path, and despairing over her non-existent relationship with her son. She grimaced. ‘Apart from the blinding headache.’
She thrust herself away from the desk and rubbed the back of her neck. Her life was too cluttered for her to make informed decisions, and too many demands were being made of her, emotionally and physically. Something had to give. ‘I could do without this stupid business with the board.’
‘Do you think they’ll go ahead?’
Victoria huffed. ‘Of course they will. They’re motivated by money. They’ll do whatever it takes to keep their bank accounts full and their fat backsides comfortable.’
‘But they have a duty of loyalty, and their report states the move will secure the future of EweSpeak—’
‘It only secures their position, Juliette. Let’s face facts. We made bad choices, electing certain members to the board. We were blinded by their past successes. They’re cut-throat businessmen with reputations to uphold.’ Victoria swung her chair round and gaped at her sister. ‘I’ll bet a year’s salary there’ll be redundancies.’
‘But if charging clients to join will increase profits—’           
Victoria cut her off again. ‘Did you miss the bit where they proposed paying celebrities for exclusive bleats? It’s ridiculous. It won’t work. People will opt out. Our followers enjoy the personal contact, the chance to hold a discussion with like-minded souls, maybe even exchange a bleat with their idol. If it’s sensationalism they want, they’ll buy a glossy magazine, or worse, they’ll flock to our competitors. They won’t subscribe to our network.’ She shook her head. ‘It has disaster written all over it.’
‘I don’t see it. The board’s acting in the company’s best interest. We have to make money. And it’s not just their pockets they’re lining, is it?’ Juliette waved a hand in the direction of the window. ‘I don’t hear you complaining about the flashy, two-seater sports car you’ve parked in our private garage.’
Victoria reached for the remote on her desk, and switched on the TV. ‘I need a break.’ She stood, gave her arms a stretch, and walked across to the sofa, collapsing into it, irascible and frustrated. Surely Juliette wasn’t voting with the board? Victoria cast her eyes to the large screen, scoured through the programme guide, and settled on a news channel.
It was a mistake.
Wherever her eyes fell – the TV, online, mobile applications – Chris’s then thirty-five-year-old haunted face appeared, vacant, pale and broken. There was no escape from the dated footage of him being jostled out of the way of bloodthirsty, aggressive photographers or being hustled into his ranch house by burly security men. Victoria had seen the images thirty, maybe forty times in the last couple of years. Every piece of technology in her office was broadcasting his grief all over again, and each time his name was typed, bleated, or beamed across the Internet, and for every second his tormented features were on public display, Victoria was on trial. Her technology, the company, the brand she had developed and grown was helping prolong his terror. To see this beautiful man reduced to a floorshow for the cheap seats made her sick to the stomach.
She jumped at a touch to her arm.
‘Are you okay?’ Juliette took the remote from Victoria, switched off the TV, and sat down. ‘I’m sorry I called him your obsession. This must be hard for you.’
Victoria shrugged. Although she understood Juliette’s concern, she didn’t appreciate intrusion, and sharing, as her sister called it, was not Victoria’s way. There’d been far too much of that already. A small shudder ran through her. ‘It’s complicated,’ she said, hoping a few words, regardless of content, would appease Juliette.

Author Bio:

Laura is married and has two children. She lives in Dorset, but spent her formative years in Watford, a brief train ride away from the bright lights of London. Here she indulged her love of live music, and, following a spectacular Stevie Nicks gig, decided to take up singing, a passion that scored her second place in a national competition.

Laura is a graduate of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, a member of her local writing group, Off The Cuff, and an editor of the popular Romaniacs blog.

Laura was runner-up twice in the Choc Lit Short Story competitions. Her story Bitter Sweet appears in the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Anthology. Truth or Dare?, Laura’s debut novel, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction Best Romantic eBook 2013 and the 2014 Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Award. Follow me, follow you is Laura’s first Choc Lit novel published in paperback.



Book Trailer

http://youtu.be/wWrG6tXmsIY
The Giveaway on this tour will be a paperback copy of the book.


RAFFLECOPTER CODES


Laura is waiting to chat! Questions? Comments??

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Welcome UK Harper Impulse author, Mandy Baggot...



Good morning, Mandy! So happy to have you here today - how have you been since the RNA conference in July? It was great that we got to speak and catch up. I have Made In Nashville on my Kindle and it is next in line after the book I am reading now. I will post a review once I'm done! Okay, over to you...

1.     What is your favorite dessert?
I don’t know why I chose to answer this one because I’m actually not a big dessert fan. But I am a big food fan. I love a buffet, lots of different choices and plenty of it. I love Indian, Italian, English, Mexican – you name it I love it. Of course my desert island food would be mashed potato…do I have to name a favorite dessert? OK, chocolate ice cream!

2.     Do you prefer a man in a tuxedo, uniform, jeans and flannel or Speedos?
This very much depends on the man! I prefer my husband in jeans and not much else and, to me, him wearing a suit means he only has business on his mind. I’m not really into smart-looking men and most of my recent heroes have been down-dressers! By my latest one is a fireman so it’s uniform that’s doing it for me!

3.     High heels, sneakers or flip-flops?
Definitely flip-flops! If I’m not in flip-flops you’ll find me in cowboy boots. I have two pairs of shoes I consider to be ‘going out’ shoes and I only wear them on special occasions or if I don’t have to walk too far. My motto is: Never wear a pair of shoes you can’t run in. You never know when you might need to run!

Love ABC/More4’s Nashville? Fall in love with a story that’ll drag you into the heart of the country music scene.
Battle scars, broken contracts and a returning star with a point to prove.  Fists are flying faster than award nominations and emotions run even higher. 
Country rebel and rock star, Jared ‘Jed’ Marshall is hot property on the Tennessee music scene in more ways than one. He’s wild, he’s sexy and everybody wants a piece of him. But when he sets his sights on singer Honor Blackwood, is it pure attraction or just distraction on his mind?
Visit the home of country music and get ready for the finger-picking read of the year!

‘Do you want the Gretsch?’
‘I think I’ll pass. Actually, Miss Blackwood…may I call you Honor?’ He didn’t wait for a reply. ‘I wanted to ask for your help.’
This was Larry. Whoever this guy was it was something to do with Larry. She just knew it. He’d be a reporter – wait, perhaps not, given the clothes. Maybe he was someone from a TV music show or someone new from the record company. He’d been sent here to persuade her to cut new material. That’s why he’d been so keen to help her finish her song. Well, she hadn’t decided yet and the more pushing that went on the more she’d back away.
‘I’m sorry. I can’t,’ she said, taking a step away from him.
‘You don’t know what I’m gonna ask you yet,’ he responded.
‘I know who sent you. And I haven’t made a decision yet. You can tell Larry that when I make up my mind I’ll tell him directly. He doesn’t need to send some…someone like you,’ Honor snapped, her eyes flashing with defiance.
‘No one sent me here. Well, that isn’t quite the truth…you sent me here. You and that voice you have.’ He lifted his head, set his eyes on her and she swallowed. Underneath the brim of the baseball cap was a pair of grey eyes. But instead of being cold or harsh there was a density and intensity about them. A sexy heat.
‘My name’s Jared Marshall…Jed Marshall and I’m lookin’ for a supportin’ artist for my upcomin’ tour. I was kinda hopin’ it would be you,’ he continued.
Jed Marshall. She’d heard that name. She’d heard that name a lot. She’d sold a large quantity of CDs with his name on the front. The cover had a Confederate flag on it. This was him. He was a successful recording artist. Not a down-and-out who was going to rob the store. And then what he’d asked her hit her like a train.
‘I think you’ve got me confused with someone else.’ She hurried the words out and turned away from him, picking up some leaflets about an upcoming rock festival from the counter.
‘You were a platinum-sellin’ artist not so long ago. I know what happened but…’ Jared started.
‘Everyone knows what happened. It’s written all over the right side of my face!’
She’d lost control. Rage was bubbling under her skin, waiting to pop out. Instinctively she pulled at her hair, tried to hide the mark behind a section of dark curls. She wanted him to leave. Just go away and leave her on her own. She didn’t want what seemed to be daily reminders lately of the person she used to be.
He took the guitar from across his body and leant it up against a snare drum. Her breathing still rapid, she watched as he un-tucked his t-shirt from his jeans and began to pull it upwards. A ripped six-pack was revealed, along with the edge of two large tattoos at each side of his torso, but his fingers went to the middle of his abdomen.
‘It’s faded a little now, but it runs from my breastbone down to my navel. I came off my bike and I swear they used half a cow to put me back together.’ She tried to hold it in but it was no good, a smile was at her lips.
‘But me and the cow parts, we get on with things. Because now is all we have. Can’t go back and change the then,’ Jared said, covering himself back up.

Mandy Baggot is an award-winning romantic fiction author, writing hot heroes and emotional reads.
Represented by Kate Nash of the Kate Nash Literary Agency she is also a contributor to writing blogs, magazines and short story anthologies and regularly takes part in fiction festivals and literary events.
Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, Corfu, shoes and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1's Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor.
Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen.
Visit her website at http://www.mandybaggot.com/
Latest release: Made in Nashville – http://smarturl.it/buymadeinnashville

Mandy is waiting to chat! Questions?? Comments??