Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Welcome to Historical Author - Trisha Hughes

I'm delighted to welcome Trisha Hughes to the blog.

Hello Trisha - I'm so pleased you were keen to appear on the blog. And it's always a pleasure to make contact with a fellow author when it comes to sharing news about books. But before we discover more about your latest release, Victoria to Vikings – The Circle of Blood, here are some questions which will hopefully give your readers an insight into some of the things that matter to you. 

Arabella: Authors can release books, making them available to readers in various ways…via an agent, or working directly with a traditional publisher, or they can even go the self-publishing route. Which method of publishing do you prefer, and why?
Trisha: In the past, I’ve gone down the traditional publishing road, without an agent. My first book, my best-selling memoir ‘Daughters of Nazareth’ was published traditionally by Pan MacMillan Australia and reached the number one spot in Australia, surpassing the current Stephen King book that was on the shelves at the time. That’s because traditional publishers have vast resources for marketing. My next three books, my Historical fictions based on British Monarchy throughout the ages that I call my V2V trilogy, were also published by a UK publisher and have had a great deal of success. Although it feels rewarding to have a publisher, because let’s face it, it feels like a pat on the back, control of your book and the marketing of it is out of your hands. It also takes up to nine months from signing the contract to release date and being the impatient sort, the time drags for me. Not just that, but the royalties are quite low. This time, with the help and insight of some wonderful friends who are self-published authors, I plan on self-publishing my next book, the first in a mystery / crime series based in Australia I call ‘Dragonfly’. It’s been edited and the cover is on the way. I’m feeling quite excited about this new adventure.

Arabella: A slice of Chocolate Cake, a piece of Fruit, or Burger and Fries?
Trisha: I’m a foodaholic. There is nothing quite like a burger and fries with a pint on the side. And show me a person who doesn’t like chocolate cake and I’ll show you a lunatic. So for me, I can squeeze in all three in one day. Does that make me an overachiever?

Arabella: Who or what inspired you to write your latest release, Victoria to Vikings – The Circle of Blood?
Trisha: It all started quite innocently five years ago. I was sitting in a car on the way to the beach with my 13-year-old grandson trying to find a way to grab his attention away from his Facebook page. Like any grandmother, I asked him about school. What did he like best? What subjects did he take? And I perked up when he said one of his subjects was history. I’ve always liked history and I was happy to have something to chat to him about. I asked him, ‘So you know all about Henry VIII then?’ Because basically, doesn’t everyone? His blank look stunned me because well, this is Henry VIII we’re talking about. So for the next half an hour I told him the story of a charismatic eighteen year old who eventually turned into an obese tyrant. I told the story to him in a way that would engage his interest and he laughed at all the right places and was shocked at all the right places. It started me thinking. Why don’t we know more about our history? History not only provides us with a glimpse of how things used to be, but its lessons can teach us things that are important for life today. History can be the richest of stories, the saddest of stories and the most shocking of stories. That was the day I decided to write a book on past kings. Two years of research later, I knew I had too much information for just one book.

Okay...I know it sounds academic but it's actually not.  Sure, it's based on facts but it's told as a rambling narrative and is written in a way that's easy to read. Rudyard Kipling once said, ‘If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.’  And that's what I've tried to do. I turned my books into a trilogy of stories about the kings of England. The first book is called ‘Vikings to Virgin – The hazards of being King’. The next is ‘Virgin to Victoria – The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen’ and the latest release just a few months ago is ‘Victoria to Vikings – The Circle of Blood’.

Arabella:  If the person of your dreams, (husband/wife/partner/or superstar), were to take you out for the night, where would they take you and what would you do?
Trisha:  I currently live in Hong Kong with my husband so if I had a ‘dream date’ with him, he’d have to take me to Paris.  My heritage on my father’s side is French and I feel a tug every time I see a picture of the Eiffel Towel. I’ve been to Paris a couple of times and it never loses it’s magic for me. I love the cobble stone streets, the history, the museums, the quirkiness and the old-worldliness. Did I say I love the magic?

Arabella: Currently, what is your most favourite T.V. programme, and why?
Trisha:  Juggling everything doesn’t leave a lot of time for watching television but when I do, I love watching shows like Vikings, Game of Thrones, Outlander and Kingdom. And now I’ve discovered crime. And I love it all. My husband observes me closely when I watch ‘How to get away with Murder’ and call it research.

Arabella: When writing a book or chapter, which do you concentrate on first: plot, character, or setting?
Trisha: Although I like to think I’m an organised person, I’m a messy writer. I jump around all over the place. I always believe ‘Write what you know about’ so with my trilogy, I researched until my brain was almost mush. With my new upcoming mystery novel, I had my home town in mind as the setting. I knew the area and I knew the climate, so the ‘filler’ part came easily.  I also thought I had a terrific beginning and an ending that no one would guess. What I didn’t have was the middle part and a character. But that was the fun part. My main character became a sort of Harry Callahan with a sense of humour. The rest just fell into place.

Arabella: How do you research your novels and characters?
Trisha: That was easy for me with my historical V2V series. The characters were already there in history books and online. The first books I read were a series written by Sir Winston Churchill called ‘History of the English Speaking People.’ It was tough reading with quite a lot of uninteresting political information that I didn’t want in my books. But it gave me a basis of where to start. I soon realised that what I needed to do was give these kings and queens a personality. That was the hard part. Because all the characters were unique in their own way, I had to have them express themselves in different ways. I had to combine the vast number of physical signals with the individuality of each character and I had to do it without propping myself up with dialogue. The only way I saw to do that was with emotion.

Although the books are factual, adding emotion is why the books are in the ‘historical fiction’ category. I had to delve deep to find out what each character was like and describe what I thought would be their emotional response. And that’s where the serious research came in. These characters didn’t live in bubbles. They interacted with the world around them. All I had to do was create a valid emotional response for each individual while keeping the historical setting in order. To do that, I visited all the historical castles that I could. I soaked up the atmosphere and I found that each site had endless sources of information. I thoroughly enjoyed the research.

Arabella: What advice would you give to someone who is starting out on their writing journey?
Trisha: My best advice is to never give up. Wisdom comes to us in the unlikeliest of sources, and a lot of times it comes through failure. When you hit rock bottom, remember this…while you’re struggling, rock bottom can be a great foundation on which to grow and build. A person who picks themselves off the floor and keeps going is the person who will continue to grow and improve.

In my youth, I was always told to blend. But over the past few years, I’ve ignored those words. I’ve refused to listen to them. I tell myself every day to shoot for the stars. That good enough is NOT good enough. What you do is stand tall and you keep on standing. No matter what, you never give up. Anything is possible.

Arabella: Thank you for sharing some of your writing secrets with us, Trisha. It was an eye-opener to see how much time was needed to research the history behind your books. And I totally agree, there is a certain "magic" to Paris that is almost has to be captured at the moment and felt with the heart.
Memories... 💖💖💖
All the best for your latest release, Victoria to Vikings – The Circle of Blood
Arabella Sheen

About Trisha Hughes:

Trisha is an Australian author currently living in Hong Kong.  She has lived in many countries all over the world and loves to travel. She divides her time between writing books, writing articles for a local magazine and mentoring children in creative writing. For the past three years, she has been one of three judges in the Hong Kong Young Writer’s Competition, helping to encourage children’s imagination. Although previously a historical fiction author, she is now embarking on a new adventure in mystery and crime series based in her home country of Australia.

Website and Social Media Links:

BOOK BLURB  - Victoria to Vikings
To the victor goes the spoils and nowhere is this truer than in the history of the British monarchy. There are kings who ruled for just a few months and there are some who ruled for over fifty years. There are some who should never have ruled at all. They include the vain, the greedy and the downright corrupt. There were adulterers, swindlers and cowards and their stories span over 1500 years full of lust, betrayal and heroism. Yet this group also share one thing in common. In their own lifetimes, they were the most powerful individuals in the land and they weren’t shy about letting their subjects know.

Virgin to Victoria is a powerful story travelling through time, beginning with Henry VIII’s daughter, Elizabeth I, as she stepped up to the throne as Britain’s new queen. Her sister Mary had ruled before her but that queen was dead and Britain’s future lay in the hands of this bright-eyed intelligent woman who promised a magnificent future for everyone. It continues through the unsettling times of the Stuarts and moves from Oliver Cromwell through to the ferocious Hanovers and finally ends with Queen Victoria ready to accept her sceptre at the age of eighteen after the death of all her childless uncles. This book is written as a story and brings these monarchs alive to show them as flesh and blood characters who actually lived and died, not just vague names in history books.

Trisha Hughes is a best-selling Australian author who now lives in Hong Kong. Trisha attends workshops for children’s creative writing groups and is a mentor of a yearly young writers competition. Her first book was published 18 years ago, a best-selling autobiography called Daughters of Nazareth. Trisha has recently published the first book in this historical trilogy, Victoria to Vikings.

Amazon links:

Friday, 25 October 2019

Castell's Passion by Arabella Sheen - EXCERPT 3

Castell’s Passion

Arabella Sheen

A night in his arms, but it comes at a price. Will her heart survive?

Billionaire Marc Castell, owner of the Castell Hotel Group, isn’t looking for love. His jet-set lifestyle means he’s a ‘love them and leave them’ type of guy…that is, until Kate McKenna walks into his life.
Kate is on the warpath. Her underage sister is planning to spend a weekend in Paris with Marc’s nephew, and she’s determined to put a stop to the affair before it begins.
Marc has a plan of his own. He promises to save Kate’s sister from his nephew, but there’s a condition attached. Kate has to travel to Cannes with him and play the part of his girlfriend―including spending the night in his bed. Marc hopes this will solve the problem of the unwanted advances he’s been receiving from his friend’s wife. But whenever Marc takes Kate in his arms his world is turned upside down, and he discovers he wants more from her than a casual weekend fling.
Kate has no time for sexy, powerful playboys. She’s too busy building her career and expanding her catering business. But when she gets to know the man behind the façade, she wonders if she can resist the sensual attraction growing between them. Will she be seduced by his charm and sacrifice everything she believes in for one night of passion in his arms?

Marc has a battle on his hands as he strives to win Kate’s love…and her heart.

Chapter Two - Excerpt 3...


Marc Castell had known many women. He was the head of the large family firm, and was in the billion-dollar bracket of successful. As an eligible bachelor he was much sought after, and some women connived, cajoled, or bribed their way into his social circle in order to meet him. Their aim was always the same. They all wanted to get to know Marc on an intimate level, hoping for a lasting relationship. But Marc wasn’t into long-term commitment. When it came to women and matters of the heart he was a ‘love them and leave them’ type of guy. Over the years he’d become cynical. He’d had to harden his heart against the women of the world, and he’d grown cold to their needs, and uncaring to the point of callousness.
Inheriting the Castell fortune at an early age Marc soon learned what the women in his life wanted from him. It was one thing and one thing only—his money.
He knew it was the erotic pull of his wealth that was the main attraction. He’d had lots of affairs and been approached or propositioned in many ways before, but so far none of the women had used their sister as an excuse to get close. He found it fascinating, even intriguing, and he wondered what Kate’s next move would be.
Kate had a sensuality that was breathtakingly beautiful. The soft curves of her body and the full roundness of her breasts had him wanting to reach out and touch her. But that wasn’t all. There was also an elusive quality that made him want to possess her. As a connoisseur of fine art he knew perfection when he saw it, and as a collector of fine things...he wanted.
When Kate had mentioned Cannes she had reminded him of where he had to be this weekend. It was somewhere he didn’t particularly want to be, but there was no avoiding his responsibilities. This weekend he was spending time with the Anistons, and although they were good friends, this wasn’t a social occasion. This was business.
Marc was in the middle of negotiating a hotel-travel deal, and there was to be an informal party to which the Aniston’s board of directors had also been summoned. They needed to discuss some of the finer details of the proposed contract, and negotiations were going to be tricky.
With Kate’s unexpected suggestion, Marc decided he could use a woman at his side while he was in Cannes. And he wanted this woman.
“How dare you?” Kate said, as if she was infuriated he would even suggest that she go to Cannes with him.
It was obvious Kate had great difficulty controlling her temper, and he wondered if she was about to lash out and strike. She didn’t.
“Oh, I dare,” he said, and he took a step nearer.
He was now so close to her that he was able to run an exploring finger along her soft cheek and then down her slender neck until he reached the hollow at its base. Surprisingly, she didn’t flinch away, and by the hot flush on her cheeks he could tell that his touch was having the desired effect. He was burning her with caresses. Her skin was warm, and as he continued to stroke he felt her tremble in anticipation.
Kate took a step back, but he followed, taking two steps forward so that their bodies were lightly connecting. He could feel her erect nipples pressing against the material of his shirt, and he had to stifle a groan.
Kate’s breathing quickened, and he saw desire flash briefly in her eyes before it was replaced with anger. He wrapped his arms around her and pressed their bodies even closer together. She struggled, pushing against his shoulders, but her struggles were half-hearted at best.
Capturing her hands, he moved them behind her back, holding them imprisoned. Then Marc heard a soft moan of longing escape her lips. The fight had left her, and as she rested her head against his chest he knew she was silently conceding defeat. He had won.
Cradling her in his arms, slowly, ever so slowly, he lowered his lips down to meet and caressingly touch hers. Her lips were soft and pliant, and as he held her helpless against his onslaught her mouth parted, forming an anguished, “No.
No what?” he asked, whispering the words as he nuzzled against the delicate shell-like lobe of her ear.
With one hand still holding hers behind her back, his other hand began gently caressing the line of her jaw. Moving to her mouth, he parted her lips with his thumb, and with a light, delicate touch he explored. Kate gave a strangled whimper.
“There will never be a no between us, Kate,” he said softly, his words a promise. “There will only ever be yes.” He smiled slightly as his gaze searched her face, and then he saw the desperate longing shining in her eyes.
“You can’t...I won’t let you,” she murmured as she trembled against him.
But her protests were futile. He wasn’t taking no for an answer. Touching her full, moist lips with his, he began a raw, bruising invasion of her senses. His kisses were intentionally rough as he searched for a response from deep within her...and he found it.
Kate’s protests were silenced as he plundered her mouth, taking the kisses he wanted, and she surrendered to him.
Marc released his grip on her hands, and with her hands now free, Kate clutched at the material of his shirt. Marc locked his hands around her bared, slender waist, and with long, slow, drawn-out movements he moved upward, cupping the soft mounds of her breasts over her shirt. He heard a sharp intake of breath, and he knew it to be a gasp of pleasurable delight. He was turning her on, and it was giving him a sense of power.
From the first moment they had laid eyes on each other there had been an instant attraction, a sort of electric chemistry between them. And he suspected he was affecting Kate as much as she was affecting him.
Marc Castell—the cold, calculating, playboy billionaire with a heart of steel—was melting. He craved Kate with an urgent need, and he knew by her reaction the feeling was mutual.
“What is it you want from me?” she asked as she tried to break free. Her protests were ineffectual.
“I think you know what I want,” he said. “I want you. I want everything you have to offer.” He knew his words were brutal; they had to be, because he was serious.
“I’m not available, and I have nothing to offer you.”
“Well...we’ll have to try and change that, won’t we?” he said, and he wasn’t joking.
Kate blinked as if she was trying to wake from a dream, and then from somewhere in the room the sound of a cellphone’s ringtone broke the silence.
The continual ringing was claiming Marc’s attention, and with great reluctance he released Kate from his embrace, but not before he had given her another long, possessive kiss.
“Stay where you are,” he commanded, and then running his hands through his hair in frustration, he walked over to his desk.
Picking up the cellphone, he flicked open the case.
“Castell here,” he said. Then looking directly at Kate he continued to talk. “Yes, this is Marc Castell speaking.”
Marc heard Kate’s shocked gasp as the penny drop. She was processing the fact that she’d been talking to the wrong man and that he wasn’t Nikki’s boyfriend, Eduardo. Kate had finally discovered he was Marc Castell.

Castell’s Passion
Copyright © 2016, Arabella Sheen
ISBN: 9781944270384
Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc.
Electronic Publication: August 2016
Editor: Pamela Tyner
Cover: Fantasia Frog Designs

eBooks are not transferable. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Getting Dressed in Regency Times

I found some fascinating YouTube videos that I just had to share. For all fans of anything and everything Regency, I hope you enjoy...

(You can watch these videos by clicking on the arrow or the YouTube link).



Friday, 18 October 2019

Castell's Passion by Arabella Sheen - EXCERPT 2

Castell’s Passion

Arabella Sheen

A night in his arms, but it comes at a price. Will her heart survive?

Billionaire Marc Castell, owner of the Castell Hotel Group, isn’t looking for love. His jet-set lifestyle means he’s a ‘love them and leave them’ type of guy…that is, until Kate McKenna walks into his life.
Kate is on the warpath. Her underage sister is planning to spend a weekend in Paris with Marc’s nephew, and she’s determined to put a stop to the affair before it begins.
Marc has a plan of his own. He promises to save Kate’s sister from his nephew, but there’s a condition attached. Kate has to travel to Cannes with him and play the part of his girlfriend―including spending the night in his bed. Marc hopes this will solve the problem of the unwanted advances he’s been receiving from his friend’s wife. But whenever Marc takes Kate in his arms his world is turned upside down, and he discovers he wants more from her than a casual weekend fling.
Kate has no time for sexy, powerful playboys. She’s too busy building her career and expanding her catering business. But when she gets to know the man behind the façade, she wonders if she can resist the sensual attraction growing between them. Will she be seduced by his charm and sacrifice everything she believes in for one night of passion in his arms?

Marc has a battle on his hands as he strives to win Kate’s love…and her heart.

Chapter 1 - Excerpt 2…

Kate couldn’t relax. She was too on edge to sit still. Restless, she stood and wandered over to the high Georgian windows to look out at the elegant town houses in Grosvenor Square.
Most of the buildings were tall, resplendent structures, and Castell House was no exception. In fact, Castell House was one of the most elegant, imposing town addresses she’d ever been to. On the front façade of the house were two magnificent columns. There was also a lintel doorway and a porch entrance under which sat two imposing stone lions. When she first arrived at the Square she’d known it was a grand address in Central London, but she hadn’t realized exactly how chic and impressive Castell House would be.
Looking across the road to the Square’s splendid gardens, she noticed some mothers playing with their children near the fountain. Young lovers lay stretched out on blankets on the well-kept lawns, basking in the heat of the glorious afternoon. Seeing that, Kate wished she was anywhere but here. She didn’t want to witness the pleasures and enjoyments of others when she was in such a horrible mood.
As the London traffic of cars and buses drove by, a flitting thought passed through her head that she ought to be spending her precious time in a better way. She should be working, not running around after Nikki’s amorous admirer.
It had taken Kate several years of hard work to build up her catering business, and she was doing well. She was a successful business woman, and she was achieving what she’d set out to do. Her business was flourishing, and she was slowly but surely gaining a reputation as being one of the best events caterers in the business.
McKenna Catering had several on-going contracts with a select group of clients. The majority of her clientele were the rich elite of London, and they were willing to spend substantial amounts of money for the services she provided.
There were always parties and bookings to organize, and although Kate had an excellent team of workers covering events, she liked to be on hand to make sure things ran smoothly. Her clients were also keen to see her at their parties. Even if she only made a brief appearance before disappearing, they liked to know she was in charge and holding the reins.
Gazing out of the office windows there was time enough for Kate to surreptitiously study the man sitting at the desk. Castell was concentrating on the work in front of him, and she assumed he was unaware of her scrutiny from beneath her lashes. Looking him over, Kate couldn’t find fault with his appearance.
He was incredibly gorgeous. The sharp, chiseled lines of his face and the thick mass of black hair were things she found attractive in a man. His body looked lean, strong, and powerful, and with his bronzed, sun-kissed skin and his dark looks, he looked almost princely.
When he moved to turn the pages of a document, or he reached for a file, the silky material of his shirt stretched, rippling across his wide shoulders, accentuating the muscles in his arms. Even though he was seated she could tell he was more than six-foot tall.
This man wasn’t just a pen-pusher. He was fit, and it showed. He was also very sexy. There was no denying his magnetism, and although her sister might be a young, vulnerable teenager who had fallen head-over-heels for those dark, sensual eyes, Kate wasn’t.
At twenty-four, Kate wasn’t such an easy target when it came to men. Even though she’d never met this man before, she knew his type. She could spot a womanizer and playboy a mile off, and she avoided them like the plague.
She wanted nothing to do with men who used people, especially women, for their own pleasure. These men always discarded their lovers because they were no longer the flavor of the moment. Shallow, temporary relationships were something Kate had no time for, and with this type of man emotional investment was generally absent. Kate suspected she was looking at trouble, and it was trouble spelled with a capital “T”.
As Castell reached up to loosen the knot of his tie he turned his head in Kate’s direction. His piercing eyes locked onto hers. He held her spellbound and Kate’s stomach flipped, sending her heart pulsating with unexpected excitement.
There was no protection from his penetrating gaze. He was looking her up and down, and it was as if his eyes were stripping her naked. Exposing her, and revealing all for his satisfaction and pleasure. And there was nothing she could do about it.
Castell was obviously enjoying the fact that the t-shirt she was wearing was too short. She’d been planning to take the morning off to catch up on some chores at home. Things that she never seemed to have time for. These days taking time off from her business was almost impossible. But then Nikki and her problems had intervened with her plans, and now she was here…in Castell’s plush, stylish office dressed totally inappropriately in a t-shirt and jeans.
The short, skimpy t-shirt she was wearing left her feeling vulnerable and exposed. Although it covered her body, it didn’t conceal her curves. And no matter how hard she pulled or tugged on the shirt it couldn’t cover the small amount of exposed midriff that was showing. But that wasn’t the worst of her problems. Gradually, Kate became aware that her nipples were beginning to show.
Compared to the warm heat of the spring sunshine outside, Castell’s office was a cool haven from the balminess. The air conditioning was on full blast, and although it was cooling her overheated skin, that wasn’t all it was cooling.
Kate wasn’t wearing a bra, and as the cool air wafted gently over her body she discovered her nipples were hardening. The fabric of her top made the hard peaks obvious. Crossing her arms over her breasts, she hoped to conceal what was becoming visible, but it was to no avail. It didn’t help. Castell had a clear view, and he was examining every detail of her body.
“How is a man supposed to concentrate with you staring at him?” he asked while running a hand through his hair in frustration.
Shrugging her shoulders, Kate remained silent. She didn’t care if he couldn’t concentrate. And she hadn’t been staring at him. Or had she? At least, she didn’t think she had.
“Mr. Castell...” She uncrossed her arms and straightened to her full height of five feet, four inches.
“Yes...Ms. McKenna.” He sat back and threw down the pen he’d been holding, giving Kate his full attention.
“We have to talk.”
“So you told me. If I remember correctly, it has something to do with someone by the name of Nikki.”
“Of course it’s about Nikki. Who else would it be about?” Kate snapped.
He looked startled at her heated outburst, but he waited silently for her to continue.
Kate was a confident woman with plenty of self-assurance, but in this instance she sensed she was out of her depth. She knew she had a fight on her hands. There was a battle to win, and even though her confidence was ebbing she knew she had to stay strong. She had to fight this arrogant man and bring Nikki back from the brink of a disastrous affair with Eduardo Castell.
Although the Castells had amassed a huge amount of real estate and wealth over the years, it was still classed as new money. Kate knew of the Castells―anyone who read glossy magazines or daily newspapers knew who they were. They were a global name. Royalty of the hotel world. And surprisingly, Nikki was working for them as part of her school work experience.
The Castells were the elite. The crème de la crème. Out of reach. And with Nikki starting at the bottom, supposedly learning the ropes, Kate hadn’t expected her sister to actually come into contact with any of them.
It was now beginning to look like the work experience, which was meant to be such a positive and educational encounter, was backfiring. Kate’s worst fear was that Castell was abusing his authority and using his privileged position to influence Nikki into acting inappropriately. She thought he’d persuaded Nikki into having an affair, and nothing and no one was going to prevent her from stopping this man taking advantage of Nikki. She was on the war path.
Still standing beside the window Kate thrust her trembling hands behind her back, hiding them from view. She didn’t want to reveal how nervous she was, but her action was a big mistake, because it only accentuated her breasts even more.
“You do understand that I can’t let Nikki go with you, don’t you?” she asked.
The man looked ruthless. She thought reasoning with him was her best option. She was certain she wasn’t going to become emotional or fly into a temper, which she tended to do when championing a cause, but she knew anything was possible; and anything could happen. The situation was volatile.
“You must see how impossible this is,” she said, searching his face for a reaction. “You can’t take a young teenager away with you, even if she does work for you.”
Kate had inherited her teenage sister when their parents died in a car crash, and until a short while ago things had been going well between them. They had a good sisterly relationship. As the older sister, Kate had always looked after Nikki, and although there was almost a seven-year age gap between them, they were close and shared their adventures with each other. That was...until now.
It was only after Nikki went to work at The Castell Hotel on schoolwork experience that things started to take a turn for the worse. Her sister had gone into rebellion mode, and Nikki’s unexpected defiance was causing Kate concern.
When she’d learned of Nikki’s plans, she’d gone straight to The Castell Hotel with the intention of confronting Eduardo. She was going to call a halt to the romance that was blossoming between Eduardo Castell and Nikki, but Castell wasn’t at the hotel.
Having spoken to hotel reception, telling them that she’d like to see Mr. Castell, the reply from a very curvy receptionist at the front desk had been a mumbled, suggestive, “Who wouldn’t?” And with those words ringing in her ear, Kate was left in no doubt that Castell was a heartthrob and a heartbreaker extraordinaire.
“So...Nikki’s a teenager, is she?” he asked.
“Yes, she is, and I’m still her legal guardian until she turns eighteen, which won’t happen for several months. If you take her to Cannes, you do realize I’ll have to report you to the authorities, don’t you?”
“Me? Take a woman to Cannes? Now there’s an idea.”
“Yes. Your secretary said that’s where you’re headed.”
“Ah, yes. Of course...Cannes and the Anistons.”
“Nikki said she was going away with you. I hadn’t realized you intended to take her out of the country.”
Standing up from his desk, he walked toward her like a panther zoning in on his prey. He came to a stop in front of her. The man towered above her, and she had to tilt her head back to look up at him.
He was close. Dangerously close. They were face-to-face, and sparks were flying. She could feel the palpable tension pulsating between them.
“Ms. McKenna...Kate. It wounds me to think you believe I’m capable of having an affair with a teenager. Let me put your mind at rest. It’s not my intention to take Nikki out of the country...especially now that I’ve seen you.”
“You mean you’re not taking Nikki to Cannes?”
“No, but I’m quite willing to take you along for the ride instead. That is...if you’d like to accompany me,” he said, arching an eyebrow in a suggestive manner.
Kate took in the full meaning behind his evocative words and was shocked beyond belief. How dare he proposition her in that way. Surely he was joking? And did he think she was the type of woman who would do that? The audacity of the man!

Castell’s Passion
Copyright © 2016, Arabella Sheen
ISBN: 9781944270384
Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc.
Electronic Publication: August 2016
Editor: Pamela Tyner
Cover: Fantasia Frog Designs

eBooks are not transferable. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.

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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Welcome to Romance Author - Ros Rendle

I’m delighted to welcome Ros Rendle to my blog.

Hello Ros – And thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat today. It was lovely to connect with you through the Romantic Novelists’ Association. From personal experience, I’ve come to realise the RNA is a great place to find supportive authors and affiliate members with whom to share the writing journey. But before we discover more about your latest release, Flowers that Shattered Stones, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers and followers an insight into some of the things that matter to you…

Arabella: Are there any organisations, writing, or reader groups, you belong to? And, how do they support or help you in creating such wonderful, inspirational novels?
Ros: I have been very active as part of the Deepings Literary Festival committee since its inception in 2016. The library there was in deep danger of closure but following a major petition that went to Downing Street, we managed to save it and it’s more thriving than ever.
I’ve also just started to organise a ‘Read Dating’ event in my local town. You will have heard of Speed Dating. . . well, my event is matching readers with local authors and should also raise some money for our historic Town Hall for its refurbishment.
Until recently I organised and ran a creative writing group, but I’ve handed that over to someone who has come on miles, which is gratifying. I shall be running some courses for an Arts Trust in my local community.
I have received back so much inspiration, especially when I’m feeling it’s a lonely task to be a writer. There are some very talented people out there who are scribbling away for their own pleasure. Through the Litfest, I’ve met several A-list authors as well as many others who are published, which makes them A-list in my view. They, too, are motivating and influential.

Arabella: Where do you read? Sofa or bed or ____?
Ros: Bed – although it’s a guilty pleasure on the sofa during the day. I also read at the hairdresser, dentist, on trains, anywhere really. That’s why I love my Kindle app on phone and iPad. It can go anywhere with me.

Arabella: In your latest release, Flowers that Shattered Stones, who is your favourite character and why?
Ros: Whichever book I’m writing I love the heroine. However, in this book – Flowers That Shattered Stones there are two, one just before and during the Cold War and one in 1975. This is the third book in the Strong Sisters series and Izzy (Iris) is the youngest of three sisters, but she goes from aged 25 to aged 80s through the book. Heather is 25 and works, by necessity, in the Care Home in which Izzy finds herself and through her we learn Izzy’s story. However, Izzy helps Heather to develop and get her life in order. The other two books in the series are Flowers of Flanders and Flowers of Resistance

Arabella: When writing a novel, how do you work? Are you a plotter or pantser?
Ros: Like many, I’m a bit of both, but I certainly don’t plan in detail. I have a couple of sheets of paper with chapter numbers; main plot points; maybe a sentence against some chapters.  I keep a small notebook in which I write salient details of characters, so I don’t forget names, eye colour, etc. It also contains the keyboard shortcuts for French and German accented letters which has been invaluable.

Arabella: Which would you prefer to do: 1) spend a morning vigorously working out at the gym, 2) be pampered from head to toe at the spa and beauty salon, 3) indulge and pile on the pounds with a romantic dinner for two?
Ros: Probably the dinner for two. I’m certainly not a gym person and pampering doesn’t appeal at all. All that touching and rubbing and poking… no! If I have the dinner, I’ll be careful, for a couple of days, walking faster with the dogs, dancing ballroom and Latin an extra couple of sessions.

Arabella: Which do you prefer to wear: beach shorts and top, a long evening skirt and blouse, pyjamas and slippers?
Ros: From that choice PJs and slippers. I don’t tend to dress up unless going to a dance. I do then and enjoy it. Normally, every day it’s jeans and a top. In the summer it’s cut-offs.

Arabella: We all have a long list of books we keep meaning to read but never have the time for --- which book is a must read for you this winter?
Ros: I owe a couple of indie published friends. There’s some real talent there, e.g Julie Stock, Lizzie Lamb and others, too. I must read Another You by Jane Cable. Oh, and there’s some Milly Johnson awaiting my attention. I do enjoy a good who-dunnit, too. I hear Ann Cleeves has a new series started.

Arabella: What about your future plans? Any books or series in the making?
Ros: I’m awaiting all my books to come out with my new publisher, Sapere Books. I’m so pleased to have joined them. I do have paperbacks available through my website.
I stopped writing a contemporary romance set around a ballroom dancing school, in order to complete the Flowers book for which the publisher is asking. It will be great to get back to it. I think some of my time will be taken up with editing shortly, though.

Arabella: Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, Ros. Like me, I’m sure your readers enjoyed discovering a little bit more about your personal life. And I hope you find the time to devour that long list of books you are planning to read.
Good luck with your soon to be released, Flowers that Shattered Stones
All the best, and wishing you lots of happy-ever-after writing.

About Ros Rendle
Having worked as a head teacher, Ros has been used to writing policy documents, essays and stories to which young children enjoyed listening. Now she has taken up the much greater challenge of writing fiction for adults. She writes both historical sagas and contemporary romance; perfect for lying by a warm summer pool or curling up with on a cosy sofa.
Ros is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and the Historical Novelists' Society.
She has lived in France for ten years but has moved back to the UK with her husband and dogs. While there, she gained much information which has been of use in her books. They are thoroughly and accurately researched.
Ros has two daughters and four granddaughters with whom she shares many heart-warming activities.

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Blurb for: Flowers of Flanders (Part 1 of The Strong Sisters)

Flowers of Flanders, Ros Rendle’s drama is set before and during the First World War.
Rose rivals her beautiful, mercurial sister for Michael’s love but calculated lies and misunderstandings alter the young peoples’ course. War breaks and Michael is as eager as the others to go.
Maybe Rose will settle for second best with Thom even though she cannot get Michael out of her soul.
Does a man need the grace of serenity to rediscover his own or is it frivolity and seduction he craves when he has been through the darkest places of war? Michael’s experiences in the trenches gradually alter his perceptions.

This is a story about deceit and loyalties, complex relationships and loves developing from youth to adulthood during a cataclysmic time in history.

These are all available as paperbacks via Ros Rendle's website: but will soon be re-released by Sapere Books in e-book form. The last in the series, Flowers that Shattered Stones will be available soon.

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