A stolen painting in the pocket of my large handbag

Popular author, Anne Allen, released ‘The Betrayal’, on 22nd October.  ‘The Betrayal’ is the sixth book in the Guernsey Series.  Anne Allen has kindly selected an exclusive extract for Books in my Handbag.  The dual-time novel unfolds in the present day and during World War Two.  It is set against the backdrop of the German deportation of the Jewish community, in Guernsey, and involves a stolen Renoir painting. 

Treachery and theft lead to death – and love. 

‘The Betrayal’ is tense, powerful and spellbinding.

Anne will introduce her new novel, present an extract and tell you more about the intricate narrative.

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to present my latest in the Guernsey Novels series, ‘The Betrayal’.

This extract is from the beginning of the book and is the prelude to the modern part of the story, giving you a taste of the tension throughout the book.

Keep a copy of the book in your bag to dip into whenever you have a moment, you won’t regret it!

Happy Reading☺

Anne x

Presenting the extract:

Guernsey 2011

Something was wrong. The alarm didn’t blast out as he pushed open the back door of the shop. Standing still, he heard a noise. Someone was in the shop. Or more accurately, the basement. Nigel paused as he closed the door quietly behind him, his heart hammering against his ribs as he debated what to do. Whoever was in there knew how to disable a burglar alarm otherwise lights would be flashing and a discordant wail would be piercing the air. Best to shut them in the basement and call the police. Following the thought, he crept into the main shop, guided by the dim light coming through the rear window. His eyes adjusting to the dimness, Nigel tried to pick out the area where a rug should cover the trapdoor. For a moment he wondered who could have known about the basement, only discovered a few weeks before when they completed the renovations and replaced the flooring. Odd. And why the basement when the shop was full of valuable antiques?

Crouched at the edge of the hole, light from a torch casting shadows below, he was about to push the open door downwards when a hand snaked up and grabbed his arm.

More about ‘The Betrayal’…

Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…

Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return.

Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.

Nigel and his twin Fiona buy a long-established antiques shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth…

Searching for the true owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother’s ghost to rest?

Who betrayed Leo?

Who knew about the stolen Renoir?

And are they prepared to kill – again?

What do the reviewers think of ‘The Betrayal’?

‘I am a huge fan of Anne Allen’s Guernsey series in which various locations are lovingly described. With the ‘suicide’ of her twin brother, this book has an orally different feel as Fiona tries to get to the bottom of it. With an undiscovered Renoir and links to WW2 this book has a much darker feel to it.’ Julie Ryan

‘Great characters and of course a love connection with a happy ending.’ Karen’s World

‘Having read Anne’s last book, Echoes of Time, I couldn’t wait to read her latest, and I wasn’t disappointed. The novel alternates between WW2 and 2011 and is set on the beautiful island of Guernsey. The Betrayal features twins, Fiona and Nigel, who discover a Renoir within the walls of their antique shop in 2011. When Nigel is found dead, and suicide is suspected, Fiona refuses to believe that her brother would end his own life and she sets out to uncover the truth. Unravelling the mystery will carry her on a journey back to 1940, and to the dark days of the German Occupation and the deportation of Jews.’ S. Charlton

And finally…

A late-comer to writing, Anne was a psychotherapist in a previous life.   Readers are lucky that Anne decided to tell her stories. Anne admits her characters do get under her skin and she misses Fiona and Michael, in particular. I look forward to discovering more about the characters and solving the mysteries presented by this delicious time-slip novel.

You can find out more about Anne Allen here.

 

Please see all the specially chosen extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com

 

A book from another world in my handbag

It is great to challenge ourselves with new genres, and ‘We Other’ is a dark fairy thriller. According to reviewers, ‘We Other’ is a magical novel to inspire the imagination. ‘In the book you will meet faeries you would never want to meet on a dark night,’ explained, the author, Sue Bentley. Intrigued, I asked Sue to address her readers, and tell us more about her novel.

 

 

Dear Readers – I am delighted to present We Other.

In this extract we meet Jess Morgan, a loner who doesn’t fit in and has few friends. Her life is about to change in ways she could never have imagined.

I chose this extract to introduce Jess, whose story this is. She’s feisty, difficult and street-wise – with good reason – but she’s vulnerable too, with a good heart.

The reader should be tempted to place my book in their handbag because it’s a complex and rewarding read, with many twists and turns which will keep them guessing.  I’m rooting for Jess and I hope you will too, once you get to know her.

Best wishes and I hope you enjoy the extract. Happy reading!

Sue Bentley

 

Words from the book…

And then looking through the opening into the final gallery, Jess caught sight of a large painting hanging by itself. Her breath quickening with excitement, she walked rapidly towards it.

There was a small crowd of people in front of the painting. She could only glimpse details through the shifting bodies, but she knew it was the one. She hung back, wanting to prolong the moment when she stood face to face with that figure wrought from shadows. Leave me alone with it, she thought. Go away. All of you.

Oblivious to the air around her tingling and shimmering, in a way that was beginning to feel familiar, she stared at the painting. As she moved forward, time seemed to shift into slow motion. A slew of sound echoed hollow and discordant in her ears as every person standing in front of the painting turned in a single movement. They looked at Jess with glazed eyes, before drifting sideways in a single body, moving as if in the steps of some tightly choreographed dance, and melting from the gallery.

Everyone else had somehow left too, she realised. She could see people strolling around the other galleries through the archways. But here, she was alone. In the sudden stillness Jess caught her breath. The painting was revealed to her in its entirety. Or as she thought oddly, it revealed itself to her.

She was not disappointed by what she saw.

More about the book…

Jess Morgan’s life has always been chaotic. When a startling new reality cannot be denied, it’s clear that everything she believed about herself is a lie. She is linked to a world where humans – ‘hot-bloods’ – are disposable entertainment. Life on a run-down estate – her single mum’s alcoholism and violent boyfriend – become the least of her worries. Drawn into a new world of rich darkness, she finds herself torn between love, family and a growing sense of a new, powerful identity.

Strapline for the book – Fairies you never want to meet on a dark night.

What the reviewers say…

‘Darkly delicious. Lights the blue touch paper and runs away.’ Peter J Goodchild

‘Absolutely magical. Compelling story and gorgeous writing.’  Freda Warrington – award winning author of 21 fantasy novels

‘Give yourself time. You won’t want to put this down.’ Ruth Webster

More about Sue…

Sue Bentley is fascinated by English Folklore, the extraordinary in the everyday and the darkness that hovers at the edges of the light.

Sue says…

Louis Armstrong says it best – ‘the bright blessed day and the dark sacred night’ You can’t have one without the other.

I always enjoyed ‘real’ fairy tales – not the sanitised Disney versions. For example, in some versions of Cinderella – the ugly sisters snip off their toes to be able to cram their feet into the glass slipper.

I was that kid in a class of pink tutus who was dressed as a vampire bat. I never wanted high-heeled dancing shoes, I wanted sturdy boots to go tramping around forests looking for the shapes of goblins in the trees.

As for characters – Goody, Goody is all very well, but it can get boring. We all love the ‘bad’ characters who do doubtful things – they’re much more fun to write about.

I am intrigued by Sue’s exploration of the ‘darkness that hovers on the edge of light’ and wonder what she presents to the reader in ‘We Other’.  The extract evoked my imagination, and I wanted to know why Jess ‘wasn’t disappointed’.  This novel sounds as if it will challenge the boundaries of the imagination, as it has done for the reviewers.

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.

 

Hilarity in my handbag

Patricia Feinberg Stoner is presenting an extract of her award winning book. ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’ is the funniest book I have read this year: I am still recounting her anecdotes at dinner parties. Forget ‘Victoria’, someone should serialise this book for the Sunday night audience – we all need a laugh!

It is an honour to hand over to, the wordsmith, Patricia Feinberg Stoner. 

 

Dear readers,

I’m so pleased to be able to share At Home In the Pays d’Oc with you.  In this extract I’ve chosen the moment when, after a long search, my husband and I first set eyes on what was to become our home in the Languedoc.  It’s my abiding memory, even after 30 years, and I still feel the lift of excitement I felt that day.  I was sure then, and I am sure now, that when I first walked into the dusty, red-flagged kitchen, the house opened one eye and said ‘Well, you took your time getting here.’

Why read At Home in the Pays d’Oc?  Look at the state of the world!  If we are all going to hell in a handbag, then wouldn’t it be nice to have something light-hearted to offset the doom and gloom?   I hope this book will encourage everyone to follow their dream and see where it takes them.

I hope you enjoy this tale of our adventures, and that the book brings you something of the sunshine and fun and laughter that our sojourn in the Languedoc brought to us.

With all good wishes

Patricia Feinberg Stoner.

Extract:

Jean-Jacques, the estate agent, turned right, drove up a narrow street between ancient houses, turned the corner and stopped. We got out of the car. On the corner of the church square and a road so narrow you could have spanned it with outstretched arms, stood the ugliest house I had ever seen.

It was clearly old, very old. It was clearly cobbled together out of what had been two houses. It rose slab-fronted from the street, acres of decaying, yellowish crépis (plaster) bisected by sundry phone and electricity cables. A ridiculous stone staircase flanked by a stunted tree rose ungracefully to a pocket-handkerchief front terrace littered with debris and encrusted with cat droppings.

I stopped dead in my tracks. ‘Ohmigawd’ thought Himself to himself (as he told me later), ‘we’ve just bought a house.’

Why?  There were prettier houses. There were certainly prettier villages – Morbignan in those days was, to put it politely, a little run-down. What made me fall so immediately, so irrevocably in love with this house in this village?

Did I see possibilities in the tree?  In years to come it would grow so high that it could be seen on Google Earth.

Was I enchanted by the steps, crumbling and lichen-dappled though they were? Did I foresee their future when, cleaned and decorated with pots of scarlet geraniums, they would prompt visitors to exclaim ‘What a lovely house!’?

Who can tell?  All I can say is, the heart wants what the heart wants.

More about this ‘tale of accidental expatriates’…

This is the story of how a small brown and white spaniel turned the lives of two English holidaymakers upside down.

Patricia and her husband Patrick are spending the summer in their holiday home in the Languedoc village of Morbignan la Crèbe. One hot Friday afternoon Patrick walks in with the little dog, thinking she is a stray. They have no intention of keeping her.

‘Just for tonight,’ says Patrick. ‘We will take her to the animal shelter tomorrow.’ It never happens. They spend the weekend getting to know and love the little creature, who looks at them appealingly with big brown eyes, and wags her absurd stump of a tail every time they speak to her.

On the Monday her owner turns up, alerted by the Mairie. They could have handed her over. Instead Patricia finds herself saying: ‘We like your dog, Monsieur. May we keep her?’

It is the start of what will be four years as Morbignanglais, as they settle into life as permanent residents of the village. “At Home in the Pays d’Oc” is about their lives in Morbignan, the neighbours who soon become friends, the parties and the vendanges and the battles with French bureaucracy.

It is the story of some of their bizarre and sometimes hilarious encounters:  the Velcro bird, the builder in carpet slippers, the neighbour who cuts the phone wires, the clock that clacks, the elusive carpenter who really did have to go to a funeral.

At Home in the Pays d’Oc‘ has won a Five Star Book Award from One Stop Fiction.  Here is a flavour of the other reviews:

Part memoir, part travel book, wittily written and engaging, At Home in the Pays d’Oc is so much more than ‘how to live in a foreign country’.  Despite being penned anecdotally, it flows with the rhythm of a good novel. Ingenue Magazine

The author, Patricia, in this captivating book, takes the reader on a voyage of discovery, a celebration of the years she and her husband spent enjoying their French home.  Susan Keefe, Living in France

What I most admire about the couple’s story is their attitude to life in another country. (While Many expats are the “Little Englanders,” the Stoners make a real attempt to integrate into the social system of their adopted village.  Kathleen Lance, One Stop Fiction

Patricia is passionate about humour, food and writing; she loves all dogs and some people.  She has written: ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’, ‘Paw Prints in the Butter: A Clowder of Comical Cats’ and ‘The Little Book of Rude Limericks’. Her writing is witty, entertaining and a joy to read.

Patricia is releasing her ‘Little Book of Rude Limericks’, on 15th November.

Read my review of ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’ or visit Patricia in my Chat Room.

Join Patricia’s blog for her latest news and mewsings.

paw-prints-in-the-butter.com

 

Please see all my  Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahahlin.com.

 

Find out why the book in my handbag is waiting for the weekend…

As it is almost the weekend, I have asked Jan Brigden to present an extract from her romance novel, ‘As Weekends Go’.  Grab yourself a coffee, take a break and let Jan chat to you about her novel.

 

 

 

 

What if your entire life changed in the space of a weekend?

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to present ‘As Weekends Go’. The extract I have chosen is fairly early on in the book.  I think it perfectly portrays how Alex (principal male character) feels after his memorable first encounter with Rebecca (principal female character) at Hawksley Manor, the plush hotel in which they are both staying as guests, little knowing the drama that lay ahead of them.

I’d love you keep ‘As Weekends Go’ in your handbag so you can dip in and out of the story. Open the book as you move from place to place, and flit from one dilemma to the next over the course of their eventful weekend and beyond.

Enjoy!

Best Wishes,

Jan X

Words from the book…

Alex took the scenic route to the car park to try and fathom the effect she’d had on him. Those eyes, so rich in colour, like a tiger’s eyes, sparkling back at him.

As much as he hated how big-headed it sounded, even to himself, he was used to people staring at him. Fact. He also knew that what had happened back there was in no way premeditated on her part; the deep blush and dip of her head when he’d first spoken to her had told him that. How small she’d tried to make herself appear during the ensuing chaos in reception, standing there nervously pulling on the bottom of her ponytail, looking so desperately sorry.

He’d felt like an ogre deliberately holding on to her mobile, but if he’d given it straight back to her she might have fled before he’d had a chance to find out her name.

Rebecca.

He’d certainly never seen her at the hotel before.

What was it his granddad had told him during their precious heart-to-heart the day before he’d died?

‘Believe me, Alex, you’ll know when you’ve met “the one”’

Trouble is, Granddad … What do I do if she’s already married?

More about the book…

When Rebecca’s friend Abi convinces her to get away from it all at the fabulous Hawksley Manor hotel in York, it seems too good to be true. Pampering and relaxation is just what Rebecca needs to distract herself from the creeping suspicion that her husband, Greg, is hiding something from her.

She never imagined that by the end of the weekend she would have dined with celebrities or danced the night away in exclusive clubs. Nor could she have predicted she would meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserved so much more …

But no matter how amazing a weekend is, it’s always back to reality come Monday morning – isn’t it?

What the reviewers say…

“I loved this gorgeous love story, written with a sure touch and a big heart.” Bestselling author, Lisa Jewell.

“Alex isn’t your stereotypical celeb footballer (or rather stereotypically portrayed in the media).  His ethics and morals had me swooning as much as his physique!” Shaz Goodwin – Jera’s Jamboree

“Those lovely people at Choc Lit and their reading panel do have a bit of a talent for spotting something special that their readers will enjoy, and they’ve done it again with this lovely book.”  Anne Williams of Being Anne

More about Jan…

Jan is a South London-dwelling all-round book devotee, married to Dave, and one eighth of online-writing group The Romaniacs

As Weekends Go tested as many of my emotions as I put my characters through, so when it was published by Choc Lit UK after winning their Search for a Star Competition 2014/2015, I was elated. I missed the characters terribly, especially Rebecca and Alex, so much so, that I’m currently writing the sequel where I get to spend more time with a few of the ‘As Weekends Go’ crew, plus some new faces who are creating a whole fresh mixture of predicaments for everyone.

I suggest you go shopping, stock up on your favourite treats and pamper yourself with a great read.  Now your weekend is organised, and you can sit back and read about someone else’s dilemmas, as you visit York, Spain and Brighton. I’ll see you in Brighton – happy reading! 

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.

 

Travel to a Magical, Mystical Destination with Adrienne Vaughan

Pack your bags and travel to Ireland, with Mia

The mystical ‘That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel’ enchanted me, so I asked Adrienne Vaughan to tempt you with a magical extract.  As it is Valentines’s Day, Adrienne has kindly organised a free, signed copy for the lucky competition winner.  Will Leela deal you a lucky tarot card?

 

 

 

Dear Readers,

That Summer at The Seahorse Hotel

I am delighted to present an extract from That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel – my brand new romance novel.

This is the story of a family with secrets, but one particular secret has tainted all their lives. Now, with crisis looming, it looks like the revelation of this secret will change everything, forever.

Set on the Irish coast, The Seahorse Hotel is a mystical, magical place. This extract features the housekeeper Leela and her Tarot, a guiding light which has seen the family through many dramas over the years.

It’s the perfect story to sweep the reader away to another time and place. Set in the present day yet laced with memories, The Seahorse Hotel, brings a web of lies, intrigue and betrayal to the fore and with the family at a crossroads, makes you wonder if the shadows of the past will blight their future or give them the faith to forge their own way in the world.

Enjoy your stay! 

Adrienne Vaughan

Extract from That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel by Adrienne Vaughan

‘Fenella sat back as Leela’s fingers glided across the pack; gold and purple shapes and swirls.’

Leela dealt until there were nine cards face down between them. Moving left to right, she turned the first card over.

“Remind me, which is this?” Fenella said, touching the card.

Leela hushed her. “Wait until the hand is out. I need to see the complete picture.”

Fenella sat back as Leela’s fingers glided across the pack; gold and purple shapes and swirls. Turning them over she watched the jewel colours of the illustrations, faded now, corners worn, and was again the little girl in the library, entranced as Mrs Fitzgerald, diamonds flashing, tapped each card, explaining every symbol and the impact it would have on the life of the person before her.

“What is it?” Fenella asked.

Leela kept her eyes fixed on the cards.

Take a seat in Archie’s world: ‘Champagne makes everything better’

“You’re at a crossroads.” Leela pointed at the Hanged Man. “The road you decide to take will be life changing. There’s turmoil, conflict in close relationships.” She tapped the Ace of Cups. “I love this one, emotional happiness, home and family.” She thought for a moment. The Seven of Swords lay before her. “Hmm, this fella, possibly betrayal, someone getting away with something. Wonder what that could be?”

Fenella looked away, a squall was building out in the bay.

More about That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel

Mia Flanagan has never been told who her father is and aged ten, stopped asking. Haunted by this, she remains a dutiful daughter who would never bring scandal or shame on her beautiful and famously single mother.

One family, one secret – that changes everything forever

So when Archie Fitzgerald, one of Hollywood’s favourite actors, decided to leave Mia his Irish estate- she asks herself – is he her father after all?

That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel is a tale of passion, jealousy and betrayal – and the ghost of a secret love that binds this colourful cast yet still threatens, after all these years, to tear each of them apart.

One family, one secret – that changes everything forever

Praise for Adrienne Vaughan

‘The story-telling has the same charm and magic I’ve always found in a Maeve Binchy’ Elaine G (Top 100 Amazon Reviewer)

 ‘Adrienne Vaughan writes just beautifully – all of life is here – and I loved every moment.’ Welsh Annie (Top 1000 Reviewer Vine Voice)

‘I think all Adrienne Vaughan’s books are just fabulous.’- Nikki Bywater, book blogger.

More about Adrienne Vaughan

Adrienne Vaughan

Adrienne Vaughan has been making up stories since she could speak; primarily to entertain her sister Reta, who from a very early age never allowed a plot or character to be repeated – tough gig!
As soon as she could pick up a pen, she started writing them down. No surprise she wanted to be a journalist; ideally the editor of a glossy music and fashion magazine, so she could meet and marry a rock star – some of that came true! And in common with so many, she still holds the burning ambition to be a ‘Bond Girl’.

Adrienne is a fun, lively author and this translates into her writing: she is a natural storyteller.

Adrienne felt exhausted but happy when she had finished writing That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel. She said, ‘This book, like some of the characters, was wilful and demanding. I miss Archie, but in many ways, he’ll always be around now.’

Meet Archie and the rest of the entertaining characters That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel.  Pack your bags, go to Ireland to find out what happened ‘that summer’. Read the enchanting story from the author who believes in mermaids…

Read my review of That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel. I can thoroughly recommend this enchanting novel – it is a triumph!  Meet Adrienne Vaughan in my Chat Room.

You can enter Adrienne’s competition to win a signed copy of this novel if you email her at:  mailto:adrienne@adriennevaughan.com.  Mark the subject of the email ‘Competition Entry’.  Good luck!  

See Adrienne’s fabulous new website .

 

Please see all my extracts and excerpts at Book Extracts and my website and blog at JessieCahalin.com.

 

Alchemy in my Handbag

As if by magic, I am presenting ‘Stone Circle’ by Kate Murdoch.  The novel is a rich historical fantasy about a young man’s coming of age, as he learns about magic rituals and alchemy. I have asked Kate to present and extract of her debut novel.  She has written to her readers about the book and her chosen extract.

Dear Readers,

I would like to present you with an extract from my debut novel, ‘Stone Circle’.  

It’s a story of magic rituals and rivalry in a 16th century Italian town.

The extract, selected from the middle of the book, is a scene where my protagonist, Antonius, is being initiated as a seer. It describes the ritual he must go through. 

It is a key scene in my book, because Antonius’s life is undergoing enormous change, and the ritual is a symbol of that. 

Romance, thrilling escapes and alchemy – what’s not to love?

Best Wishes,

Kate x

 

Extract

Antonius watched the blue and amber flames as they crackled upwards, repeating the same patterns into infinity. He felt his body move to the rhythms, and realised they all moved in tandem around the fire. The music, the flames, and the night were as much a part of them as the blood coursing through their veins. The pace quickened and they followed, twisting and turning with fluidity.

Antonius’s mind was clear and untroubled. At the same time, he watched Giulia’s russet hair swing across her back and the long line of her slender white arm as she moved with perfect grace. He felt the eyes of many upon him, but he was not afraid. It was a sense of being held in the embrace of the observation, as if he were returning to the home of a friend that was as familiar as it was strange. Glancing at Giulia, he saw she scattered herbs into the flames. His nose twitched as their combined scent wafted towards him—sage, elderflower, cloves, and others. Three crystals were then released into the fire—purple, white, and gold. Several loud cracks erupted into the air and multi-coloured sparks flew, with a hiss and a whine. In a low voice Savinus chanted. It was a mellifluous language he had heard during the rituals at the blue cave. He spread his arms in an outward motion, as if clearing away smoke.

More About the Novel

Stone Circle explores themes of class, rivalry and spiritual growth. It is a historical fantasy novel.

Is the ability to read minds a blessing or a curse?

Kate Murdoch

When Antonius’s father dies, he must work to support his family. He finds employment as a servant in the Palazzo Ducal, home of Conte Valperga. Sixteenth-century Pesaro is a society governed by status, and Antonius has limited opportunities. When a competition is announced, Antonius seizes his chance. The winner will be apprenticed to the town seer. Antonius shares first place with his employer’s son. The two men compete for their mentor’s approval. As their knowledge of magic and alchemy grows, so does the rivalry and animosity between them. When the love of a beautiful woman is at stake, Antonius must find a way to follow his heart and navigate his future.

Reviewers’ Opinions

‘Murdoch presents a delightful romance, feathered with light touches of fantasy. The development of her love triangle is gratifying, and even secondary characters offer stark dramatic moments…’ Kirkus Reviews ‘

‘Her characters’ interactions with each other and their individualities helped shape the book into something wonderful; at the same time she excels at pacing the story with her characters, all within a framework designed to help readers understand the world of seers and alchemy she has created.’ Readers’ Favorite

‘Kate Murdoch’s fabulous writing is full of vivid sounds, sights and scents that pull us into the scene, expressed in inspired word combinations that are a joy to read. A wonderful, entertaining book.’ Gail Cleare, USA Today bestselling author

Words about Kate:

Kate is a painter turned author who enjoys writing flash fiction and short stories when she’s not writing historical fiction. Her debut novel is a romance with an element of fantasy.  Kate became completely immersed in her Renaissance town and characters when writing the novel.  Kate found it difficult to depart from the world in her novel and this bodes well for a reader intent on escape. The best of luck to Kate with her debut novel.

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.

 

An Innocent Abroad

Tuscany – a novel, inspired by where I live and the tourists I’ve observed

Tuscany – a novel, Fay Henson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by a life in Tuscany and fuelled by her tourist gazing hobby, Fay Henson has written her debut novel.  The glow of a Tuscan summer is hidden in the pages of ‘Tuscany – a novel’. Become a teenager again, run away with Caylin and banish the winter chill. 

The author is very keen to invite you into the pages of the book. Get ready to receive some text messages.  Meanwhile, here is a message from the author.

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to present Tuscany – a novel. This extract was chosen because the reader can sympathise with the parents whilst also supporting Caylin teenage quest to reach Siena.

Caylin has stopped to rest a while from hitchhiking and opens her concerned parents’ text messages. Her parents discover she’s left the hotel in search for people her own age in the city of Siena. The messages aren’t a huge surprise to the determined seventeen year-old.

I believe that you will be tempted to pop Tuscany – a novel, a New Adult Romance into your handbags to support Caylin in times of need.  You will need to be right behind her as the reunion between daughter and parents approaches.  Add to that of course, the sun, Italian culture and first love to warm you up.

I hope you love Caylin and the city of Siena as much as I do.

Best wishes,

Fay.

Extract

Caylin opens her concerned parents’ text messages

I dug around in my bag to find my phone amongst all my stuff and the unravelled twenty-euro notes; found it. Both Mum and Dad had tried to call me. Well I hadn’t heard my phone ringing, probably because of the traffic along the road. I’d also received some text messages too which I had better open.

What do you think you’re doing, Caylin?! You should turn round and come back to the hotel right now. If that’s difficult, let me know where you are and I’ll get someone to come and pick you up. I don’t know what’s got into you! Dad

I supposed that text was only to be expected. I opened Mum’s next.

Dear Caylin, I don’t suppose you’d understand how worried we are about you, you’re alone in a country you know little about, and what about the language? Please come back, we can do different things together, we can make it more fun. And PLEASE contact us as soon as poss. We love you very much Mum xxx

That one too.

I decided it was best not to call them because I was sure it’d be really difficult to get a word in edgeways and really, if I was honest, I was afraid they’d talk me into going back or I’d accidentally let on where I was exactly, not that I really knew anyway.

About the Book

First love in Tuscany

Caylin is desperate to find fun on holiday with people her own age.  During her daring and turbulent stay in Siena, Caylin experiences amongst many emotions, jealousy, hate, fear and her first real love.  All the while, her two best friends back in Bristol wait for her message updates, albeit sometimes shocking.

What Reviewers Say

‘I really enjoyed it! I’m sure that the character of Caylin is one that a lot of teenagers will be able to relate to. I found the descriptions of the Italian landscape and Siena itself to be very accurate. I hope there’s going to be a sequel. I’d recommend it to everyone, particularly teenagers.’

‘It really bought the sights and sounds of Tuscany to life together with the underlying story of Caylin’s adventures – having to learn quickly about herself, love and life. A good story whether at home or as a holiday read.’

Fay Henson

About Fay….

A few years ago, myself and my husband made the ‘now or never’ decision to relocate with our three children from the south west of England to Tuscany, Italy. I soon discovered that I was in the perfect place for writing travel articles and commenced with writing for an online website and a monthly insert for an Italian magazine, all the while I was harbouring a passion for novel writing.

When I can, I like to take my Fox Terrier Bobby for walks and to think over a story.  I don’t live far from Siena and says that it’s an amazing place, filled with pizza, coffee, ice-cream, shops, university students, tourists and of course, sunshine and history.  A perfect setting for Tuscany – a novel.

Now I’ve completed my first book, Tuscany – a novel, inspired by where I live and the tourists I’ve observed.

Once the book was completed, I felt elated, it was to be my first novel, and when I was shown the cover design I was the luckiest person on earth.  I adored being inside Caylin’s mind, her thoughts about Joe and the guts she showed in various situations.  But it’s not possible to stop writing about Caylin, so now she’s currently developing on the pages in a new story.

I am very partial to a Tuscan escape, and I am sure this will be a fabulous read.  The best of luck to Fay with the debut novel.  Happy people watching!

 

Please see all my extracts and excerpts at Book Extracts and my website and blog at JessieCahalin.com