Thursday, January 31, 2019

Mistress of Desire by J.A. Jackson

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Neither Tiara Blake or Delmar Devereaux has a past to be proud of. With a joint history packed with dishonesty, blackmail—and a juicy, torrid love affair—the pair didn’t expect their paths would cross again.

Can a quest to break an ancient curse give two former lovers a second chance?

After a torrid love affair, shady businessman Delmar Devereaux disappeared from Tiara Blake’s life, leaving her to raise their twin sons on her own. So, when he shows up unannounced one day, her first instinct is to kick him to the curb.

But Delmar has discovered a centuries-old curse placed on the pair by their ancestors—and he needs Tiara’s help to break it. Ending the curse means they will have to learn to trust each other, which won’t be easy when their explosive secrets are revealed.

Once again torn between lust and duty, can Delmar and Tiara discover the true meaning of love in order to break the curse before it’s too late? Or will their complicated past doom them forever?

Join Delmar and Tiara in Book II of the Mistress of Desire and the Orchid Lover on their sensually sizzling action-packed adventure!

Read an Excerpt:

Delmar’s voice was sad and serious. “I come to ask the three of you for your help. I have nowhere else to turn. The courts won’t help me. The legal system is useless,” his words tumbled out. “You see, for it was I, who started my problem in the first place, and well the courts won’t even hear my case,” he sighed heavily.

Glenda sighed. “This sounds serious if you can’t use your money to persuade the courts.”

“It is serious,” Delmar assured them. “Let me go back to the beginning. Perhaps you were aware of my case in court almost a year ago, concerning the twin sons, that Tiara Blake, had?”

“Yes, of course, it was all over the news,” Consuelo stated, in an excited Spanish accent.

“Yeah, I heard all about it too,” Nona said glumly. “The DNA found you were not the father and those tests are normally 100% accurate.”

“Yes, they are supposed to be. But there are ways around them,” Delmar paused. “You see a root worker, a spell caster. She assured me, that she could cast a spell that would exclude me as the father of the twins.”

Glenda interrupted. “Yes, but everyone knows that DNA is 100 percent foolproof and it doesn't lie. No spellcaster or root worker can mess with biological DNA.”

“Glenda is right,” Nona stated. “DNA tests are considered infallible – they are the gold standard in court.”

About the Author:
J.A. Jackson is the pseudonym for an author, who loves to write deliciously sultry adult romantic, suspenseful, entertaining novels with a unique twist. She lives in an enchanted little house she calls home in the Northern California foothills.

She spent over ten years working in the non-profit sector where she wrote grants, press releases and contributed many stories to their newsletter. She was their Newsletter editor for over ten years. She loves growing roses, a good pot of hot tea, chocolate, magical stories, suspense stories, ghost stories, and reading Jane Austen again and again in her past time.

J. A. Jackson will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Other Woman by Eve Rabi

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Eve Rabi will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Question: A seductress steals your husband, rips apart your family and shatters your dreams.


a) Wish them luck, and walk away with your head held high (because that’s what society expects you to do)?

b) Quietly seethe, but accept that there is just nothing you can do about it (because it easier for everyone if you do nothing)?

c) Dig up dirt on the bitch (because someone like this would undoubtedly have dirt), use it to sabotage their relationship, then sit back with a glass of Pinot Grigio and watch them burn?

Answer: C. Oh, totally C.


Meet Scarlett Smyth. She’s drop-dead gorgeous, has a rocking body and has an above average IQ. She brags that she can ensnare any husband or taken male, and …she often does. She also is ambitious and has a penchant for anything expensive.

When the shrewd and ambitious temptress lays eyes on Bradley Murdoch, she believes she has found her dream man and a ticket to the high life she’s entitled to. There are just two problems:

1) Bradley is married to Rival. Happily at that.

2) They have children. Adorable little girls.

Do those facts deter Scarlett in any way? No, not at all. She is determined to steal Bradley, smoothly replace Rival in his life and show him how to really live life.

In a calculating move, the seductress (she is so good at seduction, she is even penning a book on it) befriends the quiet and unassuming Rival and worms her way into Bradley’s life.
There’s more: To expedite things, Scarlett the mistress, engineers a way to wipe Rival out of the picture - sends the clueless wife on a “vacation”.

But Scarlett may have underestimated her opponent. When Rival realizes the extent of the betrayal, she decides, even though she lacks Scarlett’s genius IQ, not to turn the other cheek. In fact, she is determined to win back her husband, believing that he is a good man who is simply mistaking lust for love. She believes that someone like Scarlett has to have skeletons in her cupboards and she begins to snoop around, anything she can use against the other woman, anything that can help her exact revenge.

What Rival doesn’t realize is: no one takes on Scarlett - no one dares. The betrayed wife and the other woman collide. The result is another gripping suspense thriller from best selling author Eve Rabi.

If you've enjoyed Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins, books by Marian Keyes and Liane Moriarty, you will enjoy this 'suspenseful, romantic and entertaining tale of love, lust and revenge.'
Read an Excerpt:

“Look, there’s no other way to say this. I’m leaving you, okay? I’m sorry.”

“Whaaaat? Why?”

“I’ve…met someone, Rival and I want…to…to move on, build a life with her.”

“Bradley, I don’t understand; we’re married, we have kids … what…what…?” I look at Nurse Eden and follow her eyes to Scarlett’s face.

As I stare at Scarlett, things crystalize before me. “You? You’re that someone?!” I look at Bradley, “She’s my friend, Bradley?”

He looks at the floor.

“Look, Rival,” Scarlett says, shifting to the edge of her seat, “you and Bradley, you were having problems, you went away, and Bradley, he…didn’t know when you were coming back, and –”

“No, no, no –”

“— things just happened and…and we’re now together,” Bradley finishes. “It’s nobody’s fault, Rival. Things just unfolded this way and now –”

“Bradley, I didn’t go away’ I’ve been in hospital, and for just sixty days,” I finally say in a voice that sounds strange to me.

“Yes, but…” Scarlett shrugs.

“This is not happening, Bradley,” I mutter. “This can’t –” I stop talking when I see my husband holding my friend’s hand with both of his. It feels like I’ve been Tasered.

“Rival,” Scarlett says, “Bradley’s had enough of –”

“Don’t speak,” I say in a cold voice, my index finger raised in the air.

“– you and –”

“Don’t SPEAK! This is between me and my husband!”

When she continues speaking, I grab hold of the heavy-duty stapler from the doctor’s room and slam it against her head. 

“Told you not to speak, didn’t I?”

About the Author:
Eve Rabi is a screenwriter and author of 33 romantic crime and suspense novels. 
Inspired by the likes of Sidney Sheldon and Gillian Flynn, her tales are bold, scandalous, controversial and often humorous. 
To quote an Amazon reviewer: “When you pick up an Eve Rabi book, forget sleep. She writes gripping page turners that will keep you reading till the very end.” 
If you’re bored of regular romance, if you like your romance with twists and turns, if you prefer your crime novels to have strong romantic themes, then you will enjoy Eve Rabi’s multi-genre books. 
In her spare time, Eve likes to dance like no one is watching. 
She also likes to eat like no one is watching. That's why she has to dance so often.


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The book is on sale for $0.99.

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Eve Rabi will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 28, 2019

The White Rajah by Tom Williams

I'm pleased to host Tom Williams on my blog this week - he's a smashing writer, historian, and tango dancer! I discovered his books quite by accident and was hooked. I love historical fiction, especially fiction that has loads of historical detail - it makes the time come alive. Tom Williams has a definite flair for capturing the thoughts and feelings of his subjects, and also writes with authority about battles and politics. Try his James Burke series (a Napolean era spy!) or dive into this fascinating true story about a man who becomes de-facto ruler of a providence in Borneo! 

Many, many years ago – decades, in fact – I found myself spending a few days on a holiday in Sarawak. We had signed up with a company that took you up river from Kuching, then a really small town, to visit the famous longhouses. Here we met the indigenous Dyak people who, not that long ago, had been headhunters and many of whom still lived on the most basic slash and burn cultivation and the food they could catch in the jungle. We even caught a tiny mouse deer ourselves and contributed it to the collective pot. It was a magical few days and almost certainly unrepeatable, for the last couple of decades have seen logging destroy much of the habitat the Dyaks rely on to live while mass tourism means that trips like those we made then are probably by now impossible.

It was on that trip that I first came across James Brooke. The museum in Kuching had an exhibition of Sarawak's history with a large display on 'The White Rajahs' next to a much smaller display on 'The Colonial Era'. I was confused. The White Rajahs were clearly, well, white. Why was it that while the tone of 'The Colonial Era' was rather disapproving (it mainly seems to have consisted of killing the Governor), 'The White Rajahs' display hinted at a Golden Age?

The answer seems to have been the extraordinary relationship the first White Rajah, James Brooke, had with the people of Sarawak. Sarawak then was a province of a much bigger country ruled by Muda Hassim in Brunei. Hassim gave the rule of Sarawak to James Brooke as a reward for Brooke's help suppressing a rebellion there. Brooke insisted that Sarawak was not part of the British Empire and he set out to rule as an enlightened despot.

At the centre of the exhibition was a portrait of James Brooke. It was a copy of the one in London's National Portrait Gallery.
Portrait of Sir James Brooke by Sir Francis Grant
National Portrait Gallery London.
I saw it and just wanted to know more about this astonishingly handsome, dashing man who had taken a tiny country halfway round the globe from his home and made it his own. When I got back to England I started to read all I could find about him. It wasn't that difficult. His diaries were published, as were those of Keppel, the admiral who helps him defeat the pirates. I found myself getting more and more caught up in his story and, because I had always wanted to write, I decided to turn it into a novel. What I aimed for was an old-fashioned yarn with an old-fashioned hero and, up to a point, I succeeded. But in the end, although it got representation by a well-known agent, it really wasn't good enough for publication. I put it away and forgot about it.

Years passed and I found myself writing lots of non-fiction, often anonymously. I decided that I owed it to myself to write the novel I'd always planned for. We were moving into an age when Western armies were invading remote countries, often with noble intentions but sometimes with terrible consequences. I wanted to write about how good people could end up involved in questionable wars and horrifying massacres. I remembered that James Brooke had himself been involved in a massacre which, at the time, had horrified liberal opinion in Britain and resulted in a Commission of Inquiry in Singapore. I decided to go back to my original novel and rewrite it as a much darker piece with a flawed hero.

I wanted to get close to Brooke as a man, rather than just as a historical figure, and I thought this could best be done through the eyes of someone who knew him and shared his experiences. I tried to think who this could be and came to the idea that the story could be told from the point of view of a sailor on his ship, the Royalist. And that was how John Williamson came into being. Unlike Brooke, who is very closely based on the historical figure, Williamson is almost entirely fictional. The real James Brooke had an interpreter called John Williamson and I just borrowed the name. (The real Williamson was half-Malay and died quite early on.)

Once Williamson came into the story, his role just grew. He had started out as a narrative device but, as time went by, he became central to the story. Partly, I think, this is because everything was seen through his eyes and so I found myself thinking more and more about how he felt about things and partly because I tried to use Williamson as a figure who reflected Brooke's relationship with the Dyaks. So Brooke 'educates' him but at the same time Williamson finds that the relationship stops him developing fully as his own man. By now, what had started as a historical novel with a bit of romance became much more a romance set in a historical story.

The whole 'gay' bit never seemed that important. The real Brooke was almost certainly gay, all the characters around him were men: if he was going to have a relationship, it was always going to be a gay relationship.

When I decided to write a sequel to The White Rajah, I didn’t stay with James Brooke. Even though the original story concentrated on his early years in Borneo and there was lots more that could be written about his life, it was John Williamson I wanted to follow. Fortunately the date on which Williamson departs Singapore at the end of The White Rajah meant that I could put him in India just before the Indian Mutiny breaks out. So that's what I did: Williamson travels to India, falls in love (again) and is once more caught up in historical events that leave him making uncomfortable choices about who he is and where his loyalties lie. 

The Indian story (Cawnpore) is my personal favourite, but I wanted to write one more story about John Williamson to round off his life with a return to England. In Back Home he discovers that the struggle between the powerful and the powerless is every bit as vicious in London as in the Far East. 1859 was a period of enormous change. It was fun setting a story in part of London that I know well (Seven Dials) which is so easily recognisable in 1859 yet so dramatically different.
Endeavour have just published all three John Williamson stories as a Kindle bundle ( ). Each story can be read separately but if you read all three I hope you, like me, will grow to know John Williamson and to respect his attempt to be a decent person in a troubled world.
Though I had seen him in dark moods before, I had never seen him sunk as low as this. There were marks of tears on his face. It was then I began to realise just how set he had been on the success of his Borneo venture. More, seeing him alone in his distress, I realised that, for all his easy ways, there were none on board who could come close to him and comfort him. Among the others, he always played a part: the gallant captain, the good comrade, the diplomat, or the man of business. To none was he simply a friend and, though there were many who would say they loved him, there was no one to whom he could turn for simple comfort when he needed that above all else.
In England he had no position, no friends, no purpose in life. The Findlay expedition had been an attempt to fill these lacks but the voyage had ended in disaster. Back in England, he had returned to his family home in Bath, surrounded by old men who had served in India and now sat out their days, like his father, waiting for death. With nothing to do, he could but sulk and fret until, in time, his father passed away, leaving the young Mr Brooke sick with guilt and sadness but a wealthy man. All his inheritance was spent on the Royalist, and now this venture was to join the Findlay in failure.
Yet, for the sake of his position on the ship, he could never show his fears. Instead, he would always endeavour to be cheerful, encouraging the men in any wild venture that might cheer their spirits.
At that time, I knew nothing of this. I saw only a man who had been good to me, sitting alone in the twilight gloom of his cabin, his face streaked with his tears.
I do not know now what made me do it, for it was not my place, but I knew where the brandy was kept and the glasses. I poured a healthy swig of drink and placed it before him. He looked up at me and smiled. “Pour one yourself, John.”
It was the first time he had ever called me by my name. Later, he was to joke about us as James and John, the disciples of Borneo. “We are the sons of thunder, John,” he would say. “Look it up in the Bible.”
That evening, though, I had not been certain he knew my baptismal name until he said it.
I poured myself a drink. I was nervous, the situation being unusual for me, and my hand may have shaken. Perhaps I poured myself rather more brandy than I had intended.
Mr Brooke told me to sit down at the table with him. I did as he asked and we drank, and as we drank, he talked. He told me of his hopes when he had come out to the Far East, of how he had heard tales of Borneo, a land of rhinoceros and elephant and strange, man-like apes. Above all, he had heard of the native people, the Dyaks, living in the jungle in a state of nature.
They are like children, John,” he said. “I had thought I might do some good if I should meet them.”
We drank some more. Now his discourse turned to the rule of the East India Company and his experiences in its employ. “They are not men. They are machines to calculate profit and their rule is naught but a means to enrich the plutocrats of the City.”
He scowled at his glass, raised it to his lips once more and, after drinking, suddenly looked me in the face and almost shouted, “But they are Englishmen. As are we, John. And we English have a great duty. We are privileged, but our privilege brings a responsibility, for if we cannot help these people, who can bring them help?”
Then, his mood changing and the liquor working on him, he started to laugh and to sing Rule Britannia. When I did not join the song, he cursed at me and swore I should sing with him. I joined him in a chorus distinguished for its enthusiasm rather than its tunefulness. As I drew breath for another verse, he fell silent, set his head on his arms, and slept.
I remember standing for a moment, watching over him. Then, closing the door quietly behind me, I withdrew.

The story of James Brooke is the story of a man of his times - a man who, through idealism, determination, and sheer luck became the ruler of his own small country. Told through the eyes of his companion and lover, John Williamson, this tale seems too outrageous to be true - but except for the character of John, it's all true! James Brooke is a fascinating character. His idealism leads him to become a beloved ruler - but his human frailties make him also a tyrant. I like the author's straightforward approach to the story. His descriptions of battles and the jungle are rich but not overwhelming to the story about a man who had a key role in shaping the trading port that is now Kuching, the capital of Sarawak in Borneo, Malaysia. I would have liked more romance between the characters, but that part of the story was discreet, in keeping with the Victorian sentiments of the time. All in all, a much enjoyed read about a little-known historical figure. 

(Note -All three John Williamson stories are available as a Kindle bundle ( ). 

Silhouette by Paul Swingle

  This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions . Paul Swingle will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a...