Archives

A Call to Heaven by Jo Kessel

Excerpt:

Everyone’s looking at me. I’ve got the yellow telephone in my hands and I’m not sure

what to do with it. I take a seat at the end of the table and lay the phone down in front of me.

Beth is to my left, Ben is to my right. Daniel is opposite me. I look from one to the other and feel

color flood my cheeks. My gaze finishes on Daniel and stays there for a beat. He nods, his eyes

encouraging me. I return the nod, take a deep breath and count down from three to one in my

head.

“I’ve got to tell you all something.” My voice comes out as a thin squeak, but actually

I’m surprised I manage to articulate at all. I’m hot, so hot. I lift the hair off the back of my neck,

flapping it around to try to cool my sticky, clammy skin. I can’t breathe, I need air. I unlock the

patio doors, flinging them wide open. The inside of my mouth feels rough as sandpaper. I’m

desperate for a tall glass of water packed with ice-cubes but, when I turn to see six eyes staring at

me, I dare not leave to fetch one. I feel like an exhibit in a museum and in some ways I wish I

were. I could hide behind a Perspex box next to the yellow telephone with panel blurb doing the

explaining for me. I could be part of a new exhibition entitled ‘Incredible Discoveries’. I would

share the same hall as the dinosaurs and anything else which took aeons for people to believe

existed. I draw a deep breath and continue.

“You’re probably going to think I’m mad, but I’m going to tell you anyway.”

A breeze blows through the open patio doors.

“What I wanted to tell you is this.” My voice is soft as a whisper. I sense all their bodies

leaning closer towards mine, straining to hear. “I’ve recently started talking to my mother.”

There, I’ve said it.

I feel a great sense of relief, both that I’ve said it and that I no longer have to keep this to

myself. Beth relaxes in her chair with a sigh, leans across and takes my hand, patting it. She’s got

wavy brown hair and a kind, open face. She tilts her head sympathetically.

“Oh honey, you must have tried out that clairvoyant you mentioned. Please tell us all

about it.”

I should have seen that one coming.

“No, you don’t get it.” I lift up the yellow phone, as if to demonstrate how to use such a

contraption. In one hand I take the receiver, in the other the plug. “I don’t speak to her through a

medium. I speak to her on this telephone. I plug it into a socket in my bathroom and I’m allowed

to call heaven.”

There, I’ve said it now.

Nobody moves.

Not a muscle.

Their mouths all open, Daniel’s is the widest. I don’t think any of them even realize

they’re doing it. As feared, they are looking at me like I’m certifiably insane.

“I can see you all think I’m mad.” I actually manage to pull a small smile. Now that I’ve

started, I feel much calmer. “And, if I were in your position, I would think I’m crazy too. But one

night my mother came to me in a dream and told me I could use this phone to call her in heaven

and, bizarre though it must sound, it turns out she was right. That’s why I stopped coming to

Grief Support Group every week. I wasn’t grieving so much because my mother had come back

into my life.”

The three pairs of eyes grow wider and wider, as if I’m slowly sprouting four serpent

heads. I replace the receiver back into its cradle and drop the plug, holding out my hands in

submission.

“You can believe me or not. It doesn’t matter. But the reason I’ve gathered you all here is

because I’ve been asked to choose three other people to call to heaven.”

I sound like a fairy godmother or the good witch in the Wizard of Oz. I do not sound

normal. I pause. The effect is dramatic although it’s not intended to be.

“And I’ve picked you guys.”

I look at them one by one.

“Beth, I know how much it might mean to you to be able to speak to your daughter and

know that she is safe.”

Beth nods. Her gaze turns glassy.

“Ben, I’d do anything to be able to give you a chance to speak to your brother again.”

Ben nods, his mouth still formed in a perfect ‘O’.

Daniel is the hardest one for me to look at. He’s not nodding anymore and his eyes are no

longer urging me to continue. Instead he’s shaking his head, a slow, subtle movement, but I catch

it all the same. His full lips have now formed a thin line. He’s the only one who looks like he still

thinks I’m certifiably insane. Hell, he’s a doctor; perhaps that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Part

of me wonders whether I should abort this whole escapade and pretend it was all a joke. I’d do

anything to not have Daniel stare at me in this way. He looks ready to call the local sanatorium

and send them round with a straitjacket. But I can’t abort and I must continue. What happens

next is up to him.

“And Daniel, I thought that maybe you might like to speak to Katie.”

He opens his mouth as if he’s about to say something, but clamps it shut again without

speaking. Nobody else says anything either. They all shift in their seats, pretending to take sips

of coffee and look around the room. Perhaps they’re checking out the photos on the mantelpiece

above the fireplace, trying to work out if I look like a madwoman in any of them. I pick up the

knife. Now I probably do look mad or, at the very least, dangerous.

“Right, who’s for some more pie?”

 

 


A Call to Heaven
Jo Kessel
Genre: contemporary romance
with a paranormal twist
Publisher: J.K Publishing
Date of Publication: January 27, 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1540490049 /
ISBN-10: 1540490041
ASIN: B01MQU65MT
Number of pages: 260 paperback /
320 kindle book
Word Count: 68k
Cover Artist: Ivan Cakic
Book Description:
“Everybody’s loved, everybody’s lost.
Grief strips you raw and makes you feel as if you’re sleepwalking through life, like the pain will never go away.
I’m Amy Tristan. I’m no different than anyone else. I’ve loved, I’ve lost and it sucks. I’ve got a five-year old son and an abusive husband. My mother died six months ago and I miss her like crazy.
I’m the biggest skeptic when it comes to other-worldly stuff, so when I’m told that I can pick up the phone and call my mum in Heaven, I should disbelieve it, right? Wrong. I pick up that phone, because there’s nothing I want more than to hear her voice trickle into the receiver.
And you know what? It works. I get to speak to my mother. It’s a miracle. If only it could stay this way, with those calls just for me, but someone up on high wants me to choose three other people to make a call to Heaven too. Who should I pick? How can I trust them to keep the phone secret? Making the choice is agonizing – if I get it wrong, my calls will stop. I wish I hadn’t told Daniel anything. He’s this hot doctor that I’ve come to know. But doctors are scientists, and scientists are bigger skeptics than even me. He didn’t believe in the phone. He thought I should be admitted to a sanatorium. Telling him was either the best decision of my life, or the worst. I’ll let you decide…”
About the Author:
Jo lives in London with her husband, three children and Jerald the cat. In addition to being a novelist she works as a TV and print journalist (Sunday Times, The Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Express.) If she could change one thing about her life it would be to introduce the thirty hour day, because twenty-four hours just isn’t long enough to squeeze it all in! Many a late night has been spent with a glass of red wine (preferably French) at her desk trying to keep her eyes open long enough to write these stories which keep demanding to be written. If only her cat didn’t constantly jump onto the keyboard as she writes, this book might have been finished months earlier. She loves yoga, skiing, travelling and English custard – though not necessarily in that order.
Website/blog: www.jokessel.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Day Blitz Only a Duke Will Do by Tamara Gill

Excerpt:

“I’ve lost him. And I love him still.” Her voice broke at the realization.

Her mother shushed her, pulling her into an embrace. “I know, darling. I know you

do. But there is nothing for it now. You will have to return with us to Dunsleigh.”

Isolde thought of all she had lost, not just Merrick, but her future, their plans.

Their trip away to the Continent, Paris, Rome, and all the delightful places in between

that they were going to visit, crumbled in her chest like her heart. “He’s really going to

marry her, isn’t he?” Even saying such a thing sounded absurd, and yet it was the truth.

The truth as she would know it from tonight onward.

“Yes, he is.” Her mother’s face was a mask of concern and pain. “I’m so sorry,

darling. You did not deserve this.”

Isolde strove to calm down before her sobs woke her sisters and they started with

their meddling questions. Her body hiccupped for breath; her eyes, so swollen and sore,

hurt when she blinked.

“Come, you must sleep.” Her mother helped her stand, and Isolde didn’t fight her

decree. Tiredness would succeed over her mind and, for a sweet moment, she’d forget

what had transpired this night. It was enough to make her lie down and try.

She settled under the blankets. The maid knocked on the door and her mother

ushered her into the room, taking possession of the glass of whisky and a cold compress.

Isolde downed the drink in one gulp, grateful for the burning amber liquid and the

cooling cloth against her eyes.

The tears started afresh when the comforting embrace of her mother wrapped

around her, pulling her close and holding her as if to never let her go. Not since she was a

child had her mother acted in such a way, and some of the despair left her, knowing she

had the support of her family.

She would need them in the months to come.

She took a shuddering breath. How could a night once filled with so much

excitement and anticipation twist into such despair and horror? Rolling onto her side, the

ring Merrick had given her pressed into her cheek.

She held out her hand and looked at the cluster of five round diamonds, each of

them encased in a bed of silver and sitting on a band of gold that was etched into a

leaflike pattern. The ring had been Merrick’s grandmother’s, and it had been the most

beautiful gift Isolde had ever received.

But no longer. Now it represented a fractured circle of trust, pulled apart and

unfixable.

She yanked it off, unable to throw it no matter how much she longed to. She

reached over and placed it on the cabinet beside her bed, looking at it as it twinkled

prettily under the candlelight. The ring and its beauty were as fickle as its owner.


 
Only a Duke Will Do
To Marry a Rogue Series
Book Two
Tamara Gill
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Publisher: Entangled – Select Historical
Date of Publication: February 20, 2017
Number of pages: 300+
Word Count: 80,000
Cover Artist: Erin Dameron-Hill
Book Description:
Without a Season, Lady Isolde Worthingham captured the Duke of Moore’s heart at a country dance. But on the eve of her wedding, a scandal that rocked the ton and sent her fleeing to Scotland alone and unwed, leaves her perfectly planned future in a tangle of disgrace and heartbreak.
Merrick Mountshaw, the Duke of Moore loathes the pitiful existence he hides from the ton. With a scandalous wife he never wanted, who flaunts her many indiscretions, life is a never-ending parade of hell. When the one woman he loved and lost returns to London, he knows he can no longer live without her.
But vows and past hurts are not easily forgotten. Love may not win against the ton when a too proper Lord and Lady play by the rules.
About the Author:
Tamara is an Australian author who grew up in an old mining town in country South Australia, where her love of history was founded. So much so, she made her darling husband travel to the UK for their honeymoon, where she dragged him from one historical monument and castle to another. A mother of three, her two little gentleman in the making, a future lady (she hopes) and a part-time job keep her busy in the real world, but whenever she gets a moment’s peace she loves to write romance novels in an array of genres, including regency, medieval and time travel.
Visit Tamara’s website at http://tamaragill.com/
Join Tamara’s Newsletter at http://bit.ly/188eyFF
Friend Tamara on Facebook http://on.fb.me/1Fu0JPL
Follow Tamara on Twitter http://bit.ly/1Y3B4Vr
Join Tamara’s Street Team http://on.fb.me/1FIlG6J
Review Tamara’s books on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/TamaraGill

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Day Blitz Poison My Pretty

 

Excerpt:

Skylar’s twin sister Mads called while I was driving to the convention

center. “Are you really going over there? I can’t believe they’re going to continue

this pageant.”

“So you heard about the murder?”

“Yeah. Skylar told me last night when she got home. It’s awful.”

“Yes, but you know how it is. The show must go on! Surely you can’t be

that surprised.” I was only beginning to understand the importance of these

competitions to their participants, and I could picture pageant moms dragging their

glitzed-up toddlers over the dead bodies of fallen competitors. The way zombies

climbed over each other to get to the top of the pile in movies—only prettier.

“Are they sure it was a murder? She didn’t just have a heart attack or

something?” I could hear the anxiety creeping into Mads’ voice, and I didn’t blame

her. Our little town was supposed to be safe. Murders didn’t happen here. That was

the sort of thing that happened in the city across the bridge, not in our sleepy little

bedroom community.

“That’s what they said, Mads, but I don’t think you need to worry. If it was a

murder, you can bet it was personal. Certainly not the doin’s of a mad man or a

serial killer. If Heather Morgan was murdered, it was by somebody who knew her

and had something to gain from her death. This was no a random act of violence.”


Poison My Pretty
Amity Allen
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Date of Publication: February 15, 2017
ASIN: B01MYNTAE8
Word Count: 50,000
Cover Artist: Rachel Olson at No Sweat Graphics
Book Description:
As soon as Poppy Parker turns 21, the star of a popular TV show about witch detectives discovers she has supernatural powers off the set as well as on. When the show is canceled, she returns home to figure out how to harness the magic brewing inside her.
Freaked out by these recent paranormal gifts, Poppy just wants to fit in, so when she’s asked to serve as a judge for the annual Bloomin’ Belles youth beauty competition she readily agrees.
But when the pageant’s snooty director drops dead and Poppy’s friend is arrested,
the former TV sleuth sets out to uncover the real killer, only to find…
the business of beauty can be deadly.
About the Author:
Amity grew up reading every mystery she could get her hands on, burning through everything by Agatha Christie in record time and wanting to be Nancy Drew when she grew up. After writing books in other genres for the past few years, she’s finally come home to her true love – cozy mysteries.
Amity and her husband live in L.A. (lower Alabama) with a houseful of teenagers and a half dozen pets. Besides books, Amity’s favorite things are football, needlepoint, fried shrimp, and sweet tea.
Sign up for Amity’s Book Club: http://eepurl.com/coqgxX
Text MYSTERY to 24587 for new release alerts.

a Rafflecopter giveaway