Archive for February 2013

Author in the Spotlight - Charlie Plunkett

Brook Cottage Books is honoured to have the lovely Charlie Plunkett as the Author in the Spotlight. Welcome Charlie. Lets find out a little about Ms Plunkett!

About Charlie in her own words:
Image of Charlie Plunkett
I am a wife, mum and author - although not always necessarily in that order. The birth of my little boy sparked my creative side and I have been charting the milestone moments in our life ever since. My books are ‘true diaries’ that also include useful tips and advice. I began with The True Diary of a Bride-to-be my wedding journal, followed by The True Diary of a Mum-to-be a pregnancy companion and The True Diary of Baby’s First Year a mothering companion. My latest book is 100 Little Words on Parenthood a beautiful compilation with anecdotes, poetry, words of wit and wisdom from 100 contributors. I am currently working on The Toddler Files which will recount my sons first birthday through to his first day at school.

When I’m not writing you can usually find me in a sandpit, at the beach, farm or a park. Of all the amazing things I have achieved in my life being a mum is at the very top of the list.
You can read the review for 100 Little Words on Parenthood here on the blog on 4th March 2013! Make sure you pop back to the blog for that.
For more info please visit
Twitter: @charlieplunkett

Author in the Spotlight - SJ Wardell and Cover Reveal Feature!

Brook Cottage Books is honoured to have SJ Wardell as our Author in the Spotlight! A warm welcome to Mr Wardell. Lets find out a little about him before revealing the wonderful cover for his new book.
S J Wardell lives in the UK with his wife and their two children.

Following his success in attaining a BA in Prose Fiction Writing and Journalism, Mr Wardell had a desire to give others a friendly helping hand by attending Writing Seminars as a guest speaker, fronting writer’s workshops and writing blogs on request.

In the years that followed, he decided that it was time that he put his pen to paper and wrote his first novel; The Ultimate Selection: published in February 2012 and still selling very well. During this time, never being one to let the grass grow, his second novel; Infinite Retribution: published August 2012 was launched. With Crime fans worldwide wanting more – The sequel to The Ultimate Selection: Selected Penance is due for release in February 2013, which is no mean feat considering that this will be his third novel within the space of a year – This is an author who adores writing and is a self confessed Crime addict.

S J Wardell openly admits that his writing style is very gritty with his intention being that he wants to fill the gap that he feels has been left open, “I want to make my fiction as real as possible, with the nuts and bolts placed to allow the reader to feel the texture in my prose.”

The impressive rocketing sales of his first two novels prove that this author does seem to slot nicely into that gap.
So, without further ado, lets reveal the cover to the new book which is titled SELECTED PENANCE and will be on release for all e-book formats on 7th March 2013. This book is the sequel to The Ultimate Selection.
I think you will agree its a pretty impressive cover! So, what's the book about? Here's the blurb:

Greg O’Hara is back in the long awaited sequel to The Ultimate Selection. After serving a 12 year prison sentence for his hideous crimes, Greg O’Hara is now free to terrorise the streets of the capital once again – London beware…
Once known as The Ultimate, Greg has spent his time behind bars wisely: increasing his strength, plotting his revenge and compiling a list of those who need to pay their penance.
Inspectors Bane and McFarland now have their own specialised crime unit, operating outside of the red tape of Scotland Yard. They bring in top US profiler, Babushka Yuri, to close in on their unpredictable suspect, but all is not as it seems. The Ultimate teases them with clues and tricks, but he’s running out of time and cannot do it alone; can they stay one step ahead of the monster he has become?

Here are the buy links to S.J Wardell's other books.


Cover Reveal - Perfect Partners by Stephanie Cage Plus Author Feature

Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to welcome Stephanie Cage! Stephanie's new book Perfect Partners is released today. Before finding out about the lovely Ms Cage lets  reveal the cover and find out a little about the new book which is launced TODAY!

I think you will agree that the book cover is fab! Love it!

About Perfect Partners

 “What’s he doing back in London after all this time?”

Eight years ago, Lisa Darby’s dancing partner and first love, Redmond Carrington, left London for a fun summer on the cruise ships – and never came back. Lisa’s grown up a bit since then, and she’d like to think she’s prepared for anything, but when Red comes back from America with a proposal for her, she’s not sure she’s ready for what he’s suggesting.

A TV studio is filming a knockout competition of six of the world’s best couples – each of them partners both on and off the dance floor. Redmond wants Lisa to pose as his girlfriend so that they can compete. It’s an unbelievable opportunity for an aspiring professional dancer, and the spectacular prize money would help save Lisa’s beloved dance studio, which is in need of major renovation. Scooping the prize is going to take the performance of a lifetime from Lisa and Redmond, but with the sizzling tension between them, they might just pull it off.

It turns out that putting on an act for the cameras is the least of Lisa’s worries. As time goes on and she rediscovers her feelings for Redmond, she’s left questioning what’s really behind his offer, and where their partnership is heading this time.

This is a book for people who love the glitz and glamour of Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars, and want to be swept off their feet by a powerful hero who has all the right moves.  I loved writing about Redmond and Lisa because they’re both strong people, great at what they do, and used to fending for themselves, and they find it quite challenging being in a situation where they can only succeed together.  True love is so much more rewarding when it has obstacles to overcome, don’t you think?

Without further ado, lets find out about the author herself from the author herself!

Fiction was my first love, and as a child I spent most of my spare time reading and writing, so nobody was much surprised when I was accepted to Oxford University to study English Literature.  While at university, I discovered ballroom dancing and my experiences on the dance team sowed the seeds of my first full-length novel, Perfect Partners.  Since then I have worked in marketing and administration, studied for a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, won two major short story competitions (the Woman’s Own short story competition and the Yorkshire Ridings Romance Competition) and watched almost every episode of Strictly Come Dancing ever made. 

Most of my favourite films involve dancing, and when I’m not reading, writing or working, I can often found at the theatre, watching musicals.    My author photograph was taken when I went to London to see the filming of Strictly Come Dancing live at Wembley.  It was so much fun to see how the show is put together, and to get close to all the celebrities and professionals and see how hard they all work and what a great atmosphere there is on set. 

Perfect Partners is my first full-length book, but I also have a novella, Desperate Bid, published by The Wild Rose Press.  Both my books are very much stories about love in the modern world.  Lisa in Perfect Partners is taking part in a reality TV show.  In Desperate Bid my hero Alex, an aspiring musician, is tired of going nowhere, and in a moment of drunken madness puts his life up for sale on an online auction site.  Sarah, the heroine of Desperate Bid, is looking for a way to impress her boss and stave off the sale of the events company where she works, and decides Alex might provide the answer.  When she meets Alex, the attraction between them threatens to derail all her plans, and she has to decide what’s most important: the safe future she thought she was looking for, or the dreams Alex’s music reawakens in her. 

I had so much fun writing the songs in Desperate Bid that I went on to attend an Arvon foundation course on writing musicals, taught by playwright and musician Willy Russell, and I hope one day to finish writing a musical and maybe even see it performed.  In the meantime, I’m keeping busy with, amongst other things, a sequel to Perfect Partners, which has the working title A Step in the Right Direction. 


Twitter: @Stephaniewriter

Desperate Bid on Amazon:


Perfect Partners on Crimson Romance:






Reviewer in the Spotlight - Kirsty Maclennan

Brook Cottage Books is very proud to have the lovely Kirsty Maclennan from I HEART BOOKS as the featured Reviewer in the Spotlight.
JB: Tell me a little about your blog
Kirsty: I Heart Books is for lovers of Chick Lit, Romance and Adult Reads. It hosts reviews, interviews, guest post and giveaways.

JB: How did you come up with the name for your blog?
Kirsty: I love books; I love how they can change your emotions and take you away to different places, I Heart Books.
JB: What sort of books do you like to read?
Kirsty: I like Chick Lit, Romance, Adult Reads, and Biographies. In all honesty if the blurb sounds interesting I will give it a read.
JB: Why did you decide to blog?
Kirsty: I won a competition last year to meet Lindsey Kelk at a bloggers tea party; it was great meeting Lindsey and everyone else at the afternoon tea. Whilst there I got talking to Amanda (One More Page) and a few weeks later Amanda mentioned on Twitter that she was looking for some guest reviewers to help out whilst she was on holiday. I explained this was something I had never done before but would love to have a go. I had only ever reviewed books on Amazon before so was really nervous typing my first review especially for such an established blog. I kept going back and re-reading it and finally after countless checking I sent it off to Amanda. My first review was for Lucy Lord’s Revelry. I reviewed a couple more books for One More Page and then an author approached me to review her book explaining that One More Page already had a review copy but they wanted me to review it as well, from that request I Heart Books was born.
JB: How long have you been blogging?
Kirsty: I Heart books went live on the 7th of July 2012.
JB: Do you have any other blogs?
Kirsty: No. I used to write a gluten free blog about life as a coeliac, but although this is my everyday life it doesn’t ignite the same passion that books do. My gluten free blog went off line early 2012.
JB: Do you have an all-time favourite book?
Kirsty: There are so many great books out there that I find it hard to pick a favourite. I have many books that I will pick up and re-read. I can tell you that my favourite book as a child was the Jolly Postman, this is the book that I credit with my love of reading and as a teenager I would constantly re-read Summer Sisters by Judy Blume.
JB: What was your favourite book of 2012?
Kirsty: That’s a tricky one. When I was doing my favourites list for I Heart Books at the end of the year, I kept thinking of different books and reasons why I loved them, it took me days to get the list sorted. In the end I managed to get it down to this
JB: How many books are on your TBR pile for 2013?
Kirsty: So far my TBR pile comprises of about 15 paperback and 5 kindle reads. I have books on pre-order throughout the year and some books that I’ve already flagged as interested in with the publishers.
JB: Which book on your TBR pile are you most looking forward to reading?
Kirsty: There are so many, I am really excited to read the last in the 666 Park Avenue series by Gabriella Pierce, it’s called ‘The Lost Soul’ and I have been eagerly awaiting it since ‘The Dark Glamour’ ended at such a gripping point. And I know it’s not released yet but I am really looking forward to reading ‘Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns’ by Lauren Weisberger. And of course there are also the new releases by Lindsey Kelk, Belinda Jones, Ellen Sussman, Abby Clements, Scarlett Bailey...... the list is endless.
JB: What book surprised you the most? (In other words what book did you read that was not your usual genre and you found yourself enjoying?)
Kirsty: I read ‘Sworn Secret’ by Amanda Jennings, normally I read books that I class as light hearted, pure escapism or things that I couldn’t imagine happening in real life.’ Sworn Secret’ however is about a family coping with the loss of their daughter, the impact it has on her parents and sister. Something in the blurb gripped me instantly and I am so glad it did. I loved that book and would highly recommend it.
JB: Do you have a favourite author?
Kirsty: As with books I find it hard to pick just one: Lindsey Kelk, Cecelia Ahern, Belinda Jones and authors I discovered in 2012 Abby Clements, Amanda Jennings, Lucy Lord, Nicola Doherty, Rebecca Chance and Scarlett Bailey.
JB: Give 3 book recommendations for the readers of Brook Cottage Books.
1)      The loveliest book I read in 2012 was ‘French Lessons’ by Ellen Sussman,  It has such beautifully written characters and idyllic descriptions of Paris that I found even when I wasn’t reading it my thoughts strayed to what might happen next.
2)      In November 2012 Belinda Jones released ‘Winter Wonderland’, I have been a fan of Belinda’s books for 8 years and I was excited to read ‘Winter Wonderland’ it has such wonderful characters, scenic views and descriptive writing ‘Winter Wonderland’ really is pure escapism.
3)      For those with E-Readers I recommend ‘Kismetology’ by Jaimie Admans. Dealing with love and family issues, Kismetology really is a feel good read.

Thank you for featuring me on Brook Cottage Books, I now know what it feels like to be on the other end of the interview process and at times the questions really had me stumped.

Thanks so much to Kirsty for a really interesting interview. I hope everyone will pop over to her blog and check out some great reviews!
Twitter: @kinks26

Author in the Spotlight - Darlene Jones

Brook Cottage Books is delighted to have the lovely Darlene Jones as our featured Author in the Spotlight. I'll let Darlene tell you a little bit about what inspired her to write ......
'A long time ago, I lived in Mali. Every single day, I wished I could wave a magic wand to relieve the heart-wrenching poverty. The story line of my books reflects my desire to wave that wand and make the world a better place. If only wishes could come true. And of course, every novel needs its love story, so along with the sci-fi magic, I’ve added the requisite romance.
Initially, I intended to write“a” novel. The story and characters took over and the ending of the first demanded another. Two books became three and three became four.
I've always believed we can't be the only beings existing in the vastness of the universe. There must be others“out there somewhere” and I brought some of them along for the ride.The setting stays, for the most part, within the realities of our world, but I've found that I love the magic the sci-fi element of other beings can bring to the story.'
 Author Links
EMBRACED buy links

How Do You Voodoo? by Janice Horton

As a pre-launch teaser to Voodoo Wedding, which is released on 1st March, here is my review for the first book in the trilogy, How Do You Voodoo? The review for Voodoo Wedding will be on the blog on 1st March too!

This is a short novella and was perfect rainy day reading for me. Just the sort of lovely story to relax with. Nola is a top model. She has everything going for her and is considered by all in the modelling world to be a very beautiful woman. Unfortunately beauty on the outside does not equate to beauty on the inside and Nola's priorities are slightly skewed. However, on a flight back from Barbados, Nola’s life is about to take on a staggering transformation thanks to a Mambo or a voodoo priestess she has inadvertently upset.
Can Nola really break the curse and get her life back on track? There’s everything at stake here, including a top modelling job. But, as Nola soon begins to realise, she has forgotten about what the really important things in life are and what her humble beginnings were. Meeting Louis soon changes her thinking, but is it enough to fix her life in time?
This was such a fun read but with a serious message throughout. Nola’s lessons throughout the book are lessons for the reader too. The story has just the right sprinkling of romance and humour that doesn’t detract from the underlying message. Well done to Janice Horton for a lovely story. 

Voodoo Wedding by Janice Horton - Cover Reveal!

Brook Cottage Books is proud to be part of the cover reveal for Voodoo Wedding by Janice Horton.

Loved up Scottish fashion model Nola and her handsome Haitian fiancĂ© Louis have finally set the date for their wedding. All they need now is a venue and a guest list to include something old, something new, something borrowed… and something voodoo!
Voodoo Wedding is a novella of approximately 20,000 words and is the second part in a Voodoo Romance Trilogy. The first book is the Amazon bestselling - How Do You Voodoo?

I think everyone will agree that the cover looks absolutely fab! I love it. You can read the review for Voodoo Wedding on the blog on 1st March 2013 when the book officially available on Amazon for Kindle. I have read How do you Voodoo and adored it. To tempt and tease you before the realise of Voodoo Wedding, you can read my review for How do You Voodoo TOMORROW!

About Janice…

Janice Horton lives in Scotland. She writes fiction with humour and heart and with a hint of tartan. Look out for her Amazon Kindle bestselling ebooks 'Bagpipes & Bullshot' and 'Reaching for the Stars' and her magically romantic novellas ‘How Do You Voodoo? and the soon to be launched ‘Voodoo Wedding’. Janice is a regular blogger and you’ll also find her on Facebook and Twitter. When not writing novels, Janice writes lifestyle articles and has had work published in national and international magazines and regional newspapers. She has also been involved in BBC Scotland's 'Write Here Write Now'. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and also a featured author and editor of Bookshelf Reviews at the innovative magazine style website Loveahappyending Lifestyle.

Find out more about Janice:
Author Blog
Follow Janice on Twitter: @JaniceHorton
Like Janice’s Facebook Page
Link to Janice’s Amazon Author Page
Featured Author & Associate Editor at:

A Little Bit of Madness by Sheryl Browne

Today, 14th February 2013 is the launch day for A Little Bit of Madness by Sheryl Browne. Yay!

Celia loves her job working with elderly ‘independents’ in The Harbour Rest Home teaching art and keeping the residents upbeat with her caring attitude and respect for the fact that they still have a lot to offer society. They care about her too. From the Colonel, who could only be described as Captain Mainwaring from Dad’s Army Series who has his eye on one of the ladies of The Harbour Rest, to Eleanor who is as extravagant and eccentric as they come. She is bossy and opinionated to hide a past of secrets and heartache. Then there is lovely little May who gives the impression of being a bit dotty but who is in fact a clever and astute lady. As much as Celia loves her job, her partner Martin doesn’t see it as being important at all and has little respect for the wonderful work that Celia does. As far as he is concerned elderly means worthless!

Celia’s life takes a complicated turn with the arrival of a wrongly posted letter, a prince charming in a uniform called Alex, who is ready and very willing to rescue her and the imminent closure of The Harbour Rest Home. What will Celia, cuddly mother of two, be able to do to save her ‘elderly independents’ from being separated? Can Martin be trusted? Can Alex be trusted? Can her heart be trusted? Can she be trusted to survive a charity abseil?

To say I loved this book is a complete understatement. I instantly fell in love with the characters and had such a soft spot for them all! They were funny, kind, heart-warming and eccentric and one would have to have a heart of stone not to feel affection for them. This, for me, is the sign of a good book. One that makes you care about the characters. This book had me laughing so hard at the antics of the elderly characters and Sheryl Browne has painted a picture of high-spirited people who are not limited by their advancing years. The comedic element to the book is in typical Sheryl Browne style and she has such a talent for putting her characters in hilarious situations. The other characters in the book are equally interesting and funny. Characters such as Celia’s son Luke is another I particularly warmed to. And, as for Alex, the dishy officer of the law………..well he made me a little hot and bothered! Another ohhh laaaa laaa character for me!

Sheryl Browne has created a feisty character in Celia. A woman who is full of determination and bravery. She is not afraid to stand up for what she believes is right. She has a good heart despite being a little bit ditzy at times. This book is a lovely romantic comedy that I simply could not put down. It has a few twists and turns throughout that totally surprise the reader and the plot is fantastic, leaving you desperate to find out more. There’s a few shocks along the way too! Another hit for Sheryl Browne. If you’ve never read any of her books I suggest you do so right away. You will not be disappointed!

Author in the Spotlight - Kimberley Chambers

Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to have Kimberley Chambers as part of the Author in the Spotlight feature. There's a fab competition at the end of this post, so don't miss out! Here are a few words about Ms Chambers, in her own words!
Kimberley Chambers

One gloomy day approximately four years ago, I was sitting in my mini-cab in Romford, waiting for a fare, when I began to wonder exactly where my life was going.
I then received a phone call from my mate, Hazel, who asked me if I wanted to do a hair-dressing course with her. I had always been good at cutting and colouring as a kid, I even used to charge people, so I said I would think about it and let her know.

After a lot of thought, I decided, at the grand old age of 38, that I was too old to start a job where I would be sweeping floors for the first few years. It was that very same night that an idea came to me. I rang my friend back with my decision, ‘I’m gonna try and write a novel, Hazel,’ I informed her.

As I’d left school with virtually no exams, had worked on the markets for years, tried my luck as a DJ and was then driving a mini-cab around, I wondered if I was capable of such a triumph. But the following Monday, I picked up a pen and paper and Billie Jo was born. My family laughed when I told them, ‘Not another one of your brilliant ideas, Kim!’ my mum said sarcastically.

I can’t remember how long it took me to write the first three chapters, probably a week or two. But I do remember from Chapter 4 onwards, I found the actual writing relatively easy and I hoped that I’d finally discovered my vocation in life.

Apart from the characters’ names, I didn’t make any notes and I just let the story go with the flow. As I finished each chapter, the next seemed to come to me automatically and I didn’t even decide on the ending until I got to it.

Full of optimism, I spoke to my friend Pat, who owns the book stall on Romford market. She advised me to buy the Writers and Artists Year Book and offered to order me a copy. After I received the book, I scanned through the agents listed and sent the first three chapters off to quite a few. Within 24 hours I received my first phone call and I was not only overjoyed but also relieved that I was finally on my way. Over the next week or so I was contacted by another four agents and then it was time to make my choice.

The rest, I suppose is now history. Born Evil quickly followed Billie Jo and I have since finished The Betrayer, The Feud, The Traitor, The Victim, The Schemer and The Trap. My latest, which I am currently in the middle of writing, is called Payback - Can you bleive this is my ninth book?

Right, now all that literary stuff is out the way, I can bore you by telling you all about myself. I was born in 1967, an only child to my parents, Val and Tom. My mother and father are both now dead and my greatest regret is that I didn’t do something earlier in life to make them proud of me.

My family originated from the East End, but I was brought up in Dagenham. I was extremely bright in infant and junior school, especially in English, but at the age of eleven things began to deteriorate, so much so that I left my secondary school knowing far less than when I had arrived five years earlier.

On leaving school I started working on Roman Road market in east London. I loved that job, it suited me down to the ground. The atmosphere was second to none and I was that good at selling stuff, I could have flogged honey to the bees. When Tower Hamlets Council had their wicked way and did their best to ruin a wonderful market, I began a career in DJ-ing. This also suited me as I loved both music and alcohol.

Reaching the age of 30, I dumped my fella, binned the records and became a mini-cab driver. This pleased my mother immensely as she hated my boyfriend and also swore blind that I was a full-blown alcoholic.
I am now a full-time writer and I live in Romford. As I have no family left, it is extremely important to me to always stay close to where my friends live. When I am not writing, I tend to be a creature of habit. My addictions include gym classes, shopping, vodka, Tottenham Hotspur and nicotine lozenges.
Therefore, if I am not indoors, I can usually be found working up a sweat down the YMCA, wasting money up the West End, hanging out in some boozer, or screaming at the referee over White Hart Lane. All while sucking a lozenge, of course!
So that’s about it. You now know most of my life story. Well, the good bits anyway. The rest of my life is probably far too colourful to actually put into words, but I am sure you will guess that by the content of my books.
Happy reading. God Bless you all.

 Kimberley Chambers book THE TRAP is released on 14th February by HarperCollins.
Kimberley’s 8th book The Trap is the beginning of a hard-hitting series about murder, treachery and the kings of East London underworld, the notorious Butler family. The Butler family. Vinny and Roy Butler are the apple of their mum’s eye. Queenie knows they can play dirty, but when it comes to family they look after business and make her proud. Nothing and no one can bring them down. Brotherly love. But Vinny seems to have crossed the wrong person and his cards are marked. And with the brothers joined at the hip, Roy may just be in the firing line too... Deadly rivals. One bloody night sets Vinny on the path of desperate vengeance, but will the Butlers emerge stronger than ever, or is the East End code of honour as good as dead.

You can read an excerpt  'Chapter 1 of The Trap'
 Here's the blurb:
The heir to Martina Cole’s crown with a story of murder, the underworld, violence and treachery.
 When Donald and Mary Walker leave their home in Stoke Newington to fulfil their lifelong ambition of owning their own cafe, they feel it can only be a positive move for their beloved children, Nancy and Christopher. But Mary and Donald have failed to take into consideration the perils of moving to place as notorious as Whitechapel. 
The Butlers are not a clan to be messed with. Run by stout matriarch, Queenie and feared in the East End, Queenie's eldest, Vinny, is a known psychopath, who will let nothing stand in his way of getting what he wants. Now it seems that the rest of the Butler clan are following in his footsteps.  
Things come to a head between the two families on one cold December day, when young Christopher Walker witnesses a horrific crime leaving the Walkers with no choice but to run for safety … unfortunately though, their nightmare has only just begun …
A gritty and thrilling novel set in the seedy world of drugs, violence and poverty with all the ingredients of a bestseller.
Will enthrall all fans of Martina Cole, Mandasue Heller and Lynda La Plante
‘Easily as good as Martina Cole’ News of the World
‘Brilliantly delivers a story of violence, treachery and family ties… Easy to read and hard to put down’ News of the World
‘[a] faced-paced tale with gritty authenticity’ Guardian
There are 2 prizes up for grabs! Firstly, you can win a copy of The Trap by visiting Kimberley Chamber’s facebook page.
Secondly, (drum roll please) you can also win the opportunity for you and your family to feature in a forthcoming book by Kimberly Chambers in The Trap series! This prize can also be won by visiting the official Kimberley Chambers facebook page! Go for it! (both comps open on 14th February 2013)


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