Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Google Play Books

Just seen a few of my books on Google Play. Strangely I have never considered buying books from Google. I must remedy this!
https://play.google.com/store/books/author?id=AnneMarie+Brear


Friday, January 06, 2017

Guest Author: Victoria Cornwall

Please welcome my fellow author, Victoria Cornwall to my blog.

Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. It is always good to meet another writer of historical romance. Of course, you have written many books whereas my debut novel with Choc Lit, The Thief’s Daughter, has only just been released. 


I have always wanted to write, but foremost I am an avid reader, particularly of historical romantic fiction. I love the ebb and flow of a relationship as it develops between the two main characters and the different external and internal forces which fuels the conflict that keeps them apart. However, I must admit that I kept my passion for romantic fiction a secret for many years as no one I knew appeared to read it. This seemed rather strange to me, after all many people want a little romance in their lives and an easy way to find it would be to read romantic fiction.

The act of falling in love or trying to sustain or rekindle a relationship, still holds our interest. The majority of movies, theatre productions and musicals have romantic threads running through them. Finding “the one” still ranks high on the goals many people hope to achieve in life. We have all felt attracted to someone or fallen in love, even if it was just a teenage crush for a pop star. So the experience of falling in love has touched all our lives in one way or another, yet, in my opinion, the genre which reflects the experience is not given the credit it deserves. Why is this? Perhaps I, as a secret reader of romantic fiction, am partly to blame.  I did not share my hobby, offer recommendations, or leave my books on display for visitors to see. In my small way I did give the genre the credit it deserves. These days I am more open about my love for the genre and as a result I have discovered that I am not the only one.

Now, as a writer, I am on the other side and I have tried to write a novel that I would like to read. The ebb and flow of a relationship developing was a very important element, as you would expect, but I also wanted the drama, tension and adventure worthy of any other adult fiction. I enjoyed writing it and hope readers will take pleasure in it too. If they recommend it and share it with their friends, I will know that I have done my job well.

Buy links:




Twitter: @VickieCornwall




Monday, January 02, 2017

Banana Bread - Mary Berry style!

This is super simple and yet a moist and tasty cake. A recipe from Mary Berry.
INGREDIENTS
100g Softened Butter
175g Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2 Ripe Bananas (mashed)
225g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tbsp. Milk
METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas 4.
2. Line a 2lb loaf tin 
3. Measure all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat until well blended.
4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface.
5. Bake in the pre-heated over for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean when the loaf is ready.
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Kitty McKenzie, Victorian saga.

Kitty McKenzie has been re-released with a new cover and under my name, Annemarie Brear.
It's now available in all ebook formats and paperback.



Blurb:
1864 - Suddenly left as the head of the family, Kitty McKenzie must find her inner strength to keep her family together against the odds. Evicted from their resplendent home in the fashionable part of York after her parents’ deaths, Kitty must fight the legacy of bankruptcy and homelessness to secure a home for her and her siblings. Through sheer willpower and determination she grabs opportunities with both hands from working on a clothes and rag stall in the market to creating a teashop for the wealthy. Her road to happiness is fraught with obstacles of hardship and despair, but she refuses to let her dream of a better life for her family die. She soon learns that love and loyalty brings its own reward. 


Chapter One


York, England, November 1864

From an upstairs window, Katherine McKenzie looked out over York’s rooftops into the distance. The pale grey clouds parted, allowing weak sunshine to filter through the bare trees and banish the gloom. Below, two weighty men filled the back of a wagon with the furniture from the house. Her gaze shifted to linger on the sorry cluster of her brothers and sisters. Ranging in age from sixteen to two years old, they stood as one on the lush lawn with their small carryalls placed neatly in front of them. Their pale faces peeking out from beneath hats showed little emotion while stern-looking men came and went from their once warm and happy home. Of course, there was no evidence of that now.
Kitty leaned her forehead against the cool glass and fought the tears that gathered as she stared sightlessly down at her remaining family. All morning, the children had watched and listened as strangers invaded each room, taking notes and sizing up all the possessions once important to the family. They understood little of what was happening, but she had told them to wait outside while she and Rory sorted everything out. So, her brothers and sisters, shocked and confused, did as she instructed, not daring to talk about what they saw. Talking would come later.
Inhaling deeply to calm herself, Kitty turned away from the window. Downstairs a variety of men roamed about, murmuring in hushed voices, making notes on what was left to take and how much money each item would bring.
Vultures, that’s what Rory called them, but Kitty knew it was all about the cycle of life. She had learned a lot about life in the last few weeks. None of it very encouraging, but nevertheless, it had to be endured.
She sighed, rubbing the back of her neck, stiff with strain. The enormity of what faced her left her cold. Responsibilities had never been hers. There had always been others to care for her comfort. Could she do it? Could she steer the children through this difficult time? As her parents coffins were lowered into the ground, she promised them she’d keep the family together at all costs. She’d do whatever it took to keep her remaining family safe. As the eldest it was her duty to look after them, but secretly she wondered who would look after her.
Hearing shouts coming from below, she left her parents’ empty bedroom and hurried across the landing and down the main red- carpeted staircase.
In the hall, a small gathering watched as two so-called gentlemen wrangled over a large Chinese-painted vase on which each held a firm grip. Making her way to them, Kitty did her best to be polite, even though her anger simmered like a kettle on the stovetop. “Gentlemen, please. What is the problem?”
A large bearded man turned his florid face to Kitty. His knuckles turned white as his grip tightened on the vase. “Miss McKenzie, this man is insistent it belongs to him when in actual fact it is reserved for my services rendered.”
The man’s breath reeked of alcohol and the fumes washed over her in sickly waves.
“That is a downright lie!” The other man’s beady eyes glared at his opponent. “It says here on my itinerary this particular vase is awarded to my company.”
Kitty ached to be released from this nightmare. Today marked the end of her family’s lives as they knew it, and not one of these vultures cared enough to be the least sympathetic. Taking a step closer to the two warring men, Kitty smiled with false sweetness. “I may be of assistance then.” Without hesitation, she took the vase out of their hands and dropped it onto the hall’s marble floor. The shattering porcelain silenced everyone’s chatter and the two men gasped in unison.
“There now, gentlemen, no more need to argue over it.” With the last of her dignity and her head held high, she strode down the hall and into the kitchen.
A warmer atmosphere prevailed in the kitchen, as no debt collectors lingered here. A small fire burned in the range and Mrs Flowers, the cook, brewed a pot of tea. Unpaid for many weeks, the kind woman had stayed until the end to help Kitty and the children through this difficult time.
Sitting on an overlooked stool, Kitty smiled gratefully as the older woman gave her a cup of tea.
“How’s it goin’ in there, miss?” The cook nodded in the direction of the front end of the house.
“Dreadful,” Kitty answered with a sigh, pushing back a stray strand of hair from her face.
Mrs Flowers stirred the milk on the stove in readiness to make hot cocoa for the children. “‘Tis indeed a sorry time. Thank the Lord your dear mother didn’t live to see this day, it would have broken her heart.” A wistful look crossed her face.
Kitty refrained from commenting. She blamed both of her parents for letting their financial affairs fall into such a state. Now she and Rory must mend the damage. She had adored her parents, but their loving and generous natures not only cost them their lives, but their children’s future and happiness. Her parent’s inability to manage their funds over the years now left tradesmen and merchants braying for their dues. Now, at nearly twenty-one, she was responsible for not only herself, but also for six family members.
The outside door to the kitchen banged back against the wall. Rory marched in, his usually handsome face red with anger and his blue eyes blazing. “Do you know what that pompous ass, O’Brien, thinks the horses are worth?”
“No, and neither do I care.” Kitty wiped her hand over her eyes. Tiredness stung them. “It will not make any difference to us as we’ll not see a penny.”
“Father spent good money on them,” Rory defended the animals he adored.
Kitty shot up from her seat, knocking the stool over. Thumping her fist on the table, she glared at her brother. “Well, if Father had not spent good money on them and other non-essential things, we’d not be in the trouble we are.”
Taken aback by her outburst, Rory’s temper rapidly dissipated and he hung his head. “I’m sorry, Kitty. You are right, of course. None of it is ours anymore and so it doesn’t matter a jot. I’m just heart sorry to say goodbye to them, that is all.”
“I know.” She nodded, knowing the shock of all that happened in the last few weeks had not yet taken effect. Losing their parents so unexpectedly not only devastated them, but frightened them too. Then, to learn on the day of the funeral that they must relinquish their home and possessions caused even greater upset. They lived in terror for weeks waiting for this day. No friend or distant relative came to pluck them away from this horrid ordeal.
“Here, Master Rory, will you be kind enough to take this cocoa out to the young ones? They’ll be ready for it by now,” Mrs Flowers said with motherly attention. “I’ve to be gone in a few minutes to catch the coach.”
Rory left, balancing a tray of steaming cups of hot cocoa, and while Mrs Flowers cleaned up, Kitty went back through the hall to have one more look around her home. The vultures had gone at last. Silence descended like a winter’s mist.
In her mind’s eye, Kitty could still see the crystal chandeliers. She ran her fingers along the expensive timber panelling and silk wallpaper, which decorated each room of the large house. She toured the drawing room, parlour, front sitting room and library. Laughter and music of previous parties rang in her ears. Her mother was renowned for filling the house with exciting and interesting people. Kitty saw it all as it once was, not as it was now, a combination of cold, empty rooms. She turned to go upstairs just as a wagon driver caught her attention from the front door.
“Excuse me, Miss. This fell out of one of the cupboards when we moved it. I thought you’d like to have it.” He held out a framed painting of her parents on their wedding day.
“Thank you.” Kitty smiled at him and, doffing his cap, he went on his way.
Left alone once more, she gazed down at her parents as they innocently stared at her from their picture. Her father, Jonathan McKenzie, tall and proud in his wedding suit stood behind his new bride, who sat straight and dignified on a chair a little to the left of him. Both Jonathan and Eliza McKenzie had found true love and never hesitated to show it to each other or anyone else. For twenty-two years their love and contentment wrapped a web of happiness around not only themselves but also their whole household. The McKenzie family once held an esteemed position in the community with money, handsome looks, good health and a beautiful house full of children.
The only thing lacking was prudence concerning their finances.
Her mother inherited a large sum of money after the death of her grandmother. Jonathan trained as a doctor, but instead of opening a practice for wealthy clients he preferred to attend the unfortunates of York. Soon enough, Mother’s money ran out. Consequently, they borrowed heavily with the bank, hoping a rich bachelor uncle of Jonathan’s would pass away and leave Father, as his heir, his fortune. As luck would have it though, the rich uncle still lived and enjoyed his fortune, while her parents became mired in debt and then died premature deaths.
Was it merely four short weeks ago that her father, after visiting patients in the slums, had unwittingly brought death home? Kitty shivered at the memory of how fast the Typhoid took him, her mother and little sister, Davina, just four years old.

The day after their funerals, the collectors of debts, both large and small, came to give her their bills. Father’s solicitor, Mr Daniels came to her aid and advised her on the best course of action. Unfortunately, the only solution left was to sell everything. Now they weren’t only homeless, but also poor, desperately poor.

Available in Kindle from:
Amazon USA
Amazon UK

Paperback:
Amazon UK
Amazon USA

Romance is important and why I write it!

I have been asked a few times why I write romance books, (sometimes complete with that look of disdain as though it was beneath them, you know, the common look people often give romance authors...)
I replied that the genre chose me, but on consideration, I realised that writing about two characters who find that instant spark - that immediate connection - is a privilege and a joy. Through my characters, I get to experience that initial rush of blood, the heart somersaulting and chemistry that comes when we find another person attractive and interesting.
Could there be a better topic to write about? Romance in some form is usually found in all genres, but a lot of people don't believe that. However, if you study some of the other fictional genres, you might be surprised to see that love between characters is usually a base to build stories on. For example: revenge on a murdered loved one (crime) or twisted love/stalker (horror)

Just like my characters, everyone needs romance in their lives.
Romancing a potential partner opens up so many possibilities in each other, especially the all important communication.
What is more perfect than feeling you are loved? Or more importantly, being shown you are loved?
And that's the piece most people mislay...Showing they love someone. We are all guilty of doing it as life gets in the way and we have pressures and responsibilities, etc. However, it takes but a minute to show you love someone. I make sure my characters do it.
In my book, Long Distance Love, Liam fills a room with flowers for Fleur, but it doesn't have to be that grand a gesture! It's the little things that makes a difference:
An email/text/message saying, I love you...
a phone call, just because you can....
a bath run as you walk in the door...
a special smile just for you...
dinner arranged and the cleaning up shared...
a shoulder to fall asleep on...
a kiss hello and goodbye - both are important...
a hand to hold...
cuddling on the sofa...
a cup of coffee brought...
stopping for a moment to say, how was your day...
taking care of them when they're ill...
listening to that special song you share...

The list is endless, of course, but the message is there, clearly - we all love to be romanced. We all need it in our lives. We all want our special 'other' to show us that they are thinking of us and that's why romance books and movies are so popular - if we don't have it for real in our lives, then we need to find it elsewhere. 

However, for me, there is also the satisfaction of creating love and romance for others to read, to experience, to search for in their own lives. It's true I put my characters through drama and hardship but in the end they find happiness, which is what we all want.

We should never accept the ordinary, but strive for the extraordinary.
An unashamed romance author.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

As the year draws to a close, I'd like to thank all my readers for their support during 2016.
In the new year I'll have exciting news regarding six of my older books which are having a revamp with new covers, and I'll have a new website up and running!

Until then, please everyone have a safe and happy holiday and a wonderful 2017.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Guest Author: Anita Davison!

Please welcome to my blog, fellow author and good friend, Anita Davison.

I've known Anita for years and followed her career from her very first book. Apart from being a lovely person, Anita is a great writer, and her stories are very engaging.



I'm delighted to showcase her new novel, Betrayal at Cleeve Abbey.




Book Description

Even the most glamorous stately houses hide secrets and lies from the past...

For fans of Downton Abbey, a thrilling and romantic mystery set in the glorious Cotswolds landscape.

Flora Maguire is now happily married to Bunny Harrington and living in Richmond when she receives an alarming telegram informing her of her father's tragic death in a riding accident at Cleeve Abbey.

Heartbroken, she and Bunny return to her former home, where she was Governess to Eddy, Viscount Trent, and her father was Butler to Earl Trent.

Flora’s intention was to bury him next to Lily, her mother, who sadly passed away when Flora was a small child.

Mystery surrounds the final resting place of Lily. No-one is willing to talk and, with her father now dead in a suspicious accident, Flora must once again strive alone to uncover hidden family secrets.


Book 1 – Flora's Secret is out now:

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2cJhzSn
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2cTUtaF


Book 2 – Betrayal at Cleeve Abbey is out now:

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2edQSnv

 Author Bio

Anita’s earlier novels are set in 17th Century England, with a family saga set in Exeter during the Monmouth Rebellion and a biographical novel about Elizabeth Murray during the English Civil War in Surrey. Her fascination with the revival of cosy mysteries made her turn to the early 1900’s for inspiration where she found Flora Maguire lurking. The series of five novels was taken up for publication by Aria Fiction, a digital imprint of Head of Zeus Publishing.

Flora's Secret is available here [http://tinyurl.com/z2ly6lm] and Betrayal at Cleeve Abbey can be pre-ordered here. [http://tinyurl.com/zkqhx37]


 My Review:

A wonderful book by Anita Davison. 
The story is rich in description and with great characters. You feel as though you are firmly set in the Edwardian period.
I am really enjoying this series and Flora is such a warm character that you want to be friends with, and with a lot of interesting secondary characters, it is a lively story.
Anita Davison writes with skill to keep you turning the pages and wanting to know what will happen next!
I highly recommend this author and this series.





Thursday, December 01, 2016

Best seller at Kobo!

Online book store, Kobo, has listed my novel, Where Dragonflies Hover, as one of its best sellers for 2016. I'm was so excited to hear that!


https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/where-dragonflies-hover-choc-lit

Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future … Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it.
Whilst exploring the grounds she stumbles across an old diary and, within its pages, she meets Allie an Australian nurse working in France during the First World War.
Lexi finally realises her dream of buying Hollingsworth but her obsession with the house leaves her marriage in tatters. In the lonely nights that follow, Allie’s diary becomes Lexi’s companion, comforting her in moments of darkness and pain. And as Lexi reads, the nurse’s scandalous connection to the house is revealed …

You can purchase a copy from  Where Dragonflies Hover from UK Kobo here. And also at other Kobo sites
 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Lest We Forget

For Australia, the First World War remains the costliest conflict in terms of deaths and casualties. From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of whom more than 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner.

There are so many statistics that I could list but the general feeling should be of overwhelming gratitude for all those who fought and helped to keep us free.



Sunday, November 06, 2016

Remembrance Day - Broken Hero - WWII novel

On of my favourite eras to write in is World War I, however, I have written a book set in World War II.
Broken Hero was a great story to write. Audrey and Jake are wonderful characters, each with their own issues to overcome.
I hope readers enjoy it too as they commemorate Remebrance Day this year.



Blurb:
Audrey Pearson's life changed dramatically when WWII broke out and her large home, Twelve Pines on the East Yorkshire coast, became a convalescence home for wounded soldiers. Her life is no longer lavish with entertainment, beautiful clothes and surrounded by a loving family. Soldiers, physically and mentally wounded now fill her home. The smell of disinfectant replaces her mother's perfume and gone are the friends and acquaintances - instead nurses roam the hallways. 
Captain Jake Harding, a doctor training in psychiatry arrives at Twelve Pines. Audrey immediately finds herself attracted to the Captain, but he is remote towards her. Puzzled by his cold behaviour, Audrey tries to learn more about the handsome Captain. He reveals that he's lost a wife and baby in childbirth and refuses to ever remarry. 
However, despite this, Audrey believes she can change his mind and make him aware he doesn't have to spend his life alone.The ice around Jake's heart begins to melt. For years he has rejected the possibility of finding love again because of the pain it caused him before, but the beautiful Audrey shows him her love and she needs someone to love her in return. 
Could he honestly walk away from her, from the love that could be his? 


Available for Kindle and all other online forms of reading devices.
Amazon USA
Amazon UK

Also available in paperback
Amazon USA
Amazon UK

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Guest author: Ginger Monette

My guest author is historical author, Ginger Monette.

The teacher always learns the most. And in homeschooling her children, Ginger Monette learned all the history she missed in school. Now she's hooked—on writing and World War I.
 When not writing, Ginger enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.
 Her WW1 flash fiction piece, Flanders Field of Grey, won Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's 2015 Picture This grand prize.
 Ginger lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she happily resides with her husband, three teenagers, and two loyal dogs.

Blurb

Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes,
A WW1 Pride & Prejudice Variation

Blurb:
____________________________________________________________
Escape to the era of Downton Abbey and experience all the drama of World War 1 alongside literature’s iconic Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy. You'll watch their tender love unfold as they learn to work together and reconcile their differences amidst the carnage of war.
____________________________________________________________

1916. World War I has turned French chateaux into bloody field hospitals, British gentlemen into lice-infested soldiers, and left Elizabeth Bennet's life in tatters.

Her father is dead and her home destroyed. Never again will Elizabeth depend on a man to secure her future!

But when an opportunity arises to advance her dreams of becoming a doctor, she is elated—until he arrives....

Heartbroken. Devastated. Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy is left rejected by the woman he loved and reeling from the slaughter of his men on the battlefield. “Enough!” Darcy vows. “No more sentimental attachments!”

But arriving at a field hospital to pursue a covert investigation, Darcy discovers his beloved Elizabeth training with a dashing American doctor and embroiled in an espionage conspiracy.

With only a few months to expose the plot, Darcy is forced to grapple with his feelings for Elizabeth while uncovering the truth. Is she indeed innocent? Darcy can only hope….

Purchase Links:
 Amazon UK  http://bit.ly/2cy0SeBBlogTourAmaUK
 Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/darcy-s-hope-beauty-from-ashes-a-ww1-pride-prejudice-variatio
B&N NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/darcys-hope-beauty-from-ashes-a-ww1-pride-prejudice-variation-gingermonette/1124649182?ean=2940153523392


Friday, October 28, 2016

Next writing project...

Aside from working and normal life, I am busy writing the third book in the Kitty McKenzie's series. This book concentrates on Kitty's grandchildren, and other previous character's grandchildren, who find themselves confronted by World War I.

So far I am really enjoying writing it, but as always research is slowing me down a little. Not that I mind really, I find research fascinating and interesting, especially war research. I'm always in awe when reading about what our brave soldiers went through.

So far, I have researched:
 Australian WWI uniforms
When the first bridge in Grafton, NSW was built
1914 cars
Ranks of soldiers in the Australian army.
Gallipoli and the conditions endured by the Australian soldiers who served there.

I'm only on chapter 4, so you can see there's a long way to go and a lot more research to do.

I'm guest blogging!

Today, I'm guest blogging at Karen King's blog, where I am talking about my latest book, Where Dragonflies Hover, and also talking about writing, etc.
Do drop by!
http://www.karenking.net/blog/read_163072/guest-author-annemarie-brear.html