Book Review: Blood on the Borders

This review was originally posted on Goodreads July 16 2011

My Rating

★★★★★

Cover

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Blurb

This historical thriller, whose protagonist is inspired by a real 16th-century doctor named Simon Furman, is full of period detail that is reflective of the political intrigues of the times. On May Day 1592, after a night of revelry and a day tending the sick, Forman falls into bed utterly exhausted. Soon afterward, he is woken by a man on his doorstep who is dying from a sword thrust, and the next morning Forman is summoned to Whitehall, accused of harboring enemies of the state. To prove his innocence, he agrees to journey to Edinburgh on a secret spying mission. But once he enters the borders between Scotland and England—where the bloodthirsty Reivers vow a life for a life—he realizes that death is stalking him. As one gruesome murder closely follows another, Dr. Forman must act quickly to identify a ruthless killer before his own life is put in jeopardy.

Review

I bought this book, surprisingly, in the Tourist Information in Oban, when we were on holiday there. I’d forgotten to take a book with me and thought this sounded interesting. Boy was it a good choice.

I’m a big fan of historical novels, especially thrillers. I was utterly amazed that it was inspired by a real life doctor, Simon Furman.

I thought the story, the execution of it and the characters were all of a very high standard, very engaging and intriguing. I was curious the whole way through, and consumed the book in just a few days. The Scotland/England theme, and how it focused on the Borders at such a time, is completely engaging and provides enough chaos, trials and murder for one book, all on its own.

Overall, a brilliant, intriguing story that mixes real life events and inspiration with an engaging, murder mystery of a story.

Goodreads

Here you will find buy links, blurb, other reviews and quotes.

Release Party: Reckless Abandon

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RELEASE PARTY!

Welcome to the RECKLESS ABANDON (THE SECRETS OF AVELINA CHRONICLES), by: Elaine White, ONLINE book release party! Join us 1-4 EST; 6-8 GBT, Sun., May 17, 2015, for lots of contests, prizes and fun! Mark your calendars! Invite your friends and you will be eligible to win a prize pack containing RECKLESS ABANDON! Look below for details! See you then!

SYNOPSIS: A magical island. A cursed King. Vampire rebellion. Damian’s rule has been questioned. With people dying, can his son, Knox, overcome the darkness shrouding Avelina while his brother tackles a possessed king on the Island? Will both brothers fall to ruin? Will Damian’s rule … and lineage … come to an end?

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Reckless Abandon Front Cover

A big THANK YOU to Liam Somerville, the photographer who took this amazing cover shot, and to Liam Hudson, the cover model. Thank you for letting us use this amazing photo! You’re the best!

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Invite your friends and you will be eligible to win a prize pack containing RECKLESS ABANDON! Be sure to tell your friends to indicate below that you invited them. Whomever has the most votes at the end of the party wins a prize pack with RECKLESS ABANDON (THE SECRETS OF AVELINA CHRONICLES, BOOK 2) by: Elaine White; RUNAWAY GIRL (THE SECRETS OF AVELINA CHRONICLES, BOOK 1) by: Elaine White; MY HAUNTING LOVE, By: J.S. Wilsoncroft; and Write More Publications’ swag!

Have everyone you invite vote for your name here.

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Have you read and reviewed the first book in this series, RUNAWAY GIRL (THE SECRETS OF AVELINA CHRONICLES, BOOK 1), by: Elaine White – Author? If not, read the book, write a review, and then post the link below. You will be entered to win both paperbacks in the series, RUNAWAY GIRL and RECKLESS ABANDON! Reviews must be posted on this link before the party starts, 1 p.m. EDT, or 6 p.m. GBT, Sunday, May 17! All of the names will be thrown into the Random Name Selector and a winner will be chosen.

Review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Goodreads and enter your review link here.

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Extract: Depth Over Distance

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Zack rummaged through the books in his backpack and tried not to think about how rotten the day had been.

He had a massive crush on Devon, so when he’d said the things he had, in his first class after lunch, he couldn’t help but go looking for Benji, so he could make him feel better. There was no-one who took care of him the way his big brother did, but that was half the problem. He really, desperately, wanted someone to call his own.

Whenever Benji went to the hottest gay club in town, The Underground, he always came away happy. He had a lot of sex, even he would admit that, but it was always confined to the private VIP room at the back of the club; he never took anyone home or went home with them.

Zack had asked him why, multiple times, but he always said that he didn’t want to leave him alone or vulnerable. He still didn’t quite understand how leaving him alone, for one night, in his own home, or bringing someone home with him would leave him vulnerable, but he trusted him. He knew that no-one would ever love him the way Benji did and he would never begrudge that.

“Hey,”

Zack turned to find Devon staring at him with a nervous smile. He couldn’t quite believe he was there, never mind that he was smiling.

It had been enjoyable spending a whole class sitting next to him, but then his friends had started teasing him about answering a question about the book they were reading. He’d talked about how the two characters were in love, but that they believed that having a physical relationship could harm that love. Apparently what he’d said was hilarious because everyone started laughing at his interpretation, even though the teacher nodded and told him he was right.

For some reason Devon’s friends had gone on about how he was looking for the same; some girl to be there and swoon over him, but without ever wanting a physical relationship. He wasn’t sure why it was any of their business what he wanted or with who, so he did what Benji always told him to do, and he ignored them. But then Devon, with his beautiful blue eyes and that charming smile, had asked him if he was still a virgin. He practically demanded it and he’d felt his face flush in response.

From that moment on all his friends did was tease him about how he was still a virgin at nearly eighteen and how it was simply because no-one wanted him.

Devon hadn’t taken part in the teasing, but it was his fault they started it and he’d ran. He’d asked to be excused from class and run off to find Benji, who kissed it better and held him tight. Something he often wished Devon would do.

“Zack, I’m really, really sorry for what I said. I should never have said it. I wasn’t thinking.” Devon apologised, as he snapped himself out of the daze he’d slipped into. “Can you forgive me? I would never, ever want to hurt you.” He promised, cupping his cheek in his hand, that was so warm and soft.

Zack leaned into the touch, trying to bask in it for as long as it was on offer.

Devon smiled faintly and caressed his cheekbone. “Please? I’ll do anything to make this right.” He begged, as if he had been the most horrible person in the world. Since it wasn’t all that bad, he stepped in and wrapped Devon in his arms, too speechless around him to forgive him with words. He was held back in a tight embrace that he closed his eyes to.

“I forgive you.” He said, finally getting the words out.

Devon sighed in relief, right by his ear and squeezed him tighter. When he pulled back, he was smiling and cupped his face in both hands. He left a light kiss on his forehead and one on the tip of his nose, before meeting his gaze. “I really am sorry.” He reiterated.

“I know.” Zack promised that he wasn’t going to stay angry at him. Then, with a curious thought, he decided to take a risk. “Benji’s taking me out tonight, to a club. Would you like to come with us?” He wondered, hoping he would say yes.

Devon smiled again and nodded. “I’d love to. Will I get the details off Benji or do you want to text them to me?” He asked, since they had each other’s mobile numbers already.

With him being such good friends with Benji, the constant temptation of having his private mobile number on his phone was one that Zack had to face daily. He often wanted to call him or send him a text to let him know how deeply he cared for him, but he didn’t dare.

“I don’t know anything yet. Benji will tell you.” He decided, since it was true. He didn’t know what the plans were.

For a moment Devon looked disappointed, but then he shook it off and smiled. “Great. I’ll see you tonight, then.” He said, backing away.

Zack nodded and watched him leave, heading back to his locker, where Benji was waiting for him. He got a wink from his brother and smiled, unable to stop himself from wondering if he was hoping to let Devon be the one to ‘pop his cherry’, as he liked to call it. He certainly hoped so.

Book Exposure: Wash Me Away

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Monsters have a way of following you.

Immersed in a new world at boarding school, Addy Buckley learns she’s not the only one with secrets. While trying to navigate the minefield of painful lies that seem to be rattling around her family’s past, she meets soft on the eyes and heavy on the heart, Napoleon Blake.

When faced with the darkness, Addy must decide to cling to her new life and friends or let the monster carry her away. The choice is hers, sink or swim.

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Purchase on Amazon

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Purchase on B&N

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About Wendy Owens

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If you want to follow her on social media you can visit:
 Blog      Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads
Wendy Owens is a 34 year old author, born in the small college town, Oxford Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went onto a career in the visual arts. For several years she created and sold her own artwork. In 2011 she gave her true love, writing, a try. Her first novel flowed from her in only two weeks time, as though it had been fighting to get out. That moment was when she knew she had found her calling. Wendy now happily spends her days writing the stories her characters guide her to tell, admitting even she doesn’t always know where that might lead. Her first series, The Guardians, will be concluded with the fifth and final book in 2013.

When she’s not writing, this dog lover can be found spending time with her tech geek husband, their three amazing kids, and two pups, lovingly nicknamed stinks and chubbs. She also loves to cook and is a film fanatic.

For more info on Wendy’s young adult fiction visit http://wendy-owens.com/
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Faithfully – Chapter 15

Chapter 15

Donny was more than just a little surprised when Rocco walked over to him in the kitchen and pinged the waistband of his shorts to get his attention. He could have tapped his arm or caught his hand; there were a million ways to catch his attention, but Rocco chose the most intimate option. He liked that, so when he brushed his fingers into his hand and started signing to him, he only approved all the more.

I’d like to talk to you, in private.” He signed into his hand. It was so discrete, so private that he couldn’t help but smile hopefully.

Your room or mine?” He signed back into his hand.

Rocco smiled and took his hand with a hopeful smile and a gentle, comfortable grip.

Dom, I’m going to have a chat with Rocco for a while. You two go on and play the next one without me.” He called over his shoulder as they left the room. He normally wouldn’t have bothered telling him because of the way he was acting, but he wanted to make sure that he and Rocco got some time alone.

He followed willingly all the way into the kid’s bedroom and straight across to the bed. He slipped onto the bed and lay back to get comfortable.

Rocco climbed on just a short distance away and sat on his knees, hands on his thighs. “I told my dad that you kissed me.” He signed to him, as if it was a secret he hadn’t been able to keep any longer. It made Donny smile, as he leaned his elbow on the pillow and rested his head on his hand. “He said you wouldn’t kiss me unless you wanted to date me.” He explained.

That’s true.”

Do you think Dominic would be angry?” He asked, looking worried instead of happy.

Donny sighed and thought about it. He didn’t want to lie, not about this. He knew that Rocco would be more upset with him for the lie than for preparing him for something bad.

No, Rocco. He wouldn’t be angry. It’s not for him to decide.” He answered as honestly as he could. Dominic wouldn’t be angry; he would be mad and then frustrated, maybe even a little upset, but he would eventually get over it.

I need to confess something,” he began, looking nervous.

Donny cocked his head, but knocked to encourage him to continue.

I really like you, Donny. I’ve never liked anyone the way I like you.” Rocco admitted, with that soft, sweet look in his eyes that he loved.

And I’ve never felt for anyone the way I feel for you.” He signed back to him. Normally Donny would leave the heartfelt confessions to someone else and go with the flow, expecting things to turn out badly in the end, as they usually always did. But this time he wanted Rocco to know how important he was to him. That he genuinely cared about him.

Donny took a leap of faith. Their kiss that morning had been instinctual, but a complete accident. He’d caught his arm so that he would turn and he could talk to him, but instead he found himself pulling him in and kissing him. He hadn’t even stopped to ask if it had been his first kiss. He’d been so captivated by those eyes. Every time he looked at Rocco they just shot right through him.

This time was no different. He held his hand out and Rocco took it without question, linking their fingers. He gave him just the slightest of tugs, to let him know that he wanted him to move closer. Gravity did the rest.

He pushed himself up at the same time as Rocco leaned down and they met halfway. Rocco’s hand gripped his a fraction tighter as their lips met.

Donny cupped the back of his head in his hand and by a silent, almost telepathic, agreement he lay back and Rocco moved with him. That slight, thin body lay over him with barely any noticeable pressure as they kissed over and over again, slowly, with care and real affection.

Donny knew then that whatever was sparking between them wasn’t one of those fly-by-night sparks that Chandler had so often. This wasn’t the kind of feeling he would get with just anyone. Rocco was special and somehow he was special to Rocco.

Rocco brushed their noses, breaking the spell of their kisses and lay his head in the crook of his neck. He still held his hand in that comfortable, familiar grip that seemed so natural.

Donny held him in his arms, feeling his legs slipping into a more comfortable position between his. He brushed his fingers through the head of blonde hair, thinking, as he realised that something monumental had just shifted in his life. Rocco had done something that would change the course of his entire future.

Using his free hand he brushed his fingers into Rocco’s palm so that he could sign to him, without him having to lift his head. “Have you ever had a boyfriend before?” He asked, since he felt it was important they cover the personal topics while they were alone.

No.” He signed back. He hummed, pleasantly surprised by that answer.

Me neither.” He told him truthfully. “I never had time with working and then playing basketball. Not to mention it wasn’t exactly easy to date; being gay, partially deaf and an orphan, oh and being a runaway.” He signed into his hand, laughing at himself.

Rocco lifted his head and looked down at him with a faint frown. “That’s not funny.” He insisted.

You heard me laughing?” Donny was confused.

I felt it. Here.” He explained, tapping his chest with the hand he was signing with.

Donny smiled and held their joined hands tighter to his chest. “Will you be mine, Rocco? Be my boyfriend and we can help Dom understand?” He asked, wanting a clear definition of what was going on between them.

Rocco nodded with a nervous but somewhat excited smile as he bit his lower lip.

Donny cupped his cheek for a moment with his signing hand, brushing his thumb over his jaw. “I have to go find a job tomorrow, now that the weekend is over. Do you want to come with me?” He wondered, hoping they could do something normal and fun together. Something just for the two of them.

I’ve never been to the village before.” Rocco signed into his hand.

Never?” Donny frowned, unhappy with that news. He shook his head, seeming entirely unconcerned. “Then you have to come. You need to see what’s out there. And we could get some lunch.”

I’d like that.” Rocco nodded. “But you won’t leave me?” He asked, with that vulnerable innocence that spellbound him so often.

Nope. Not for a second.” He promised.

Rocco smiled and gently brushed his fingertip over his left temple.

Donny smiled and closed his eyes to the tender touch. He nudged his head back into the pillow to get more comfortable as Rocco lay his head down on his chest. He wriggled around for a minute before finding a cosy spot and snuggling in.

Rocco still held that comfortable grip with his left hand, but his right drew soothing patterns through his hair onto his scalp. He wasn’t sure there was any better way to fall asleep.

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Donny woke up with a groan that reverberated right through the hand on his chest. He smiled when he remembered falling asleep beside Rocco. The sensation made him tingle all over; he could only imagine how it felt for Rocco. He had never experienced sound before, so was the vibration of his sound just as spine-tingling for him, as it felt for Donny? It made him shiver inside, just thinking about it.

Hi,” Rocco signed to him as soon as he opened his eyes.

Donny stretched as soon as he sat up at his side.

Dominic says it’s nearly time for lunch.” He explained.

Did we sleep that long?” He signed back with a confused frown.

Rocco nodded; they had never intended to fall asleep, but it just felt too good to be curled up next to him. They must have dozed off for at least an hour, but he figured they needed it.

He said he’s happy for us.” He signed, with a great big smile. It was good to see that it made him so happy, as he lifted himself to sit up against the headboard. “And I told him you wanted to talk to him later.” He admitted, confusing him.

Donny frowned at him, not sure what he meant, so he explained.

About your hearing.” Rocco signed.

Donny sighed, about to argue until Rocco put his hand over his mouth.

He needs to know. He’s your best friend and he’s worried.” He signed, making him feel guilty. “He said he wouldn’t be happy about us being together if you were going to leave to go to college. I told him you’re staying. He says he wants you to live here with us. As his friend and my boyfriend.” Rocco explained, as quickly as he could, with one hand.

Donny had only just asked him to be his boyfriend; he didn’t want to be angry with him. And as much as he wanted to argue, he knew that Rocco was being smart. He didn’t want him going through this new change in his life alone. He caught Rocco’s hand and signed back. “But he’s going to flip out.” He protested.

No,” he argued, with sign. “I told him it was something sad and he said that we would get through it together. All of us.” He explained, with a sigh.

Donny ran his thumb over his adam’s apple, almost absently. It upset him, probably more than it should, to know that his vocal chords were damaged. Rocco couldn’t even vocalise a sigh or a laugh, that, as his boyfriend, he could hear. He didn’t want to dwell on it, but he knew how much it would mean to Rocco, to have that ability.

Rocco held his hand to Donny’s and gave him his best pleading, puppy dog eyes. “Please?” He begged him, with his hands.

Donny smiled softly, nodding his agreement. “I promise. After lunch I’ll tell them everything.” He vowed, one handed.

Rocco beamed in delight and leaned in to kiss him briefly.

Donny kissed him back and laughed. “I can’t say no to you. You’re right. If we’re going to be together, both completely deaf at some point, then we need all the help we can get to help me adjust.” He agreed with his plan.

Rocco’s happiness and sweet innocence made his heart leap with joy. He was exactly the right kind of medicine his weary soul needed right now.

Book Blast – Whitby After Dark #1

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SIGN - Blurb

Dreams of death may be the only thing that can save her life.

Lenore Lee wants nothing more than to make new friends in her new town of Whitby, Yorkshire, and to forget about the disturbing dreams that hold her captive at night. But what she discovers in Whitby, might be even more disturbing than the dreams. Dreams which may hold the key to her survival in the hidden world of the Supernatural…

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SIGN - Buy the book

Whitby After Dark (Lenore Lee Tale #1) by Stella Coulson.

from Vamptasy Publishing

Available from 25.04.15

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SIGN - About

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I am a green eyed brunette (sometimes red) who loves writing both stories and poetry. I am a big reader – I adore books, painting, writing, poetry and meditation.I believe happiness depend on those we help and who we bring into our lives, than material superficial gain (for that is fleeting). I adore animals, particularly cats and dogs. I adore Steampunk & Dieselpunk. I prefer Tesla to Edison. If eternal life ever was possible and came into fruition, I’d spend it learning all I could and watching the world evolve, technology expand and possibly seeing mankind colonize on other worlds. I would see as much of the world as I could and learn new languages, skills and abilities. Would only accept such a gift though if I could share it with someone – For I’d rather live a short life having loved than a eternity without it.

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