The Queen’s Heart 453x680Guest post by Jo March, author of The Queen's Heart

Hi there,

I'm so excited to be here today to promote something new. In August, Breathless Press is turning five and in celebration of their birthday, they commissioned a range of Flirts based on the characters from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. It certainly sounded like it could be a lot of fun and so I decided to try my hand at it.  I'm far more comfortable writing longer stories, but sometimes "stretching" yourself actually means limiting yourself.  The challenge, was to craft a story with a range of emotions and a full arc in 2,000 – 10,000 words. For many, this would seem simple enough, but I have a tendency to write long, descriptive passages and I knew that this wouldn't work for a short.

The next challenge was to figure out what I would write about.  After all, we all know the story of Alice, we're familiar with the characters and the basic storyline… what on earth was I going to do with it? Throw it out. Take the cast and re-imagine them in new roles, stripped of their previous costumes and scripts.  It was a liberating experience and once you start to play… well, let's say that a fertile imagination is a dangerous thing.  I found myself with a plethora of ideas and in the unique position of having to limit myself to just one.

The interesting thing is that of the fourteen stories that have been written, none are even close to each other.  We've all been inspired to write fun, different, sweet, hot, sexy stories and as an extra celebration, they're being published in a limited edition hardcover print book!!

Below is a teaser from my story, The Queen's Heart.  I hope that you will be intrigued enough to read more!

Best,

Jo March

Blurb

Clarissa could never have foreseen the magic a simple hatter could bring to her life.

As queen of Wonderland, Clarissa should have been secure in her position, but Alice sought to change all that. A clause in the dead king's will only serves to spur on their childhood rivalry. Alice will stop at nothing to take the throne for herself.  The best laid plans can go awry though and it's only a matter of time until the true queen of Wonderland will be crowned for good.

Excerpt:

"Who are you?"

"I'm just a simple hatter, miss. Newly arrived here to ply my trade at court."

"Interesting. Well, don't let me keep you..."

At her dismissive tone, the hatter raised his eyes and stared at her for a moment. "Did anyone ever tell you that you're awfully bossy? I'm sure the queen herself isn't as bossy as you!"

"Not lately, no, and since you are new here, you may want to wait until you meet the queen to decide what she's like." Stepping to one side on the path, she cocked her head at the exit. "I believe you were just leaving?"

Slowly he walked toward her, closing the distance between them until he towered over her. Realizing that it might not be safe to be alone with this stranger, she was tempted to take a step backward, but one look at the expression on his face showed that he was expecting her to be intimidated. Resolutely she stood her ground. Staring defiantly up at him, she crossed her arms defensively across her chest.

"Am I in your way?"

"Not at all." And with that he dropped his lips to hers. The kiss was gentle at first—their mouths the only point of contact between them—but within moments, his tongue had teased her lips apart and his hands were buried in her hair, drawing her nearer. Of their own volition, her hands explored the planes of his chest through the cotton shirt he wore, and her fingers memorized every detail.

Without warning he pulled away, his breathing ragged. His gaze bore into hers and she felt as if he were reading every thought that flashed across her mind. Her heart fluttered like a trapped butterfly in her chest—the sound so loud that she felt sure he must be able to hear it. With extraordinary gentleness, he ran the back of his hand slowly down her cheek before stepping quietly past her and leaving the garden.

Bio

Jo March lives in her own Wonderland—a place filled with books, animals and plenty of ways to exercise her imagination and creativity. She cannot remember not wanting to be a writer and indulges whenever she can. She lives in Cape Town and considers it the most beautiful place in the world to live.

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From Paris With Love coverGuest blog by Sam Tonge, author of From Paris with Love

Love, romance, passion… That’s what make life worth living, and in no place more than Paris, the setting of my new romantic comedy novel, From Paris with Love. As a younger woman I lived in the French capital for a while, and quickly fell head over heels with its sophisticated glamour. As any of you know, who have visited, it is a treasure-trove of beautiful places, all wrapped up with stylish simplicity.

So what better place to set fun-loving Gemma and Lord Edward’s next standalone story, which takes place only a few months after he proposed marriage? Except that this sexy city lets them down, and within days of settling there, cracks appear in their relationship.

That’s the first difficult stage of any love affair, isn’t it? When the initial passion fades just a little… When romantic candlelit dinners, eaten in the nude at home (haven’t you ever tried that? Watch out for hot, dripping sauces) suddenly become lazy TV dinners in front of a chat show... When you begin to notice annoying foibles about your partner, such as the way they hog the duvet or are always running late. It’s a make-or-break time for any couple.

Yet little irritations and differences can easily be overcome if the initial lust turns out to be something deeper; if it fades to reveal a true love that can provide the building blocks for a happy future together. As for the passion, in time, other qualities mean just as much – like your partner “getting” who you really are and never letting you down; like him sharing the night-time bottle feeds when you have kids, and knowing just when you need a bar of your favourite chocolate.

Not that Gemma and Edward have quite reached that point yet, it’s just that… Monique. A snooty, annoyingly beautiful actress befriends Edward and seems set on exaggerating the couple’s differences and making Gemma out to be a gold-digger. Then Gemma starts hanging out with hot rockstar Blade, with his leather clothes and eye-lined, come-to-bed midnight eyes… Urgh! Far from convincing Gemma to accept Edward’s proposal, Paris only serves to magnify the lack of common ground between the former pizza waitress and aristocrat.

In fact, at times, it is as if they are right back at stately Applebridge Hall – the story of which is told in my debut novel, Doubting Abbey, where we first meet Gemma, a flighty fun-seeking girl and Edward, a stuffy, uptight noble. Can the French capital work its magic and bring this unlikely pair back together? Why not download From Paris with Love to find out? It’s the perfect story if you love food, hot guys and the Eiffel Tower!

Picture 014Bio

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family, and two cats who think they are dogs. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, came out in November 2013.

Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamTongeWriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaTongeAuthor

Website: http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

Doubting abbey Blog: http://doubtingabbey.blogspot.co.uk/

Blurb

Every girl dreams of hearing those four magical words Will you marry me? But no-one tells you what’s supposed to happen next…

Fun-loving Gemma Goodwin knows she should be revelling in her happy-ever-after. Except when her boyfriend Lord Edward popped the question, after a whirlwind romance, although she didn’t say no….she didn’t exactly say yes either!

A month-long cookery course in Paris could be just the place to make sure her heart and her head are on the same page… And however disenchanted with romance Gemma is feeling, the City of Love has plenty to keep her busy; the champagne is decadently quaffable, the croissants almost too delicious, and shopping is a national past-time! In fact, everything in Paris makes her want to say Je t’aime… Except Edward!

But whilst Paris might offer plenty of distractions from wedding planning – including her new friends, mysterious Joe and hot French rockstar Blade - there’s no reason she couldn’t just try one or two couture dresses is there? Just for fun…

Buy: From Paris with Love

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