About Me

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Clare writes inspirational romance, usually of a suspenseful nature. Her books are available through her publisher Pelican Book Group and Amazon. She is married with three kids and lives in the UK. She loves watching sci-fi, crime drama, cross stitching, reading and baking.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Busy Bee Candles

It's not often I do this other than for books, but I have found the most amazing candles ever. All handmade in Wales using soy wax and they smell divine. They also ship world wide so you don't have to miss out if you're not in the UK. And best of all, they use paypal, so payment is easy and secure.

I kid you not about the scent. I'm currently burning 'green green grass' and honestly I might as well be outside just after hubby has cut the lawn.
They come in mini wax tarts, tea lights, ordinary wax tarts and in candle form. I'm yet to try the candle ones. I still need to try the new range of bath stuff too. 

And in hundreds of scents, from Christmas to Easter, valentines, flowers, spices... there is something to please everyone.

Put an ordinary tea light in the bottom of the burner, pop the wax tart in the top and just sit back and enjoy. Most last at least 2 tealights, if not more. I burn them as I write - its a brilliant way to get the mood right for the book I'm currently writing. Especially as no one wants Christmas carols playing in Jan. Honestly I don't know why, but anyway...

And it makes the whole house smell wonderful. Hubby often has one burning upstairs. He loves the coffee ones.

My current favourites are magnolia blossom, sweetpea arbor and baby powder... And the vapour rub ones are brilliant for when someone in the house has 'man flu'.

Changing the scent is easy. Once the wax  has set and the burner is cool... pop the whole thing in the freezer for 20 mins, then it literally pops out and you can reuse it later. or just throw away if its now lost its scent. Let the burner return to room temp - takes 10 mins or so and you're good to go again.

You can find Busy Bee Candles at the following places. 



Friday, 10 January 2014

Marriage by Arrangement by Anne Greene

                        Why does a handsome, powerful noble of the highest rank in England stoop to marry a mere Lady of Lowland Scotland?

                                                            A GREAT SECRET
                        Are the whispered stories about him true? With his shadowy past and strange behavior what awful secret does he hide? Each change of clothes transforms him into a different man.
                                                            AN IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE
                        Can Lady Cailin keep her vow to make her marriage happy and successful, unlike that of her parents, or to save her unborn child, must she arrange for the Duke’s accidental death?

Castle Drummond, home of Lord and Lady MacMurry, near the Village of Kirkmichael in Lowland Scotland -– April 19, 1746

            “I won’t run.” A shudder skipped down Lady Cailin MacMurry’s spine, and she stared at her younger sister. “I’m committed.”
“It’s not too late. I heard another scandalous rumor about Duke Avondale.” Lady Megan MacMurry grasped Cailin’s arm.
            “I won’t listen to gossip.” Cailin pulled away from her sister and lifted her wedding bouquet to inhale the white rose fragrance. If only the sweet scent could overcome Megan’s words, and her own misgivings. Though most arranged marriages turned out badly, surely God would give her a loving one. After all, since her earliest years, she’d prayed for a happily-ever-after love.
            “Ask yourself why such a grand noble would stoop to marry a Scottish lass with but the title Lady? Why did he not choose an English Duchess or Marchioness or even a Countess?” Megan tilted her head and lifted elegant brows.
            Why indeed? Cailin clutched her enormous diamond engagement necklace. The thing felt heavy with responsibility. 
“The man’s an English duke. He owns palaces all over England.” Megan planted her hands on her slender, mossy-green silk covered hips. “Every noble lass in the land should be offering to give her right arm to be in your shoes. And yet they are not.”
New knots formed in the nape of Cailin’s neck. She held her finger to her lips. “Too late to turn back now. The wedding chorus has begun.” She forced her feet to take the first step and then began the slow glide from the stone castle’s rear archway through the garden toward the rose arbor.
With a jerk, Megan lifted and straightened Cailin’s cumbersome satin train. “In truth, beyond his wealth and titles, our family knows little about the English Duke.” She gathered up her own long skirts, and ran ahead to lead Cailin down the flower-strewn path.
Seven bridesmaids stopped giggling and chatting and moved to their places in front of Megan to head the procession.
            Beneath her veil, Cailin smoothed her frown.
Papa had chosen to take this path in light of the violent upheaval following England’s latest battle with the Highlanders. Her marriage to the Duke would shelter her family with his great cloak of protection. Neither the English nor the Scots would dare invade a castle guarded by the powerful Duke’s Coat of Arms.
            More goosebump fingers shivered her spine. Surely jealousy fueled the flagrant tittle-tattle. She pulled in a deep breath, straightened her shoulders, and took measured steps in time to the music toward the loch gleaming in the late afternoon sunlight. She would not let whispers spoil her wedding. She laid her hand lightly on her father’s offered arm.
            Their procession passed the scores of guests assembled on both sides of the flowered path. Ahead her groom stood beneath the rose bower, sunlight from the loch gleaming on him, the pastor, and his groomsman.
            Her heart fluttered.
The Duke looked the perfect picture of manhood. He towered above his shorter groomsman and the pastor. Sun glinting off his iceberg blue satin coat, heavily laced with gold, almost blinded her. His chocolate eyes gazed past the dazzling crowd of guests and focused on her. Beneath those beckoning eyes, the straight bridge of his nose above softly smiling lips formed the most handsome face she’d ever seen. Her pulse quickened. Butterflies flitted from her stomach to her heart and back. 
As she reached her groom and the chamber music died, her high-heeled slippers sunk into the grassy moor, but her foreboding dissolved like fog before the sunshine.   
The rose bower in the garden where she and the Duke stood together and promised their fidelity was pure romance with its lush greenery, heavy scent of roses, and panorama of softly rolling, newly green glen. Though she didn’t know the man she wed, she repeated with all her heart to love, honor, and obey him as long as she should live.
Marrying a man one had barely met happened more often than not to daughters of Lords. So why were her knees shaking? Her attractive groom, with his mahogany hair, wide shoulders, and square jaw, held her hand gently in his warm, strong grasp. Rumors were just rumors, and, truth be told, if he were not perfect, neither was she.
A breeze loosened strands of brown hair from the gold band that tied the thick mass neatly behind his muscular neck to dance around his face.
She was glad he had not powdered his hair. Her throat tightened. Loving him would be easy.
Oh God, please let him love me.
She would love him so greatly, with everything inside her heart. Surely he would love her in return. She would work hard to make certain her marriage turned out differently from Mums. There would be no coldness, nor violent arguments between her and her grand Duke. No sleeping in separate parts of the castle. No making their daughters’ lives miserable with the dislike they bore one another.
As the magnificent sunset painted him gold, the Duke’s chestnut eyes stared into hers with promise, his inviting lips tipped upwards at the corners, and his demeanor was affectionate and approving.
Joy burst through her chest, and she gave him a brilliant smile. Yes, her marriage would be happy. A storybook marriage like Cinderella’s.
The English parson the Duke had brought with him raised a hand in blessing. “I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
She handed her heavy bouquet of roses and lilies to Megan and tipped her chin up.
The tall, lithe, young Duke stepped forward and lifted her expensive Brussels veil. She was so very fortunate he was not old.
She closed her eyes.
He touched his lips to hers.
Oh! Her eyes flew open. The bridal kiss had been so short…and disappointing. The pledge in his gaze had led her to expect so much more. She frowned. Their first kiss was like melding lips with someone on stage, acting a part. 
He dropped his arms and moved back.
She’d scarcely been around men, and the Duke was a stranger. She frowned. And his kiss had held so little promise.
A terrifying thought swirled through her brain like a ghost. Since Papa had betrothed Megan to a cruel man, what type of man had he selected for her? Were safety and titles and lands more important to Papa than both his daughters’ happiness?
She shivered.

ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won the New England Reader Choice award, the Laurel Wreath Award, and the Heart of Excellence Award. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement released in December, 2013.  A Texas Christmas Mystery also won several awards. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. View Anne’s travel pictures and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at http://www.PelicanBookGroup.com. Or at http://www.Amazon.com.

Visit http://www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com for information on writing an award-winning novel.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Captured by Moonlight by Christine Lindsay

Captured by Moonlight, Book 2 of the series Twilight of the British Raj by Christine Lindsay

Prisoners to their own broken dreams…

After a daring rescue goes awry, the parched north of India grows too hot for nurse Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana. The women flee to the tropical south…and run headlong into their respective pasts.

Laine takes a new nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancĂ© is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her years ago. Why, then, is she still drawn to him, and to the tiger cub he is raising?

Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts whether freedom will ever again be in her future, much less the forbidden love that had begun to whisper to her. Is faith enough to live on? Or is her Savior calling her home?

Amid cyclones and epidemics, clashing faiths and consequences of the war, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?

He worked his way against the wind as waves pounded the beach. Sand hissed as the surf ebbed. He hadn’t bothered with shoes and walked barefoot along the hard-packed shore, the tang of salt on his lips.
The pillared walkway from the house to the beach lay ahead. Silver light on the horizon lifted the marble pavilion out of the night. Yet the gray dawn brought out the greenness of the trees and grass, reds and purples of flowers, the white sand, painting everything a deeper hue.
A single figure in jodhpurs and shirt stood within the pavilion that jutted out on the rocks like the prow of a ship.
A woman stared out at the bay and the clouds that shrouded the rising sun.
Laine leaned against the pillar farthest out so that waves splashed upwards and soaked her. Was she a woman or a child? She had the best of both. As a child she’d always acted the bossy little woman that he’d found endearing. When he’d returned from Oxford and found she’d become a woman, he held her child-like enjoyment of everything under the sun equally endearing.
But the Laine standing in that pavilion was not a girl. She was a woman who’d seen as many atrocities as he had in the trenches. The tide had turned. And he fought against it. Dear God, help me fight against it.
He started to veer away when she saw him. A friend would raise their arm and hale the other. Neither of them did. If they couldn’t be lovers, married, then they couldn’t be friends. From childhood on they’d been meant for each other, two parts of one whole, and friendship could never fill the gap. He’d always known this, though she had not.
Laine took the steps down to the beach. Though he was standing, the sense of falling came over him.
The sky beyond her showed that strange color of clouds amassing above the ocean. Clouds with that greenish tint that meant a cyclone was on its way.
Her dark hair lay tousled on her shoulders. Her feet, bare. Those tea-colored eyes reflected the hunger of the growing clouds behind her. A wave crashed on the shore, sending up a spray while a kingfisher flitted out, flashing the blue of its wings. And a current of his former passion for her sluiced through him.
She stopped two feet from him, and they stared at each other, the moment stretching out forever until she lifted her hand in a helpless gesture of defeat. Her small indication of unhappiness crushed his heart.
He must be mad, but he took a step toward her and reached for her shoulders, and the next thing he knew she was in his arms.
She clung to him. For a moment he resisted. His mind clanged to stop this madness. But there was no resistance in Laine, only the warmth of a woman who always gave all. In a heartbeat they sought each other’s mouths, and he lost himself, a man parched with thirst savoring the sweetness of her lips. How could he have lived so long without...
She moaned against his mouth as his hand moved to the small of her back, and he drew her closer. Her hands wound their way along his shoulders, her fingers in his hair.
The ground beneath his feet became unsteady, and he lost all sensation of the world around him. All but Laine. Intoxicating Laine who drowned out his every thought, every shred of reason.
Their kisses turned slower, he felt her lips against his unshaven cheek and jaw, and he found her mouth again.
The oncoming tide swirled at their feet and ankles, soaking their trousers.
Dear God! What am I doing? He pulled his lips from hers and stared at the foam-flecked surf as it retreated.
She resisted as he removed her from him as gently as he could. Her face remained soft with the answering passion to his as the space between them grew.
He shook his head as he dropped his hands, and heard the quiver in his voice. “I’m sorry...I’m sorry, Laine. I shouldn’t have...”
Even in the gray dawn, the horrible pain of rejection robbed her face of all color. Her gaze fell, and those long dark lashes hid her eyes from him. She wouldn’t cry. Not Laine. But he knew her too well, and the pain in her shuttered eyes kicked him in the gut. He stood rigid, waiting for her to slap him as she should.
Her throat moved as she swallowed with difficulty. “You’re right, Adam, you shouldn’t have done that. Nor I.” Her words came out full-throated. Raw. “Because nothing has changed, has it?” Her gaze lifted to his.
“Nothing has changed. I’m—”
“Don’t say you’re sorry again. I couldn’t bear it. In fact, it’s best we both pretend this never happened. It didn’t happen. Do you understand? It just didn’t.” She turned from him and walked back the way she’d come. Not in a flurry of emotion, but with precise steps as if she were made of glass and would break with any jarring movement.
He didn’t follow her. Just stared at nothing and raised a trembling hand to his brow.