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Thursday, November 15, 2018

What Makes My Heart Beat Faster by Annie Burrows - Guest Post & Giveaway

About Annie Burrows

I have been making up stories in my head for as long as I can remember. It was a long walk home from school, and there were no ipods in those days to keep you amused! When I wasn't daydreaming, I had my nose stuck in a book. My parents used to take me to the library every Saturday, until I was old enough to get there on my own, and my house was always full of books.

During school holidays, the whole family loved to visit stately homes and castles. As soon as we got home, my older sister and I would either dress up as lords and ladies, and romp around the garden, or, if it was raining, retreat to our bedroom where we would draw intricately detailed plans of our very own imaginary stately home, complete with secret tunnels, dungeons, and usually, a maze in the extensive grounds.

When I was old enough to go to university, I studied English literature, with Philosophy. I was not sure what I wanted to do after that, but meeting a handsome student of maths, who was the owner of a very powerful motorbike helped me make up my mind. Reader, I married him.

For many years I felt it was important to stay at home to raise our two children, but one day, when the youngest had gone to senior school, I began to wonder if all those stories I made up to occupy my mind whilst attending to mundane chores, would interest anyone else.

I started to write some of them down, and eventually decided that one of them was "deep" enough to merit attention from publishers! It took me almost two years to complete, mainly because I kept tearing it up and starting all over again. And having to keep going out to work to help pay for school fees, then university tuition, slowed progress down as well.

Needless to say, this masterpiece was rejected by every single publisher I sent it to, but by this time, writing had become an addiction.

Four more stories got rejected before Mills & Boon bought "His Cinderella Bride", my first regency romance.

And the rest, as they say, is history...


Books by Annie Burrows

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What makes my heart beat faster 
Guest post by Annie Burrows

I had to have a bit of a think when Suze and Anniek asked me what makes my heart beat faster. But then it hit me…it’s books!

I just love the feeling I get when a box of books I’ve ordered from Mills & Boon land on my doorstep. As soon as I open it, I start looking forward to all the adventures I’m going to go on with the rugged heroes and plucky heroines as they realise they are meant for each other.

Which leads me to a bit of a problem…I enjoy reading so much it’s hard to throw a book away after I’ve finished. So I have a “keeper” shelf, where I store all that pleasure, knowing I can pick up any one of the books and re-live those great times again.

After I’ve re-read one of these books, I do try to pass them on to a charity shop…all apart from my hallowed Heyer’s of course, which have a shelf to themselves. (And I’m not going to show you the corner of my study, where I store all the books by people who aren’t Georgette Heyer, which I know I’m going to want to read over and over again!)

Whenever I’m on holiday I treat myself to a browse round all the charity shops in whatever town I’m in, on the off chance of discovering a book by an author I love. There is actually a second-hand bookshop in Felixstowe called the Treasure Chest, which is exactly that. Room after room piled to the ceiling with every sort of book you can imagine. The owners proudly claim that their shop is a bit like the Tardis, because it is far bigger on the inside than it looks from the narrow frontage.

And then there’s the local library. I have been visiting whichever library is nearest to me ever since I could read. And I still get a little thrill when I walk inside and see all those rows and rows of books, of all sorts, fiction and fact, which I can take home for free. I have even started to borrow audiobooks, which I can put on my ipod and listen to while I am on my exercise bike (when my heart really does get to beat pretty fast!) To be honest, it’s the only way I can make myself do any exercise – the lure of a good story to listen to while I’m pedalling nowhere.

But there is nothing to beat the thrill of receiving a box of books with my own name on the cover! Ever since my first book was published, in 2008, I have been proudly putting each edition on my own shelf, and now have books in 19 different languages, each with their own beautiful and unique cover designs. I especially love getting Japanese editions of my books, not least because they open at what I think of as the back, and it takes a while to work out which book it was originally.


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of A Duke In Need of a Wife by Annie Burrows.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Gratitude Giveaway Hop

Enter this giveaway for a chance to win books of choice worth $15 Good luck!

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Talented Artist - Jo Burrows from Wotmalike - Interview & Giveaway

About Jo Burrows

Wotmalike Ltd was originally founded in November 2009 under the business name GeordieMugs. In January 2014 the business changed becoming Wotmalike Ltd being run by husband and wife team Jo & Nick Burrows.

Jo was brought up in Byker Newcastle where her dolls were the best dressed around as from an early age she had huge creative flair. She trained as a Textile Designer and went on to work for several big high street stores as a designer before working through design agents to sell her work worldwide. Jo has always been very proud of her North East heritage and has used the design name BYKERLASS for many years. 


Website  // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Blog


1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I'm Jo Burrows, married to Nick for 16 years we are also business partners. I met Nick in New York where I was after doing some research for the cruise company I was a designer for. Nick was in New York for the same cruise company going to join a ship he was in the pursers department and had been at sea for 12 years. We sailed from New York two days after meeting and were involved in freak storm where the ship was seriously damaged and Nick was badly injured. He left sea shortly after that and we decided life was too short so to be together. A year later we had a son and were married!

2) What’s the inspiration behind your work?

People say where do you get your ideas from?? I have SO MANY ideas I can't contain them. I get really into what I'm working on then as soon as its done I'm over and it and want to move onto the next thing. I'm design everything with a commercial mind set - I'm not only a designer but really interested in business too. I've always been a designer so ideas come easily to me. When I was at art college long time ago I didn't feel I developed my drawing skills I developed how to think like a designer. 

3) Where did you learn how to design?

I did a foundation course at Newcastle School for art and specialised in textile design. I then went onto Huddersfield Uni and did a textile design degree.

4) What does your work place look like?

My workplace is my office at home - notice I didn't say studio as I think it sounds really pretentious! I LOVE working from home - I'm at the front of the house Nick is at the back - we do email each other and have board meetings in the kitchen. My office has an original 1899 fireplace in it - its very cosy and I love it. I think people think we work from home as our business is small - it isn't we just dont go arond shouting about it! We never want to work in offices - we out source a lot of manufacturing and our warehousing so we don't need to have premises. 

5) You also make bookish items, where does your love for books come from?

Nick is a big reader and always has a book on the go - I'm a holiday reader as I don't get much time off work so use my time to research or watch tv. I love Marian Keyes and have read all her books - whenever a new one comes out I have to get it. 

Lately we have developed literary character which we sell worldwide. Turns out I'm good at drawing people (I never knew). So was have Edgar Allen Poe, The Bronte Sisters, Dylan Thomas, Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare Jane Austen and the fabulous peoples poet JOHN COOPER CLARKE to name a few in the range.

6) What's it like to run a business with your husband?

Its great - the harder we work the more it benefits our family. I also trust him implicitly which is hard to find in a business partner. Occasionally when we are off work I'll ask him if its ok to ask a work related question as we try to keep the two separate.

7) How do you select the materials you use?

We specialise in printing on wood as we developed the technology a few years ago to print on wood and for it to be water resistant. We buy wood from many sources but try when possible to buy in the UK. All our manufacturing is done is the UK.

Our card for our cards is made in the Lake District and the envelopes from Yorkshire. We have good relationships with all our suppliers.

8) Can you tell a bit more about how you started your store?

A friend asked me to design some cards for her shop as she could only get the same as everyone else. I produced a dialect Geordie range of cards (the shop was near Newcastle). At the time dialect cards didn't exist - I'm proud to say I invented these and many people have copied this idea. The cards were a huge success so much so I was getting phone calls from shops asking if they could have them. The rest they say is history. We now sell cards in six countries with a plan to expand to Australia in 2019.

9) What do you like the most about having your own shop?

We don't - we supply shops

10) What are your plans for the future?

We plan to expand to Australia as we haven't quite cracked that market yet. We also have more fun gift and products in development and would like to eventually have a shop/gallery of our own. I (Jo) would like to spend more time drawing and become known for my illustration style.


Three very lucky readers of With Love for Books will receive a bookish mug, a couple of signs and a couple of character keyrings from Wotmalike (pictures of the giveaway are examples).

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

The Ladies' Room by Carolyn Brown - Book Review & Giveaway

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Review by Anniek

Trudy has no idea that her life will never be the same again after the funeral of her great-aunt Gertrude. In the ladies room she overhears her nieces talk about the adultery of her husband . When she inherits Gert's house, Trudy decides to move immediately. The house needs a lot of work and Billy Lee, who was friends with Gert agrees to help her with everything. Nobody else wanted Gert's house because they only saw a rundown house and a money pit. What were Gert's intentions when she left the house to Trudy?

While she's living in her new home Trudy realizes that she wasted a lot of her good years on her cheating husband. Her eyes have finally been opened. Not everyone in the town understands why Trudy spends more and more time with Billy Lee and she neglects the comments and rumors. Trudy's aunt was a tough and not a very pleasant person, however more and more secrets are being revealed that shet a different light. Can Trudy finally live the life she always wished for?

While she was married Trudy did everything for her husband and her daughter, putting aside her own needs. Her husband wasn't an easy person to live with, but she put up with it all because she loved him. Trudy feels betrayed and now finally stands up for herself. She went out of her way to make everything look perfect. I loved reading on how she stepped out of the shadow and showed the world that she was no longer someone to mess with. The friendship with Billy Lee is endearing and I was hoping they'd be brave enough to let love in.

The Ladies Room is a beautiful story about finding yourself and believing in a second chance at love. I love it when a book makes me feel many different emotions and I really enjoyed The Ladies' Room because of this. Billy Lee is a skilled craftsman and he makes beautiful furniture. While reading about the stunning pieces he makes for Trudy I was wishing that I could visit her house so I could see them in real life. Carolyn Brown's writing style has a lovely easy flow that immediately pulled me into the story. The Ladies' Room is a heartwarming story that captivated me from beginning to end.


If you love to read about second chances at love and a story that will melt your heart, The Ladies' Room would be a perfect choice.

About Carolyn Brown

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown was born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma. These days she and her husband make their home in Davis, Oklahoma, a small town of less than three thousand people where everyone knows everyone, knows what they are doing and with whom, and read the weekly newspaper to see who got caught.

A plaque hangs on her office wall that says I know the voices are not real but they have such great ideas. That is her motto and muse as she goes through the days with quirky characters in her head, telling their stories, one by one, and loving her job.

She has been married almost half a century to a retired English teacher that she calls Mr. B and he does not read her books before they are published because she cannot afford a divorce. They have three grown children.—and enough grandchildren to keep them busy and young.

When Carolyn is not writing she likes to sit in the back yard and watch the two tom cats protect the yard from all kinds of wicked varmints like crickets, other cats, spiders and blue jays.



One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback or Kindle copy of The Ladies' Room by Carolyn Brown (winner’s choice).

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

What Makes My Heart Beat Faster by Ann B. Harrison - Guest Post & Giveaway


About Ann B. Harrison

After moving to the lush green wine region of Australia’s Hunter Valley, Ann has the perfect surrounding to let her imagination to run wild. She alternates her time between writing western romances, women’s fiction romantic and playing in her garden.

Two kinds of hero make Ann to a mass of nerves. The hot cowboy with a slow sexy drawl (she used to live out in the desert and enjoyed every minute) and a man in a kilt (Imagine Jamie Fraser) She can’t wait to visit Scotland where she can get her fill of the tartan clad hotties for, um research purposes, of course.

In the meantime, her dear husband puts up with her talking to her characters and getting lost in worlds only she can imagine as she battles to bring stories to the page for everyone to enjoy.


Books by Ann B. Harrison

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At the moment Christmas Glitter is free on Amazon.

What makes my heart beat faster 
Guest post by Ann B. Harrison

Well, apart from heights, somewhere I try not to go, a man in a kilt does it for me. My heart will race about the same time my mouth dries up. A jittery swoon will begin in my belly and my palms sweat. Try to get out a few intelligent words and it’s a fail. But only if he looks as good as Jamie in Outlander.

What women wouldn’t go through the stones for that man? I sure as heck would! He’s gorgeous and kind, thinks of others and oh boy, that smile can rock me off my feet. 

He’s the type to throw his tartan over the puddle so I don’t get my feet wet and lend me his arm because this modern girl isn’t a real fan of pig slop and mud. Not unless I’m busy gardening but that’s a whole other blog post. We’re talking historical cleanliness here and let’s just say I’m glad we have running water these days. But still, I’d consider dragging my water from a well if it meant I could snuggle up to Jamie. 

Now, you’d think that if I liked Jamie so much, I’d write time travel, right? Well, I don’t. Sadly I can’t imagine a better hero than Jamie Fraser so I don’t even try. I prefer to write small town rural/western romance because I’m at home when I’m on the land with a animals around me. I grew up on a ranch with animals everywhere, so it’s my thing, what I know best. 

My heroes are all nice guys – I mean, who’d want to read about them otherwise. And my heroines – I love strong women who aren’t afraid to fight for what they want and know they deserve everything good in life and aren’t scared to go after it. This doesn’t always please my heroes but life is a journey and everyone needs to find their own path to happiness. 

If that’s through an arranged marriage, you might want to read my Watson Brothers Series and see how that turned out for rodeo star, Chance Watson and his brothers. 

Second chance love can also make your heart beat faster. Is it real, will it be better than my last love or do I deserve another chance? These are the questions that taunt Dakota Moore, The Moore Sisters of Cherry Lake. And its FREE at the moment. 

In December, Dear Husband and I celebrate 40 years married. 40 years! And despite the fact that he doesn’t look a bit like Jamie Fraser, he really does make my heart beat faster. The warm smile, the tilt of his head and the baby blue eyes that follow my every move. The way he still tells me I’m beautiful. Yes, he’s the one that really brings home how lucky I am. My real life romance hero.

Thanks for the love! 


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of Valentine Kisses by Ann B. Harrison.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.