Everybody loves a Freebie…

… but this one is extra special. All four books that comprise the rest of the series are down from $/£3.99 t0 99c/99p for a limited time.


Michael Marsh escapes poverty with the help of his first love, Elspeth, but her delving into the secrets of a long-dead Tudor queen is their downfall. Incestuous seduction leads to a hidden lovechild… and so it goes on. Blackmail, kidnap and an unpaid ransom, revengeful abuse, rape, murder and sex-trafficking. How long before The Spy, a journalist eager for dirt on celebrities, and especially the Diamond Superstar, discovers the Marsh family’s secrets?

Who will be left alive to see the Sizzling Sunset?

If Michael Marsh has one talent apart from singing, it has to be the attraction of scandal, whether or not it’s true. The rich entertainer’s extended family is a constant source of fodder for The Spy, the journalist whose life’s ambition is the downfall of Michael Marsh, The Diamond Superstar. Will the dark prince of the paparazzi finally be silenced?

Brilliant Books You Mustn’t Miss!

These are all the books I read in April, other than those I didn’t rate five stars, in chronological order.

Utterly Captivating

The Road from Fotheringhay introduces the boy who became Richard 111 so convincingly the reader lives in the mid-fifteenth century with him. Proof of a great deal of meticulous research that forms the basis of an “it’s likely” tale of a man born for unexpected kingship.


An explosive story!

Take the bitter freezing cold of Alaska, stir in a hoard of gold, a few old-timers with no regard for the law, Micha. Breeding pure wolves with huskies makes for a pup faithful to its owner to the death. Guess what? That’s illegal! and you have Ice and Secrets. Suspense and murder in plenty, well-laced with an incredibly steamy romance between Lane and her dogman.

A very highly recommended 5-star!

Missing in France is Ms Chapman’s best Anna Davies mystery yet! Is Marseille the wicked city it’s said to be? It doesn’t seem so to Anna until she meets a woman whose little girl was kidnapped. When a baby boy vanishes from his bedroom in the same way, Anna cannot resist sleuthing, only to discover other children, scattered throughout the South of France, met the same fate over a period of years, but what fate?

Rita Lee Chapman has a talent for painting a vivid backdrop to the action. You can see the beauty of Paris, Avignon, and Arles, and taste the delicious food. Take a glass of wine or a coffee with Anna, but remember danger lurks behind you!

A Magic Box of… Apples?

Next Steps is a collection of short stories perfect for reading at any time. With a coffee… when you can’t sleep… Not that they’ll help you nod off; you’ll find yourself reading three, not one as planned, and then lying thinking about them.

Exciting, tragic, fanciful, spooky, romantic – they’re all here with only one thing in common. They captivate from start to finish.

Readers will have their favourites. Mine was Earworm by one of the guest authors, Sylva Fae, but Tom Benson’s own offerings show his talent for diversity. What could be more  different than the title story, Next Steps, and Time to Let Go? Read them and decide for yourself.

A brilliant, heart-stopping, mystery!

How well did Carole know her son? Did she shut him out while she grieved for his father, her love of fourteen years tragically dead? She’s still grieving and, one night she resorts to sleeping tablets and misses his text: “I’m stuck”.

Where? He hasn’t come home, so did he need fetching? At eighteen, the police tell her, Jaydon is an adult, so he’s not a missing person.

Harmony Kent has brought alive the mother’s panicked trawl through a boy’s online life in her desperate search for the truth. Nothing is hidden, and yet I defy any reader to guess the ending.


Travel with Bryce, artist and art gallery owner/dealer, from Scotland to the spectacular beauties of Prague in search of lost paintings – the fabled set named The Chariots. But is Bryce the only one who desires them? Is it his only reason for his visit? Are the people he meets friend or foe?

Czech Mate has more twists and turns than a corkscrew, but will justice prevail in a country whose people fight for freedom and democracy against the old regime of communism?

This is a captivating story from start to finish, but be warned, it is not for the faint-hearted. There is torture and brutal murder before “checkmate”, and who declares victory? The white bishop or the black queen?

Five-Star Gold – Highly Recommended!

Tabula Rasa is a gold medal winning thriller, and rightly. This is no parochial story of espionage and counter-espionage. It reflects the danger to planet Earth from everything humans are doing in a careless, it-isn’t-my-problem, society, but one man’s solution is… drastic!

Read it if you dare; it’s extremely believable in the current culture of terrorism.

If there is a single book you haven’t read, you really should! Click on the cover and a clean link will take you to Amazon Com, and from there it’s easy to reach Amazon UK. Enjoy!





Next Steps by Tom Benson

MY WIP has slowed down. I’ve been reading this.


I invited author, Tom Benson to give us an insight about his latest anthology, Next Steps: and other stories. Here it is. Welcome to this site, Tom.

I’m a multi-genre author who enjoys various writing disciplines, and I’ve found that ideas for short stories are never far away. Combined with this, of course, is the opportunity to create another collection. I understand how difficult it is for indie authors like me to capture and increase an audience. With this in mind, I created my first ‘invitation’ anthology, and ‘Next Stepsis the third of this type.

What came to mind when you saw the title of this article?

Perhaps like many people, you thought of progression in some form, or was that a fleeting idea cast aside as you considered the graphic and the book title?

Next Steps: and other storiesis the full title of…

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Mayhem, Maria, & Music


Three Against The World started life as a book my “cover girl” Maria, would be allowed to read. In a word, clean. It came before lockdown, but here she is, two years on, taking her “daily exercise”.

Maria’s mother dumped her on Richard’s doorstep claiming he was her father, and he didn’t tell Maria when he found out it was a mistake. Ben would never have forgiven him if he’d lost her.

Ben is the Jack Russell Terrier Richard adopted from a rescue centre and he is modelled on my own rescued Weimaraner. Not that she bites… or she hasn’t yet, but nobody has threatened me. It is she who taught me how clingy dogs who lose their homes can be. Even now, almost 6 years on, she values routine and gets scared if someone is missing for a few hours, and the only place she can be left alone is in the car. She came from the Blue Cross. If you’d like to help, there’s a link under The Author.

Two Face The World features Richard and Maria married. They still have Ben, but even he can’t protect them from enemies from the past. Eleanor is a baby conceived by mistake, but welcomed into their world of music. The question is, will they all survive? (I did mention suspense.)

This is Eleanor grown up. One Alone in The World is in three parts.

At 7, she falls in love with Brian, an older boy from school, and she tries to help Mum and Dad, resurrecting dangerous secrets from the past.

At 15, she’s a rebellious teenager who wins a music award… the rest is trouble!

At 18, she falls in love, but will she find a way back to the man she loves or remain one alone in the world?


A special message for fans and followers:

Hi all, my name is Tom Benson, and I’m Sarah’s guest administrator.

Sarah has been ill and in hospital for the past couple of weeks. It was unlikely that she’d be able to oversee this post going out so I dropped by on her behalf. I thought it pertinent to let you all know that her absence may continue for a little longer, however, I will monitor and respond to any issues/messages which come this way.

I know that, like me, you’ll all be hoping for her speedy recovery, but in the meantime, she could use all the prayers and positive vibes you can spare. I’ll write a brief message when I have something to post for Sarah.

Best regards,


Royal Command Family Saga Boxed Set

Published for fans of sizzling romantic suspense/thrillers, the complete story.

Seduction leads to incestuous adultery that ends with hiding a child, or is it the end? A journalist known only as The Spy is eager for dirt on the Diamond Superstar.

Follow Michael’s journey from the backstreets of an English city to starring in London’s West End and on Broadway. Meet the women he loves… and the one he shouldn’t love but cannot resist… and of the effect of fame, wealth, and scandal on his growing dynasty. Kidnap, abuse, rape, murder… a man’s journey across America to extract justice and win back the woman he loves… sex-trafficking… a man with an underage sister on the run from the Feds… a daughter who becomes a prostitute… twins who are lovers… the younger woman who fears love is a trick to defeat the paparazzi… there is plenty for The Spy to use if scurrilous secrets surface.


The first of the five books, Dangerous Liaisons, went through a lot of rewrites and numerous edits before it became a Readers’ Favorite Award Winner, but my message never changed. As a teenager I was pony-mad. The shock came when I had my own horse and I was “expected” to follow the local fox hunt. I joined the League Against Cruel Sports instead. The message, as subtle as I could make it, is that killing for sport is wrong… utterly indefensible. There is a page beneath “Author” that explains my commitment to wildlife and abandoned pets, but I will add here that all my royalties are donated to animal charities.

Amazon Review – A Truly Stunning Achievement

Sarah Stuart’s enthralling Royal Command Family Saga is made up of four award-winning novels; Dangerous Liaisons, Illicit Passion, Dynasty of Deceit, and Sweet Temptation, plus a new novella, Sizzling Sunset. Each book is complete within itself. Having them all together in one volume is like a marvelous TV series with each book easily making up several seasons.

The story focuses on Michael, a talented but struggling actor who meets heiress Elspeth. They fall in love, and she uses her wealthy background to influence a powerful man and further Michael’s career, which takes off and he soon is a celebrity. Thus comes the first cautionary aspect of the story; dreams that come true are not always what you wish them to be.

Another is that when you marry you not only marry the person but their family and the entire “luggage” that comes with it. Elspeth’s lineage has a tradition that dates back to Mary Tudor’s time! This tradition brings with it complications and not a small bit of tragedy and intrigue.

Far more than a romance series, the Royal Command Family Saga is one of crime; murder, kidnapping, sex trafficking, incest, and blackmail! Add to all a vicious tabloid journalist hungry for dirt on Michael and fans that have no boundaries and this story\saga never stops twisting, turning, and surprising\shocking. Sarah Stuart commands the tale with her distinct style and mastery of expression.

This five book collection is a worthwhile read for anyone whose interests in romance transcends the typical limitations of the genre; yet holds fast to the concept that love, above all, is what matters most.

Co-Authorship a View in Four Parts – Part One

A fascinating post many authors might like read.

Story Empire

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Hi, SE ers John here. Today I’m going to kick off a four-part series of posts on co-authorship. I will begin the subject by discussing the elements of co-authorship. Then on January 15th Gwen will explore the idea of creating a shared vision. I will return on January 27th with a view of writing coherency. Gwen will wrap the whole thing up with a summary and conclusion on February 3rd.

Now that you have the plan, let’s jump into the subject of co-authorship.

You may wonder what is co-authorship? You’re probably aware that screenplays are often written by committees. It’s not uncommon for non-fiction books to be written by two authors (or more). We are all familiar with ghostwriters. So, it is not surprising that fiction writers are increasingly partnering with another writer to develop, outline, and bring a story to…

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Ghostly Intervention, my favourite book from “Readers Favorite” 2020.

Please welcome Jan Sikes, award-winning author, music lover, and jail-bird’s wife!

Hello, Sarah! Thank you so much for inviting me to stop by your blog today and talk about my new book. I am deeply grateful.

Hi , Jan, my friend from across the pond in Texas. First, tell us more about Ghostly Interference.

In “Ghostly Interference,” Jag Peters has a passion for music. He plays keyboards, and in his younger days, dreamed of being a rock star. But life happened, and he settled for comfortable versus excitement. And yet, his most rewarding and peaceful moments are spent with his fingers running across the keys.

Jan is giving us a peep!

Jag finished setting up his instrument and pulled in a chair from the kitchen, wishing he’d thought to throw in a piano stool. By the time he finished, others came through the door.

Colt made introductions, then he and the bass man plugged into amplifiers and tuned their instruments while the other man assembled a drum kit.

His nerves wound tight, Jag flashed a grin at Rena, glad she seemed at ease perched on the leather sofa. A woman with long brown hair in a single braid, dressed in jeans and t-shirt joined her. He guessed her to be in her early thirties and from the introductions, learned she was Eleanor, the bass man’s wife.

He breathed deep, anxious to get started. When he ran his fingers nimbly over the keys, confidence and calm came over him. This was his comfort zone, his niche.

Colt held up his hand. “Before we dive in, I have sweet-iced tea, water, beer, and wine in the refrigerator.” He motioned to Rena and Eleanor. “Would you girls mind bein’ our waitresses?”

Rena’s face lit up. “Of course not. It’s what I do. What does everyone want?”

Once she’d collected orders, she brushed against Jag’s shoulder on her way past him.

He almost reached out for her but thought better of it. She wouldn’t take public affection too well, he was sure of that. But that she’d intentionally brushed against him made his heart beat faster.

He was glad Colt included her and made her feel useful. Once again, he thought what a lucky guy he was.

In no time, they all had drinks of their choice. Jag had asked for wine and noted that Rena helped herself to a beer. They were opposites and yet much alike. They both needed and wanted to be loved. That much they had in common.

“I play a variety of cover tunes as well as some originals,” Colt said. “I’ve never been tied to any one certain genre. So, let’s start with a standard, I’m sure everyone knows. In the key of C, let’s do Sweet Home Alabama.”

Jag easily followed along and took a ride when Colt nodded to him. Although you’d never guess by looking, Colt played the guitar like a pro and the bass player and drummer kept the back beat going in sync.

Music was undoubtedly Jag’s passion, his inner peace, his first love. Why had he let his father turn him away from it?

Intriguing, Jan, but I’d like to add my review Readers’ Favorite review here. Ghostly Interference is so different from your other books.

Within Ghostly Interference lies a powerful action-packed story of two vastly different worlds that collide, literally. It opens with Jag Peters driving his car with his mind on work and almost knocking Rena Jett off her motorbike. Jag comes from a comfortable, privileged, background, and his driving force is to protect his karma. Rena is fiercely independent. Her only companions – nobody is her friend – are bikers. Rena herself rides a candy apple red Harley. Does she mean to be noticed? How could a girl who scrapes a living working in a diner afford a Harley? What are the secrets of her past? With the paranormal, Jan Sikes has taken Ghostly Interference: Book 1 of the White Rune Series a step beyond interesting to utterly captivating.

Jag Peters is an only son from a wealthy family. He is close to his widowed mother, a yoga teacher, and she is the one who takes him seriously when he describes his encounter with a gun-toting soldier in full combat camouflage gear. Jag does not believe in ghosts, but this one has unfinished business, and he’s determined to recruit Jag. Rena Jett, alone since her brother, Sam, was killed in Afghanistan, trusts nobody. She wears Sam’s dog tags and, eventually, a soldier friend brings her Sam’s last letter, and the envelope contains a stone. “The symbol on this white rune is called Wunjo and is the “happily-ever-after” symbol.” Is a happy ending possible for two people poles apart? Ghostly Interference by Jan Sikes holds the answer, but from start to finish it’s an electrifying ride.

Purchase links, and ways of contacting Jan, are at the end of this post, and “music lover” has been shown. So, that leaves “jail-bird’s wife”! I’ve found a picture, but I’ll let Jan tell you more about this man who suffered so much for “doing the right thing”, and played and sang like an angel. Jan?

I first met Rick Sikes in 1970 in Abilene, Texas. He was the bandleader of a highly popular country band. I was fascinated. We fell deeply in love. Oh, how I treasured being a part of that world. He had a song that went to Number One in 1964 called “Den of Sin.” It is a reverse love song, as he used to say.   https://youtu.be/ZOVvhbF7WIs

Rick passed away in 2009, taking with him a piece of my heart. Afterward, I was compelled to tell his story and, along with it, mine. It took four books to cover the entire story from beginning to end, but each book revolves and evolves around a passion and love for music. If true love stories that include music interest you, I’d love for you to check out these books on my Amazon Author page.  https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

Here is my review of Flowers and Stone

Driven from home by strict no-dating rules, naïve Darlina gets a job dancing in a club where she falls in love with the lead singer of a rock group. Luke Stone is older, separated from his wife but tied down by his love for his children, and into kinky sex, drink, and drugs. Jan Sikes shows a deeply moving, passionate and explicit, love affair, which keeps you wondering if Luke will survive, or if he does, drag Darlina with him down the slippery slope to addiction and death.

And the rest of the books are as powerful! The Convict and the Rose has an unbroken record of five-star reviews.

Now, folks, before you scroll down to all Jan’s links… or start filling your Kindle… please add your comments and questions. Jan will be popping in and out all day, and there must be something about this captivating lady I haven’t told you, or perhaps you’d like to know more about runes and karma???


AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Interference-White-Rune-Sikes-ebook/dp/B08KW1KFMW/

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghostly-interference-jan-sikes/1137871003?

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/ghostly-interference

iTUNES: https://books.apple.com/us/book/ghostly-interference/id1535082886

GOOGLE PLAY: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=PCwNEAAAQBAJ







Offers end at Midnight! Historical & Contemporary Romantic Suspense

The Complete Royal Command Family Saga & The Story of The White Slaves of England!

Get Dangerous Liaisons: The Backstreet Boy and the Royal Heiress free and the other four books for $/£0.99 each.

Seduction leads to incestuous adultery that ends with hiding a child, or is it the end? A journalist known only as The Spy is eager for dirt on the Diamond Superstar.

Follow Michael’s journey from the backstreets of an English city to starring in London’s West End and on Broadway. Meet the women he loves… and the one he shouldn’t love but cannot resist… and of the effect of fame, wealth, and scandal on his growing dynasty. Kidnap, abuse, rape, murder… a man’s journey across America to extract justice and win back the woman he loves… sex-trafficking… a man with an underage sister on the run from the Feds… a daughter who becomes a prostitute… twins who are lovers… the younger woman who fears love is a mocking trick to defeat the paparazzi… there is plenty for The Spy to use if scurrilous secrets surface.


Amazon Com

The Chainmakers’ Daughter, free for the very
first time! 

“Some make chains. Some wear them.” Rosie Wallace survives on three slices of bread a day. Scarred by flame and metal, she makes her life as her ancestors have: making chains for the rich chain master, Matthew Joshua. There is no hope for a better future. No hope even for a green vegetable on the table. Her life will be making chains, marrying Jack, the boy she loves, and babies every year. But when an assault by the chain master’s son threatens the very fabric of her tenuous existence, Rosie finds the courage and the reason to fight for her own survival and the lives of her family and neighbours. Set in the first decade of the 20th century The Chainmakers’ Daughter is a haunting portrayal of abject poverty, ever-present death, and modern-day slavery.

Download FREE Now

Can you resist the sequel, The Chainmakers’ Wife?

England 1911: following the successful strike by women chainmakers for the legal minimum wage, and the death of the chain master, Matthew Joshua, Jack and Rosie find themselves on the other side of the fence when they are thrust into running the chain factory for Matthew’s widow, Marion.
Along with their new responsibilities, Jack and Rosie have to contend with national strikes, riots, and shortages. Ever the activist, Rosie defies Jack and is gaoled when fighting for women’s suffrage, while Marion plots to write Jack out of Rosie’s life and steal Rosie’s daughter Emma. Jack’s attempt to keep Rosie safe at home by betraying her trust in the most underhand way backfires spectacularly. Can they find forgiveness, yet again? The outbreak of war brings new challenges to an already fraught relationship, and both determine to do their bit for the war effort with potentially devastating consequences.





Worldwide, multi-award-winning, romantic thrillers!

Book 1 Free, books 2, 3, 4 & 5 99p/99c each!

Follow Michael’s journey from the backstreets of an English city to starring in London’s West End and on Broadway. Meet the women he loves… and the one he shouldn’t love but cannot resist… and of the effect of fame, wealth, and scandal on his growing dynasty. Kidnap, abuse, rape, murder… a man’s journey across America to extract justice and win back the woman he loves… sex-trafficking… a man with an underage sister on the run from the Feds… a daughter who becomes a prostitute… twins who are lovers… the younger woman who fears love is a mocking trick to defeat the paparazzi… there is plenty for The Spy, an ambitious journalist, to use to destroy the Diamond Superstar if scurrilous secrets surface.


Love sizzles with passion when two worlds collide, but can it survive? Michael’s road from poverty to riches is rough: charisma and talent versus pride. Elspeth, daughter of a wealthy Scottish laird, inherits Margaret Tudor’s diary. It contains the command to “find love where ye may”, and that she must pass the book to a daughter conceived in love. Elspeth is determined to see Michael succeed, but is the promise she makes to him too high a price to pay?

Eighteen years later, the relationship is challenged by their adult daughter. Lisette adores the Diamond Superstar and sees the royal command as permission to set a trap for Michael and indulge her forbidden love. One night of passion results in pregnancy, and the paparazzi are already suspicious of the father and daughter who play lovers onstage. Margaret Tudor succeeded in hiding the birth of an illegitimate baby from a king in the sixteenth century, but can Elspeth hide the next royal heiress from modern bureaucracy? Does she love Michael and Lisette enough to forgive them and try?

Broadway singer and actress, Lisette Marsh, flees to Paris and joins her father, The Diamond Superstar, for a European concert tour. Michael discovers she is being blackmailed into perverted sex with threats to reveal that she had his baby eighteen years before. He gambles his career, his marriage, and his liberty, to discredit the paparazzi-fuelled scandal.

Their lovechild, Harriet, discovers the truth about her about her parentage and vanishes. The man behind the blackmail sends ransom demands, so did Harriet leave her London home of her own freewill or was she kidnapped? “$6,000,000 or you get her body, darling.” Can Michael’s audacious plan to defeat the blackmailer work, or must Lisette return to the man she fears to save the whole family from imprisonment and financial ruin?

“Screams cut the clear air.” The Diamond Superstar, Michael Marsh, turns from signing autographs to see his beloved wife, Elspeth, lying dead on the snow: a skier in black is spotted speeding away towards the Matterhorn. Lisette leaves her husband, Brian, and rushes to her grieving father’s side, rekindling media suspicions of an incestuous relationship.

Jealous, and driven by guilty secrets of his own, Brian abandons Lisette, who is pregnant with his son. For the sake of Elspeth’s youngest daughter, Greta, he is determined to find the killer and mete out justice. The Swiss police ask the London force for help and the detective chief inspector assigned to the case is hostile, influenced by paparazzi stories that Lisette, Michael, or both, wanted Elspeth dead.

Who stabbed the woman everybody loved, and why? How can twins, secret lovers Harriet and Kit, help Greta, and will the way they choose bring the showbiz family empire crashing to the ground?

Can rejected, deserted, Lisette keep her solemn promise to Elspeth to pass on Margaret Tudor’s Book of Hours with its Royal Command, “find love where ye may” to a daughter conceived in love?

Evie, a career detective, deals with the seedy side of life – kidnap, murder, and infiltrating sex-trafficking rings, but can she resist an enticing billionaire superstar thirty-one years her senior? Michael’s proposal – “I’m no innocent, no stranger to sin. Take me as I am or not at all.”

Maternal instincts nil, Evie finds herself the protective, loving, stepmother of Greta, Michael’s jealous, rebellious, teenage daughter, but she reckons without her own mother being in cahoots with The Spy. He, or she, is a journalist prepared to tell lies, bribe “witnesses”, and stalk all the members of her new family to reveal their scandalous secrets.

Michael Marsh escaped backstreet poverty and has enjoyed over forty years of showbiz success, but still his life is dogged by The Spy, a faceless journalist intent on bringing down the Diamond Superstar and seeing him jailed. Michael has been accused of incest with his eldest daughter, Lisette, and murdering his first wife, Elspeth. Now, his youngest daughter, Greta, is in trouble, again, and Michael’s second wife, Evie, begins to doubt him… Can the Marsh women withstand yet more scandal and find everlasting love?

Free Always With Kindle Unlimited

Christmas 2020 is what we make it.

It’s been a challenging year for us all, whether we lost family or close friends in the pandemic or suffered the loneliness of isolation, and Christmas has been spoiled for so many… or has it?

We Are Never Alone With God

Not everyone is a believer, and if you are, there are many paths to Him, so I’ve chosen an image that made me chuckle.

With the Internet, none of us need be alone, even when friends can’t visit – this dratted bug doesn’t wait for an invitation! Count up and you’ll almost certainly realise you have “met” more people all over the world through cyberspace than you could travelling for a lifetime. Christmas Day is the day to get in touch. A message on any platform, a phone call if you have the number… you can give comfort and love, and “in giving we receive”. So…