Release Day for A Dragonfly in Winter, book 3 of The Innocenti Saga

Today’s the day! A Dragonfly in Winter is now available to buy, having been on pre-order for the last couple of months. You can also get it in paperback, with a beautiful cover designed by my talented son.

This book is the first in a series of novellas about various healers from the past, telling their stories. Set in the late 1800s in Tuscany, Sara Innocenti is 16 years old, and has never heard of the healers. But when she discovers an abandoned cottage in the woods, she is intrigued and wants to find out more.

Talking with Simone, the head groom at the villa, she finds out secrets about her grandmother, Ginevra, that turn her world upside down. After yet another fight with her parents, she decides to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and become a healer.

You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens! This has been the easiest book I’ve ever written, Sara’s story just flowed out onto the pages. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

I hope to start work on the next novella in a couple of months, when I’ve finished my current project (more about that in the future!). I have plenty of ideas, just not enough time to write them!

And as an extra treat, if you’ve never read any of the books in the Innocenti Saga, you can find all 3 books discounted today and tomorrow in the US and UK! So now’s your chance to pick up The Healer’s Secret and The Dragonfly Grove at a great price!

PROMO RELEASE DAY

Here’s the link: getbook.at/InnocentiSaga

I’d love it if you could leave a review after reading any of my books, as this helps other readers decide if they’d like to read it too. Thanks!

Here’s the paperback cover, which I absolutely love! The back cover will be the same for all future novellas.

A Dragonfly in Winter_paperback cover

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#BookReview for A Time for Challenges by Mette Barfelt

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My review for A Time for Challenges (the Solvik Series, book 6) by Mette Barfelt, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

After the last book in the series, I was interested to see what subject the author would tackle this time. I never thought it would be an unplanned pregnancy! Set in the beautiful fictional town of Solvik, this story follows the trials and tribulations of Tony, Divya and Annabel. Other characters pop in from previous books, adding a touch of familiarity, and new ones are introduced.

Once again Barfelt has created a touching story, taking the reader on an emotional journey as Tony, Annabel and Divya try to work through their problems and find a solution. There are highs and lows, and a bitter-sweet ending that will tug at your heartstrings.

I love this series and can’t wait for the next one, even though it will be the last. I’ll be sorry to say goodbye to all the characters I’ve come to know over time! Highly recommend.

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#BookReview for Random Bullets by Joy Mutter

My review for Random Bullets by Joy Mutter, 5/5 stars.

I’ve read a couple of Joy Mutter’s books, and I have to say, she is the master at creating complex, disturbed characters who you’re not sure if you should feel sorry for or hate!

I love how this story takes off at a running pace, introducing you to the various characters and building up to the inevitable climax. Set in a calm park on a hot summer’s day, everyone taking advantage of the beautiful weather during their lunch breaks, their tranquillity about to be shattered by the sound of a bullet. We are introduced to the secondary characters and left wondering what their fates will be while the author tells us Edward’s story.

Edward is filled with a rage that has been burning for many years, ever since finding out his narcissistic mother disinherited him in her will. The story takes us back to his childhood and adolescence, revealing events that slowly make Edward more and more unhinged, and urging him forward to the fateful day in the park.

Mutter is so good at ‘excusing’ her characters’ behaviour, that it is difficult to decide whether you should hate them or feel sorry for what life has thrown at them. As you read Edward’s back story, you find yourself agreeing with his innermost thoughts, even while being disturbed by them. Not many authors manage to do this, and I commend Mutter for her particular skill at bringing this off!

A great read I highly recommend.

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#BookReview for Kids Who Kill: Kelly Ellard & Warren Glowatski, Book 5 by Kathryn McMaster

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My review for Kids Who Kill: Kelly Ellard & Warren Glowatski, Book 5, by Kathryn McMaster, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

Despite the subject matter, this series by Kathryn McMaster keeps you gripped and makes interesting reading. This latest book is no different, as McMaster explores the victim’s and perpetrators’ backgrounds before describing the crime and its after-effects.

I found this such a sad read – Reena Virk has two parents who love her and want to protect her at all costs, but her low self-esteem and desire to fit in with her peers leads to her turning against those who love her, only to be destroyed by the very people she wants to admire her.

McMaster lays out all the details of the case in her usual meticulous way, her words drawing you into the story and bringing out all your emotions as the story develops. Using limited resources and sticking to the facts, she has created a series that makes you think, showing the dark side of humanity that can exist within children who are failed by the very system that should protect them. I highly recommend this series.

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#BookReview for Nowhere Girls by Teuta Metra

My review for Nowhere Girls by Teuta Metra, 5/5 stars.

This is an incredibly emotional story of three women trying to escape their upbringing in Albania. Right from the beginning, you understand how hard it is for them, living in a country where men have the final say in everything.

Sara wants a better life, a better job, and a future, but stuck in a low-paid job that sucks the very soul from her, she can’t see a way out. Alba, her friend, appears to know how to play the system – but at what price? While Ina thinks she has a marriage made in heaven, but the reality is so very different.

The story follows the three women’s lives through the years, their struggles and desperation as they fight against the chauvinistic rules of their country. I live in Italy, and know how hard it is here – but this book has opened my eyes, too!

The author keeps you captivated all the way through with her descriptions of Albania and its people, and the struggles that many women have to deal with every day of their lives there. This is a book I highly recommend.

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#BookReview for Kids Who Kill: Sandy Charles by Kathryn McMaster

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My review for Kids Who Kill: Sandy Charles (book 4) by Kathryn McMaster, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

I’ve read all the books in this series by Kathryn McMaster, and this is the grittiest so far. Once again, the author relates the facts in her unique, neutral way, showing the reader how the legal process works and how it can often fail the children it’s supposed to help.

This book is particularly memorable for the brutality of the crime committed. McMaster tells it in detail, without glamorizing the facts, and it hits you hard as you realise what these two children were capable of doing.

Sandy Charles was convicted of the killing, even though he was helped (and egged on) by another boy, who was too young to be prosecuted and who is still free today. Were the films Sandy watched to blame for this senseless killing, or did he have severe mental problems regardless?

The author also describes Charles’s background, which in part explains where his problems may have stemmed from.

I highly recommend this series for lovers of true crime and anyone who enjoys a well-written story that is well balanced and thought provoking.

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#BookReview for Fractured by Billy McLaughlin

My review for Fractured by Billy McLaughlin, 5/5 stars.

I’ve read a couple of books by this author, and enjoyed them, so was looking forward to reading his latest. I think it’s the best so far!

It has a great story line – two sisters, one in an institution for having killed her husband, the other scarred for life when her sister threw boiling oil over her. As the story develops and events are revealed, it becomes clear everything is not as it seems.

The story keeps you gripped all the way through as things that happened in the past are revealed, and other characters are caught up in the wake of the sisters’ situation. And that ending – wow! Wasn’t expecting it, but loved it!

Well written, I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers and suspense novels.

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#BookReview of Rituals of the Dead (Book 3) by Jennifer S. Alderson

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My review of Rituals of the Dead (Book 3) by Jennifer S. Alderson, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

This is the first book I’ve read of this series, and even though it’s number 3, I had no problems getting in to it. It’s a great murder-mystery, set in Holland with flashbacks to Nicholas Mayfield’s expedition to Africa, where he mysteriously disappeared.

As events unfold in present time, more is revealed of what really happened in the past. The present day and past are cleverly interwoven, keeping you turning the pages as more is revealed.

I loved the characters, both the good and the bad, and the protagonist, Zelda Richardson, is both realistic and likable, with her weak and strong points. She’s a dedicated researcher who seems to be dogged by bad luck, but she carries on regardless, determined to uncover the truth.

Well written, the story draws you in and keeps you guessing right to the end. I can’t wait to read the other two books in the series!

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New book! A Dragonfly in Winter (Book 3 of The Innocenti Saga)

I’ve been busy writing the last three months or so, and have actually finished the first draft of book 3 of The Innocenti Saga, A Dragonfly in Winter! This must be the fastest I’ve ever written a book, even though there’s still a lot of work to do. I’m now editing it, and adding various bits and pieces, before it goes off to my lovely beta readers. It’s currently available to pre-order, with a release date of 11th May, but that will probably change to an earlier date.

This has been the easiest book of the saga to write – the story just rolled off the tips of my fingers, and I didn’t have to do much research (unlike The Dragonfly Grove, where I had to check that even the smallest details were correct). Set in the late 1800s, it follows the story of Sara Innocenti, who has never even heard of the healers or seen the cottage!

I already have an idea for book 4, but it will have to wait for the moment, as I have another project already waiting patiently for me to get back to it. Hopefully I’ll start work on book 4 some time before the summer, so it will be ready for the autumn.

In case you’re interested, The Healer’s Secret (book 1) is currently on a 99c special offer for today, and The Dragonfly Grove is $2.99 instead of $3.99.

You can also pre-order A Dragonfly in Winter for only 99c at the moment – it will go up to $2.99 when it’s published.

Here’s the blurb and link:

The healers are no more.

Since Ginevra Innocenti’s death, the cottage has lain empty and abandoned in the woods.

Until the day Ginevra’s granddaughter, Sara, sees the dragonfly in the depths of winter. Intrigued, she follows it through the woods and discovers the forgotten cottage. When Simone, the head groom, tells her that her grandmother was a healer, a series of events is set in motion which could lead to the end of the Innocenti.

Long-hidden secrets are revealed, making Sara doubt everything she once believed in. Her mind in turmoil, she no longer knows whether she can ever truly be a healer. Disowned by her parents, it’s time to make a difficult decision.

But when there are rumours of an uprising in the village, Sara fears for her parents and her future. Will the curse of the Innocenti strike the family once more?

Set in the late 1800s in the mountains of Tuscany, A Dragonfly in Winter is the third book in the Innocenti Saga.

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