January 26, 2015

Blog Tour: Treasured Land by Melanie Corona

Treasured Land by Melanie Corona


Treasured Land by Melanie Corona

On Patrick Griffin’s deathbed, he asks his daughter Brigid to do the unthinkable--leave the Township of Melbourne with a dangerous convict. If she grants his request and risks trekking into the desert with a stranger, she could lose everything she’s come to know. Ultimately, she could end up alone, with nothing but her father’s memory.

After being thrown into jail, Nathaniel O'Connor comes out of the experience bitter and ready to leave the gold rush life well and truly behind him. He is determined to take for himself what he feels Patrick Griffin has stolen from him. The only thing standing between him and his goal is Patrick’s headstrong daughter, Brigid.

Forced to work together, Brigid and Nathaniel embark on the journey of a lifetime. Traveling across the vast, unexplored countryside, they face not only the elements but also a ruthless man driven by shocking greed. Their challenges draw them together, and their experiences could not only change their outlook on life forever but turn their hearts to one another as well.

Sometimes, though, what the heart needs and what the heart wants are two different things. Each has a choice to make, which may result in a loss neither wants, that of a Treasured Land.






Excerpts from Treasured Land

Brigid wanted to hold her breath in anticipation, silently praying they could make it past all the tents and men, without a scene. Harmonicas sounded out here and there through the night, played by the men who were winding down from a long day in the sun. The air was crisp and clear, with only the lingering scent of fires from supper floating on the light breeze. Stars littered the dark sky, lighting their way yet concealing them in the shadow of night. It was almost enough to put her to sleep. She was tired, and again they were on the run, but this time toward Melbourne. Life certainly hadn’t been the same for her since meeting Nathaniel, and she had a feeling it wasn’t ever going to be, either.


Coming over the top to stand near the trees, Brigid wanted to scream. She dropped to the ground as quickly as she could to lie on her stomach, afraid she might have been spotted already. Brigid could see the outline of a man with his arms held above his head. He hung from a rope tied up to a tree branch. Two white trees like the ones she laid between, these two were also standing on their own with nothing else around them. It was Nathaniel hanging there. It had to be, and he wasn’t alone. Someone sat at the base of the other tree, keeping guard. She didn’t know if they were alone or if anyone else was around. She would have to wait it out for a while to see. She wasn’t equipped with anything she could use to help Nathaniel, so she needed to think on what to do. Brigid was both so scared and overjoyed at actually finding Nathaniel that she couldn’t do more than simply lay there anyway, her mind racing in too many directions.



An old man with long white hair and white beard stood and came over to stand near the fire. He looked to them, nodding.



Welcome to the land, our home. Be welcome to pass by here,” Sam said, his voice coming in just after the old man spoke to them. They continued that way, the old man talking with Sam interpreting what was said. “The welcome dance also awakens the spirits of our ancestors. They welcome you, too. We want to tell you a story, a story that has changed the lives of this people.”



Nathaniel turned to look at Brigid at the same time she turned to him. They both had no idea where this was going to lead, but the old man had their attention, and all they could do was listen.



He looked up to Brigid and smiled. “Badalya mean food. Tucker tonight, and now he dead.”



Nathaniel had to move swiftly to catch Brigid across his arms when she promptly fainted. He looked over the dead body of their supposed supper and frowned at Sam.



“Hey, boss, give her this.”



Nathaniel watched Sam pull a bunch of leaves of some sort out from the back pocket of his pants. He held it to his lips before shoving it in Nathaniel’s shirt pocket. “For dyinmang belly.”



Nathaniel just stared at Sam, not knowing what to say just then as he continued to hold a limp Brigid in his arms. Sam stood and began to drag the kangaroo away. Nathaniel was simply speechless to all that just had taken place, and he sighed as he looked back down to Brigid.



Brigid locked her gaze with his. He couldn’t look away even if he wanted to. She was too mesmerizing at that moment, sitting in the shade, soft pink cheeks, and…nostalgic. She took his breath away.



“I would not have let you live the way we had and would have been angry at Patrick if he brought you out there. I am angry at him because it had come close to that.”



She did smile at him this time. Her pink lips parted, revealing her lovely straight teeth, and his chest swelled, honoured to have been the recipient of it. “Why do you smile, Brigid?”



“Because, Nathaniel, it did nae make a difference anyway. Ye are mad at him now, and I am living somewhat the way he did.”








Melanie Corona
Melanie Corona was born in Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia, and raised in Alice Springs (the very centre of the country). She has always loved reading and telling "tall tales" and wrote poetry all the time. Her greatest influence was her grandpa Majid who kept all the grandchildren entertained, constantly, with his stories, music and passion for writing.


Melanie didn't tell anyone she wrote when she started because she was too shy, and now, has no idea why she was like that. She has stories to tell and wants to share them with whoever will read them. “I am not, and never will profess to be an awesome writer, but I will try to entertain, while bringing to life the history of my country, one page at a time.”

Melani Corona

January 23, 2015

New Cover Reveal: Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding

Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding
Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding
Coral Sinclair is a beautiful but naïve twenty-five-year-old photographer who has just lost her father. She's leaving the life she's known and traveling to Kenya to take ownership of her inheritance – the plantation that was her childhood home – Mpingo. On the voyage from England, Coral meets an enigmatic stranger to whom she has a mystifying attraction. She sees him again days later on the beach near Mpingo, but Coral's childhood nanny tells her the man is not to be trusted. It is rumored that Rafe de Monfort, owner of a neighboring plantation and a nightclub, is a notorious womanizer having an affair with her stepmother, which may have contributed to her father's death.
Circumstance confirms Coral's worst suspicions, but when Rafe's life is in danger she is driven to make peace. A tentative romance blossoms amidst a meddling ex-fiancé, a jealous stepmother, a car accident, and the dangerous wilderness of Africa. Is Rafe just toying with a young woman's affections? Is the notorious womanizer only after Coral's inheritance? Or does Rafe's troubled past color his every move, making him more vulnerable than Coral could ever imagine?

Excerpt
Though the afternoon sunshine was beginning to fade, the air was still hot and heavy. Coral was struck by the awesome silence that surrounded them. Not a bird in sight, no shuffle in the undergrowth, even the insects were elusive. They climbed a little way up the escarpment over the plateau and found a spot that dominated the view of the whole glade. Rafe spread out the blanket under an acacia tree. They ate some chicken sandwiches and eggs and polished off the bottle of cordial. They chatted casually, like old friends, about unimportant mundane things, as though they were both trying to ward off the real issue, to stifle the burning embers that were smoldering dangerously in both their minds and their bodies.
All the while, Coral had been aware of the need blossoming inside her, clouding all reason with desire. She could tell that he was fighting his own battle. Why was he holding back? Was he waiting for her to make the first move? Rafe was lying on his side, propped up on his elbow, his head leaning on his hand, watching her through his long black lashes. The rhythm of his breathing was slightly faster, and she could detect a little pulse beating in the middle of his temple, both a suggestion of the turmoil inside him. Rafe put out a hand to touch her but seemed to change his mind and drew it away. Coral stared back at him, her eyes dark with yearning, searching his face.
The shutters came down. “Don’t, Coral,” Rafe whispered, “don’t tease. There’s a limit to the amount of resistance a man has.”
“But Rafe…”
A flash of long blue lightning split the sky, closely followed by a crash of thunder. Coral instinctively threw herself into Rafe’s arms, hiding her face against his broad chest. She had always had a strong phobia of thunderstorms. Now she knew why the place had seemed eerie, why there had been no bird song or insect tick-tocks, no scuffling and ruffling in the undergrowth. Even though the skies when they entered the valley had not foretold the electrical storm that was to come, just like with the animals, her instinct had told her that something was wrong. But she had been too distracted by the turbulence crackling between her and Rafe to pay attention to the changing sky.
Rafe, too, was shaken out of his daze and turned his head to see that the sun had dropped behind the mountain. Dense clouds had swept into the valley and were hanging overhead like a black mantle.
“Where did that come from? No storm was forecast for today?” he muttered, jumping up.
There was another tremendous peal of thunder, lightning lit up the whole glade, and again another crash. Then the heavy drops of rain came hammering down against the treetops, pouring down through the foliage.
A wind was starting up. Without hesitation, Rafe folded the blanket into a small bundle and tucked it under his arm. He slung the hamper over his shoulder, and lifting Coral into his arms, he climbed his way up to the next level of the escarpment where a ledge of rock was jutting out and found the entrance to a cave where they could shelter. Coral was shivering. She tucked her face into his shoulder, her fingers tightly gripping his shirt. She was completely inert, paralyzed by fear. They were both drenched.
There was no way they would be able to get back to Narok tonight. Coral knew from her childhood that storms were always long in this part of the country, and through her panic she prayed that he wouldn’t be piloting that little plane back in this howling gale. At least here they were protected from the storm. It was not yet completely dark. Rafe looked around, still holding her tightly against him. Coral couldn’t herself as she sobbed uncontrollably.
“Shush, it’s all right,” he whispered softly in her ear. “It’s only a storm. By tomorrow morning it’ll all be over.” He brushed her tears away as more fell. “I’m going to have to set you down for a moment, Coral. I need to light us a fire and get you out of those wet clothes.”

Author Hannah Fielding
Author Hannah Fielding

Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: she writes full time, splitting her time between her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.

To date, she has published two novels. Burning Embers is a vivid, evocative love story set against the backdrop of tempestuous and wild Kenya of the 1970s, reviewed by one newspaper as ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’. The Echoes of Love is a story of passion, betrayal and intrigue set in the romantic and mysterious city of Venice and the beautiful landscape of Tuscany.

January 21, 2015

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