Monthly Archives: May 2013

Return to Finndragon’s Den #2


Good Morning to all our followers.

We have another treat in store for you today. Today we are reviewing “Return to Finndragon’s Den” the sequel to the brilliant “The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse” by Richie Earl. And we don’t just have one review, but three. A few of us Orchard girlies had the pleasure of beta reading this book and we would like to thank Richie for giving us the opportunity to be part of something brilliant! 🙂


Review Time 🙂

Review done by Laura

The much awaited sequel to The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

We catch up with Emma, Scott & Megan in their quest to try and find their father again after he was trapped in the medieval world at the end of the 1st book. With the help of a few old characters like Gwayne, Geraint & Evan and some new friends the children have made in the time they have spent in the medieval world, their all come together to try and defeat the evil Finndragon once and for all.

Will the curse be broken in time to save the children and the kingdom or will Finndragon’s curse live on forever?

This is definitely a must read for all you Harry Potter fans. The story had me gripped from the start and I couldn’t wait to find out how the story would unfold. There was plenty of “ooohhss” & “arrrrs” & “OMG’s” from me. The imagination that has gone into this book is spectacular and Richie Earl should be very proud of himself for these books.


Review done by Nicola

As a club we were asked to beta read this book, we had never done this before but I must say I really enjoyed it. I was a bit worried about offending the author with my views but he took everything in his stride and I’m really looking forward to reading the final version and seeing what, if any, changes he made 🙂

After reading book 1 I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next instalment and wondered if it would carry on from where the first left off, the author didn’t disappoint me on this.
The Davies children are “whisked” back to the past in the second vain attempt to save their father and their new friends from the evil clutches of Finndragon. Will good triumph over evil or will the land lay in darkness of eternity?

I preferred the second book out of the two as I found it had more action and kept my attention, not that the first one didn’t. The author didn’t lack on the detail when describing a location (the discription of the meadow was fantastic!) or a person which I like, it’s all in the detail people!
The whole story was easy to follow and I couldn’t seem to put it down, I was a little bit gutted to see it end…… But like all good things, they must come to an end. If you like the fantasy aspect of a book then this is a book I would highly recommend to you.

Richie Earl seems to have the flair with the fantasy side of a story and I hope to see and read more of his stuff even if he decides to venture away from his genre. A very well earned 5 golden apples from me 🙂


Review done by Simone

I was involved in beta reading this book and absolutely loved it. 🙂

This story is a continuation of the first. The siblings find themselves, once again, being transported into the magical medieval world. However, lots has changed since their last visit, and the children find that they must familiarise themselves with the unexpected, all the while fighting to save their father in a bid to finally bring him home.

Will the children succeed this time around? Is time on their side? Will the final battle prove too much for the young trio or will they never find a way to return home as a family?

A captivating read!

I really enjoyed this story. It follows on perfectly from the first, bringing back old characters, but also introducing the new.

The magic and mystery is ever present, whilst the plot is action packed, full of unexpected twists.

And you are definatly left wondering, thinking and asking questions!!

I would recommend this story- a must if you have read the first!!


Join us again next Wednesday for our final post on this blog tour. We will have all the links for both books and an interview, with who you might ask, well you are just going to have check back with us next week to find out more 😉

~Laura, Nicola & Simone~


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Author spotlight – Samantha Fontien – How To Catch Butterflies


The time has come to finally introduce Samantha Fontien’s brand new book, How To Catch Butterflies, and  boy are you in for a treat!
Prepare yourself for an emotional roller coaster of up and downs as you join Rebecca and her best friend Lucy on a whirlwind adventure that is life, and boy do these girls know how to live!!


Book blurb ~

For 7 years Career girl Rebecca Keane had been stuck in an abusive relationship with David Rosenberg. Until one night, fate intervenes enforcing the strong minded Lucy Watters her long lost best friend, back into her life.
Will David Rosenberg let her go?
Together the two friends will embark on a journey of self discovery. Can they learn to trust or love again? Or will career’s and life get in the way.
Can Rebecca and Lucy learn how to spread their wings and fly? Or will they fall into one of the men’s nets, and be caught forever?
Join these two London girls on their international journey of love in the first part of a series of Butterflies books, because ‘Girls should be pretty to see but hard to catch’.


Simone’s Review ~

This is the story of Rebecca, a beautiful, clever young woman who settled down very young and convinced herself life was perfect.
However Rebecca suffers domestic violence at the hands of her fiancé of 7 years, David. He grinds her down and alienates her from her friends, until one evening, he takes things too far….

With the help of her equally beautiful, sassy best friend Lucy, Rebecca turns her life around. She finds the strength to leave her life and move on from David. She learns how to live, have fun and find herself again.

The story is set in London, with both women having very successful careers, and all the luxuries that come with such a lifestyle. They work hard and play hard.
Along the way, both girls find love and break hearts, and they do both with class and style.

The men in the story are all (bar one horrible exception- David) likeable in their own way. They each have their own positives and negatives, and they fall under the spell of the young women immediately.
Both Rebecca and Lucy each have two of the men fighting, at times physically, over them: Rebecca is loved by Jason, who has watched her from the sidelines for years, but she catches the eye of the successful, handsome “man-whore” Jackson. Who will she choose? Lucy is worshipped by the wealthy George, but catches the curiosity of Christopher each time she runs out on him- who will manage to win her over?
These choices the women make will shape all of their lives.

I loved this story.
And then when I realised it was based on real-life people and events- I loved it even more.
The story is genuine and believable, and it shows how with love and support, a person can come back from a very dark place, and can come back in such a brilliant, positive successful way. Very inspiring.
The characters are believable, with their own individualities, flaws and issues. They are likeable with strong personalities- each character so different from the others.

I loved the freshness of a story having two very beautiful, career driven, successful young women take the lead. These two women take no rubbish from men, and set their own rules firmly in place. They are not fazed or halted, even by high flying, successful men- men who are used to getting their own way, especially with women.

**I loved the “smut” also… 😉
And there is quite a bit of smut to be enjoyed…!**

The plot is well developed, with places and scenarios described in great detail. Outfits, buildings and situations all come to life as there is so much detail put into describing them.
There is an added depth also, with there being a playlist of songs to accompany each chapter. The music really takes you into the story, into that characters life at that moment in time.
Again- brilliant.

I really can’t wait for the next instalment. I want more! I need to know what happens next and to find out which of the men the women’s futures are bound to.



A sneak peek at Chapter 26 😉

It was then her phone started to ring, with her free hand she fished for the phone in her huge Bag, which doubled as her briefcase.
“Rebecca Keane well I never, Glad your home…. Did you miss me?”
Said the voice at the other end of the phone,
“Open the door”.
She was still moving to the tune, smiling to herself as she shimmied to the door. Don’t ask her why she did what she was told; she probably would have blamed it on the jetlag.
Upon opening the door, was her voice at the other end of her phone.
His eyes lit up at the sight of her, a smile forming on his hansom face as their gazes met. They continued to talk on their devices. He was standing there, one arm extended leaning against the door join.
He was wearing a formal separate suit jacket with jeans and a simple fitted white T. Around his neck, a cashmere scarf which hung loosely over the lapels of his jacket.

He looked gorgeous, as soon as she saw him as her heart started to pound. She could see his biceps through the outline of the fitted jacket. She wanted him, she could feel the ache within her grow.

He still spoke into his phone toying with her.

“Come here”, he smiled at her with his come to bed eyes that burned right through her.

Mocking him she spoke.

“Uh uh, if you want me, you come here” as she pointed to the ground before her.

She looked back at him, defiantly. Jackson didn’t have to be told twice as he moved towards her, sweeping her off her feet. His mouth firmly planted on hers.

“So Jackson, have you been a good boy while I’ve been away?” she asked
“I Rebecca, have been a very good boy, while you were away. Its’s been a long 2 weeks believe me. I want you as the song say’s ‘Right here Right now’” his lips caressing her neck tenderly.

“Do you know how much I’ve missed you?”

He pulled her hand down towards the bulge in his trousers. She laughed

“Are you sure”

She gave him a little squeeze. She could feel the need in him,

“Then let’s see how much”.

Rebecca grabbed Jackson’s scarf, pulling him in the direction of her bedroom.


Nicola’s Review ~

Samantha was onto a winner with this book just with the front cover, I love butterflies, lol.
But this book is nothing like I anything I have ever read, made all the more fabulous by the fact that it’s also based on real life events. It had me laughing, crying and also asking how the freakin hell do I get a life like this……… But I only wan the good bits, the clothes, the job, the men 😉 shallow I know but you’ll also want these things once you read it!

Right back to the smut……. I mean book…….. It begins with poor Rebecca, stuck in a dead end relationship with “shithead” David, who if I’m honest I wanted really REALLY bad things to happen to him! After the final straw that leaves her black and blue enough is enough, Rebecca decides its time for changes and with the help or her lovely and very sassy friend, Lucy, Rebecca turns her life around….. And for the better!
These girls live the life, high earning jobs, and guys that fall over backwards to be with them.

The characters are very believable, and the events that happen in these people’s lives, OMG, you couldn’t make it up!
Lucy has to be my favourite character, she’s confident, sassy and takes no crap….. From anyone! She had me in stitches with some of the things she got up to.
As for Rebecca, I’m sorry Samantha but the whole Jason thing, I wanted to slap her!! Talk about stabbing a guy in the heart 😦
Now for the guys *dreamy look crosses my face* where do we start?
Jason ~ I love him (Beverly Hollowed I WILL fight you for him!) broke my heart with the things that happened, I cried…. No scratch that….. I sobbed into my pillow 😥
George ~ truth will out…… But talk about putting your foot in it…. Typical bloke!
Jackson ~ The “man whore” now this guy is growing on me, time will tell.
Chris ~ the guy with the massive c**k! Lucy’s words not mine…… But if I can have his number 😉
Did I cover everyone? Maybe….. maybe not.

To sum it up, Samantha you did good girl, this book kept me VERY entertained. I laughed, I cried, I “OMFG what were you thinking?” And I did a whole lot of messaging to Samantha while I read, for explanations.
If book 1 is anything to go by then book 2 should be a blast! I shall be forcing this book on all my smut loving girlies as I know they will enjoy it very much, I fact after these reviews they may even rip my arm off for it!!


After reading all that do you want a teaser? Of course you do…….

Chapter 5 ~
When she came down there was Jason air drumming to ‘The Chain’, she laughed to herself he obviously had not expected her down so soon, but he’d forgotten, that it was a perfectly normal Jason thing he done in front of her so many times before. She loved that about him that he was passionate about everything he done, that was Jason through and through.

‘God she really had made a bad choice many years’ ago she thought looking at the Adonis wrapped in a towel before her….

As the well known guitar rift (used for Formula 1 racing) started to charge the air it must have spurred Jason into walking over to Rebecca, he pulled her to him whispering in her ear “ Bec’s you made the wrong choice years ago…..make the right choice now….choose me”…. he begged, ….their eye’s then met…as did their lips….

Jason could feel Rebecca’s soft silky body against him.

Naturally, he went hard, she felt his arousal as she turned her back into him, pressing against him, reciprocating his advances, as he ran his hand down her thigh slowly.

She pressed closer against him as her arm encircled the back of his neck pulling him to her.

Jason moved his hand up her thigh again his fingers gliding, teasing as they trailed to her awaiting pert ni**les.


And we can’t leave sassy Lucy out 😉

Lucy & George

He loved his kitchen and he loved to cook, especially for her she wasn’t in to all the fancy restaurants and he had prepared dinner earlier while waiting for her to finish work. When she entered the kitchen ‘Dark side of the Moon ’was playing on the docking station that was set into the huge seamless island, he had stripped and was only wearing an apron standing at the cooker “I’m doing Shepherd’s Pie “(it was her favorite) his back was turned to her exposing his firm tight tanned arse, he always sunbathed naked on his Yacht moored in Cannes. “Oye Cheeky” she said slapping his firm buttocks “Oh yes… please May I have another “he said. She slapped him again “Another” he said looking over his shoulder at her “Another”.

Hope your all ok after reading that….. If not grab a quick COLD shower and we will give you the links for following Samantha and that all important GIVEAWAY!!


Facebook ~
Twitter ~
Goodreads ~

That all important giveaway link ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Kristy at Book Addict Mumma for her hard work on organising the blog tour and to Samantha for letting us review and snoop into her life 🙂

~Simone and Nicola~

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Tainted Waters

Good morning to all our followers, old & new 🙂

Today we are proud to present Maggie Thom’s blog tour for “Tainted Waters”


“He didn’t commit suicide but who’s going to believe her…

Frustrated at being fired from her latest job and overwhelmed by her consolatory family, Sam decides to move to the family’s cabin at the lake. A place she hasn’t been since her dad committed suicide there twenty years before. Or did he? Snooping is something she’s good at but someone seems to be taking offence to her looking too closely at what has been happening at the lake. What she discovers is shocking. Now she must uncover what’s real and what’s not. All that she learned growing up, may be false. Keegan, who has recently moved to the area, to finish his latest book is also trying to find out if his grandfather, who’d passed away ten years before, died of natural causes or was murdered? The descendants of the four families who own the land around the lagoon are dying off. Since Sam and Keegan are the only ones questioning the deaths, they find themselves working together to seek the truth. Are people being murdered? Who would benefit from their deaths? Why would there be barricades and armed guards at the north end of the lake? To stay alive, Sam and Keegan must find the answers and convince others, before more people are killed… including them.”

We will be doing two reviews for this book as myself (Laura) and Nicola both wanted to read it 🙂

Review done by Laura

I enjoyed Tainted Waters thoroughly from the moment I started to read it. I especially loved the two characters, Sam & Keegan and their journey to seek the truth.

Sam and Keegan’s paths cross when they are both inadvertently looking for the same thing; the truth.

Sam is trying to dig up the truth regarding her father’s apparent suicide and Keegan doesn’t believe that his Grandfather died of natural causes. Together they start to unravel the secrets surrounding the deaths of their loved ones and these new findings might just put Sam & Keegan and those close to them in grave danger.

Will they discover the secrets surrounding the lake before it’s too late?

I would definitely recommend this book and would love to read more of Maggie Thom’s work.


Review done by Nicola

There’s been a murder……. Only no one knows its a murder! It was a car accident or a burglary or natural causes, but Sam doesn’t believe this and neither does Keegan. So they decide to take it upon themselves to find out what is going on, while putting their own life’s at risk.
I LOVED this book! It was fast paced and had me gripped from the start….. And talk about twists! Just when I thought I knew where this story was leading…… Bang!….. Plot twist!
I loved Sam’s nosy, I won’t stand for any crap character….. Which usually landed her in trouble, and in some cases a LOT of trouble.
Keegan……oh Keegan……. A guy that never gives up, even when he’s black a blue! Just as stubborn as Sam and even more loveable.
If you like your Thrillers (like me) then this is a book for you, I have Maggie Thoms next book and I’m itching to start it!!


To find out more about Maggie please click on the following links



Laura & Nicola


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“Attic of the Mind” by Hemmie Martin

Review by Simone

attic of the mind

“Attic of the Mind” is the gripping tale set 25 years after Lilith Fields was a patient of a psychiatric ward, and suffered abuse at the hands of Walker, the supposed trusted ward nurse. Lily has waited, and suffered, for a lifetime for her moment to extract revenge on Walker, and Dr Nathan Rine, the trainee doctor who chose to stand by, thinking of his own future career and allowed her abuse to continue, unreported. However, will Lily be able to see her plans through in order to claim her long awaited happy ending, or will her demons prove too strong for her to overcome?

I found this story gripping and very difficult to put down.  Each chapter ended in such a way that it was impossible not to continue. The characters are very well developed, and they are all very “real”, each with their own flaws, issues and secrets, making the story even more believable.

I thought the plot was well developed.  The subject of abuse would always be a difficult topic to read about, and initially I thought I may find sections of this story hard because of this.  However, the author handled the subject very sensitively, and no difficult details were elaborated upon more than they needed to be. This doesn’t mean that the story is any less hard hitting, or the plot hindered in any way – it isn’t.  The author gives just enough information, in such a way that your imagination is able to piece together what has happened without actually reading lots of harrowing details.

I also thought it was a plus how even though Walker is the obvious hated character of the story, he has a section of his own childhood and private life opened up by the author, allowing you to see reasons as to why he became such a dark and destructive man, and inflicted so much pain on his victims.

I would recommend this story – how can you not love a book full of suspense, cliff-hangers, and with a huge twist at the end!!?  🙂




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The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse #1


Welcome back to week 2 of Richie Earl’s The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse #1 and I do believe it’s review time! 🙂

We have a treat for you all today as we don’t have one review but three reviwes below – Just goes to show how much us girlies loved this book 🙂


Review done by Laura

The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse is the first of a two part story which follows three children on a quest to find their father who has mysteriously disappeared.

The children are shocked to discover that an ancient curse, dating back centuries and said to have been brought about by the powerful Finndragon, is true. Finndragon’s curse brought terrible misery to the kingdom of Castell y Mynydd.

It is prophesised that the three children are the only ones who are able save the medieval kingdom and break the terrible curse. As the children are taken to a whole new world their never believed existed, will they find their father and break Finndragon’s curse or will they be trapped forever at Finndragon’s mercy?

A thoroughly fantastic read and had me gripped from the start! Richie is right in what he puts in his blurb…”it’s certainly a rollercoaster of emotions that will make you laugh and then cry”.

A must read for everyone! 🙂


Review done by Nicola

Ever wondered what it would be like to fall down the Rabbit hole and meet the Mad Hatter ? Or find Narnia in the back of your wardrobe ? We all dream of such tales of adventure but what happens when the tale becomes reality? Would you take the plunge or run and hide? Could you face the uncertain ?

This is what lies ahead for the 3 Davies Children……….. Can they help save a lost kingdom from the evil grasp of Finndragon while trying to save themselves and their missing Father ? It’s a race against time for the Children but they do have Magic and Technology on their side!

To say this is Richie Earl’s first book WOW!!

This story has more twists and turns than I know what to do with! Its fast paced, exciting and leaves you wanting more (but that’s for book 2 😉 )

The description of locations, people and demons were very detailed and I never struggled with picturing the scene. My favourite character has to be Bones the dog, why? Well you will have to read The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse to find out!


Review done by Simone

I absolutely loved this book! It is a tale packed full of fantasy and magic and I really didn’t want to put it down.

The plot explores the lives of 3 siblings who are magically transported into a medieval kingdom where they find that have to fight an evil wizard in order to break his curse and save their missing father – all in a race against the clock.

The children encounter demons, powerful wizards, danger, death and even love throughout their adventure. They find themselves overcoming obstacles and problems they would never have dreamt about having to deal with in their usual, everyday, modern lifestyles.

The characters are very well developed, and the plot has lots of exciting twists and turns. The story is fast paced and a definite page turner – you really won’t want to put it down!!

As an adult, I loved this book. I found myself genuinely feeling the emotions experienced by the characters. Obviously, this may not suit every adult, dependant on personal taste, but it was right up my street – if you enjoy stories about magic and mystery, you will love this.

I would say however that the story it suited 100% to teenagers and young adults.

Very highly recommended.


To find out more about this book and its author click on the link below

To buy this book now, click on the following links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Also up for grabs is an ecopy of The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse #1, enter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check back with us again next week for reviews of Book 2 ~ Definately not to be missed 🙂

Laura, Nicola & Simone


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The Orchards Girls meet!

After months of being just Twitter and Facebook friends us UK Girlies finely got to meet each other, we had a fabulous night as you can imagine, lots of laughs .

Just thought we would share a few pictures of our night out!

USA next 🙂

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Cover Reveal…….

Our first cover reveal, Ekkkk! Ok, so now that bits over, without further ado we would like to introduce the cover of Rose by Alison Chaffin Higson.


And what’s a book reveal without the book blurb 🙂

Mackenzie (Mack) Harper is a twenty-four year old school teacher who moves to Rose Cottage in Cape Elizabeth for the summer. She arrives with her six year old nephew, Lucas, who’s staying with her for a few weeks ­while his parents are in Europe.

Placing storage boxes on top of the kitchen cabinets, Mack finds a diary, opening it to the first page it reads, ‘This is the diary of a Rose, dated March 4th, 1947’. Settling down to read this diary, Mack discovers a love story between Rose and a man named Jacob Evans.

Realizing that Jacob is still alive and around eighty-eight years old, Mack tries to contact him to tell him Rose’s story. She leaves a message with Jacob’s housekeeper and hopes that he returns her call.

While talking to her sister on the phone she watches a, denim and leather clad, guy dismount his Harley and move in next door. Unbeknown to Mack, he’s Jacob’s thirty-two year old grandson, Dean, who has come to Cape Elizabeth to find out why she wants to talk to his grandfather about a diary and to make sure she isn’t after his grandfather’s money.

Within an hour of actually meeting Dean has his hands on her legs, although due to spilled coffee, he discovers he can’t stop touching her. Dean was only too glad to escape to Cape Elizabeth, away from his mother, who wants him to be married to Cynthia, her friend’s daughter, who he has no interest in.

Together Mack and Dean try to unravel the mystery of what actually happened to Rose in 1947.

Thomas Degan the owner of Rose Cottage is a loveable eighty year old man who befriends Lucas, taking him fishing and spends time with him reading ‘Our Gang’ Comics.

All these characters come together in a story of loss, love and friendship.

Release dat is 9th June 2013

Pop it on your Goodreads shelf now!

And for a visual effect there is a book trailer (every author NEEDS one of these)

Like what you see? Of course you do 🙂 you can connect with Alison in the following places ~

Find me on the Web ~ Goodreads ~ Pinterest ~ Find me on Twitter ~ Friend me on Facebook ~ Like me on Facebook ~ Contemporary Romance


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Price drop!!!

Author Tommy Meyers dropped the price of his book yesterday to only 77p/$0.99 that’s a total bargain! We are not sure how long this fantastic offer will last so BUY it now!

If the loved the Harry Potter books then this is defiantly one for you 🙂

Those most important buying links are below

UK ~

US ~


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The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse Book 1 – Guest Post


Good day to all our follows 🙂

Today we have a guest post from Richie Earl, author of “The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse” & “The Return to Finndragons Den”. Over the course of the next few weeks we will be hosting several guest posts from Richie. As well as being the first to start the blog tour we will also be posting more information from the author, reviews of book 1 and book 2 and a giveaway.

Us girlies at Orchard are very priviliged to be part of this tour and feel that we had a helping hand with book 2 as four of our girlies beta read the book along with several other people and boy are you all in for a treat! 😉


My name is Earl, Richie Earl that is, and I’m a young adult fantasy author. Today is the first day of my Tales of Finndragon – 1500 Years in the Making Blog Tour and I’m delighted to start at Orchard Book Club. The tour is scheduled to run until the end of June and will include interviews, guest posts and reviews.

There will be ebook giveaways and an original and exciting competition spread across the tour. First prize is 10% of my 2013 Amazon royalties, with five pairs of signed copies of The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse and Return to Finndragon’s Den for the runners-up. There will be ten questions spread across the blogs I visit, with the answers to be found in either the blogs or in the books. To enter, visit My Name’s Not Earl blogspot.

Here’s Question 1: What is Richie Earl’s real name?

Gwayne is a central character in the Tales of Finndragon series. Here he introduces himself and explains how Finndragon cursed the Kingdom of Morgannwg.

The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse

Gwayne’s Story

When I was a young boy; well I’m still a young boy, but what I mean is that a long time ago, Finndragon’s Curse really did happen. Finndragon had got banished from the Kingdom of Morgannwg and Myrddin took his place as court wizard to King Dafydd.

I had dreamed of being a wizard for some time and I got my wish when I was taken on as an apprentice to Myrddin. He was still quite young himself, but I soon came to realise that he was a very powerful maker of magic. It was with great excitement that I began my apprenticeship; I expected to be performing all manner of wonderful enchantments, but alas, all that I was allowed to do for almost two years was collect ingredients for Myrddin’s spells. It was absolutely awful, I can tell you!

Okay, there must have been some good times, but all that I can remember is the dirty, smelly jobs that I had to do. If you’ve never stood behind a cow in calf, who’s about to give birth, then you probably don’t know what I mean. And if you’ve never had to scrape bat dung from the floor of a cave, you would find it hard to place yourself in my shoes.

But I loyally followed all of Myrddin’s orders, with the promise that he would soon start my tuition in magic and wizardry. It was about that time that Finndragon got banished from Morgannwg and Myrddin got the job of Court Wizard. I couldn’t believe my luck; here was I, Gwayne, apprentice to the King’s wizard. I only had to bide my time, obey my master and one day…. yes one day it would all be mine.

I have to admit that I hardly paid any attention to that old curse; you know the one where Finndragon warned that unless his exile was lifted, he would sink the Kingdom of Morgannwg into the earth and it would be set upon by monsters and demons until the end of time and never be seen again. I was just so excited that I would be living in the palace with Myrddin and our beloved King Dafydd.

But that no good Myrddin had no intention of taking me into the palace with him. He made me look after his dwelling and all of his lotions and potions whilst he lived it up with the nobles and the gentry. He may have occasionally given me a little instruction in the art of wizardry, but I was not progressing as well as I had hoped.

More than once I told him that I’d had enough and no longer wanted to be his apprentice, but he wouldn’t let me go, threatening to turn me into all manner of unmentionable and unimaginable creatures.

You may wonder as to what exactly makes a wizard. Truly great wizards, such as Finndragon, are born with magic coursing through their veins, whilst others have to learn the art over a very long period from their master. It would take even great wizards many years to attain the incredible power of one such as Finndragon, who is probably the greatest there has ever been. It is said that although he was an old man, he had been able to cast a spell on himself in his later years which virtually stopped the march of time for him. So he had now lived at least five lifetimes. Unfortunately I fall into the latter category and I now had no master, (oh, I haven’t told you about that yet. Don’t worry, I’ll get around to it soon enough).

I’ll never forget that day when the curse of Finndragon befell Castell y Mynydd and all of the Kingdom of Morgannwg, even if I live another fifteen hundred years. I had been serving Myrddin for just over a year and he was still filling my time with the most unpleasant tasks, while neglecting my tuition in the arts of magic.

That entire sunny day had been spent scrabbling around at the bottom of the large, filthy duck pond, trying to gather the roots of the countless reeds that adorned the pond. Apart from being dirty, the water was very cold particularly at the bottom which, in the middle, was about twice as deep as I am tall. The task was especially difficult as I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face. And of all the days to have such a duty, it had to be right in the middle of the Feast of August when everyone else in the kingdom were having so much fun at King Dafydd’s castle.

Of course I had tried to get out of it in the first place, “I can’t swim!” I objected, but Myrddin was having none of my excuses.

“You won’t need to swim boy, just crawl along the bottom and pull out the roots, but be careful not to damage them as I need them intact for my spells!” he had shouted violently at me.

I don’t know why, but I don’t think Myrddin liked me very much. Nevertheless I continued to plead my case, “The water is very deep, so I won’t be able to get to the bottom!”

“Don’t you think I’ve thought of that, you idiot. You can tie this sack around your waist; I’ve weighed it down with heavy stones. There’s plenty of room in there for the roots too!”

“But I will surely drown if I am weighed down, then what use will I be to you, Master?”

By the look on his face, I could see that Myrddin had just about lost his patience with me and the next words he hurled my way were streaked with malice. “I am Myrddin, the mighty wizard to King Dafydd, the ruler of the most powerful kingdom in Wales!” He spat out each syllable, covering me in tiny beads of his saliva.

“Don’t you think that I would have a spell suitable for such a task?”

With that, he swirled an arm around his head and swung it in my direction. I felt nothing at first, but gradually a strange sensation came over me. My chest seemed to tighten and try as I might, I could not get any breath into my aching lungs. I could feel my eyes starting to bulge and put my hands to my throat, vainly hoping that would somehow help. Myrddin stood there laughing and passers-by stopped to see what the fuss was about. In any other circumstance I would probably have felt embarrassed, but at this moment, the only emotion I had was one of sheer panic.

Myrddin continued to laugh as he tied the heavy sack around my waist and I sensed a blackness creeping up on me, as my eyes became heavy. The crowd slowly disappeared from the edges of my vision and all I could see was Myrddin as he started to push me towards the pond. I could barely stand and I staggered and stumbled, before falling to my knees at the water’s edge. I knew with a dreadful certainty that I was about to die. I felt like I drowning on dry land.

Just as it seemed I could last no longer, Myrddin kicked me in the small of my back and sent me sprawling into the muddy water. “You must fill the bag with roots and only then will the spell wear off!” he half laughed, half shouted.

I splashed head first into the pond. Gasping for air, my lungs quickly filled with the stagnant, slimy water. The revolting taste in my mouth was surpassed by the vile stench that assaulted my nasal passages. But then the most amazing thing happened; gradually I realised that the suffocating feeling was slipping away and I could actually breathe. After a couple of minutes of being half submerged, my head cleared and the pain left my chest. I pushed my head up and out of the water and struggled to my feet. My head had barely been out of the water for a few seconds when the awful feeling of suffocation returned.

“You are a complete fool, Gwayne,” Myrddin roared with laughter. “Get back into the pond and you will be able to breathe water. Fill the sack and you must get out quickly, because you will once again need air.”

So I had little choice other than to do as my master had ordered. I didn’t know how long I’d been down there, but I must have spent many hours clawing at the muddy bottom. I pulled out the reeds by their roots, always careful not to damage them. When the bag was nearly full, I tried to find my way to the shallower water near the edge of the pond. I popped my head out quickly and was surprised to find that it was night-time; the brilliant sunshine having been replaced by a brightly glowing full moon. I resumed my task and ripped up the last few reeds I needed to fill the sack. Myrddin was right, for as soon as it was full I was overcome by a new feeling of drowning, a true feeling as I was actually drowning.

I stood tall and scrambled frantically out of the water. Coughing violently for several minutes, I tried to clear the filth from my respiratory tract before my breathing returned to normal. I was lying on my back besides the pond thinking that as long as I live, nothing as awful or frightening could ever befall me again, but then a terrible storm came up from nowhere. In two shakes of a lamb’s tail everything was in pitch darkness. Except for Castell y Mynydd, that is, which was illuminated by a single shaft of moonlight. Every fire and light within the castle was extinguished by the howling wind and the lashing rain. The waters in the pond began to bubble and boil and the ground began to shake.

I saw Myrddin rushing by, turning into a hawk as he ran and he flew away (see, I told you that I’d get around to it) before the kingdom sank into the earth. Everything began to spin around violently in the same way as water gets sucked into a whirlpool. A mountain rose up above the spot where the kingdom had been just a minute before. Orange flames sprang up suddenly, dimly illuminating the entire land.

The whole world changed that day and has been the same ever since. Fifteen hundred years spent in the largest cave imaginable, waiting and hoping for someone to break Finndragon’s Curse. And I still have a large sack full of the roots of all those filthy reeds!

So here was I, left high and dry, in a land plunged into the bowels of the earth. King Dafydd soon sought me out, hopeful that I may have learnt enough from Myrddin to be of some service to him. He quickly realised that I would be of no use and I was left to my own devices. For centuries I tried to teach myself the craft of magic, but without even the slightest encouragement of a wholly successful spell, until one day I was visited by a peculiar group of children. Ah, but that’s another story, a true story, not a legend.

So that’s The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse for you; believe it to be a myth if you will. But beware, because Finndragon still lives and his demons persecute us all and we are only just beneath your very feet!

Also up for grabs is a ebook copy of The Legend Of Finndragon’s Curse, enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check back with us next week for our REVIEW’S, yes more than one, of the first instalment of Finndragon.

~Laura, Nicola & Simone~


Filed under Book promos, Giveaway, interview

Author spotlight – Beverley Hollowed – No Second Chances



Before starting this book or review please have the following to hand:-

Tissues. For the crying……obviously, you dirty minded people! 😉
A fan…..cos it’s gonna get HOT!
A cold running shower……you will need it.
A dry set of underwear…… 😉 😉 😉


Author Infomation

I am Beverley, though my friends call me Bev, I am 38 years old and I live in Dublin with my Husband and 2 sons. I love to read and I love music.

I has been writing as long as I can remember

I released my first book in December 2012 called Forever and Always.

My new book, No Second Chances (the first book from The Chances Series) is due for release April 29th….

Some random fact about me…. I am a middle child, I have a fear of Mirrors and birds and I make custom Jewellery.

To keep in touch with Bev, click on the following links.

Good Reads :


No nonsense mechanic, Ally Brody is a ‘one chance only’ kind of girl. When she catches her boyfriend, of two years, cheating with his assistant on a surprise visit to his office, there will be No Second Chances.

Determined not to fall for the wrong kind of man again, she comes face to face with Cole Thomas. He is gorgeous, charming, rich and everything Ally swore she should stay away from.

Cole wants Ally and he will stop at nothing until he gets what he desires. Bit by bit he breaks through her barriers and takes her on a journey of love and sexual awakenings. Will her obsessed ex, who refuses to accept it’s over, or a secret Cole himself is hiding, destroy their relationship before it even gets started?

Can Ally break her own rule and explore the possibility that Cole just might be the one worthy of a Second Chance?

Laura’s Review

WOW! What can I say! Beverley Hollowed has done it again and written another fabulous book that I would recommend anyone to read!

Mechanic, Ally Brody, is left reeling after she catches her boyfriend of two years with another woman. She is determined never to be hurt like that again and decides no second chances. After pulling over and helping with a car breakdown, she comes face to face with the extremely gorgeous and very sexy Cole Thomas.

Cole is everything Ally said she would never again look for in a man but Cole wants Ally and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. After slowly beginning to gain her trust, he takes her on a wild & intense sexual journey that Ally will never forget.

But can their happiness survive with Ally’s psychotic ex-boyfriend hanging around and a huge secret that Cole is carrying which could threaten their future together forever. Will Ally cave in and break her own rule and give Cole a second chance?

This book is again beautifully written and with the books of Beverley’s that I’ve read, I’ve always been able to really feel the story and absorbed myself in the book. I so cannot wait for the 2nd part in the Cole Thomas story and hope that Cole & Ally get the happiness their deserve 🙂

Check out Bev’s book trailer

Nicola’s review

Ohh Beverley hollowed has written a book about me! Ok so she had to change my name but still……..
Female mechanic – (engineer) so almost, check.
Arsey male customers that can’t get their head around a female knowing more about their car than them – smug check 🙂
Physco ex boyfriend that can’t accept that he’s a total dick and needs to do one – haven’t we all had one of these? So definitely check
Ok so this is where we kinda go off track……
Daddy issues – nope not me
Hot, sexy, British guy that can’t leave me alone – unfortunately not 😦 and I don’t live in Dublin (but I could move!)

Ok, so I confess it’s not really about me but about Tom boy mechanic Ally Brody who has had it with high flying, selfish, controlling men! She wants nothing more to do with them….ever! That is until she crosses the path of Cole Thomas, hot, rich and sexy business man who’s car has broken down. Ally falls soft, even after she gets the “YOU’RE going to fix my car!?” Remark (strike one) and helps him out.
With Ally’s good deed of the day done she’s on her way, hoping never to see hot, sexy and totally arsey Cole again…….. How wrong could she be!

Cole being the stubborn kind of guy that he is, has his mind set on Ally and will stop at nothing to make her his. After finally getting Ally to let him in they are on the path to a whirlwind romance but something is holding Cole back. Could this secret make or break them and is their relationship strong enough to survive this? You will have to read it to find out *evil laugh*

Bev, Bev, Bev…… I’m not sure if I should be thanking you for my new book boyfriend or hate you for having to wait for book 2!!

This book was fabulous and I will recommend it to all my book boyfriend addicts. It makes a change to have a strong female character who doesn’t break down every five seconds. The relationship between Ally and Cole is very believable with their ups and downs. As for the bedroom scenes *blush* Bev I’m shocked 😉 After finishing No Second Chances I emailed Bev and begged her not to break my heart, lets just hope that she doesn’t with book 2!

An interview with the FABULOUS Beverley Hollowed

1. What’s a typical day like?
Well I have two sons, my youngest has special needs. So usually hectic. My day starts at 7:30 when I get up to get the lads out to school. They are both gone by 9 am. I do my house work and then spend the day in front of the laptop trying to write (but usually getting sucked in by Facebook lol)… When the lads get home from school it’s homework and then dinner when the hubby gets home…then I am back to the laptop most evenings. Not a very exciting day but usually very busy.

2. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I’m not sure really. I always just wrote. When I was little it was poetry and short stories. Then when I was a teenager the stories began to get longer and longer. I wrote my first full length story when I was about 18. When my 2 boys came along writing took a back seat. Until last summer I started writing again. And I wrote Forever and Always. Writing is just something that has always been in me to do. When I write I get lost in the words and I am truly happy.

3. Are there any authors or books that influenced you in any way, either growing up or as an adult?
As a teenager I loved the Sweet Dreams books. I had over a hundred of them. My dream was to write my own Sweet Dreams book but of course that never happened. As I got older the theme of the stories I wrote changed. I do think reading the 50 Shades Trilogy (Which I loved) gave me the guts to push the boundaries in what I wrote. Sex was no longer scary to write about. Think I surprised a lot of people I knew with my naughty mind…..Maybe even myself a little. But I do like writing those scenes. It can be challenging but a lot of fun.

4. What do you do to prepare yourself before writing? Do you listen to music? Do you look at visual aids?
I listen to music mostly. I love music so there is always music blaring in my house. I have a play list for when I write. And a certain couple of songs I would listen to in particular for certain types of scenes I write about. I try listen to the music that fits the mood of the scene.

5. What motivated you to write No Second Chances?
No Second Chances was just a story I had in my head. I got the idea while writing Forever and Always so I wrote it down and added to my notes bit by bit as the ideas came to me. I had originally planned to have it another standalone book. But as I wrote it I knew there was more I wanted to tell about Ally and Cole. So that’s how part 2 came about. The plan is the story will be wrapped up in part two… but that could still change too.

6. Give us the 140 character TWEET description of No Second Chances.
He was everything she needed to stay away from. She was everything he never knew he needed. Can there be a second chance in love?

7. What part of the writing process is the hardest for you, whether it’s first draft, rewriting, or editing?
Editing. I hate editing. It’s a long, boring and at times a very frustrating part to writing. But has to be done.

8. What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Hahaha….ok I will be honest I loved chapter 13….it was fun to write and again it pushed my boundaries and I love a challenge…But my favourite was probably chapter 20. I was terrified of writing that scene. I wanted to write it without pushing it too far but also without falling flat. It is a serious topic and I wanted to do it right without making light of it. I hope I achieved what I set out to do.

9. Tell us something we don’t know about you?
I collect perfume. I am perfume mad. I have about 50 bottles of perfume my favourite perfume at the moment is Emporio Armani Diamonds.

10. Will you write other books after the Cole Thomas series?
Yes I have the outline done for 3 different stories. In fact I am off to New York in September to do research for one of them.

11. Are the Ally & Cole characters based on anyone 😉
Not really. I wish I knew a real life Cole Thomas but sadly I don’t. 

12. Did it take you long to write?
It took about 3 months to write the first draught of the book.

13. When can we expect the next instalment of Cole Thomas?
There is no date set yet but I am hoping to have How Many Chances done and dusted by September…(sorry to leave you waiting so long)

14. What are your hopes for the Cole Thomas stories? Could you see it being more than just a book?
My hopes are simply that people enjoy reading them. I think every writer imagine “what if” about their book been turned into a movie. And although that is a lovely dream I will just be happy if people read the book and fall in love with Cole and Ally the way I did.

15. No Second Chances is very different to Forever & Always. What made you write such a smutty book?! 😉
Hahaha….. Ok Forever and Always is a very different book I know. It is a very special book to me. In many ways I am Melanie. I mean, I never left anyone at the altar (lol)… but other aspects of her life is similar to mine in a way. I lived some of the things she lived through and felt everything she felt. Parts of that book broke my heart to write and I still find it hard to read back through some chapters. This was a book I could never write again because I was so connected with it. So I decided I wouldn’t try. So when I decided to write No Second Chance I decided to push myself to write something I had never written before. And it seemed it came naturally to me. Like I said I love a challenge and I challenged myself with this book and I enjoyed every moment of writing it….was fun to research lol (Just Kidding  ).. I just hope you all love reading it as much as I loved writing it

Don’t forget the giveaway!

We would like to thank Kristy @ Book Addict Mumma for organising the blog tour.
We would also like to thank the fantastic & wonderful author, Beverley Hollowed for writing such a brilliant book and giving us a new fictional boyfriend!

~Laura & Nicola~

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Filed under Book promos, Giveaway, interview, reviews