The year is almost over…

This year has been an exciting one for me with the release of The Dragon Sleeps in November. It’s the first book in The Thornton Mysteries. A cosy mystery series with a tender love story.

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Book 2 is with my publisher, with book 3 soon to follow. I’ve finished it except for a last read through.

In January, I’m starting book 4. The research is done. I’m looking forward to writing it.

Book 1 is set at Thornton Park, the family home in Victoria.

Book 2 is principally set in Daylesford, a small town in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria. Dayleford is a beautiful place, and today is known for its spas and for its natural mineral springs.

Book 3 is set at Thornton Park and the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Barossa is prime wine country.

Book 4 will take us to Norfolk Island, a beautiful island in the South Pacific not far from Australia. I went there last year to do some research. I’m going back in 2020.

I hope you’ll come on this journey with me.

This year also saw the release of Broken, a story that is free on my website.

After the tragic death of her parents, Rachael Watson ran away, leaving her sister to manage the family lavender farm and shop. Three years later, crushed by her unrelenting grief, workplace bullying, and guilt and shame for letting her sister down, Rachael decides to return home.

There, Rachael meets Ebony, a black mare who has been mistreated and beaten. Rachael realises she is not the only one who has been broken.

The Treasure is also free on my website. It’s a novelette – short than a novella but longer than a short story. YA/NA Fantasy.

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Lastly, I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas – or Happy Holidays if you don’t celebrate Christmas – and a Happy, Healthy New Year.

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The Dragon Sleep – Book of the Day

BOOK OF THE DAY

My publisher Crimson Cloak Publishing is holding a
‘Book of the Day’ promotion.


For Friday 29th November it is my book,
The Dragon Sleeps by Ellen Read

A Dragon statue. An ancient sword. A body in the orchard.

What secret has remained hidden at Thornton Park for the last eighty years?

It’s 1927 in Victoria, Australia. A time after the Great War when women have more options opened to them.

At a weekend house party at Thornton Park, Alexandra Thornton decides to break the news to her father that she wants to be an antiques dealer, like her father, grandfather and great-grandfather before her.

Guests include Zhang Huo, the Chinese antiques dealer who, with his son, has brought a Ming dragon statue from China for Thomas Thornton, Alexandra’s father.

Benedict Archer, manager of Thornton Antiques in Melbourne, is also invited.

When Edith Blackburn, her friend since childhood, points out to Alexandra that Benedict is attracted to her, Alexandra can’t believe it.

Then a body found in the orchard, and before the weekend is over, a priceless artefact is stolen.

Alexandra is determined to discover how these things are connected to the Ming dragon and the antiques her great-grandfather brought with him from Hong Kong so many years ago.

What treasure is worth killing to possess?

The link to purchase is below:
http://myBook.to/DragonSleeps

 

The Dragon Sleeps is released and available on Amazon

I’m very happy to announce that

The Dragon Sleeps

is released and available on Amazon

http://mybook.to/DragonSleeps

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A Dragon statue. An ancient sword. A body in the orchard. 

What secret has remained hidden at Thornton Park for the last eighty years? 

It’s 1927 in Victoria, Australia. A time after the Great War when women have more options opened to them. 

At a weekend house party at Thornton Park, Alexandra Thornton decides to break the news to her father that she wants to be an antiques dealer, like her father, grandfather and great-grandfather before her.

Guests include Zhang Huo, the Chinese antiques dealer who, with his son, has brought a Ming dragon statue from China for Thomas Thornton, Alexandra’s father. 

Benedict Archer, manager of Thornton Antiques in Melbourne, is also invited.

When Edith Blackburn, her friend since childhood, points out to Alexandra that Benedict is attracted to her, Alexandra can’t believe it. 

Then a body found in the orchard, and before the weekend is over, a priceless artefact is stolen. 

Alexandra is determined to discover how these things are connected to the Ming dragon and the antiques her great-grandfather brought with him from Hong Kong so many years ago. 

What treasure is worth killing to possess?

 

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The Book of the Day this week is Heart of a Warrior by Denna Holm

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The Book of the Day this week is

Heart of a Warrior by Denna Holm.  

You can buy this fabulous eBook here: http://mybook.to/HeartWarrior

Elena Murphy is devastated when Gabriel walks out of her life. When her granddaughter is abducted by aliens and left to die on a hostile world, Gabriel is part of the rescue party sent out by his Council to find her. From the start, they both know there is a strong connection between them, but Elena fears that Gabriel is embarrassed that she is only half vampire while he is a powerful Hunter who has lived for over three thousand years. But when two children under her care are abducted, Elena will do everything in her power to get them back, including swallowing her pride to beg Gabriel to take her with him to track them down.

Gabriel has spent thousands of years searching for his destined mate, his eillelé. When he finally finds her in Elena, it is to learn she is half human. He knows this makes their options as a couple limited. If he takes her back to his world, Laizahlia, his Council will force him to convert her fully to vampire, and he knows she might not survive with her mind intact. And it is forbidden for their kind to live on Earth. Rather than risk her life, he chooses to turn and walk away . . . until two children under her care are taken by Slavers, and it’s him who led them directly to her.

About Denna Holm: An expert horsewoman from Oregon, now retired from training and showing horses, Denna has now devoted her whole attention to her second passion, writing novels.

https://www.facebook.com/denna.holm.author

https://twitter.com/dennaholm

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/denna-holm

https://dennaholm.net/

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19628973-who-can-honestly-say-they-are-making-regular-profit-on-book-sales-and-ho?comment=197556980#comment_19755698

 

BOOK OF THE DAY – THE DARK WEB MURDERS

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BOOK OF THE DAY

Crimson Cloak Publishing is holding a promotion for BOOK OF THE DAY                          this Friday 20th September 2019. 

If you look a great crime, check out this fabulous book, The Dark Web Murders by Brian O’Hare. 

Go to the Amazon link to buy. 

http://mybook.to/DarkWeb

Blurb:

I am Nemein I am not a murderer. I am emotionally detached from my killings. I am, therefore,  an instrument of Nemesis, a punisher.  This is a theme running through a number of blogs on the Dark Web, written by a serial killer. He is highly intelligent and employs philosophical argument to justify a series of gruesome murders.  However, he describes the killings in lurid detail, and with such gloating relish, that he utterly negates his delusion of detachment and reveals himself to be a cold-blooded, narcissistic psychopath.

Sheehan and his team rush headlong down a series of blind alleys in the pursuit of the psychopath, who continues to murder his victims with impunity. He is fiendishly clever, utterly ruthless, and tests Sheehan’s famed intuition to the limit.  Indeed, Sheehan only learns the truth during a horrific climax when some members of his team experience a most harrowing ‘laceration of the soul’ that they will never be able to forget. It is unlikely that the reader will either.

You can read some fantastic reviews on Goodreads.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44109461-the-dark-web-murders

 

ARCs available – THE DRAGON SLEEPS by Ellen Read

**NEW ARC AVAILABLE**

THE DRAGON SLEEPS by Ellen Read

If you’re interested in reading an ARC (Advanced Reader/Review Copy) of my story in exchange for an honest review, please contact me at ellenreadauthor@gmail.com and let me know what format you prefer: mobi, epub or pdf.

ARCs - sword-866016

A Dragon statue. An ancient sword. A body in the orchard.

What secret has remained hidden at Thornton Park for the last eighty years?

It’s 1927 in Victoria, Australia. A time after the Great War when women have more options opened to them.

At a weekend house party at Thornton Park, Alexandra Thornton decides to break the news to her father that she wants to be an antiques dealer, like her father, grandfather and great-grandfather before her.

Then a body is found in the orchard, and before the weekend is over, a priceless artefact is stolen.

Alexandra is determined to discover how these things are connected to the Ming dragon and the antiques her great-grandfather brought with him from Hong Kong so many years ago.

What treasure is worth killing to possess

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: HEART OF A WARRIOR

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Heart of a Warrior by Denna Holm

Heart of a Warrior is the fourth book by Denna Holm in her Immortal Warriors series.

Each book is definitely a standalone. I haven’t read the first three books and I followed this story without any difficulty.

The story, along with the engaging and well-drawn characters, drew me into its pages from the very first start.

In the beginning, we meet Elena Murphy as she prepares her ranch for an approaching storm, but not all of her chills are because of the thunder on the horizon. She thinks of Gabriel, the dark-haired, ancient vampire who often visits Earth from his home planet of Laizahlia. Elena can sense he’s close. Would he show himself to her? He watches over her and protects her, but from a distance.

Elena is expecting visitors – Cami Benton is sixteen and her brother Ryan, who is eight. They’re going to spend the weekend with her. She has a strong connection to the children, partly because their own home life is stressful, with their parents’ divorce. Only when their father Martin, who has driven them to Elena’s home, makes unwanted advances to Elena, does Gabriel appear, a tall, daunting figure, in his black leather of a Laizhalian Hunter.

Once Martin has run away, Gabriel helps Elena get her horses in before the storm hits. Once it hits, the storm brings more than thunder and lightning.

I don’t want to write any spoilers, so let me say from here on is a desperate and urgent journey across the universes, to strange planets with wonderful live forms, some more weird and dangerous than others. We also meet werewolves and shape-shifters.

Denna Holm has imagined these worlds and their inhabitants so fully that I slipped into them as if I were really there.

I also loved the romance and UST (unresolved sexual tension) between Elena and Gabriel.

I highly recommend this book to young adult (the older side of young adult as there are some detailed sexual scenes) and adult readers who love sci-fi, fantasy, vampires and a great love story. There’s plenty of action and excitement to please everyone.

I’ll certainly be going back to read the first three books.

A 5-star read.

REVIEW: A Secret Muse by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

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A Secret Muse by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

Blurb

UCLA art professor Coco Rhodes knows little about her family’s association with the ancient clandestine organization The Allegiance and wants to keep it that way. She dislikes secrets—they’re a painful reminder of her childhood experiences that were erased as a result of her parents’ tragic deaths when she was four years old.

After a brutal attempt on her life, and the arrival of a birthday letter from her dead mother, Coco demands explanations from her brother, Christopher, a high-powered D.C. lawyer and member of the Allegiance.

Christopher guides Coco to her birthplace, Italy, insisting she’ll find her answers there. Enter the enigmatic Gabriel, a powerful warlock with a vampire father, and the ethereal Prudence, keeper of the Allegiance.

When a close friend is murdered, Coco’s life takes a dark turn. With only a faded portrait torn from a lost sketchbook, and one of her mother’s unfinished paintings, Coco unravels clues from her past, in the hope of saving those she loves.

My Review

This book surprised and delighted me.

A Secret Muse is a vampire tale with a difference. It is so much more than I expected. The author’s love of art, old masterpieces, music, old buildings and Rome runs in a magical thread through the story, as Coco searches for her lost past. She searches for who she is. Her journey takes her to Italy, with its beautiful Tuscan countryside.

All the characters are amazingly written and are seamlessly woven into the fabric of this story of great love and beauty, and incredibly dark secrets and hatred.

I love history, art and music, so for me this book was amazing.

A real page turner! I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

The Thornton Mysteries Book 4

 

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Kingston, Norfolk Island. The houses in Quality Row and the ruins of the Penal Settlement in the distance.                                                                                                              Photo by Ellen Read

 

While my third book in the Thornton Mysteries series is resting, I’m researching my fourth book in the series.

It’s set on Norfolk Island, which is a small island off the coast of Australia.

Norfolk Island and Pitcairn Island formed at same time when the peaks of two massive volcanoes thrust up from the ocean floor 6,000 kilometres apart. Both stood virtually uninhabited for 3 million years.

Then, in the late eighteenth century, Norfolk became the site of a Penal Settlement and Pitcairn became the hiding place for Fletcher Christian’s mutineers.

The British Penal Settlement on Norfolk was the most depraved and cruel of all penal settlements, even worse than Tasmania’s. The beautiful island became known as a hell on earth.

The similarities between the islands, doesn’t stop there. In 1855, when Pitcairn could know longer support its population, Queen Victoria offered them Norfolk. On 8th July 1856, the entire population of Pitcairn sailed to Norfolk Island. 

The descendants of the Bounty’s mutineers found Norfolk a paradise, with its deep blue seas and mild climate. Even though at times, those seas became treacherous. The Sirius, the flag ship of the First Fleet, met its end on the rocks of Norfolk Island.

I visited Norfolk Island this year and saw their paradise. Visitor numbers are restricted, the top speed limit is 40 km per hour, all animals have right-of-way, and you may not get good wifi. I didn’t miss it at all during the week there.

The Thorntons in my book visit Norfolk in early 1929. They find a paradise, too, although Alexandra is sure she can hear the ghosts of the convicts in the ruins at Kingston, and murder is just around the corner.

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Norfolk Island Pines. Nepean and Phillip Island off-shore.        Photo by Ellen Read. 

 

The Thornton Mysteries – New Short Story

 

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2018 is nearly over but not before I enjoy the Christmas Season with family and friends.

This year has been amazing for me. I was and still am over the moon to have been signed by Crimson Cloak Publishing for four books in The Thornton Mysteries series.

Some of you have read The Dragon Sleeps. Crimson Cloak Publishing will be publishing it, followed by The Inca’s Curse.

Because it will be a while before my books are released, I’ve written a short story, with the intention to write a couple more, featuring Alexandra Thornton and Edith Blackburn.

It’s titled, Alexandra & Edith’s Escapades – The Diamond Ring.

This short story, in a PDF format, is free to download on my website. Simply click on the link and download it.

You can join my newsletter while you’re there or browse through some of my photo galleries but there’s no obligation to do so. 

I hope you enjoy The Diamond Ring.

If you like it, please leave a comment here or on my website.

http://www.ellenread.com