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Monday, November 2, 2020

RRR presents... AND THEN SHE SHINES by Helen Libby - EXCERPT!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're shining the book spotlight on another title ready for your reading pleasure via Rachel's Random Resources!  My stop includes an excerpt, so you'll really get to sink your teeth into it and see just how tantalized you are.  Ready or not, here comes today's title in the spotlight...

And Then She Shines
Helen Libby

About the book...
Five women, five different issues, five ‘feel-good’ reads.

And Then She Shines brings together brings together four previously published novelettes, along with Helen Libby’s new story, Cassie’s Choice.

Ruby’s Secret
Can you keep a secret? All the clothes Ruby’s bought may have filled her wardrobe, but they haven’t helped her to feel fulfilled. She’s been holding back on her dream of travelling for years. And now Ruby’s in debt. A LOT of debt. She’s so ashamed. She doesn’t want anyone to know, not even her boyfriend, David. He’s so careful with money – he wouldn’t understand. Ruby’s trying to change. She wants financial stability AND a good relationship. Will she be able to resolve her debt before David discovers her secret?

Love, Anna
Stay or go? Anna’s a romantic. She loves musical theatre, but her life is a far cry from her favourite shows. When her boyfriend Joe tells her he doesn’t love her anymore, she doesn’t know what to do. Anna just wants to be loved, but Joe suffers from depression, and they've both been unhappy for a long time. A last minute trip to Paris gives Anna some time to reflect, and shows her whether life can ever really be like a musical.

Laura’s Embrace
"People who love me leave me.” Laura makes a New Year’s resolution – to find her birth mother. She needs answers. What she doesn’t need is a relationship, so when things start getting serious between her and Rob, she does her best to hold back. Only Rob won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, and Laura is torn. Will Laura find her birth mother? And will love find a way?

Finding Ella
He knows everything about her. The only thing she knows about him is that he’s her husband. Can she fall in love with him for a second time? Ella’s lost her memory – the last ten years of her life. Her friends and family want her to slot back into place, only it’s not that easy. Will Ella's memory return? Does she need to remember her husband in order to love him again? Join Ella on her journey of self-discovery.

Cassie’s Choice
“Something is missing from my life, and I can’t pinpoint what it is. Could it be a baby? Maybe.”

What if you think you want a child, but your partner doesn’t? It’s time for Cassie to make her mind up. Does she want a baby, or not? If she does, is she willing to leave her beloved husband, Alex, in order to start again? Can you miss something you’ve never had? Does Cassie need a baby in order to feel fulfilled? So many questions, and she’s running out of time.



~~~   EXCERPT   ~~~

Extract from Laura’s Embrace by Helen Libby 

(taken from And Then She Shines: A Collection of Novelettes).

To set the scene: After her mum dies, Laura decides to search for her birth mother. In the meantime, she meets Rob. She fears getting too close, yet can’t deny the attraction between them. She decides to take a chance and not worry about the future, but then Rob wants to take it up a notch …

As we gaze through the railings, the ancient ruins seem to take on an almost ethereal quality in the dusk. Rob turns towards me. ‘Move in with me, Laura.’

I freeze. It should be romantic; it’s my birthday and we’re in Rome, surrounded by the twinkling lights of the city, yet I feel as rigid as one of the pillars I see before me.

Did you hear me?’ Rob gently turns me towards him, his face brimming with hope.

You don’t mean it, Rob.’ I turn back towards the Forum. I feel strange, most unlike myself.

I do mean it,’ he says quietly. ‘We’ve been together for six months and I’m fed up with splitting our time between London and Stony. Aren’t you?’

I bite my lip. ‘It’s too soon for us to be living together.’

Why? We love each other.’ He laughs. ‘We’re certainly old enough. And when you know, you know, right? Christ! I never thought I’d say something so cheesy, but the fact is it’s true.’ I can see he’s looking at me from the corner of my eye. ‘But maybe I’m not the one for you,’ he says flatly.

I whirl round. I can’t have him thinking I don’t care. ‘I love you, Rob.’

But you’re holding back from me.’

I don’t know what to say to him. I busy myself kicking some gravel. I’ve been burying my head in the sand, just living from day to day, enjoying Rob’s company, not wanting to look too far ahead. The last six months have been amazing, and despite my fears I haven’t been able to stop myself falling for Rob, but living together? If we do that, how much harder will it be if we split up in the future?

Look at me, Laura.’ When I continue to stare down at the ground Rob lifts my chin gently. His eyes rake my face. ‘What’s happening here? You’re acting really weird.’

I stare over his shoulder at what I now know is the Temple of Saturn. I shiver, despite the fact it’s humid. I should tell him I’m terrified, that I’m convinced I’ll lose him. People I love, leave me. I don’t think I could bear it if Rob were to leave me.

Laura, come on. Help me out.’ He shakes me gently. I don’t – can’t – respond. He releases me and turns away. I stare at his back. His hand grips the railings, causing his knuckles to turn white. I view this from a distance. Why can’t I tell him how I feel? He’d understand, I know he would.

It starts to rain, drizzle at first, then fat droplets. I put my umbrella up, but Rob refuses to shelter underneath it. When he turns to look at me, his face moist, he says, ‘I don’t know what’s going on inside your head, Laura, but you’re too important to me to just give up on you.’

He holds out his hand and I take it. ‘I’m sorry.’ I owe him that much at least.

He shrugs. ‘We’ll talk about it some other time.’ We start to walk back towards our hotel, which thankfully is nearby. We had planned to eat out, but I’m not surprised when Rob suggests ordering room service when we arrive back at the hotel.

It’s a quiet night – our last night in Rome. I can’t sleep. Rob tosses and turns. I reach out and place my hand on his side. After a few seconds his hand envelops mine. I breathe a sigh of relief. Yet long after Rob has fallen asleep, I remain wide awake.

I’m scared of merging our lives together only for us to break up. Moving in with him would mean I’ve got more to lose. All the main players in my life have left me; why not Rob?

Book blurb for Laura’s Embrace

"People who love me leave me.” Laura makes a New Year’s resolution – to find her birth mother. She needs answers. What she doesn’t need is a relationship, so when things start getting serious between her and Rob, she does her best to hold back. Only Rob won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, and Laura is torn. Will Laura find her birth mother? And will love find a way?

Please note: this novelette can be bought as a standalone title, or as part of the collection, And Then She Shines.


About the author...

Originally from North Wales, Helen currently lives in Shropshire with her husband and their dog. Helen worked for many years in the public sector and has an administrative background. She writes both fiction and non-fiction. As well as being an indie author, Helen is a self-publishing consultant, offering editorial, self-publishing, and writing services. To find out more, please go to:


Special thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the chance to bring this tour to you. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, this promotion, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more bookish fun!

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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