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The Secrets of Villa Rosso: Escape to Italy for a summer romance to remember

Every author loves the cover reveal stage in the lengthy journey towards publishing a new title.  It means release day is coming and another book baby is about to be born!

The Secrets of Villa Rosso  began probably three years ago when, out of the blue, a question popped into my head – Is it possible to have two soul mates?  The question stayed with me until the story was finally written.  But in between I wrote two other books as this was not an easy story to tell. And it was the most difficult ending I have ever had to handle.

It’s a story  of mystery and intrigue set amongst the olive groves in Castrovillari, a town in the foothills of Calabria, Southern Italy.

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate’s director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.



Choosing the setting for this story was easy; Italy is one of my favourite travel destinations. The warmth of the people, the beautiful sunshine and the olives … oh, and the pasta and the coffee and the Italian gelateria. What’s not to love? It’s a mix of vibrancy and rural charm – in equal measure. From the mountains, to the beaches – from the swathes of olive groves to the bustling city vibes of Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan …

The heart of Max Jackson‘s story is about one man’s fight to keep a community alive and thriving, despite the effects of the disastrous harvest. With so many people living off the land, as the manager of the local olive oil refinery he comes up with a way of expanding all of their interests to give them a second income. It’s a responsibility he takes very personally.

When Ellie first meets Max, her life is turned upside down because arriving at Villa Rosso feels like going home. How can that be when she’s never been to Italy before? She has been happily married to her soul mate, Josh, for nineteen years and has two gorgeous daughters. Her life is complete and her part-time job as an interior designer allows her to spread her wings a little and prepare for the day when they will eventually leave home. When she unexpectedly has to step into her boss’s shoes to fly out to look at the artisan goods Max’s new venture is producing, she has no idea what lies ahead.

The question really is:   Is it possible to have two soul mates?

For Ellie, this thought threatens to rip her life, and her heart, apart …

TRY BEFORE YOU bUY – click HERE to read Chapter 1 + an excerpt!


Pre-order now ~ release date 21 july 2017:



Paperback release date UK ~ 5 October 2017


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Excited, Exhausted … but Very, Very Happy!

When a writer goes quiet for a while there is always a jolly good reason … and I have been very quiet since the first of January! That means head down and so focused that most days my fingers have been flying over the keyboard from the moment I open my eyes, until very late in the day. Which is fine, because I love what I do, but there are only so many times you can open the door to the postman still in your PJs, when it’s an afternoon delivery. Or stand in the kitchen preparing dinner in night attire.

And too busy, even, to celebrate some really wonderful news – I know, awful isn’t it? But the end is in sight with my various deadlines and I’m almost at the point at which I can sit back and breathe. So I’m popping my head up to say ‘hello world’, once more! And I’m giving myself a few hours off to celebrate and, finally, share the news with friends, family and my lovely readers – many of whom are now firm friends, too.

Well, they do say GOOD NEWS comes in threes…

I’m absolutely delighted to announce that I have signed with Sara Keane from the Keane Kataria Literary Agency!

Being a writer means wearing many hats these days and everyone in the business knows how fast the day flies by and how many balls you have to juggle.  I love writing and I love designing graphics to show off my book covers … but reading a contract is not my forte. So just knowing that someone with as much experience as Sara has, is in my corner, is a truly wonderful boost. And I can utter a huge sigh of relief.



And now we are on to ‘Book News’ and a NEW BOOK ALERT! It’s coming … 21 July 2017 … and I’m whisking my readers away to Castrovillari, in southern Italy.  If you can’t afford a holiday this year, then let me take you there – virtually in THE SECRETS OF VILLA ROSSO.

I’ve been working hard with my awesome editor, the very fabulous Charlotte Ledger, at HARPER IMPULSE. With structural edits done and line edits on my desk as I blog, the next stage is the cover design.  This cosy mystery/drama with a twist will have you sniffing the air, to smell those wonderful Oleander blossoms:


Mystery and intrigue set amongst the olive groves in the foothills of Calabria, Southern Italy. As Ellie uncovers the truth about the disappearance of the Ormanni family’s daughter, Aletta, her heart becomes entangled as her life is split into two.

I’ll be talking more about this story in my next Newsletter.


And even more  ‘Book News’ with another NEW BOOK ALERT! It’s coming … 3 November 2017.  I’ve recently finished structural and line edits with (how shall I describe her this time … well, she’s just the best) Charlotte Ledger, at HARPER IMPULSE. If you enjoyed ‘A Cottage in the Country’ then ‘CHRISTMAS AT BAY TREE COTTAGE’ is coming!


Elana James and her young daughter, Maya, are facing their second Christmas since the tragic death of husband and father, Niall. With Bay Tree cottage only half-renovated a local builder, Luke Stevenson, comes to the rescue. But he, too, has family dilemmas threatening to unravel his festive celebrations. But it’s a time of wonderment and anything can happen when there’s a little Christmas magic in the air.

Yes, there will be a little wine tonight and there are flowers as a part of my brief celebration, before I get back to those line edits. And there is a little more news …

I’ve also been busy on another book project and today I sent the first draft off to my agent (sorry, had to slip that in …) Sara. It’s always a fingernail-biting time when you submit a new book baby to anyone. Will they like it, or not? Will it grab them, or send them to sleep? It’s a book that has demanded my full attention as I had to get the story out of my head and down on paper. Hence the PJs becoming my dress of choice – or undress, of choice. But to do anything obsessively means everything else has to wait. And as for housework …

I’m now awaiting, with eager anticipation, covers for my two, 2017 releases with Harper Impulse. That’s always an exciting time and a good excuse for yet another celebration. And in between  I’ll be busy talking to reviewers and planning book tours for July and November. I also have another story in my head that needs to be looking back at me from my computer screen, to stop me dreaming about it!

My New Year’s resolution was to make 2017 a year where my feet didn’t touch the ground – I wanted to be busy, happy and feel I’d continued to up the bar. Well, three months in and I’ve made a good start, but you’ll have to watch this space as nine months is a long time. I wonder how many books I can write?

Thank you for dropping by; having visitors is like a hug for a writer and that means a lot!

Lucy Twitter

A Little Luck A Lot of Fate ~ book launch competition!


It doesn’t really matter whether or not you believe in fate, or destiny, but one thing I know for sure is that life holds surprises. You know what I mean: those times in your life when everything seems to come together and it takes you off in a direction that leaves you reeling. You can call it luck, coincidence, or whatever term makes you feel comfortable.

I’m celebrating my latest release and Kristi Danielson’s feet are firmly on the ground. She’s in control of her fate and doesn’t need anybody’s help … until the day she realises her life is, actually, a mess. Success, fame, a big house – she has it all, but all she has is her work. And what if she’s discovered? Being a renowned life coach her whole career is built upon people taking her advice to achieve that work/like balance. The balance they all think she has achieved so effortlessly, after all, her non-work persona never attracts bad press. How can it? She rarely sees her family, or her on-off boyfriend and love interest, Tom. Suddenly all of that success feels rather hollow.

But change can sometimes come from the least expected direction and when that happens, like it or not, it’s fate!

So why not join me in celebrating yet another book baby by entering the competition! I don’t need a tarot card reading to know that four lucky entrants will be winners!

The competition is open internationally and closes at noon on 26 November 2016 GMT; anyone can enter and you can enter as many times as you like.

Tweet: #ALittleLuckALotofFate by @LinnBHalton #booklaunch competition. Feelgood romance!


Go to my author page and share the pinned post linking to this launch post


Post a review and Tweet a link to it including #ALittleLuckALotofFate @LinnBHalton

FOUR winners will be announced on Facebook on my author page on Sunday  27 November 2016


Each of the four winners will receive a signed paperback copy of ‘A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love’ (released 14 Oct 2016) and either a star, or a heart, wooden decoration.


Click here to read chapter 1 of A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate

Available from:



& various online ebook retailers

Good luck, thank you for visiting & entering … and hope you’ll come back again soon!


Lucy Twitter

Only YOU can make your dreams come true!



I’m celebrating the paperback launch of
A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love ~
with a competition!
This heart-warming read is about
never giving up on your dreams…

Any story that reflects real relationships is going to be full of life’s complications. After all, we each experience that every single day of our lives! But the moral of this story is based upon a true fact, that only YOU can make your dreams come true.

If you let ‘life happen’, rather than acknowledging when you are unhappy and doing something about it, then nothing changes.

In this story Katie feels responsible for so many people around her – Steve, her partner, and the people she employs in her bakery.

Steve believes he has Katie’s best interests at heart and wants to help her make her business a big success.

And then there is Adam. Adam has an elderly grandmother who dotes upon him and his daughter, but her health is failing. As a customer who pops into Katie’s bakery only a couple of times a year, they are little more than strangers and yet there is a sense of connection between them.

Over the course of  two Christmases and three birthdays their lives unfold and fate takes them on a journey of rediscovery.


A love story is seldom just that, as lives are intertwined and there will be heartache, loss and new beginnings.


This feelgood story is a reminder of what is important in life.

I have a very special bundle of three signed paperbacks for one lucky winner! The copy of A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love will be endorsed as a one-off ‘launch day’ prize making it unique!


The competition is open internationally and closes on Friday 21 Oct 2016 at midnight GMT; anyone can enter.
The winner (selected at random by a third party) will be announced on Facebook on my
author page on Saturday 22 Oct 2016.

*** THE WINNER IS: Adele @Kraftireader***

thank you to everyone who entered!

How to enter (as many times as you like) 

  1. Tweet: #ALittleSugarALotofLove by @LinnBHalton paperback release competition. Heart-warming romance!

2. Go to my author page and share the pinned post linking to this launch post.

3. Post a review and Tweet a link to it including #ALittleSugarALotofLove @LinnBHalton


Thank you so much for dropping by and I hope to see you again soon!


Click here to read Chapter 1.

Available in eformat and paperback, online and in bookshops





Lucy Twitter

Summer news, celebrations and books, books, books …

Celebrating the summer holidays with my …

Mr Sunshine‘hot off the press’ news 1-2-3! 

I might need to lie down on a sun lounger with an ice cold cocktail in my hand while I can, because it’s going to be one awesome autumn. And that means a summer of work, work, work … but it’s ALL fun!


14 October 2016A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love‘ is being released in paperback format by Choc Lit UK!

It’s available for pre-order NOW:


Life is often complicated and there’s a sort-of comfort in having a stranger with whom you can chat, but who isn’t a part of your daily life.

Sometimes a turning point centres around one single moment in time;

sometimes it takes two Christmases and three birthdays


And feeling very proud to see it featured in The Bookseller’s NEW TITLES: FICTION list for October

The Bookseller

A3ND the news gets even better …

with a working title of ‘Strangely Connected‘, I’ve just signed a contract for my next novel with Choc Lit UK and it’s currently going through edits ready for an autumn launch!


Kristi Danielson is a highly successful Life Coach whose Grab LIfe and Run With It TV series is in its fourth season in the UK. Her celebrated Twelve Steps to Finding YOU book is a runaway success and she’s at the peak of her career. But to whom does the celebrated life coach turn when it seems her life is falling apart around her? Well, to a tarot card reader, of course!

It’s not something Kristi ever considered until the idea was ‘put into her head’. Does the voice she hears signal the start of a quarter-life crisis, or is this simply burnout? Or maybe there’s another explanation …

Cast for Strangely Connected

I can promise competitions to celebrate the launch of both the paperback and the new novel, so keep an eye out for those!

And in the pipeline …

a heart-warming, full-length Christmas story,

and a bijou cottage where the sea breeze blows away the cobwebs
and allows Lisa to open up her heart …

Thanks for dropping by to share my news ~

it’s ALWAYS about the romance!

Lucy Twitter

Another Book Baby – A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love

Friday 15 January, 2016 sees the launch of my newest book baby, and though I might be just a tad biased, I think she’s looking rather gorgeous!

There’s a Facebook party with four competitions launching at 9am, noon, 3pm and 7pm on the day, but entries won’t close until midnight (GMT) on the 16 January 2016.

Haven’t had an invite?

Well, click and join in the fun! because there are some rather lovely prizes to be won:


ChocLit-logo-WebI’m so proud to see one of my novels sporting the Choc Lit logo and the story that was initially released as Sweet Occasions, has now grown! After being shortlisted in the Festival of Romance awards in 2014, and with an additional 11,000 words, the story goes on beyond the original ending.

A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love: With cupcakes, coffee & karma is all about change. About what it feels like when the dream begins to fall apart. A feel-good romance with heart.

Life isn’t all love and cupcakes …
Katie has had her fair share of bad luck, but when she finally realises her dream of opening a bakery it seems things can only get better.
The reality of running a business hits Katie hard and whilst her partner, Steve, is there for her, she can’t help but feel that the situation is driving them further apart. Could Katie be set to lose her relationship and her dream job?
Then, one winter’s day, a man walks into her shop – and, in the space of that moment, the course of Katie’s life is changed.
But nobody finds happiness in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it takes two Christmases, three birthdays and a whole lot of cake to get there

Meet Katie, the owner of Sweet Occasions bakery. Her partner Steve is a business adviser and then there’s Adam … a guy whose life is in a mess as he struggles to be the perfect single dad. Each has a dream, but what if the dream has to change? How easy is it to cope and adapt when there’s always a reason to act with your head and not your heart?

Open for business med

What do the reviewers say?

Shona, Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom ~
“Halton has once again given us a book so beautifully written, where emotion is woven between the words in this book, that on more than one occasion I was brought to tears.”

Rachel Gilbey ~ ~
“A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love was a fabulous way to spend a winters’ evening, and I found myself hooked on what was happening between the pages.”

Grass Monster,  Goodreads ~
“Its very rare a book captivates me from the beginning, and this did just that … it’s one of those that will stay with you for a long time to come.”

Stacey Kym, Goodreads ~
“The ending in ‘A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love’ was really a very wonderful one. It TOTALLY suited the novel and was the best happily-ever-after!” 

Read Chapter 1 and find out for yourself!

Happy 2016, everyone and thank you for your support!

Lucy Twitter

A chance to spoil YOU ~ Ceri is giving one lucky winner £100/$150!

FCL smlEveryone whose career is also their passion will reach milestones. November 5th – December 3rd, 2015 is one of those special moments for me. In the UK, Falling: Angels Among Us The complete series will be on the shelves in some of the WHSmith rail/airport/outlets for a four-week promotion.


What better way to celebrate, than for Ceri – the star of Falling – to sprinkle a little ‘festive’ love?

Launching the Rafflecopter #FallingComp

1st prizeone lucky winner can choose a gift of their choice, valued at £100/$150* (International)
2nd prize two lucky winners will each receive one signed paperback of A Cottage in the Country – released 23 Sept 2015 (UK only; non-UK ecopy)
3rd prize six lucky winners will each receive an ebook of their choice from any of my titles (International)

*(gift to be chosen from across the Amazon stores, or full cash prize via Paypal if you prefer to shop locally)

Take part here, or via participating blogs (see links below) – there are lots of different ways to join in the fun and grab your chance to be a winner!

What would YOU choose?

A special something just for YOU?

Or use the CASH to pamper yourself – or  even to help out with those holiday expenses!

*** Click and enter! ***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*** A month-long competition – enter as many times as you want***

Ceri thinks she sees angels … everywhere. She struggles to keep separate what feels like two very different sides to her life. As a manager in an advertising company she’s been working with the gorgeous Alex for two years. The have a friendship based upon the image she portrays whilst she’s at work and it helps to keep her sane. One mad, crazy night spent sharing their secrets and a lot of wine result in them ending up in bed together, and their relationship changes. When Alex explains that the reason he doesn’t date is because someone broke his heart, how can Ceri admit that she feels a deep connection to him?

Ceri knows she’s different. What she doesn’t fully appreciate, is that her task in life is to correct a series of incidents that affect some of the people’s lives with whom she comes into contact. She’s simply putting right little errors that could ripple outwards and change the course of their destiny. When she finds herself getting pulled into things that happen around her, how can she prove that she really has made a difference? Is it all in her head?

She’s alone for a reason; she’s not meant to fall in love in her earthly life. Alex is supposed to cross paths with her and help Ceri, during a phase where she begins to question the signs she’s being given. It’s meant to be a turning point for them both—but in opposite directions. They are destined to travel very different paths … but Ceri doesn’t know that and neither does Alex …

FallingComp Nov

RGB-HarperImpulse-3and it could be YOU!

A huge ‘thank you’ to every who has supported me in my writing career so far and my wonderful team at HarperImpulse!

It’s also available to download from Amazon on special promotion for a select period!

Mega thanks to the lovely bloggers who are joining in at various points in the month to share the competition:


Entrants must be over 18 years of age. A gift (or gifts) to the value of £100/$150 may be chosen by the designated winner from Amazon, OR funds to that value will be transferred into the winner’s PayPal account upon receipt of details.
Proof of entry requirements must be met before the prizes are awarded.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter. We hereby release Facebook and Twitter of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email within 5 workings after the giveaway ends.


Lucy Twitter

My first photo shoot: the things authors talk their husbands into!

PhotogI’m one of those people who don’t enjoy having their photo taken. You won’t find me snapping away for Instagram, although it does hold a fascination for me … I love the idea of moments captured and shared. But I prefer to see other people – not myself!

When I suggested to my husband we take a day trip to one of our favourite places to get some snaps, he was a little surprised. But the lure of the absolutely breathtaking scenery at Caswell Bay, on the south east of the Gower Peninsula in Wales, meant we were soon heading off. We have often walked the coastal path east to Langland Bay, approx one and half miles, and which has truly spectacular views across the Bristol Channel to North Devon.

If you are interested in visiting the area you can find more information here:

When I worked on the edits for my first traditionally published book, we were staying in one of the apartments that over-look the bay. The edits arrived literally as we were leaving for a week’s holiday. So I worked in the mornings, and we spent the afternoons and evenings walking, talking, eating and just immersing ourselves in such a wonderfully calming environment. Since then (2010) we’ve been back many times on day trips and it’s a place we can thoroughly recommend for families, couples and avid walkers!

When we arrived that day and I explained that I wanted to do a cover shoot – Lawrence was actually lost for words. Fortunately, it was one of those rather unexpectedly sunny days that are a bonus. There were only a handful of people around at any one time and we didn’t have to wait long to find ourselves alone. Lawrence snapped away and I tried to ‘pose’ with varying – and I might add, often hilariously funny – results. All I wanted was one photo to portray a woman who is suffering a series of terrifying psychic experiences that make her feel isolated, while realising, for the first time, that she is ‘never alone’…

A day to contemplate

Most of my novels have covers chosen for me by my wonderful publishers, but I have several books that I self-published when I first began writing. In those days – it’s six and a half years since I wrote the first word of my debut novel, and four since I became published – I had a steep learning curve still to climb. 2015 was the year in which I wanted to update those ebook and paperback covers to reflect the heart of the stories.

Never Alone coverFor Never Alone, a psychic romance with a twist aimed at making the readers wonder ‘What if?’, I was never able to find a graphic that captured that sense of isolation/loneliness/uncertainty that Holly Atherton felt. Caught up in pleasing friends and family she loved without reservation, her rather privileged life is suddenly turned upside down.  What if your wildest dream was actually your life?

Lawrence took some amazing shots of a model who spent more time laughing, and awkwardly trying to ensure arms and legs were working in coordination, than being photogenic. For me, the shot we eventually chose seems to conjure up that mix of the surreal, the loneliness of something that can’t easily be shared, and the emotional turmoil. After applying a few very clever techniques, it still feels rather strange to be on the cover of one of my own novels – and it’s not something I’d necessarily want to do again – but it’s right for Never Alone. I just hope the readers agree!

It was a day of laughter, filling our lungs with that wonderful sea air, enjoying the coastal walk and spending some quality time together. We had a wonderful lunch at Langland Bay before heading home.  Quite simply, life is about days like that and it’s why this is one cover that will always be very special to me. And with the photo ‘treatment’ no one would really know it was me …  unless they read this, of course …

Grateful thanks to my ‘rock’, Lawrence, for a day I will truly never forget!

Fun on the beach