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Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Sweetest Poison by Jane Renshaw - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi, lovelies!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Jane Renshaw and her new book, “The Sweetest Poison”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Jane and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

The Sweetest Poison
by Jane Renshaw


GENRE: Mystery



When life has cast you in the role of victim, how do you find the strength to fight back?

When she was eight years old, Helen Clack was bullied so mercilessly that she was driven to a desperate act. Now she is being targeted once more, but this time her tormentor’s identity is shrouded in doubt.

When her life starts to disintegrate, she flees home to the wilds of north-east Scotland, and to the one man she knows can help her – Hector Forbes, the dubiously charismatic Laird of Pitfourie, with whom she has been hopelessly in love ever since those hellish days in the school playground, when he was her protector, her rescuer, her eleven-year-old hero.

But is Hector really someone she can trust?

And can anyone protect her from the terrible secret she’s keeping?



And then into her misery had come the letter.

The first letter he’d ever written her, with her name, ‘Helen Clack’, and her address in his neat sloping writing. Inside, a single sheet of writing paper. And his words, telling her how sorry he was about Dad, how much he’d liked him, that he wished he could have been at the funeral. That he hoped she was all right. That it was something, that Dad hadn’t had to suffer through a long illness, that his death had been so sudden, at home at the Parks rather than in an anonymous hospital ward.

And then the words that she’d never forget as long as she lived: I’ve been thinking a lot about you –’

Well, you and your mother. But still.

She’d carried the letter around for days. Suzanne had found her staring at it, and snatched it away and read it, and then perched on the kitchen table and said, ‘So. Have you replied?’

And when Helen had said she hadn’t, Suzanne had offered to help.

‘They don’t think like us. They don’t spend – how many days have you been mooning over this? – six days analysing and pulling apart and putting back together every little thing we say. You have to treat them like they’re simpler forms of life. Stimulus–response.’

‘Hector’s not a “simpler form of life”. That’s the whole problem.’



Falling in Love with the Main Characters:

I love to fall in love... Doesn’t everyone? And the great thing about fictional crushes is that they are guilt-free – you can be a real hussy and fall in love half a dozen times a week!

I’m not going to talk here about ‘falling in love’ with a character as in empathising with them and relating to what they’re experiencing, although of course that’s crucial. (I hope readers will have that sort of love for Helen, the only character in The Sweetest Poison whose head we get to be inside.) No, I’m talking about having an all-out crush on a character.

I write mysteries, not romances, but one of my main goals with the Pitfourie Series was to create a charismatic, edgy, somewhat enigmatic character with whom the reader can fall in love. I ended up with two of them: two aristocratic brothers, Hector and Damian Forbes, who are quite different but both embody the traits I personally find are necessary for a good-going crush.

They’re both intelligent. That’s a must. They both have a dark side. They’re both irritatingly capable and strong-minded. (All the best heroes are irritating.) They value their privacy, so the reader gets to know them only slowly over the course of the series. Most of all, they have what I can only call ‘spark’: a sharp wit, a redeeming sense of humour, a well-developed sense of the ridiculous.

Here’s a short extract from The Sweetest Poison showing Hector at his worst. He’s just beaten up a couple of villains and chucked them into the back of a van. Helen is freaking out about the casual way he used violence against them.

       ‘You’re not taking them to the police?’
       He raised his eyebrows.
       ‘Hector –’
       ‘The police... All right, yes, we could take them to the police. But to what purpose? This way, their assets are seized, they’re, um, disincentivised... and all at no cost to the taxpayer.’
       ‘How can you – It’s not funny. They could have killed you. Or you might have killed them.’
       ‘Could try harder?’ His hand was back on her arm. ‘It’s okay. I’m sorry you had to see it. Shh. It’s okay.’
       He pulled her against him, and she breathed the familiar clean, sharp smell of his shirt, his skin. She put her hands on his back; felt the slight movement of his ribs as he breathed. He wasn’t gulping air like she was; he was breathing perfectly normally.
       He wasn’t sorry about what had happened. He was sorry she’d had to see it.

Reading this extract has reminded me that characters like Hector somehow take on a life of their own, as if they really are real and you’re not quite in control of them! I’m shaking my head in despair and reflecting that Hector can be quite a bastard. I call him ‘dubiously charismatic’ in my blurb, and I think, for me, that pretty much sums up the characteristics of a ‘crush-able’ hero. I hope that my readers will feel the same way, and maybe enjoy a little harmless love affair...



Having discovered early in her 'career' that she didn't have what it takes to be a scientist, Jane Renshaw shuffled sideways into scientific and medical editing, which has the big advantage that she can do it while watching Bargain Hunt! Jane writes what she loves to read –  series of novels in which the reader can immerse herself, which let her get to know an engaging, interesting and/or terrifying cast of characters slowly, in the same way you get to know people in real life. Ideally, the drama should be played out in a gorgeous setting, and the cast should include at least one dangerously charismatic, witty, outrageous protagonist with whom the reader can fall in love. A bit of murder and mayhem in the mix never hurts either... Hence the Pitfourie Series.







Goodreads Author Page:

Goodreads Book Page:

Amazon Author Page:



Amazon US Kindle eBook:

Amazon US Paperback:

Amazon UK:



Jane will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Thank you so much for welcoming me onto your blog!

  2. The cover grabbed my attention and then I read this post and ya needless to say I wanna read it now!