Seeking Philbert Woodbead Book Cover2

About the book:

Miss Celine Fairweather’s life was bobbing along like a boat on a tranquil stream when all of a sudden a summons from her beloved sister Penelope Radclyff, the Duchess of Blackthorne, changed it all.

Celine hurtles off to the London to help the duchess run the Blackthorne Mansion and to discover the whereabouts of her lost love Philbert Woodbead. 

Sensible Celine manages to keep things deathly dull and under control for a whole week until she enlists the help of the handsome Lord Elmer—a mischievous rogue, an ex-pirate, and an incorrigible flirt who is wanted dead by all of England’s husbands with attractive wives.

They scurry from one giddy escapade to another seeking Philbert in musty inns and dusty streets, and through it all Celine tries to keep her bonnet straight, her gloves spotless and her heart in tune with her head.

Life has suddenly turned exciting, and love has well and truly bitten her rosy buttocks. Now the only question is … who has done the biting? 



A bit about the author:

Anya Wylde lives in Ireland along with her husband and a fat French poodle (now on a diet). She can cook a mean curry, and her idea of exercise is occasionally stretching her toes. She holds a degree in English literature and adores reading and writing.


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In the latter part of March of the year seventeen hundred and something a  large schooner rested on calm blue waters off the coast of England.

It was mid-afternoon, the water was unruffled and crystal clear, while the sky above had sent its grey clouds to London.

The sun beamed down on the deck where gentlemen with missing toes, feet, teeth or hands lay draped around the schooner attempting to snooze away the day.

Now, this schooner was no ordinary schooner (as you might have guessed from the hint above referring to missing limbs and such) but a piratical schooner, and the gentlemen were not really gentlemen but looters, marauders and plunderers.

Yes, sir, they were murderous, unscrupulous adventurers and stinking water rats.

They were all pirates. Each one of them were pirates. The whole blasted lot of them were pirates. In fact, they couldn’t be more piratical if they tried. And they tried. Oh, how they tried to be more devilish than the devil himself.

And one of them came close to being the devilishest … if that is a word. If it is not, then it should be because it perfectly described the tall, muscular, grey eyed man with his long silver streaked black hair and cruel mouth. This man was so wicked that the mere reference to him caused the afternoon light to dim, the wind to blow more urgently, the men to wake mid snooze, the tea to jump out of the cup … Where were we?

Ah, yes, the captain of the ship, the head pirate, the Black bloody  Rover, whose name was enough to frighten the children of the world into behaving, was the owner of this piratical schooner called The Desperate Lark and the leader of these dim muscled men.

He stormed now onto the middle of the deck sending the seagulls screaming into the air. His appearance caused the men to scatter while his frown had them cowering in the bilge. While they cowered, the Black Rover grabbed the cuff of a one legged man, his most trusted aide, and in low, clipped cultured tones asked, “Who stole it, Tim?”

“George Rodrick Irvin, the future Earl of Devon currently holding the courtesy title of Viscount Elmer,” squeaked Tim. “The one we call Lord Wicked.”

“Kill him.” The Black Rover was a man of few words.

Tim bowed in response.

“And kidnap the cooks,” the Black Rover continued.

Tim dared to frown, “Cooks?”

The Black Rover glowered. “And the chefs. I want every single person who can cook to be kidnapped and tortured until we get it back.”

“Torture?” Tim asked uncomfortably. “Can’t we simply kill them and be done with it? I don’t like torturing. It is a messy job, and I don’t like it when they cry and they all cry.”

The Black Rover smiled harshly. He leaned closer to Tim and whispered in his half bitten ear two words, “Pigeon feathers.”

“Arr.” Tim’s sparsely lashed eyes widened in admiration. He shook his head at his captain’s intelligence. The most learned man, Tim thought proudly, was right here.

Pigeon feathers … The Black Rover was a blooming genius.


Cover for 'Seeking Philbert Woodbead'~GIVEAWAY ALERT~

(Sponsored by the author)

Thanks to the author, we are offering 1 digital copy of “Seeking Philbert Woodbead” to 1 lucky commenter. Giveaway will run from August 22 until August 29,2013.



Please take a moment of your time to spread the word.



“My Thoughts” on this title coming soon! Visit our sister site at or click on “Our Reviews” above.








So without further ado,please give Helena a big MBA&A welcome……

The Silk Romance 300dpi

Hi all, and thanks so much for having me on MBA&M.  I’m really thrilled to be here!

My name’s Helena Fairfax.  I’m a British romance writer, and I live in an old Victorian mill town in the north of England.

Many years ago I spent some months working as an au pair in the beautiful city of Lyon, France.  This period of my life made a lasting impression on me.  My home in England is in a pretty bleak location, on the edge of those Yorkshire moors which the Brontë sisters made famous.  You can imagine the contrast for me as a teenager, arriving in a wonderfully colourful city in the south of France, with its vibrant night-life and café culture, its heat and the two magnificent rivers that run through it.

When it came to writing my first romance novel, The Silk Romance, I just knew that the historic city of Lyon had to be the setting.  And since my own part of the world is famous for its woollen weaving, I decided to utilise my knowledge of the weaving industry and make my hero the owner of a silk-weaving mill.

At one time Lyon was the centre for silk-weaving in the whole of Europe.  In many parts of the world, sadly, weaving is a dying industry.  Jean-Luc, the gorgeous French hero of The Silk Romance, makes a moving statement about its decline:  

 ‘We have a saying that there are three rivers at the heart of Lyon.  There’s the river Rhône, the river Saône and there’s the river of tears left by the silk workers.’

Although silk-weaving is now a dying industry in France, I have revived it in my modern-day sweet romance novel.  My hero, Jean-Luc, is just the dynamic sort of character to bring silk back to life, and I have made him the owner of a thriving silk mill in the historic silk-weaving district of the Croix-Rousse.

The Croix-Rousse district of Lyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  If you visit, you’ll still find many covered stone passageways in Lyon known as traboules.  These covered passageways enabled the weavers to carry their silk protected from the rain.  The houses in the Croix-Rousse also have very high-ceilings, necessary to accommodate the tall looms.

It’s a fascinating story and a beautiful city.  As for the final product – well, what’s not to love in the glamorous sheen and feel of genuine silk?

The Silk Romance is released on May 24th by MuseItUp Publishing

~Happy pre-“Release Day”,Helena~

MAY 24,2013!

Thank you so much for stopping by today!


The Silk Romance 300dpi

About the author:

Helena Fairfax was born in Uganda and came to England as a child.  She’s grown used to the cold now and that’s just as well, because nowadays she lives in an old Victorian mill town in Yorkshire, right next door to windswept Brontë country.  She has an affectionate, if half-crazed, rescue dog and together they tramp the moors every dayone of them wishing she were Emily Brontë, the other vainly chasing pheasants.   When she’s not out on the moors you’ll find Helena either creating romantic heroes and heroines of her own or else with her nose firmly buried in a book, enjoying someone else’s stories.  Her patient husband and her brilliant children support her in her daydreams and are the loves of her life.

If you’d like to know more about Helena, please visit her at her blog, or her Facebook page, or on Twitter @helenafairfax

She loves to meet new people J



 The Silk Romance 300dpi

Helena Fairfax 

The Silk Romance

Published by MuseItUp Publishing May 24th 2013

MuseItUp Publishing

14878 James, Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada, H9H 1P5

Cover Art © 2013 by Charlotte Volnek

Edited by Marni McNiff

Copyedited by Jessica Naccari

Layout and Book Production by Lea Schizas


eBook ISBN: 978-1-77127-321-3


First eBook Edition *May 2013


Production by MuseItUp Publishing

Category:  Sweet contemporary romance

52,125 words



The Silk Romance Blurb

Jean-Luc Olivier is a courageous racing driver with the world before him.  Sophie Challoner is a penniless student, whose face is unknown beyond her own rundown estate in London.  The night they spend together in Paris seems to Sophie like a fairytale—a Cinderella story without the happy ending. She knows she has no part in Jean-Luc’s future.  She made her dying mother a promise to take care of her father and brother in London.   One night of happiness is all Sophie allows herself. She runs away from Jean-Luc and returns to England to keep her promise.

Safely back home with her father and brother, and immersed in her college work, Sophie tries her best to forget their encounter, but she reckons without Jean-Luc.  He is determined to find out why she left him, and intrigued to discover the real Sophie.  He engineers a student placement Sophie can’t refuse, and so, unwillingly, she finds herself back in France, working for Jean-Luc in the silk mill he now owns.

Thrown together for a few short weeks in Lyon, the romantic city of silk, their mutual love begins to grow.  But it seems the fates are conspiring against Sophie’s happiness.  Jean-Luc has secrets of his own.  Then, when disaster strikes at home in London, Sophie is faced with a choicestay in this glamorous world with the man she loves, or return to her family to keep the sacred promise she made her mother.


The Silk Romance extract

“Sophie,” he began again huskily.  “Sophie, this is not what I want.”

“Isn’t it?” In that moment, a hollowness rushed to fill her, so that she could barely bring herself to speak.  She turned her own face away in bewilderment.  Outside the window, the black waters of the river Rhône could be seen as they crossed the bridge, orange lights bobbing and rippling on its surface.  She let her curtain of hair swing forward to hide the misery in her expression and pressed her forehead unseeing to the glass.  She felt Jean-Luc move to take her hand, his fingers gentle now, the strength in them subdued. 

“This mustn’t end the way it did before,” he said gently. “We need to know each other better.  I don’t want you to run away again.”

Sophie said nothing.  For a few moments, there was a deep, ominous silence.  The timeless silence that falls before the surge of a tidal wave, before the swell reaches its peak to come crashing down blindly on the rocks. 

Then an unstoppable anger surged through her.  She whirled her head round. “You think we need to get to know each other better?” 

Jean-Luc reached one hand up to touch her face, taken aback by what he saw there, but she jerked back.

“What does that mean?  I don’t know you at all,” she cried.  “All I know is, everything you set your heart on, you get.  First of all, you railroad me into coming to work for you. Then when I get here, you talk me into going out with you, and you ask me all about myself, and you say nothing about you.  And you insist on bringing up that night when I’m trying to forget all about it.  And then I want you to kiss me, and you tell me you’re not going to kiss me, like what I have to say doesn’t mean anything!”

The rush of jumbled words left Sophie panting for breath, her face up close to Jean-Luc’s in anger.  He began to speak, but she broke in before the words could leave his mouth.

“I’m glad I left you in that hotel room, because you deserved it.”  She jabbed one finger at his chest in violent confirmation.  “And I’m sorry I apologised before because, actually, I’m not sorry.” 

Her final sentence spilled out incoherently, but she was beyond caring.  For a few moments, the only sound in the astonished silence was her rapid breathing as she forced for mastery of herself.  She sank back again into her own corner, still not beaten.

“You’re completely single-minded,” she added bitterly.  “And if it’s any consolation, I’ve never known anyone like you.” 

Her anger was stoked still further by Jean-Luc’s reaction.  In the half-light of the car, the street lamps lit up his face one after another in a regular pattern.

“Are you smiling?” she asked incredulously.

 “I’m sorry I made you angry,” he said gently.  “When I want something, I don’t always see what’s in my way.”

“No, I’ve noticed.  You’re like a dog with a bone!”

“A dog with a bone?” he repeated, and now the smile on his face was unmistakeable.  “Is that a dog with no flies on him?”

“Oh, you’re impossible.”  Sophie snatched her hand out of his grasp and turned her face towards the window. 


The Silk Romance

Will be published in e-format on 24th May by MuseItUp Publishing.  It will be available from Amazon, Kobo and other major e-tailers.  You can pre-order the The Silk Romance now from the Muse Bookstore.  It will be available in print later in the year.



“My Thoughts” on “The Silk Romance” by Helena Fairfax


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