Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Written Fireside Christmas Blog Hop... is coming...

Yes I said Christmas! Yes it is only July!

Fifteen Harper Impulse authors have come together to sit around the fire, though this time it's going to be a little different.

A competition was organised by Lori Connelly and Harper Impulse team to find the starting paragraph, and then us authors are going to continue this on, and create a short story.

Throughout August you'll get snippets of the stories, and then Harper Impulse will release the anthology in time for Christmas.


Fifteen authors, fifteen stories.

One shared, starting paragraph.


Read a taste of what's coming for Christmas


This is the winning paragraph which each short story will stem from:

Charlotte sat at the bus stop wondering whether she would make the naughty or nice list this year. Last year she had rescued a stray kitten and therefore considered herself most definitely ‘nice’. This year she had broken Daniels heart into a million tiny pieces, so ‘naughty’ seemed to be the only answer. There’d be no Santa Claus coming down her chimney anytime soon.
By Georgia Beyers

So keep an eye out in August for the stories! And there will be a Rafflecopter giveaway too!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Any Book Signing Tips For A Novice?

I am attending my very first book signing on Saturday (26th July) in Waterstones, Weston-super-Mare.

If interested, I will be there from 2pm until the shop closes (or the books are sold - let's hope, huh!).

As you know, my début novel, Plus One is a Lucky Number, came out in paperback on the 8th May this year.


Attending the conference, and listening to some of my fellow authors' complaints, made me realise what a great local store I have, because a lot of writers can't seem to get book signings in their local Waterstones - which is such a shame. So I feel really privileged and very lucky to get such great support!

I'm nervous, because I'm not really good at selling, and haven't the faintest idea how I'm going to tackle this... I am just hoping that with my natural ability to talk and socialise, I will over come this fear.

I am going to arm myself with a good pen or two (not my favourite for fear of losing it - that one never leaves the house!) and my bookmarks that I've had printed. I have even chosen the dress I want to wear... But do I need anything else?

With this blog post, I am looking for tips and ideas... anything... What have you done at your book signings? What worked? What should I avoid?

Please tell me by leaving comments below or emailing me!



Monday, 14 July 2014

The RNA Conference Buzz

Me, Rachel Brimble and Jane Lark selfie.
I am probably, like every other writer who attended the RNA Conference at the weekend, now blogging about it.

And why not!? It makes good blogging fodder!

Everyone who attended will agree with me here. The conference gives you such a buzz, and you meet so many lovely authors, and aspiring writers, you just can't help get a high from it all.

My good friend Mary Cross with Lizzie Lane
In fact, I'm feeling rather deflated today... missing the lovely people, the delicious food and the scrumptious wine... I ate so much good food! (And drank too much wine.)

This year felt particularly good for me actually.

1) I met up with lots of authors I hadn't seen in three years, since the last (and my very first conference) I attended.

2) I was no longer a conference virgin. I knew what I was doing :-)

Me, Sue Fortin and Mandy Baggot




And 3) I had fellow writers to hang around with. It was really fab, because a good majority of my RNA chapter group made it to the conference, and so we all hung out together :) It was like an extended RNA chapter meeting.


The Romaniacs :-) 
It's a good reflection for me also. In 2011, I attended the RNA conference as an aspiring romance writer, not even a member of the RNA. But that conference encouraged me to join the RNA New Writers' Scheme, and here I am returning, three years later, now a full member of the RNA with a novel published.
Nikki Moore, Linn B Halton, Mandy B and
Jane Lark
Harper Impulse authors :)













It also enabled me to meet up with my fellow Harper Impulse authors too!

Anyway, with this blog post I'm going to share some of my favourite photos - however I have plastered the lot over on my website :)
Nikki Moore and Sue Moorcroft
(Not sure who the lady in pink is)


Morton Gray :-) Who I Love!


















As you can see, I've managed to get some great photos of great authors :-) And you can see how smiley we are... or is that the free wine?



Our RNA Bath and Wiltshire Chapter group.









Gosh, there were so many more photos I wanted to add on this blog post...


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Fake Friday - The Rachel Brimble Take Over

Today, Rachel Brimble has taken over my blog! 


Writers Block – it arrived and bit me in the butt!!

So happy to be here with fellow Romantic Novelist Association member, Teresa F Morgan! Thanks for having me visit, lovely lady.

I can’t help feeling my inability to move on with my current work in progress has been brought on by karma. I have always said that ‘writer’s block’ doesn’t exist. Just write! Anything…everything…it can always be edited, changed or cut, just write. Well, I’ve tried and tried and still I keep looking at what I’ve written and say to myself, “What in the world is that supposed to mean? Do? Say? It’s complete rubbish.”

The answer, of course, is that something is wrong with the book itself, whether that be the plot or characters…but lord in heaven knows what! Thankfully, I have an amazing editor and an amazing trio of critique partners who are stalwartly trying to pull me through this mire that is my next contracted book with Harlequin Superromance. Thanks to their feedback, I think the problem lies with my hero and his motivation. It’s flimsier than a pair of seven denier tights! No doubt, the mist will clear eventually… L

So what happens next? Back to the drawing board, I think. My editor has a lot more belief in me than I do right now but that’s what writing is, it’s a hard, dirty job that a huge amount of aspiring writers give up on. Teem the hard work, with the lack of ideas, with the time constraints, with the rejection and you’ve got to ask yourself, “WHY am I doing this?”

The answer is clear to anyone who feels, like me, they’ve found their calling…we HAVE to do this or be less than half the person we were meant to be. So onwards and upwards…watch this space for the result, which should be published during the summer 2015 J

As for other writers out there? I sincerely hope I’ve inspired, rather than depressed you, lol! You can do this and having written fourteen novels and two novellas to date, I wanted to share that it isn’t just you who suffers these days/weeks or months of inactivity, it happens to us all. Keep writing!

Rachel’s latest release is the third book in her ongoing Templeton Cove series with Harlequin Superromance. What Belongs To Her is available right now! Here’s the blurb and buy links:

She's ready to take back what's hers 
Since the moment a local crime boss claimed ownership of her family's fairground, Sasha Todd has dreamed of righting the wrong. Now it's time to act, and backing down from the man's estranged son is definitely not an option. After all, giving up her legacy to hot-blooded John Jordon means losing the chance to finally heal the wounds in her past. 
Stopping John in his tracks—and resisting the sizzle between them—is Sasha's best defense. But there's more to him than she thought, which changes everything. With what matters most at stake, she'll have to risk a brand-new future with John, or walk away from the man whose heart belongs to her.

Buy Links:





Bio:


Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK.  After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance, followed by a further three book contract in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington—The Seduction of Emily and The Temptation of Laura are available with a further two books coming soon.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England…although she hopes a dream visit to Canada might just change her mind!

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!


Links:



 Thank you, Rachel, for taking over my blog today :-) Some good advice and you really have inspired me! Look forward to meeting up with you again soon. Teresa x 


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Written Fireside - Missing You - Part 5

Yes, it's another Written Fireside, and it's my turn to post my part. If you haven't read the previous parts, then please follow the links below. 





And now you've caught up, here's Part 5 of Missing You:


Kaylie’s gut instinct grew stronger as she and Sam cautiously hiked through the woods towards the old abandoned mansion. They were on the right path. She was getting closer to finding Max.

Her fond childhood memories of her and Max playing in these woods felt different now, as she anxiously glanced over her shoulder. She had to ensure those two men that had entered Max’s house weren’t following them. A sinister feeling between the trees shrouded her, darkness creeping in as the sun fell behind grey clouds, leaving a chill in the air.  

George sniffed ahead, as if he knew where to head, with Kaylie following, and Sam covering their tracks. She heard a twig crack and leaves rustle, making her heart race. A bird flew from a branch and in her fear, not looking where she was going, she tripped over a protruding tree root. Sam caught her arm, stopping her from falling. The sensation his touch provoked surprised her.

Get a grip, Kaylie.

“How’s Cindy?” she said sharply, reminding herself, as much as Sam, why they no longer saw eye to eye. She shrugged her arm out of his grip and kept walking.

“It’s over.”

“Oh.”

“It never really started. You have to believe me, it was an honest mistake.”

Kaylie wanted to shout that witnessing Cindy kiss him hadn’t looked like a mistake from where she’d been standing, catching them at it, when the old mansion came into view. It was breath taking in its grand stature, but miserable with its slow decay and abandonment. Years ago, it must have been so grand.

They peered through dirty windows as they searched the grounds, but George, tail wagging, found them their way in.  George scratched at the old red wooden doors jutting out of the ground. Was this where he’d gained his splinter?

“Good boy, George,” Kaylie said. Together they wrenched open the doors, revealing stairs which went down into the basement. Considering the age, and its neglect, the doors opened easily, without a struggle, as if they’d been used recently. Max had been here.  

As she was about to enter, Sam placed a hand on Kaylie’s shoulder.

“Wait,” he said. “I’ll go first.”

With a bark, George barged past, disappearing into the darkness.

"Too late, George beat you to it.” She giggled; a mixture of nerves and apprehension of what the mansion may hold escaping her. Chuckling, Sam started his descent.  

Kaylie grabbed Sam’s comforting hand as he stepped down before her. The basement was dark, the only light coming from the stairwell. It was full of dusty old furniture, paint pots, jars and old tools covered in cobwebs. Nothing out of the ordinary. George scratched and whimpered at something tucked behind an old bookshelf.

Sam shooed George and strained, reaching for the object. Sam unwrapped the clothed package to reveal an old wooden keepsake box. Kaylie could sense Max’s presence strongly.

Carefully, opening the box, Sam passed Kaylie a flash drive. She took it with trembling hands.

“Kaylie, there’s a note from Max, too.”
To be continued...


Next parts to follow: 

Part 6 by Jill L Knapp - 8th July 

Part 7 by Jane Lark
Part 8 by Zara Stoneley
Part 9 by Aimee Duffy

More about the authors can be found in the links below: 


Her book - One Kiss

Angela Campbell - Website   Facebook   Twitter   Blog

Teresa F. Morgan -  Website  Facebook  Twitter  
Her books - Plus One is a Lucky Number Co-Author - Be My Valentine  

Jill L. Knapp - Website   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads Harper Impulse  
Her book - Chase   

Jane Lark - Website  Facebook  Twitter  Blog History

Zara Stoneley - Website  Facebook   Twitter  Blog  Amazon Author Page


6a00d8341c630a53ef01053699ed5f970c-800wi.jpg
George

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Magnificent Maleficent

I know, I'm bad. I haven't blogged in ages. At the moment it feels like I am chasing my tail. Or I'm that bloody hamster who can't get off the wheel!

Even though I have the smallest, cosiest house ever, it still needs cleaning, the boys need feeding and I still have to go to work. Lord knows how I'd cope if I didn't have my own gardener... aka Dad :)

I always feel guilty when I'm not doing something constructive, i.e writing related activities, and today was one of those days, as I have a whole day off to do 'stuff' - and I didn't.

However, my day was thoroughly enjoyable and I love having a trip out with one of my best friends. Female bonding is constructive, right?

Once a month, we take time out to drive to Cabot Circus, Bristol, as soon as the kids are dropped off into school, to see a film and have lunch out. Today, we really wanted to see Maleficent, and we arrived as it was starting - luckily as there were twenty minutes of adverts and trailers first we dashed next door to grab a Costa Coffee to sneak in with us. We were out just before noon, leaving us plenty of time to have lunch at Frankie and Benny's plus shop for shoes :)

I have always been a huge fan of Angelina Jolie since Tomb Raider. If you watch the extras on the DVD, she worked hard to get her part as Lara Croft right. She's one Kick Ass Chick :) Plus, she's beautiful.

I wasn't sure what to expect about Maleficent, but all I can say is it is a popular fairy tale told from the other point of view - the wicked witch. I won't say too much because I don't want to spoil the twist, but I loved it. (And so did Fi).

Being a romance writer, I love fairy tales. Cinderella (I got all excited when I saw the trailer for that too!) being my favourite. However, I think Sleeping Beauty is up there too. I much prefer this adaptation, even though I have fond memories of the Sleeping Beauty cartoon version.

The film, Maleficent, is about a woman scorned... well, a fairy actually... Go see it! With or without the kids! It's fantastic. Angie is awesome, and was born to play this part.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

RNA Summer Party Quick Report

My cocktail: Cesar Punch
As I've been on holiday, and have a mountain of things to catch up on (including the washing and ironing) I thought I would just do a very quick blog post to tell you about the RNA Summer Party.

It was soooo much fun :)

Sue, me and Charlotte







Firstly, I met my editor (I will never tire of those two words together) Charlotte Ledger and Sue Fortin for cocktails at the Ritz.

Then, running a teeny bit late, (nothing to do with me taking photos of the very pink powder room) we headed to the summer party so that Sue and I could have our official photo taken!

Official photo of the Joan Hessayon contenders
Receiving my award.
I met new faces, and faces that I knew through social media but had never met, and old faces, friends I'd made at the RNA Conference in 2011 and were able to catch up with (because I hadn't seen them since).

It really was a lovely evening and I didn't get to talk to as many writers/friends as I had hoped. Apologies to those I missed!

I was awarded a certificate and a prize (which I really wasn't expecting). Lining up was very nerve-racking. And luckily, Pia Fenton didn't do a X Factor style announcement of the winner. She announced it quickly to put us out of our misery. :)
Sue & I with our certificates

The winner was Jo Thomas with her début novel The Oyster Catcher. More news on the winner here.

I think my favourite part of the evening was being introduced by Charlotte to a lot of her Mills and Boon colleagues and friends as 'one of her authors'. I won't ever tire of that phrase either.

Fab fab evening! Chatted on the train all the way to Egham to some poor guy heading out to Reading. Hope he didn't think I was bonkers with my pink nails, pink dress, pink handbag and pink shoes. Can't wait for the RNA Conference. My pack has arrived. I must fill it out. If you're going, see you there. :)












Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Count Down Starts

Hand bag purchased - large enough to carry my shoes, dress ironed last night, and today I've had my hair cut and highlighted. I think I'm ready! And Thursday morning, before getting on my train, I will be getting my nails painted... (the gel sort that dry instantly - don't panic!) and then off to London for the RNA summer party I go!

Super excited! And anyone who has seen me in real life, knows how I get excited. :)

I'm meeting my editor and the lovely Sue Fortin at Green Park to go to the Ritz for celebratory cocktails prior. It's all very exciting stuff. Must make sure I don't spill chocolate, coffee or my sandwich or anything basically down my dress when on the train.

If you haven't already gathered, I am a contender for the Joan Hessayon Award with my début novel Plus One is a Lucky Number. And the winners will be announce at the summer party.

I feel nervous, thrilled, and at the same time I know it will be an experience of a life time. I can't wait to meet lots of lovely authors and their pretty shoes. Good job I'm not shy :)

How many times can I use the word exciting/excited in one blog post?

I think I need Tom dancing to help me celebrate and wish us all luck, don't you?