Saturday, 22 November 2014

Autumn is Here!

Autumn really is officially here. I do now have my central heating on. However, I would say, it's still not ultra cold. (This morning was abysmal with the rain though).

Sometimes coming up with a new blog post idea is hard work - my mind really is blank (although I know I still haven't done my 'all things purple' post).

I have been neglecting my blog lately. And these days, I'm finding less and less are leaving comments. But I get loads of page views. My blog has now reached - all time - over 100,000 page views which is awesome.

In my defence for neglecting my blog, I did get my edits back for One Fine Day, and I wanted to get those sorted and back to my editor as quickly as possible - the ebook is out 8th January after all.

The cover is now up on Amazon and that's exciting too. To explain the cover a little; it is supposed to have an autumnal feel as the book is set from October through to January. Although Christmas does get a mention, I didn't want it having a Christmas cover. The buildings are supposed to represent the setting; Bristol. And the bird... I want as a trademark lol!



I'm so excited about this book. I hope my readers will love it. It feels wonderful that both books that I've written have got accepted and published, which means they will get read. It doesn't matter if it's only two people, it just feels fabulous! Many writers have novels tucked away that will never see the light of day. Think of all those stories and songs that never get read/heard...

Now I know it's still November and many of us still don't like mentioning the C word... (Christmas, not the other C word!), but I'm going to do another advent calendar on my blog this year.

I tried it a couple of years ago and it was a great success. How it works is that I will post something everyday for the twenty four calendar days. I know it's not quite like opening a real one and getting a piece of yummy chocolate, but my advent calender will be better for you. And I promise some eye-candy :)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Cover Reveal: One Fine Day

This is my second book! What was under the working title of Perfect Isn't An Option.

One Fine Day will be published in eBook on the 8th January 2015 and in paperback in March 2015.



I am truly excited about this book because I fell in love with the concept when I first started writing it, way back in 2011. I really hope my readers will love this story too.

This book is loosely set in Bristol and looks at three relationships, not just one. Ruby - Steve's sister, just screamed at me for a bigger part and she got it.

I will not lie, and if you follow my blog you will already know this, but Bradley Cooper was my inspiration for Steve. But maybe more on that in another blog post...

Here's the blurb - One Fine Day: 


Just a boy standing in front of a girl…

Steve Mason returns from Hollywood after 15 years to catch up with his sister, Ruby. He’s miserable because the woman he was planning on marrying has dumped him.

He’s now worried that with his A-list celebrity status he won’t find a woman who genuinely loves him. Ruby devises a plan to disguise Steve, so that he is unrecognisable as the famous Hollywood actor, in a hope to help him find true love. It worked for Clark Kent, right?

As Steve searches for his not-so-perfect woman and has a taste of normality, his relationship develops with his sister. But will he find the right woman before he has to head back to his real life in Hollywood?

Available to pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon US 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Fake Friday with Debbie Johnson


Today I have Debbie Johnson, fellow HarperImpulse author talking about her new book 'Cold Feet At Christmas' which was published 6th November and writing.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes! From being very small – I had a slightly crazy childhood, and reading, then writing, was the best possible form of escape. I was always telling stories – first about puppies, then about men I fancied as a teenager, then about many other things as I (technically) grew up! I worked as a journalist for a long time though, which was an awesome job – so much fun, really hard work but such a blast, great social life (for that, read: going to the pub!). Partly the style of writing you use as a journalist, and partly that great social life, meant that writing fiction was put on hold for over a decade. It was only when I left the industry I was able to tap into that part of my brain again.


Did you manage to get the first book you wrote published, or is it tucked in a drawer somewhere?

Long, torturous story…I’ve written 6 books. One – an urban fantasy called Dark Vision – was published in spring, with the sequel out in March 2015. This book for HarperImpulse – Cold Feet At Christmas – and another for them. Plus two that have yet to see the light of published day, despite them being the first two I ever wrote, and despite one of them winning a big competition (the Harry Bowling Prize). Irons are in fires, however. I write fantasy, and romance, and crime, and am considering a Western or a spy novel to complete my set!

What’s so special about your heroine that makes your hero fall in love with her?

Leah, the heroine, is incredibly special. In fact, I’m kind of in love with her myself! She has had some truly crappy situations to deal with in life – the death of her parents, finding out her hubbie was cheating on her with the bridesmaid on the day of her wedding, falling for our hero and seeing her whole world fall apart as a result…but she always, always, stays bright. Optimistic. Sees the funny side, and celebrates her glass being half full. I wish I was more like her! She’s also incredibly loyal, lusty, caring and foul-mouthed. All qualities I admire in a woman!

What do you read while you write, or don’t you?

I read all the time, and the mix is ridiculous – I love crime fiction, dystopian, fantasy, espionage, horror, romance. But I do try to avoid reading a genre which I am at that time writing in – it only results in author envy where you see other writers doing it so much better than you feel you are!

What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it?

My house is a book avalanche waiting to happen. They are piled up everywhere. I think I may have lost one of my kids behind my Charlaine Harris collection, in fact! So, new policy I try and stick to – if it’s a book I really love, or an author I really love, I find a space for it. If not, it gets taken to the charity shop or passed on to a friend. It’s always hard to part with them though…

What’s the best bit of writing advice you’ve ever received or read? 

To put your first draft away in a drawer (or the electronic version) for a couple of weeks after you’ve written. Your eyes really do see different things once you’ve taken a break from it! Also, re: edits – this is always a hard part of the job, but if you are even THINKING your book could possibly live without a scene, then cut it!

What things inspire you to write? Location, music, film or even in a book?

Location, very much so. Liverpool is wonderful for that – the waterfront, the coastline, the culture, the architecture, the characters you see! I travelled to New York last year to ‘research’ my second fantasy novel, Dark Touch, which is partly set there. And straight after a holiday to Cornwall, I wrote my second HarpreImpulse romance.I’m like an atmosphere junkie: I soak everything I see and hear and smell and feel, like a human-shaped sponge! I was also a pop writer on my local paper for 10 years, so music is important.

How would your best friend describe you in 140 characters? 

‘Funny, loyal, hard working, and often drunk!’

Do I need to check if that's 140 characters? Sounds just like me :) Thanks for visiting my blog and good luck with your book, Debbie. It sounds fun! 

Cold Feet At Christmas Blurb:


Running out on your wedding shouldn’t be this much fun!
A remote Scottish castle on a snowy Christmas Eve. A handsome husband-to-be. A dress to die for. It should have been the happiest day of Leah Harvey’s life – but the fairytale wedding turns sour when she finds her fiancĂ© halfway up the bridesmaid’s skirt just hours before the ceremony!
Fleeing the scene in a blizzard, Leah ends up stranded at the nearest cottage, where she collapses into the arms of its inhabitant – a man so handsome she thinks she must have died and gone to heaven!
And when Rob Cavelli suddenly finds himself with an armful of soaking wet, freezing cold, and absolutely gorgeous bride on the run, he’s more than happy to welcome her into his snowbound cottage this Christmas…

About Debbie Johnson:

After spending many years working as a journalist, I decided to stop telling other people’s stories, and start making up my own! I work from home in a very messy house near the beach, and write in between pouring bowls of Coco Pops for my three children and my dog (only kidding – he prefers Frosties!). I’m married to a man who is both a librarian and a musician – the perfect combination – and love to write pure, escapist fun. As well as romance, I’m also a published author in fantasy, and am working hard on crime as well. Or writing about it, at least.




Sunday, 2 November 2014

More Proverbs Less Confusion

Once again, I have been neglecting my blog, and I apologise profusely.

We are in November already. I still haven't turned the heating on... and actually, the trees outside my house still have most of their leaves.

I have a couple of topics I'd like to discuss, but on this post I want to talk about More Haste Less Speed... which I've been saying for the last forty years as Less Haste More Speed, because to me, that makes sense.

Why does it make sense to me? Because usually when I am rushing around trying to do something, and it takes longer because I am rushing, (I usually drop something, or find myself doing it twice, three times and swearing a lot!) I say to myself, "Teresa, less haste, more speed." i.e. slow down! Whereas, although the other way means the same thing, it doesn't feel like it's telling me to slow down, it's just lecturing me. It's telling me if I rush I'll be slower.

Now the reason it's come to light that I've been saying it wrong all this time is due to being in work on Friday. For one reason or another I was discussing it with my colleague and the postman - I think I was trying to tie up the mailbags quickly for the postman. They were both saying no, no it's more haste less speed... and I was like, really? I'll have to Google it. (Where would we be without the internet?)

Saturday I was back in work on my own, and we got to discussing this funny little proverb, and even a customer agreed with me that he thought it was Less Haste... then another customer afterwards said, no, it actually is More Haste...  Confused.com.

Then I decided I MUST Google it.

Admittedly I always muddle my metaphors and sayings, so it doesn't surprise me I am wrong. I did go Google though, and this is what I came up with - a discussion on Mumsnet...  (I feel relieved I am not the only person on this earth getting it wrong.)

Now, could it be that I was taught Less Haste More Speed? Is it an area thing? Is it another North/South divide or what? You know, the same as how we pronounce scones, or should it be jam first then cream (Weirdos - of course it's cream first then jam!) Or have I just been saying it wrong all these years?

Anyone else out there thought the saying went less haste more speed? 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Jill Knapp's Cover Reveal

Jill Knapp on Roosevelt Island in New York
where her character Alex lives.
Today we have the first glimpse at the cover art of HarperImpulse author, Jill Knapp's next book, "We've Always Got New York", coming out November 20th! This novel is book #2 in the "What Happens To Men..?" series, which is now available in paperback in Great Britain. The first book has gotten rave reviews, and has divided its readers into two groups. Are you on Team Michael? Or are you on Team Hayden?


You can get a copy of book #1 here 


"We've Always Got New York" picks up after Amalia Hastings returns to Manhattan from her trip to Brazil to find that life has in fact gone on without her. Fresh off the plane, she is left feeling anxious and unresolved, left alone to pick up the pieces, and deal with the repercussions of choosing her own path over Michael. Amalia finds herself without an apartment, without a job, and starting to wonder if she's even without a best friend!

Jill can be reached on Twitter at @JL_Knapp and on Facebook 




Cover Reveal!
Now here's a sneak peak at the first chapter of "We've Always Got New York"!

Chapter 1- Amalia

I could tell by the look on her face that she was expecting something from me. She was expecting something to be different. For me to be, in some way, changed.
I’m Amalia Hastings, and on August 20th at 9:17 pm, I was home.
Home. The word seemed funny to me because I didn’t have a home to go back to. I moved out of my apartment right before leaving for Brazil and after my friend-with-benefits, Michael, showed up at my apartment, asking me to stay. I hadn’t thought it through properly; I just knew I didn’t want to live in that apartment anymore. Before my trip to Brazil I packed up what little stuff I owned and put it in storage for when I returned, assuming I would deal with it then. Well, “then” has become “now”. So for tonight I was staying with my best friend Cassandra. Who was currently waving at me.
I knew what she wanted. She wanted stories. Juicy ones that involved hot hookups on the sand. She wanted to see pictures. Pictures of the places I went, the food I ate, and the hot guys I met. She wanted me to run up to her in a sun dress, hair braided and skin tanned, and explain, no, to pontificate, to her how life-changing my trip was. She wanted me to playfully link her arm around mine and gush about how amazing it all was. How I was changed forever. That I had a new appreciation for life, food, and music. She wanted me to tell her that I would never be the same.
But this isn’t the movies and I’m not Julia Roberts.
The florescent lights above me flickered, making the airport look dark and ominous. I looked down at my hand as I pulled my rolling suitcase across the sticky, tiled floor. Not even my hand had acquired a tan. Three months in the Brazilian sun and my skin remained as pale as ever.
Cassandra was looking right at me with wide, unblinking eyes. I walked a little slower.
For some reason I couldn’t pinpoint, coming off the plane felt like a surreal experience to me. Although I was relieved to have landed, and I wouldn’t have wanted to stay in Brazil any longer, I still wasn’t utterly happy with being back. I wondered if it merely had to do with the fact that I had no apartment to go back to and was feeling pretty untethered from not having a proper home.
There’s an old saying. I’m not really sure where it’s from or who said it first. Kind of the proverb equivalent of The House of the Rising Sun. It proffers, “Wherever you go, there you are”, and up until about one month ago I had no idea what it meant. But now it means everything. It rings in my ears like a scolding mother, repeating itself over and over again until I submit.
I finally stood face to face with Cassandra, who was grinning like a fool at this point. She was dressed down for the night, wearing a purple racer-back tank top that showed off her summer glow, jeans, and gold flip-flops. Her blonde hair was pulled into a loose, messy bun and her make-up was minimal, apart from the extra-shiny, coral lip-gloss she was wearing. She reeked of summer.
“Hey,” I offered, looking down at my sneakers. I wished I had more energy for her, but after ten hours on a plane it was all I could muster up.
Cassandra cocked her head to the side and smiled. Her hair swung back and forth and she popped her hip out like a model in training. She looked as fierce as ever, even dressed-down in comfortable summer clothes.
“That’s all I get? Get over here!” she said, pulling me in for a hug.
I hugged her back for a moment and then pulled away, overcome with exhaustion and jet-lag. I smiled at Cassandra. She smelled like a salty coconut and I realized she had probably come straight from Fire Island, a beach not too far from Long Island and just outside of the city. That explained the dressed-down attire, but not the lip-gloss. Unless, of course, we were going straight back there from JFK airport.
I looked back at the gate. Most people I knew hated airports, but I liked them. They offered a chance to escape. Get on a plane and in six hours from now you could be across the country. You could be in a different town, in a different house, with a different group of people. I think we all took that for granted.
I could go back to Brazil right now. Or I could go somewhere else. I’ve never been to Cincinnati; I wonder what it’s like there. Or maybe Savannah. I could definitely live in Savannah! I took a step backwards, away from Cassie. Back toward the inside of the airport. She just smiled.
“Very funny, Amalia!” she said through perfectly white teeth. “Don’t sneak away from me now. I’m so glad you’re back, I really missed you.”
Cassie threw her arm over me and smushed our faces together. She whipped out her iPhone and flipped the camera application around so the front lens could be used and snapped a picture of the two of us. Before I knew it, she uploaded the picture to Facebook with the caption “So excited, Amalia is officially home!”
Without glancing back, she walked a few feet in front of me and remained glued to her phone. The back of her Havaianas smacking onto her heels echoed throughout the now nearly empty hallway. I let out a long sigh that Cassandra didn’t hear and pulled my suitcase toward the exit. Yep, it was official. I was home.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Happy Birthday!

Among a lot of other people, today I share my birthday with Hugh Jackman! (I've started to appreciate this man more and more after devouring the box set of the X-Men.)



Happy birthday, Hugh!

All the coolest people have their birthday on the 12th October!

Today is the 20th anniversary of my 21st birthday! Whoop! (So much better looking at it that way!)

If you have kids, I think your birthdays are just as much for them. I've bought a huge cupcake of a birthday cake out of Sainsburys. I will adorn it with candles - not all 41, that's just asking for trouble - and let the kids blow out the candles for me.


I'm planning on a lazy day, with hopefully a few presents to open, because even at my age, I still like presents. Then we will be off to a Hungry Horse for tea - because I certainly am not cooking.

I'm sure there will be wine consumed in the evening, too.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fake Friday with Angela Campbell

Oh, look, I've got fellow Harper Impulse author, Angela Campbell, on my blog, talking about writing and her new book, Spirited Away. Let's get to the questions! 

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I would write stories and act them out with stuffed animals.


Did you manage to get the first book you wrote published, or is it tucked in a drawer somewhere?

It is tucked away somewhere, and I don’t even know where it is. Pretty sure it was garbage.


My Twitter style question: Describe your hero in 140 characters.

Dark. Mysterious. A total hottie who is only too happy to help his enticing new neighbor when she gets in trouble. Has ulterior motives.


My Twitter style question: Describe your heroine in 140 characters.

Borrowing from a reviewer (Chicks That Read): A tech geek. Give her a computer and she has the confidence of Naomi Campbell, but when the boss asks her to pet and housesit chaos ensues.


Why do you like writing romance?

It’s the only genre where a happy ending is pretty much guaranteed, and real life has too many sad endings. I’d rather write and read about happily ever afters.


Which of your characters is your favourite, and why?

I am fond of them all, but Spider is my favorite character so far. She’s so darn funny! We could totally be best friends.


What do you read while you write, or don’t you?

I read whatever I can fit into my schedule, which isn’t much. It’s always something in romance. When I’m writing, it takes most of my free time.


Do you have a favourite author?

No. I can’t pick just one!


What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it?

I keep it! I absolutely cannot throw a book away, and it pains me to give it away. Occasionally I’ve exchanged them for different ones, but only if I didn’t particularly like the book. I have hundreds, maybe thousands of books in storage.


What advice would you give to new writers?

Everyone gets discouraged. EVERYONE. Determination and persistence are assets you will absolutely need to succeed in publishing.


Are you nervous about friends reading your book?

Yes. I have a very difficult time telling anyone I know that I’m published.


Cocktail or shot? 

If so, what one? Neither. I don’t drink alcohol. True story.


Tea or coffee? 

Tea!


Chocolate or ice cream? 

Chocolate.


Dogs or cats? 

Both!


BLURB:

Book 3 in the brilliantly witty ‘Psychic Detective’ series from Angela Campbell – perfect for fans of the Sookie Stackhouse & Stephanie Plum books!
Who knew pet-sitting could be so dangerous…or so sexy?!
Socially awkward Emma “Spider” Fisher prefers her laptop to people, so she’s more than happy to oblige her boss when he asks her to pet- and housesit while he honeymoons in London.
But it doesn’t take long for accident-prone Spider to lose a dog, get locked out of the house, and set off the house alarm!
Thankfully, her hot new neighbour is more than happy to come to her rescue. But Noah West is a mystery to Spider—and one she intends to solve.

AUTHOR BIO:


Angela Campbell read her first romance novel at 16 and immediately attempted to write one, too. Many attempts (and a couple of decades) later, she finally published her first novel. A mild-mannered newspaper reporter with more than 15 years experience as a general assignment reporter, features editor and graphic designer, she has also worked as a production assistant in TV and film. Learn more about her books at www.angelacampbellonline.com.

BUY LINK:


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Brainstorming Book Titles

My editor and I are in talks about the name of my second book.

I like the idea of having the word 'Perfect' in it. She's thinking of things around super heroes, and 'super' because I do reference the good old Man of Steel from time to time in my book - I'm talking Christopher Reeve, not Henry Cavill, although I love him too.

This is because my hero, Steve Mason, goes under a disguise, a bit like Clark Kent.

Then I'm thinking Star or Stars... because he's a Hollywood actor, a Super Star.

Currently the working title is Perfect Isn't An Option. The reason being is (just a quick blurb I've knocked up);

Steve Mason is looking for his perfect girlfriend. But he doesn't want perfect. He could pick up 'perfect' in Hollywood. But with his celebrity super-star status, how will he know if a woman genuinely loves him?  
His bossy sister, Ruby, comes up with a plan, stripping away his fame and fortune, she makes Steve hide behind a disguise to find love... It worked for Clark Kent, right?  


If you can think of anything, then please leave a comment below. In the meantime, I'll get my thinking-cap on.... and finish editing the book.