Monday, 28 October 2013

HarperImpulse Party - 24th October 2013

Carmel, Brigid & me! And the cabinet.
I thought I best share my fun time at the HarperImpulse party! Thursday was a great adventure, getting on the train and reading for two hours :) So glad I didn't decide to drive.

Arriving at Paddington (a bit late for the Gromit unfortunately) I then caught a tube to Hammersmith, where I found Aimee Duffy waiting for me, and we walked to our hotel.

At the hotel we met Carmel Harrington and the three of us got a taxi to HarperCollins Publishers! Will NEVER tire of saying that, and had to pinch myself as I walked into reception. I did have a wobbly moment.

Sue Moorcroft

Unfortunately our taxi had been running late, and with the traffic too, we arrived late to the meeting at 5pm.

In our fluster in reception, we suddenly noticed our books in paper on the big bookshelf! And then in the cabinet too. We tried not to squeal like teenagers - honest. Act cool, Rodney, act cool.
Chick-lit girls: Sue Fortin, Sarah Lefebve and me!
So we had a talk, then we had coffee and tea and biscuits until we were ready to go down to the party, where endless amounts of Prosecco and winter Pimms were available. I met bloggers, my fellow HarperImpulse authors, other writing acquaintances like Sue Moorcroft and Christina Courtney (Pia Fenton). I actually don't think I took enough pictures.

Me and my editor, Charlotte Ledger looking sparkly.

I don't have room to put all the pictures on my blog, so they can be found on my Facebook Page or Website. The evening was great fun. I met some really lovely people, and felt hugely proud and lucky to be part of a fantastic team of writers. I have a wonderful publisher. I met my most lovely and very busy editor, Charlotte Ledger. Long live HarperImpulse! When's the next party? (I so wish I was going to the Festival of Romance...)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Hump Day Hot Seat: Lorraine Wilson

Today I have Lorraine Wilson in the Hump Day Hot Seat. Lorraine and I attend the same RNA Chapter meeting in Lacock, and we are both Harper Impulse authors. She is one of my writing friends who I do meet on a regular basis, which is really nice. 

So let's get on with the questions! 

Lorraine, have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes, I used to create fictional worlds in exercise books and used my savings to buy a typewriter.

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

My first book wasn’t good enough to be published but I submitted it to the RNA’S new writers’ scheme and got such encouraging advice and learnt from my mistakes. I think that writing is like any other skill, the more you write, the better at it you get.

Why do you like writing romance?

I used to write quite depressing stories in my teens but I like to listen to feel -good fiction and I have discovered how much fun it is to write. I like to write books that will put a smile on peoples’ faces, the world can be quite depressing enough without adding to it!

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

Keep writing- it sound very obvious but seriously you need a bit of stickabililty if you want to get published and stay published.

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

I’ve set my Chalet Girl books in my favourite part of Switzerland but I also find inspiration from magazines and news stories and draw from my own experiences.

What is next on your agenda after publishing your book?

Secrets of a Chalet Girl’ is published tomorrow (24th October) and then ‘Revenge of a Chalet Girl’ is out 19th December. I’m currently working on Secret Valentine of a Chalet Girl.

Are you nervous about friends reading your book?

No, having an editor critique your sex scenes gets you over your nerves but the big worry is family reading my books. When I went to the hairdressers the other day I was asked about the sex content of my book and replied that my mother-in-law is forbidden to read past page sixty of ‘Confessions of a Chalet Girl’. The hairdresser replied that he was going to buy the book and start at page sixty! I’m not sure I will be able to look him in the eye next time I get my haircut!

Do you love or hate Facebook?

I avoided Facebook for a long time and have only started using it properly this year. I have to say I love it - it’s enabled me to make contact with readers and writers I wouldn’t have met otherwise and there’s nothing nicer than a lovely Facebook message from a reader when you’re having a bad day.

Thank you so much, Lorraine, for being in the hot seat. I thoroughly enjoyed Confessions of a Chalet Girl (here's my review if you're interested). I remember what happens on page sixty! Hot stuff - phew! And I'm loving the covers of your books. Good luck with Secrets of a Chalet Girl and the rest of the series.  

You can read the first chapter of 'Secrets of a Chalet Girl' for free here.

Keep up to date with news about the Chalet Girl series here:

Lorraine Wilson's places: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Blog

About Lorraine Wilson

I live in Wiltshire with my husband but love to travel and have lived in four continents. From playing amidst Roman ruins in Africa as a child to riding a Sultan’s racehorse in the Middle East as a teen, I’ve many experiences to draw on for the stories. I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. When I’m not writing you’ll find me listening to audiobooks while I sew or design handbags, usually with a rescue terrier or two curled up on my feet!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Written Fireside: A Witch By Chance - Part 7

Written Fireside is where a group of authors sit around a virtual camp fire and add their bit to the story. The authors participating this month are here.

As it's October this story has a Halloween/Witches theme and is titled A Witch By Chance. 

Before reading my part, I urge you to read the others if you haven't already done so. 

Part 1 by Lori Connelly
Part 2 by Aileen Harkwood
Part 3 by Zara Stoneley
Part 4 by Kari Lemor
Part 5 by Sarah Lefebve 
Part 6 by Carmel Harrington 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

And So LIfe Begins...

You may have noticed I didn't post a Hump Day Hot Seat. I'm waiting on a few guests to come back to me with their answers and with my birthday and all over the weekend, I've been distracted.

Yes, it was my birthday and I've turned the big Four O! To make you feel better about this age, you're told that forty is the new thirty... that life begins at forty. I suppose I'm more confident now about myself than I was twenty years ago... so maybe life really does begin. I've certainly made a new one for myself over the last year.

I did have a fab party, but I am feeling rather reflective about it all at the moment. It's fine, somewhere along the line it will probably come out in a book...

Today I met up with my three local writer friends and I was given 'Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus' by John Gray.

With previous relationship disasters, my dear friend and surrogate mum (I bore her with my life as well as my writing) would quote this book to me a lot, and I'd say I really must read it! So she thought rather than me borrow hers, she'd buy me my own copy. Let's face it, I'm probably going to need to refer to it A LOT! Plus, I'm hoping it might give me some insight into character building my heroes... (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

I received lots of goodies for my birthday, to which I am truly grateful. I could bath in Prosecco and live off chocolate for the rest of the year - but I won't! I'll eat and drink it sensibly, of course.

I'm still suffering with the RSI and so have been limiting writing/typing where I can too. It's terribly frustrating because I was getting into working on book two and wanted it over to the publishers ASAP - the sooner it's out there the better really. Instead of writing, I'm trying to do lots of reading.

I did get a duplicate present. My mum bought me Dawn French's Oh Dear Silvia (because my mum's name is Sylvia). However, my boys also gave me this book too... so I have two copies. I'm thinking I will give one away as a prize to a competition, but I'm not sure what competition to run yet (any suggestions?) - so watch this space if you fancy winning a copy of this book!

Right... back to my reading...

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Hump Day Hot Seat: Lori Connelly

Wow, we've come round to Hump Day Hot Seat again - don't the weeks fly by? Today I have fellow Harper Impulse author Lori Connelly, who is a bit nervous about the interviewing thing, as it's new to her. But I told Lori she had nothing to worry about.

And here's her answers to my hot seat questions...

Have you always wanted to be a writer? I’ve made up stories since I was in grade school and sometime in high school becoming a published author started became my dream.

Did you manage to get the first book you wrote published, or is it tucked in a drawer somewhere? The first book I finished is buried in a deep, dark place and will never see the light of day again. The only good part of that project was that I learned a lot writing it.

What do you read while you write, or don’t you? I can get easily absorbed in a good book and discover hours have gone by so when I’m in the middle of a project I rarely read.

What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it? If I loved it, I keep it and share it with a friend. Anything less than love and I donate it to the library.

What’s the best bit of writing advice you’ve ever received or read? One of the best pieces of advice I’ve read was from Nora Roberts - The only thing you can’t fix is a blank page.What you first put on the page (or screen) may suck, first drafts often do, but don’t let worrying about that stop you. You can fix it later. Write, write and write some more. It’s the only way a book is written.

What things inspire you to write? Location, music, film or even in a book? I’m inspired by many things, music especially but a scene in nature, in a book, a blog post or even listening to the news have all sparked my imagination.

What is next on your agenda after publishing your (first) book? I’ve a novella due out by the end of 2013 which is book two of The Men of Fir Mountian and I’m hard at work on book three of the same series.

Are you nervous about friends reading your book? I’m both nervous and excited. I want them all to like it, even the ones that don’t read romance.

Do you love or hate Facebook? Love it. We live hours apart from our relatives. It’s a wonderful way to share special moments and photographs.

Tea or coffee? Coffee. I love a white chocolate mocha with a shot of irish cream.

Starbucks or Costa? No Costa in Oregon. Starbucks is okay. Do you have Dutch Bros. in the UK?

Chocolate or ice cream? Chocolate ice cream.

Dogs or cats? I’ve known many cool cats. My eldest has one that fetches like a dog but personally I’m a dog person.

Thank you, Lori, for coming over to my blog today! Good luck with your book :D I love the cover, by the way.  

The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge blurb:

For fans of Diana Palmer and Linda Lael Miller comes the first in a brand new and emotionally gripping trilogy, The Men of Fir Mountain.

The day Evie met Benjamin Rolfe, a man with an unbridled enthusiasm for life and grandiose plans to match, she knew they’d marry and live happily ever after…

Five years later, her charming rancher is now a bitter, cynical stranger with a shaky moral compass. And after too many shattered dreams, Evie no longer believes in fairy tale endings.

When they lose the homestead and head out on the open road to start a new life in Oregon, their marriage is already strained to breaking point. Can their love survive this second chance?

Where to find Lori Connelly: 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Hump Day Hot Seat: Rachel Brimble

Mr & Mrs B
I'm thrilled to have Rachel Brimble in the Hump Day Hot Seat today. I first met Rachel at the RNA Conference in 2011. We were in the same dorm, so gathered in the kitchen drinking wine... I mean coffee.

When I joined the RNA New Writers' Scheme in 2012 I was able to attend the RNA Bath and Wiltshire Chapter meetings which Rachel organises. So we meet up regularly.

Let's find out more about Rachel...

1)      Which of your characters is your favourite, and why?

I have SO many favourite characters but there are two special ladies I hope will travel a long distance with me. They were introduced in the first book of my Harlequin Superromance series, Finding Justice. Cat Forrester is the heroine and I had such a good time writing her story. She’s ballsy, fun and deeply caring. Just a great all-round heroine who features quite heavily in book two (A Man Like Him) as well as a small cameo appearance in book three. My other favorite, is the series matriarch, Marian Cohen. She is FABULOUS!! She’s featured in every book so far (I’m currently writing book 4) and a joy to write. It’s like I’m taking dictation every time she’s on the page J

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

I always have a book on the go…usually three! It’s usual for me to have a hardback for reading in bed, a paperback for the bath or when I’m walking the dog (truly!) and then my Kindle for the car while I’m waiting to pick the kids up or doctor’s appointments etc.

I’m not a writer who immerses myself in or avoids a certain genre when I’m writing – I enjoy reading whatever I want, whenever I want. As far as I know, it doesn’t affect what I’m working on.

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

Ooh, great question! It very much depends on how much I liked the book. I have a growing collection of authors whom I love and avidly collect their backlists. These are my “keepers”…as are my increasing collection of signed books. For the rest, I like to pass them on to my friends, my mum or mother in law. I like the thought that a book is being read over and over and word of mouth is the best way of getting readers to search out more books by the same author.

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

Location seems to be a big factor in my inspiration – most of my books start with a setting, whether it be real or fictional. I then decide my sub-genre because I write mainstream contemporary and romantic suspense, as well as Victorian romance. When I have the sub-genre decided, the characters and their problems usually start appearing soon after!

5)      Cocktail or shot? If so, what one? Cocktail
You're going to have to let us know what your favourite Cocktail is, Rachel! Ha ha! 

6)      Tea or coffee? Coffee

7)      Starbucks or Costa? Costa

8)      Chocolate or ice cream? Ice cream

9)      Dogs or cats? Dogs

Rachel’s latest release is book two in her Harlequin Superromance Templeton Cove series – A Man Like Him is available right now. Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt:

Changing her life...again 

After two years in hiding, Angela Taylor knows her independence is worth it. As long as she can escape her past, she has everything under control. Until a flash flood hits the park where she works, and hot Chris Forrester shows up the exact moment she needs a hero. 

Chris proves he can save lives-and weaken a girl's knees. But how can she make him understand that she's off-limits, that getting close to her will endanger his life? Her happiness or his safety: it shouldn't even be a choice.

Because when you love someone, you protect them, no matter the cost. At least, that's what Angela keeps telling herself....


Their eyes locked and Chris’ gaze dropped to her mouth. It fell ajar and her tongue poked out to wet her bottom lip. He snatched his gaze back to the sky. They were in the middle of a disaster situation. They were reaching out to each other for support. Nothing more. Nothing less. So why the hell was his heart beating like a damn jackhammer?
He shielded his eyes against the sun and prayed to God she hadn’t seen his need to kiss her. He focused on the helicopters. “Damn it.”
She shifted beside him and he felt her gaze on him once more. “What is it?”
“They’re not going to be any help to the people stranded in the trees.”
“Of course--”
“Those vultures aren’t going to do a damn bit of good. Where are the rescue teams?”
“What are you talking about? What vultures?”
“Can’t you see?” He shot his arm toward the sky as frustration hummed along his nerve endings. “They’re TV helicopters. A fat lot of bloody help--”
“TV cameras? Oh, my God.”
Chris turned. Her face grew ashen and she swayed back on her heels, her eyes wide with terror. She gripped his forearm. “Help me. Don’t let them see me. You have to do something.”
“What? What are you talking about?”
“Chris, please. Help me.”
Without thinking, he pulled her into his arms and she buried her face into his chest. He brought one hand to the back of her head, the other to the small of her back and pulled her close. She fit the contours of his body like she was meant to be there.
He held her tight. “What is it? What’s wrong?”
She shook her head against his chest. “It’s over. It’s all over.”
The helicopters circled one more time and then flew away, disappearing over the horizon once more. “They’ve gone. Angela? Look at me. What is it?”
She pulled back and tears slipped over her lower lids and down her cheeks. “I’m dead. He’s coming. He’s coming and this time he’ll kill me.”
He gripped her forearms, adrenaline filling his blood on a protective wave. “Who will? What are you talking about?”
She closed her eyes. “My husband.”

A Man Like Him buy links - Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Amazon UK

About Rachel Brimble:

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 and a further three in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington--her debut was released in April 2013, with book two coming in Feb 2014.

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.

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

Links: Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook

Thank you so much, Rachel, for taking the hot seat on my blog today.