Saturday, 23 July 2016

HER ONE TRUE LOVE on sale!!

Happy Weekend, lovely readers!!

Just wanted to give you a heads up that my latest Victorian romance, HER ONE TRUE LOVE is on 99p/99c sale until Monday - would love you to grab your copy this weekend at an amazing bargain price!


Here's the blurb & buy links:

She Can't Forget Him… 

Jane Charlotte Danes has loved the squire of her idyllic country town for as long as she can remember. He is good, kind, and alluring beyond words… and he chose to marry another. Tired of dwelling on her futile longings, Jane plans a move to Bath, where she dreams of a new beginning. But the man who has so imprisoned her heart is only a few steps behind…

He Can't Let Her Go…

Until now, Matthew Cleaves has endeavored to meet the responsibilities of his position with dignity and good spirits--including his dutiful marriage. But when his wife leaves him for another man, Matthew is at last free to pursue his one true love. Only one vital question remains: will the captivating, stubborn, beautiful Jane allow him the challenge, and the pleasure, of winning her back?.. 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Happy Reading!

Rachel x

Friday, 22 July 2016

Welcome Accent Press author, April Hardy...


Hi April! Love welcoming fellow RNA members to my blog and really hope you enjoy your first visit with me - wishing you much success and sales with your latest release, SITTING PRETTY! Let's kick off with my questions...

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Thanks to my theatrical grandmother I grew up believing my mother and aunty had been members of both the Tiller Girls and the Bluebell dance troupe. So of course I decided to carry on the family tradition. Why not?
Well, because I just wasn't good enough, that's why not!
After starting out in the local ballet school they ran together, just outside the New Forest, it was easy enough to spot the mediocrity of my dancing talent. I got through ballet, modern and tap exams by the skin of my teeth and acted rather than danced my way through the end of term shows.
So I decided to go into acting instead. After all, my grandparents, great grandparents, great aunts, Old Uncle Tom Cobbly and all had been on the stage, running their own touring theatre companies between working for other shows. Now there was a family tradition I could carry on, especially after spending most of my formative years treading the boards in two local Am Dram groups.
So I auditioned for every drama school which would let me and actually got into one. Sorted! I was going to be the next Judy Dench. Why not?
I suspect you're sensing a pattern here? Well, it seemed that when dancing was required I was more of an actress, and when acting was required I was more of a dancer!
Strangely enough, I did end up doing a few touring pantomimes and some children's theatre before  joining a dance troupe and eventually working as a choreographer, but I always felt a bit of a square peg in a hexagonal hole.

My naughty grandmother, however turned out to have been embroidering the truth a little, and not for the first time (she insisted we were related to Bob Hope!). Mum and my aunty had been Jackson Girls, a prestigious troupe of dancers, but they hadn't been tall enough for either the Tillers or Bluebell. It just hadn't occurred to me that Grandma might be fibbing!

2. Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?

Well that depends! I don't function as a fully paid up member of the human race until I've had at least 2 cups of English Breakfast in the morning. But my teatime choice of beverage is Earl/Lady Grey.
I do like a coffee after a meal, but it usually has to be decaf as I have an intolerance to caffeine and can end up having palpitations.
Of course, if chocolate, milk and sugar had no calories it would be hot chocolate all the way! But they do, damn it! So that has to be saved for treats.
I suppose if I had to choose only one then it would be tea - I'm terribly English!


3. What genre do you typically read? Why?

I've always gravitated towards anything that makes me laugh, anything that makes me feel good about the world.I suppose I've always seen laughter as the best antidote to most of life's little mishaps or disappointments.
I grew up loving H E Bates' The Pop Larkin Chronicles - now there was a warm-hearted, generous family who knew how to have a good time, and how to make sure that everyone around them did, too. I still like to return to those stories from time to time, but now I read mainly contemporary romance, and if there's an element of light comedy about it, so much the better.
My favourite authors are Trisha Ashley, Milly Johnson, Sophie Kinsella,  Carole Matthews and Katie Fforde. Whenever one of them has a new book out I'm itching to get my hands on it - they never ever disappoint!


4. Share a favourite childhood memory.

It was the seventies and my mother had started taking my brother and myself to London for little theatre weekends. Money was incredibly tight and so we'd stay in the cheapest little hotels available and Mum would pack up food to take with us, but it felt like such an adventure - even the time a mouse got into Mum's bag and chewed its way through the grease-proof paper wrapping and into our sandwiches!
One of the very first times we went, Mum took us to see J B Priestley's The Good Companions. I'd seen John Mills in things on television, but this was the first time I'd seen Judi Dench in anything and I immediately developed a huge, little girl crush on her. I remember I used to imagine she was my older sister and away working in the theatre. I used to make believe all the exciting stories she'd tell me when she came home for a visit, and all the backstage gossip she'd share with me!
When I went to theatre school I harboured a hope that one day I might get to work with her, but of course that never happened. If I ever got the chance, I'd still love to meet her, although I'd probably stammer and stutter and make a complete show of myself ... They do say you should never meet your heroes, don't they!

5. Do you prefer dogs, cats or none of the above?

I actually love both cats and dogs, and would happily have 2 or 3 of each, but that would have to wait until I was back in UK and in a house rather than an apartment.
One of the main characters in my debut novel, Sitting Pretty, is a gorgeous, smokey grey cat called Talisker (after the whisky), and I had great fun writing his scenes. But I had a lot of laughs writing about the various dogs in the story too - probably because they're all so naughty!


6. Do you have any pet peeves?

Probably more than would be considered rational! But I suppose my main one is loud, arrogant people in restaurants or on public transport, thinking their conversation is so fascinating that everyone else must be desperate to hear every word of it too. It turns me into a female Victor Meldrew every time - not a pretty sight - and I do eat out quite a lot!
Thank God though, for the  "quiet carriages" available on a lot of British trains. I could hug the person who came up with that idea!

7. What was your first job? Did you like or dislike it?

My first job, at 16 and 17,  was helping out at weekends in the little cafe in my local village. It was run by a lovely couple called Len and Barbara and was part of a dairy which had been in Len's family for generations. There was also a shop which was a bit like the one in Open All Hours!
They were a very kind couple who had no children of their own and I think they were quite bemused by me - I was certainly the only teenager they'd ever employed who had theatrical aspirations!
All staff were allowed to eat what they wanted from the menu and so my lunch for those 2 years I worked for them consisted mainly of sausage sandwiches, Cornish pasties, vanilla slices and strawberry milkshakes - but I was as thin as the proverbial rake back then.
I loved working for them and was sad when they decided it was time to retire. The couple they sold the business to were full of promises about keeping on the existing staff, but they soon started letting us go. Their reason for getting rid of me? Apparently I wasn't cost effective because I ate too much!  Can't imagine where they got that idea from!


8. Tell me about your book, Sitting Pretty, and where you got your inspiration for it?

OK. This is going to make me sound completely paranoid, but the very first time we needed to call a pet sitting agency to come in and feed our cat while we were away, I somehow got it into my head that in our absence they could be getting up to anything in our apartment. My husband just rolled his eyes and muttered something about my imagination having an off switch. But, even though the agency we used turned out to be fabulous and our cat was more than happy with the care she received (and I'd happily recommend them to anyone in Dubai!), the thought stayed in my head that a situation involving a pet-sitter squatting in her clients' homes could have some comedy value.
Add a broken romance which, in my heroine's case is her husband dumping her, by phone, just after the removal men have driven away with all their worldy goods, and it sounded to me like the start of a plot for a rom-com.

SITTING PRETTY by April Hardy is out now!
BLURB:

Professional pet-sitter Beth believesher Greek boyfriend, Alex is the one. So when he’s offered a job in Dubai, he and Beth marry so they can move there together. But on the day they’re due to fly to their new life, Alex says their marriage was a mistake and ends it. By phone. Beth is suddenly husbandless and homeless. Distraught, and with her life in turmoil, when her old boss asks a favour she agrees on autopilot, and goes to feed Talisker the cat, whose handsome but dour owner Henry travels one week in three. Finding herself in luxury surroundings, with nowhere to go and determined not to hear her mother’s “I told you so”, she sleeps on Henry’s sofa. Next day, Beth has her job back and a plan. For the time being, she’ll quietly stay in her clients’ homes until she can convince Alex that this is all a big mistake. She’s pretty sure squatting’s against the law, but if she’s careful, no one need find out … until the mysterious Henry comes home unexpectedly.

BUY LINK:


BIO:

I grew up on the edge of the New Forest, my evenings & weekends filled with dance classes and amateur dramatics. That’s me on the left, aged 7, in Snow White & the Seven Dwarves at my aunty’s ballet school, and below, about 9 or 10 years later in Me & My Girl at our local theatre. At 18, I went off to drama school, where I soon learned I really wasn’t going to be the next Judi Dench!
A few years of Theatre-in-Education, cringe-worthy pantomime tours and waitressing 3 jobs a day, saw me ready for a change. I took a 4-month dancing contract in a Greek bouzouki club, in Athens.
For 18 years, I lived in several parts of Greece and did many interesting jobs. I was a dancer, choreographer, caterer, cake-decorator, bar tender, bar chef, house-keeper on a yacht, volunteer at an animal sanctuary … And just after getting together with my future husband, I did a 7-month stint on a cruise ship – not great timing, but the sea-sickness did make me drop 2 dress sizes. Maybe I should give it another go!
In 2005, my husband’s job took us to the United Arab Emirates. I didn’t want to go at first – I’d just completed a Diploma in Culinary Arts (that’s me, front and center) and had a fabulous job as an assistant pastry chef at Astir Palace, a lovely 3-hotel resort in Vouliagmeni. But I worked my notice and followed hubby to Dubai. And I haven’t looked back!
LINKS
SITTING PRETTY by April Hardy (Accent Press). Publication date, 7th July 2016

Winner of Emirates Airline's Festival of Literature's Literary Idol 2014


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Welcome Harlequin & Wild Rose Press author, Christina Hollis...


Great to welcome you back to my blog, Christine! Hope you're well - I'm looking forward to catching up and finding out more about your latest release, MY DREAM GUY! Let's kick off with my questions...

1)    What is the strangest talent you have?
     My OH says it’s managing not to throttle him, in all the years of our marriage! That aside, I can leave my watch off all day yet still tell the time pretty well. I have no idea how this works, although as my time-guessing skills are more accurate outside, it must be something to do with the position of the sun, or shadows.

2)    What is the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?
     I’m a Christian, so I don’t dress up for Halloween.

3)    Are the titles of your books important?
     Very! Big publishers often supply their own titles, but with my Princes Of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press (His Majesty’s Secret Passion, Her Royal Risk and Heart Of A Hostage), they liked all the titles I’d used when my books were still works in progress. With My Dream Guy, my working title was My Holiday From Hell. I didn’t particularly like that, but it was a good starting point since the story is based on something that happened to me. When it was finished, I gave my beta readers a choice of titles. They picked My Dream Guy. They had a say in choosing the final cover for me, too! If anyone would like to join my panel of beta readers and get the chance to join in the fun, just sign up for my newsletter.
    
     4)If you’re struggling with a scene or difficult character, what methods help you through it?
     I give my brain a break by doing something completely different for a while. Taking the dog for a walk in the wood is my favourite, or going to the gym. Both give the creative part of my brain a chance to freewheel. That usually fixes it.
    
     5) Do you prefer dog, cats or none of the above? I love both, although strange dogs make me nervous as I was attacked as a child. In April we got a puppy, Alex. While he was brought up with cats and loves them, our own cat boxes his ears each time he gets too close. I’m hoping Alex doesn’t give up trying to make friends, but right now it’s hard to see our mutt and mouser cuddling up together on the fireside rug!

     6)Who’s your favourite author? Why?
     Romance is my first love, but the natural world is my life. H.E Bates wrote both fiction and non-fiction, giving me the best of both disciplines. He produced some of the best commentaries on gardening I’ve read, and also evokes the lost English countryside and its people in books such as the lovely Larkin series, and his My Uncle Silas stories. 

     7) Do you have a pet peeve? People who think writers have an easy life used to be top of my list, but since we got our puppy it is definitely people who don’t pick up their dog’s poop. It was the part of pet ownership I dreaded, but like nappy changing a baby, the first time was the worst. After that, I soon developed a quick, clean system. It takes only seconds to bag it and bin it. Note the word “bin”. To see heaps of poop left about to fester is one thing. We live in a wood where waste could possibly be ignored, but not when one or two people bag the stuff only to throw it into the undergrowth. When the leaves fall, all those little plastic sacks come into view again. Yuk!

     8) Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning? Hardly ever—although sometimes I wake in the night after dreaming up a good idea for a story. A notebook by the side of the bed means I can capture the inspiration fast, so I don’t forget by morning.


Thanks for interviewing me, Rachel!

MY DREAM GUY BLURB

The sparkle has gone out of Emilys relationship with Jack. When he books them into a Welsh campsite during the wettest summer on record, its nearly the last straw.
Emily thinks the bronzed farmer who was her teenage crush will be the best thing about this dreaded holiday. But time has moved on. Shes in for an almighty shock—and then her boyfriend Jack springs some even bigger surprises. 
Can Emily’s holiday from hell ever have a happy ending?

Christina Hollis met her husband on a blind date. She wrote non-fiction for national magazines and award-winning short stories to fit in with the school run,  until she had a full-length historical novel, Knight’s Pawn, published by Harlequin. Five more historicals followed under the pen name Polly Forrester. Then in 2007 her first Mills and Boon Modern Romance, The Italian Billionaire’s Virgin, was published. Since then, she’s written eighteen more novels, lots of short stories, sold nearly three million books, and her work has been translated into twenty different languages.

You can find a selection of Christina’s work at http://christinahollis.com, follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ChristinaBooks, like her Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/1Ee1urM and follow her blog at http://christinahollis.blogspot.com

Monday, 18 July 2016

Welcome contemporary romance author, D. J. Davis...



Hi D. J! Great to have your visit my blog again and to be a part of your ongoing tour for your latest release, Summer Star. Wishing you much success and sales! Let's start with my questions...

1) What is the strangest talent you have? 

I have extremely sensitive hearing. That’s not a talent, but it’s almost a super power. I hear everything that happens nearby. My husband teases me that he has to be at least half a mile away to say anything he doesn’t want me to hear. To that I ask, “What don’t you want me to hear?” Strange how quiet he gets. 

2) What is the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?

Way, way back, when I was nineteen, I wore a sexy vampire costume. My fake fangs kept falling out. Funny thing, nobody noticed whether I had fangs or not.

3) Are the titles of your books important?

They are important. A proper title is just as important as a good cover. It needs to fit the book, to say something about it.

4) If you’re struggling with a scene or difficult character, what methods help you through it?

Hiking. The clean mountain air, the sights and sounds of the wilderness, clear my mind. If that doesn’t work, I just write the scene anyway. It may come out bad, but that’s okay. Bad can be fixed. Something that doesn’t exist can’t be fixed. Making myself write it opens the flood gates.

5) Do you prefer dog, cats or none of the above?

I love all animals, but I’m definitely a dog person. My debut novel, “Courageous Cain,” is about an abused dog. I donate a portion of all sales of that book to Big Bones Canine Rescue in Colorado.

6) Who’s your favourite author? Why?

There are many on the list, from Louis L’Amour to Dean Koontz. Currently, I’m enjoying Harlan Coben’s unique style and fast paced writing.

7) Do you have a pet peeve?

Sure, who doesn’t? Mine’s probably odd. I can’t stand having to listen to someone else’s loud music, especially when I’m in the mountains where it’s supposed to be quiet. It must be because of my sensitive hearing.

8) Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning?

Yes, but if I don’t jot it down right away, I usually forget. Sadly, writing it down is usually too ambitious when I first wake up. But if it relates to a story I’m working on I rouse myself enough to write it down. Those little gems often become some of my scenes.


Summer Star
by D.J. Davis

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Paranormal romantic suspense

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Loner and history buff Troy Hart gets more than he bargained for when his psychic connection to the past leads him to the mountains of Colorado. The legend of buried treasure is nothing new, but falling in love is—and that’s the last thing Troy wants.

Troy’s visions of the old west are all fun and games, until the ghost of an outlaw forces Troy to fulfill his dying wish. To save his own life, and the life of the woman he loves, Troy must follow the trail of greed, betrayal and revenge on a treasure hunt for lost Civil War gold.

Now the fun is over and the game is survival as Troy battles the elements, a dead man, and his own heart deep in the remote high country.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPTS (Please choose only ONE to use with your post):

Excerpt One:

He gazed at her with those haunted smoky-quartz eyes. “Come with me after the snow flies. Stay all winter.”

“I haven’t been with a man in a very long time. Years. So long that I’m afraid I’ve forgotten what it’s like.”

The corners of his mustache lifted. “Don’t ask me. I’ve never been with one.”

“Aren’t you ever serious?”

“Not if I can help it. I’ll try if you want.”

She imagined him as a lonely little boy in a sprawling mansion. There probably wasn’t much laugher in that house. “Don’t try too hard. I like your sense of humor.”

“Good to know. If it’s any consolation, it’s been a long time for me, too.”

“Remember what you said about life being too short to live in fear?”

He nodded.

“I’ve been living in fear for most of my life. I don’t want to live like that anymore.” She unsnapped his flannel shirt and slipped it off his shoulders. She ran her hands over the solid muscles, down the silky black hair on his chest, to the perfect six pack of his belly. His skin pebbled under her touch.

“Are you sure?”

“More sure than I’ve ever been.” She unbuckled his belt.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

DJ Davis is a Colorado native and the rugged high country sets the scene for her stories. When she's not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, photographing the wildlife, or camping with her husband. A Great Dane runs her life.

A portion of each sale of her novel "Courageous Cain" will be donated to Big Bones Canine Rescue in Windsor, Colorado. Help us help big dogs in need.

LINKS:



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

D.J. Davis will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Introducing Shopping for a Ceo's Fiancee by Julia Kent...



Shopping for a CEO’s Fiancée Promo Info


Book Blurb:

We skipped right over the whole fiancée thing and went straight from girlfriend to wife.

At least, I think that’s what happened. I woke up after my brother’s Vegas wedding reception with my luscious girlfriend in bed with me. We’re both wearing wedding rings.

So is her coworker, Josh.

And our Vegas chauffeur, Geordi.

Who the hell am I married to?

Unraveling this mystery will be as difficult as figuring out why Amanda and I are having panic attacks over the thought of being husband and wife.

Or, whoever we’re actually married to.

Oh, ^%$#.

It’s true that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, with one exception:

If she’s my wife, we’ll make it work.

If she’s not?

I’ll make it happen.

Get the 9th book in Julia Kent's New York Times bestselling romantic comedy series as Andrew and Amanda sort out their wild Vegas night...and the rest of their lives.


Buy Links:


 “We’re not—you don’t really—we can’t be—”
“Married?”
She laughs, but it’s a brittle sound. “Come on. We didn’t actually have a wedding last night.”
“We didn’t? You’re sure?” I perk up. Great. She remembers last night. I squeeze my eyes and try to recall something—anything—that happened after Declan and Shannon said their goodbyes at the reception last night.
“I’m, well, I mean...” Twisting in my arms, she looks at me with those big, wide, trusting eyes, her left hand splayed against my bare chest, digging in where the robe has separated. “You don’t remember what happened?”
My voice drops with uncertainty.
Hers goes up.
“No.”
“Quit joking.”
“Not joking.”
“We both can’t remember any part of last night?”
“When does your memory end?” I ask.
Mascara is streaked along the corner of her eye, and any makeup she wore last night currently resides somewhere on my skin or on the bedsheets. I can only imagine what I look like.
Amanda, though, is gorgeous. In my arms and looking at me with a perplexed expression, biting her lower lip while she flips through the filing cabinets of memory in her mind, and—
“I don’t know.”
I sit up. “You’re the fixer.”
“I know! But I remember saying goodnight to Shannon, hugging Declan, and then—poof! Nothing.”
Poof.
“That’s when my memory ends, too,” I say, my skin beginning to crawl. “I know one thing: we did not have a foursome.”
“And I soooooo did not sleep with Josh. He’s gay. The man can’t handle watching a birth video. A real-life vagina would send him into cardiac arrest.”
“I know my heart pounds whenever I see yours,” I whisper. She gives me a reluctant smile, in spite of her hangover.
“That was baaaaaad,” she groans.
“All signs point to the sex question being put to rest. Worst case, all we did was sleep with each other,” I note.
Worst case? Buddy, sleeping with me is best case. Best case. Always best.”
That was an unfortunate choice of words on my part. Before I can do damage control, she speaks.
“What if we are?” she hisses.
“Are what?”
Her eyes dart to mine.
“Married.”

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every book she writes, but unlike Trevor from Random Acts of Crazy, she has never kissed a chicken. She loves to hear from her readers by email at julia@jkentauthor.com

Social Media Links








Release blitz hosted by Writer Marketing Services.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Welcome fabulous M&B historical author, Louise Allen...

G



Hi Louise and welcome to my blog! As a fan of your books, I am thrilled to have you here today - wishing you many sales and much success with your latest release, THE UNEXPECTED MARRIAGE OF GABRIEL STONE. Let's start off with my questions...

1.)                What did you want to be when you grew up?
A vet or a solicitor –  a strange combination, I know. But my real passion for books won and I became a librarian – and wanting to write emerged from watching other people’s passion for reading.

2.)                Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?
Tea and lots of it (Assam). Hot chocolate on rare occasions or when I’m in Paris.

3.)                What genre do you typically read? Why?
Historical novels, historical romance, historical crime (you may notice a common thread there…), Gold Age crime and the lovely Terry Pratchett.
Historical because that’s where my heart is. Romance because I adore a good love story and crime because I enjoy puzzles. Strangely, although I enjoy Scandi Noir on TV I don’t like hard-edged, gruesome crime in print.

4.)                Share a favourite childhood memory.
Standing on the beach at Duckpool on the North Devon coast. I had just been given a lemon drop sweet by a boy I had a crush on (I was, I think, 12. He was older and tall and blond... I’ve always loved that stretch of coastline and it features in my recent novel The Many Sins of Cris de Feaux. Come to think of it, so does he, grown up.)

5.)                Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?
Books. Thank goodness for ebooks Although I have an entire studio in the garden devoted to my library it has reached the one-in-one-out stage. If I have to part with a novel I much enjoyed then I’ll get it in ebook. Real treasures, of course, have to stay – my early hardback Heyer’s for one. Non-fiction I always buy in paper or hardback.
And late Georgian/Regency ephemera – prints, magazines, books – I can’t resist that.

6.)                What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?
Turning that opening scene and the characters that are so vivid in my imagination into a full-length story with legs. I’m not a plotter, so I have to learn my characters as I write and the story emerges from those characters. But there is a constant panic that I don’t know where I am going until at least three quarters of the way through.

7.)                Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?
I know the length of novel I am aiming at and I know how many days I have free to write between start and deadline. I divide one into the other and that’s the target for day 1 – but I try to write more, even if it is only a few words more. Day 2 I repeat the exercise. In theory the daily target gets smaller and if I write over that each time then the book will reach its end with at least a week to spare for revisions, although I do revise as I write – at halfway and three quarters.

8.)                What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I love writing series (and reading them) but I enjoy creating ones where the characters are linked and will appear now and again in each other’s stories like my recent Lords of Disgrace quartet. With this kind of series they can be read in any order. I have worked on one (the Silk & Scandal series) with a number of other authors where there was an underlying mystery running right through, although each novel also stood alone. That can be confusing for readers if they don’t immediately realise that there is a beginning and end to the series, although it is enormous fun to work out for the authors!

Blurb for The Unexpected Marriage of Gabriel Stone (The Lords of Disgrace quartet)

Gabriel Stone, Earl of Edenbridge, hides dark secrets under the mask of the gamester and rake who cares for nothing and no-body. No-one gets close to the real man and that includes the younger brothers he has risked all to protect from abuse – it certainly includes innocent young ladies. Until Lady Caroline Holm makes him an outrageous offer – her virtue for the deeds to her young brother’s estates that her father has gambled away.
Gabriel is tempted. Very tempted. But he knows all about making sacrifices for brothers and somewhere, deep inside, he cannot quite bring himself to demand that she fulfil her part in the bargain.
He shrugs aside the unexpected sensation of doing something selfless for once until his newly stirred conscience leads him into one unexpected situation after another. Thanks to Caroline the sophisticated rakehell finds himself in turns an unshaven hermit, an eloping lover and, strangest of all – a husband.
But under it all there lurk the dark secrets of his past, dragged into the light by a man bent on revenge – and they could cost him his life. And his love.


Louise Allen lives on the North Norfolk coast with her husband when she isn’t travelling in search of inspiration for settings for novels. She has written over 50 historical romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon and a number of historical non-fiction titles for Shire in addition to indie fiction and non-fiction titles.
Her particular passion is for the late Georgian and Regency period and she blogs about it at http://janeaustenslondon.com
Read more about Louise Allen and her books and research at www.louiseallenregency.com
and join her on Twitter @LouiseRegency


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Welcome back RNA member, Theresa Le Flem...



Hi Theresa! It's lovely to have you return to another visit on my blog - I am looking forward to catching up. Wishing you all the best with your latest release, let's kick off with my questions...

What is your favourite thing about yourself?

I presume you don’t mean in the physical sense?! I like really feeling that I’m a writer - if you see what I mean?  It wasn’t until fairly recently I could say that with any conviction. Now, with my fourth book published, ‘Meet Me at Low Tide - Poems and Drawings’ my self-confidence has grown. So when people ask me: “Are you working?” I can say proudly, “Yes, I’m a writer.” You wouldn’t believe how hard that has been. When I was a child, my father was a passionate and prolific artist. He sold very few paintings and struggled to support our family working as a barber. However, on every form, under “Father’s Occupation:” he would write: “Professional Artist”. I admire him for that.

What do you wish you’d known before you started writing?

How hard it is, even when published, to be successful. The day my first novel was accepted by Robert Hale Ltd. I almost exploded with excitement! I still appreciate that great moment, holding my first hardback copy, and seeing my books on the shelves in the library. But the work doesn’t stop there. Publicity and promotion builds success these days, mostly done through social media. I have a website, Twitter, Facebook and Amazon Author page, but it takes up the hours I could spend writing.

Share a romantic moment in your life.

It was a cold autumn evening when my boyfriend Graham and I attended the Harvest Festival Supper at our village church. Seventy or so people were enjoying their meal, sipping wine and talking excitedly. The volume rose to a roar as the lights went out and someone appeared in our midst carrying a birthday cake glowing with candles and everyone started singing. Then I remembered - it was my birthday! But the surprise didn’t end there…when I blew out the candles Graham got down on one knee and said, in front of everyone: “Theresa, will you marry me?” It was wonderful, completely unexpected and when I said “Yes!” they cheered and clapped!

Is there one subject you’d never write about as an author? What is it?

Cruelty and violence. I can’t bring myself to write about things which are too dark. I avoid watching thrillers on TV and I don’t read anything in that genre. However, my poetry collection covers some of the saddest times in my life. During my first and failed marriage, I endured abuse which I would prefer to forget. Often the emotion is real and raw but I wrote about how I felt, not what had happened.  Poetry offers a door of escape. To quote from my latest book: “My tears have become poems that splash onto the page…” I feel I can write about things in poetry which I wouldn’t cover in a novel.
            In 2001 my youngest son was caught up in the September 11th tragedy in New York.  He was working in a nearby building and saw the planes hit the twin towers. He survived, but when I visited him there soon after, and went with him to his office in Manhattan, stood at his office window and heard him describe how he saw this huge black cloud rushing towards him and the terrifying ordeal of them all escaping from the building…well, it makes me shiver, even now. I wrote a poem that day.

Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Read, read, read! I can’t stress enough how important it is to read good quality writing. I would even go as far as saying don’t read anything which is poorly constructed, full of clichés, or obviously produced for purely commercial purposes. When I first started, I read lots of ‘How to write’ books and  I can recommend, ‘How to write a novel’ by John Braine and also (don’t laugh):  ‘Writing a Novel and getting Published’ for Dummies. It worked for me! 

If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why?

‘Sons and Lovers’ by D.H. Lawrence.  It’s the realism which I find so strong. I read a lot when I was younger – I was forever reading while walking to school and kept bumping into lamp-posts. I admire Lawrence in particular for his passion, his spiritual and social awareness. When considering characterization, go to Lawrence; for burning intensity and romance, go to Lawrence. His heroes are real people, flesh and blood on a page and I’ve learned a lot from his writing.

What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

I hated school. I often got punished for saying I didn’t want to go. Attending a Catholic Convent school in London, I travelled by train and was often late – something I got the cane for, more than once. Even now I still can’t see the true benefit of compulsory schooling for children. (What? You mean every day?) If I’m interested in something I like to take on the task of teaching myself but not everyone thinks like that.

If I came to your house for dinner what would you prepare for me? Why?

You would be very welcome Rachel! To start: a nice glass of - what will it be? Red or white? I hope you like old-fashioned English cooking? I will be preparing roast lamb with new freshly-dug potatoes, served with loads of vegetables (all grown on our allotment). Dessert will be blackcurrant and apple crumble (fruit from the garden) served with Cornish ice-cream, my favourite! Graham and I both enjoy growing our own food. It’s a constant battle with slugs and pigeons though. I’m a great believer in organic food so I’m always studying the small print on packets. We’ll be having plain honest food with no additives other than herbs and pepper – hope you enjoy it!

Thanks so much for inviting me onto your blog today.  It’s a treat to be asked about my life. I’ve really had to think hard about the answers to some of the questions you’ve given me. Digging deep into the past is a challenge. Memories filter through the gaps in my fiction sometimes, but to be asked directly is difficult! But you’re still welcome to come for that Sunday roast, Rachel! Thank you, I’ve enjoyed the interview enormously.

 Blurb:

This anthology brings together over thirty years of previously unpublished work by the poet and novelist Theresa Le Flem combined with drawings reproduced from her notebooks and sketchbooks. Perceptive, challenging, spiritual and moving – the poetry of Theresa Le Flem takes the reader on a journey from Cornwall to Ireland and from the Midlands to the wild stretches of Romney Marsh. Along the way she shares with you her passion for life and social justice. Covering history, political comment, conservation, love and personal experiences, this revealing and thought-provoking anthology offers a unique insight into the way a poet sees the world. This book is an inspiration for all those who strive to live in a world where creativity, humanity and humility are treasured.

Links:

Recently published: Meet Me at Low Tide: and other poems



Twitter: @TheresaLeFlem