Friday, 16 February 2018

Keeping My Writing Fresh...

The market is full of romance novels – mainstream romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, medical romance, cowboy romance…the list goes on. So how does a romance writer stand out from the crowd? To keep her or his precious readers interested and anticipating their next release?

I am lucky enough to write three romance sub-genres for two different publishers – I write Victorian romance for eKensington/Lyrical press, mainstream romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance. The fact that I get to alternate between the three keeps me interested as a writer and, I hope, keeps my readers looking forward to seeing what type of romance releases next.

As I am currently writing my twenty-third novel, the issue of what keeps my writing fresh is a big one. I hope, because I live so close to where my Victorian books are set, and that Bath is a different city from London, I bring a different feel and atmosphere than many other historical romances.

For my contemporary work, I am the first author to have books in the Harlequin Superromance line with all British characters in a British setting. Again, I hope this makes my books different than others on offer.

As for the stories themselves? My Victorian romances tend to focus on the lower classes and their problems, rather than balls, dances and upper class propriety. I like to research how the ‘real people’ lived in the late 1800s. The problems they faced, the changing world around them, domestic changes, moral changes, the fact that more and more women wanted to stretch further than keeping a nice house and a happy husband. I like that I am building a reputation for writing darker historical romances and the feedback from readers and reviewers has given me the confidence that there is a space in the market for my work.

The Harlequin Superromance line runs to 80,000 words so are the biggest of Harlequin lines. There is room outside of the central romance to explore. I have touched on domestic abuse, money laundering and drug abuse––issues you wouldn’t normally expect between the pages of a romance novel!

I personally feel that romance writing has as much scope and freedom as any mainstream novel…as long as the relationship of the hero and heroine is always at the forefront. I hope you try one of my books!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Introducing Yesterday Today Always by Melanie Robertson-King... *GIVEAWAY*

Genre: Psychological Thriller with romantic elements.
Release Date: September 6, 2017
Publisher: King Park Press
Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?
Devastated by the death of her husband, Colin, in the London bombings on July 7, 2005, Katherine Murphy-Whithorn builds a wall around her heart determined to never let anyone in again. Settling in to a comfortable routine, her life becomes mundane, until five years later when someone from her rebellious past returns to the city and begins stalking her.
As the curtain falls on 2010 her first love, Jared Martin, walks back into Katherine´s life. Despite him being her first love, he must tear down the barrier she´s created to protect herself. Finally seeing a second chance of a life with him, Katherine couldn´t be happier until another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter returning from the Alpha Ecosse platform, on which Jared is a passenger, ditches in the North Sea. Can he survive the ordeal?
Will they get their chance for happiness? Or is fate still not done its dirty deeds? Katherine’s stalker may have his own agenda.

While Katherine fumbled with her key, the handsome man’s steely blue eyes bored through her. A bead of sweat formed at the base of her skull and slowly trickled down her back. She became cotton-mouthed. No longer a silly teenager, why did he still have this effect on her after all this time?
When she finally managed to keep her hand steady enough to insert the key and turn it, he spun her around and mashed his mouth on hers. His tongue teased her lips open and he pulled her to him. Her pulse quickened and she let herself melt into his strong arms, those years apart, non-existent.
“If we don’t soon go for that drink, I won’t be responsible for my actions.” His voice was husky.
At that particular moment, Katherine wanted time to stand still. Pressed against him was a place she could spend the rest of her life. She nuzzled her head into the hollow at the crook of his neck and hugged him tighter. He caressed her forehead before disentangling himself from her grip and wrapped his arm around her.
The tang of the salty North Sea and fumes from the ships in the harbour lingered in the heavy air. Those smells, while powerful, couldn’t mask the seductive aroma of men’s cologne. When they dated before, he wore Hugo. Was he wearing that now? Held next to his muscular body and inhaling his scent, Katherine lost her balance and toppled into him when one of her stiletto heels slipped into a crack between the cobbles. Despite the streetlights, shadows formed. The gaps between fixtures were dark. No wonder she twisted her ankle.
“Are you all right?”
“Just a bit clumsy. You would never know I walk this street every day in these boots. I feel like an arse.” Her cheeks burned from the heat of her blush.


He emerged from the shadows and leaned on the wall of the cinema. This man who kissed her was so cocksure of himself. That man would be removed from her life. She was his and only his, for the taking. The fiery red haired beauty would not be stolen from him. She belonged to him. Of that, she could be assured.
More people appeared on the street and he slinked back into the darkness to remain invisible.

Melanie Robertson-King has always been a fan of the written word. Growing up as an only child, her face was almost always buried in a book from the time she could read. Her father was one of the thousands of Home Children sent to Canada through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland, and she has been fortunate to be able to visit her father’s homeland many times and even met the Princess Royal (Princess Anne) at the orphanage where he was raised.
Melanie began her professional writing career in non-fiction. She published eight of her articles. One graced the cover of an international publication. At the same time, she continued to develop her writing voice: short stories (both fiction and non–fiction) as well as novel-length work.
Her debut novel, published by 4RV Publishing, A Shadow in the Past, came out in the summer of 2012. Melanie even made the trip to the Kansas Book Festival in September to celebrate the launch of her novel. She met her publisher and editor face–to–face for the first time, along with two other authors from the publishing house.
Other works by Melanie include a compilation of short stories, The Consequences Collection; a children’s chapter book geared to ages 7–11, Tim’s Magic Christmas; and a short novel set in a fictitious Eastern Canadian haunted house, The Secret of Hillcrest House. Her short story, Cole’s Notes, was included in EFD1: Starship Goodwords, published by Carrick Publishing, 2012.
The sequel to her debut novel, Shadows From Her Past, came out in the summer of 2016. She released her latest novel, YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS, in September 2017.
When she’s not sequestered in her cave writing, plotting or editing, you’ll find her out about. In addition to writing, she loves to travel, prowl through cemeteries (the older the better), and photography.
Cole’s Notes has been re-edited and has been released as a free read through her website and blog.

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Saturday, 10 February 2018

Introducing Whiskey River by Theresa Oliver... *GIVEAWAY*

Title: Whiskey River

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: February 10, 2018

Cover Designer: RMGraphX

 Add to TBR


All other links:

Within a tough city girl beats the untamed heart of a wild spirit...

Ella Raines may not have the best reputation in New York, but she’s determined to have respect. Knowing she will achieve this in high society, Ella answers an advertisement for a mail-order bride in an up-and-coming Western town, Whiskey River, Wyoming.

Colton Hill is a wandering gunslinger seeking new horizons and is tired of being challenged because he’s the fastest gun around. When he meets Ella, he’s amused by her unusual ambition and agrees to tag along to Whiskey River.

Together, they travel Westward in search of happiness, purpose, and destiny. What they find instead is the spark of something they cannot control.


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Thursday, 8 February 2018

Excerpt & GIVEAWAY with fab romance author, Sarah Bennett...

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Elizabeth, Elizabeth and Elizabeth?

One of the first ideas I had when thinking about this new series, was that the three heroines would all have the same name. That might sound a bit odd at first, but they’ve been friends since they met in the same class at primary school, and when I was in their position there were three other girls all called Sarah as well as me. My current neighbours both have little boys who have the same name, and we see it every year with those charts showing popular children’s names.
The problem with being Sarah is it’s very hard to shorten, or even elongate – middle names were out because there were two Sarah Louise’s and two Sarah Jane’s, so I needed to come up with a name that was popular and had lots of diminutives.
Catherine might have worked, but Kate, Katie, Cathy, Kitty all sound a bit too similar which could be confusing to the reader and also a bit squicky when one of the hero’s is the older brother of one of the three women. There’s nothing romantic about whispering sweet-nothings to your girlfriend and her name being almost the same as your kid sister’s!
It would have been easier if I’d just abandoned the whole idea and given them different names, but a writer’s brain is a funny thing and once we seize on something, we hate to let it go—just ask our poor editors! Thankfully, I eventually settled on them all being called Elizabeth and Beth, Eliza and Libby were born. That’s the other thing about the way my brain works, I can’t see a character until I get their name right.

So what do you think? Were you in class with several boys or girls with the same name? Maybe like me, you spent half your time being told ‘No not you, the other Sarah.’ I’d love to know!

 Author Bio

Sarah Bennett has been reading for as long as she can remember. Raised in a family of bookworms, her love affair with books of all genres has culminated in the ultimate Happy Ever After – getting to write her own stories to share with others.

Born and raised in a military family, she is happily married to her own Officer (who is sometimes even A Gentleman). Home is wherever he lays his hat, and life has taught them both that the best family is the one you create from friends as well as relatives.

When not reading or writing, Sarah is a devotee of afternoon naps and sailing the high seas, but only on vessels large enough to accommodate a casino and a choice of restaurants.

Sarah is the author of the Butterfly Cove trilogy, published by HQ Digital UK.
Her new series is set in the beautiful seaside town of Lavender Bay, and will follow the lives of three best friends - Beth, Eliza and Libby.

Book Links

Blurb: A season for change…?
Beth Reynolds loved growing up close to Eleanor’s Emporium – a bric-a-brac shop full of wonders on Lavender Bay. Devastated to learn that Eleanor has died, she returns home from London immediately and is shocked to discover that the elderly lady has left the shop to her!
Vowing to restore it to its former glory, she only intends to stay until the end of the season. Although the longer she spends in the colourful seaside town, the more she falls back in love with everything she left behind…and quite possibly, with her best friend Eliza’s older brother, local chef Sam Barnes!
Why didn’t she notice he was quite this gorgeous before? And will their spring fling be enough to convince her to stay?
Don’t miss Spring at Lavender Bay, the first book in the enchanting Lavender Bay trilogy! Perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Rachael Lucas and Hilary Boyd.
Book 1: Spring at Lavender Bay
Book 2: Summer at Lavender Bay
Book 3: Snowflakes at Lavender Bay

Spring at Lavender Bay Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: Kindle Fire 7, Room Diffuser & L'Occitne Hand Cream Set

UK Only

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Welcome Harlequin & Tule romance author, Lucy King...

 It's so great to welcome my good friend and fellow Harlequin author, Lucy King to my blog today! So fab to have you here, Lucy :D Let's kick off with my questions, I'm looking forward to hearing about your latest releases with Tule...

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

What didn’t I want to be when I grew up... From what I can recall I changed my mind every week! Apparently my primary school head teacher told my parents that I could do anything as long as I wasn’t painting my nails. How rude. But sadly true. I’m easily distracted and an excellent procrastinator and it’s a wonder I get anything done at all!

2.)                Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?

Coffee, definitely. The proper stuff. With milk. And at least three before 9am.

3.)                What genre do you typically read? Why?

Not unsurprisingly I read a lot of romance and I love Regencies. When I need something different I like psychological thrillers and domestic noir. I recently joined a book club, which is great for trying new genres and authors.

4.)                Share a favourite childhood memory.

This is a tricky one since there are many.... But back in the late seventies/early eighties every summer we used to go on holiday to Brittany. In the mornings my mum would give us a franc and send the three of us children to buy a baguette, which we would polish off before arriving home and in the afternoons my dad would build helter skelters on the beach. Happy days.

5.)                Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?

Crisps. I can’t have them in the house otherwise I would live on nothing else.

6.)                What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?

For me it’s being faced with a blank page and the thought of the mammoth task ahead. I have a terrible fear of starting in the wrong place (which is what usually happens) and then heading off in completely the wrong direction. I also find it incredibly hard to switch off my internal editor and tend to try to second guess what my editor might want. It’s all very annoying.

7.)                Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?

Yes. I aim for 2000 words a day and am pleased if I reach 1500. I often fail. My process means that at the start of a book I write a lot and delete a lot. I need to get the first couple of chapters nailed before I can move on. As I get further into the book, though, I know the characters and the story better and am much more efficient. Then, as the end/deadline looms, I just write until it’s done so my daily wordcount rockets.

8.)                What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I’ve written two so far, one with other authors and one by just me. The Fairy Tales of New York series was fab to do since I got to work with some of my favourite authors. I find writing can be pretty solitary and it was lovely to be able to (virtually) chat to and spark ideas off my co-collaborators. The conversations we had....! My current series, The Maclean Family Legacy, is a duet which was equally fun to write. This one, though, has story lines that overlap so the timelines were a bit of a nightmare. One thing I love about writing series is being able to revisit characters and seeing what they’re up to.

His Best Mistake

Is it too much to ask for a relationship that works?
When Stella Grant realises her perfect romance is a lie and that she’s the other woman, she flees to her remote cottage in the Highlands to lick her wounds.
Billionaire currency trader Jack Maclean has nothing but contempt for the woman who stole not only his sister’s fiancĂ© but quite possibly a family heirloom to boot. Nonetheless, he wants answers and he intends to get them. A quick trip north should do the trick. Never in a million years could he have predicted a kamikaze sheep and inclement weather would leave him stranded.
Jack might be gorgeous but Stella isn’t in the market for a man, especially one who hates her. No matter how attractive he finds her Stella is the very last person Jack should want. The trouble is, they’re all alone and the chemistry is irresistible, and, well, what happens in Scotland stays in Scotland, right?


Lucy King has been writing contemporary romance since 2009 and honestly can’t think of a better job to have. Creating swoon-worthy heroes, sassy heroines and heart-melting happy ever afters definitely beats the many and varied jobs she had before.
Originally from London, Lucy now lives in Wiltshire with her family where she spends much of the time reading, failing to finish cryptic crosswords and trying to think up new and interesting things to do with mince.


Saturday, 3 February 2018

A Self-Interview with...ME!!

I'm asked a LOT of different questions so I thought it would be fun to answer a few of them in a self-interview! More questions? Feel free to post in the comments and I'll answer any and all asap...

·         First of all, could you introduce yourself to readers? Tell us a little bit about you and the books that you write.
I live with my fabulous husband, two teenage daughters and chocolate Labrador near the famous city of Bath in South West England. My first book with published in 2007 by The Wild Rose Press, since then I have had 19 books published. I currently write mainstream romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance and Victorian romance for eKensington/Lyrical Press.
·         Tell us about your most recent book, and where can we find it?
My most recent book is A STRANGER IN THE COVE which is a chance meeting romance set in the fictional UK seaside town of Templeton Cove. It is book 8 and the final story in my Templeton Cove Stories series  but all the books can be read stand-alone.
·         Are there any particular themes which you try to incorporate within your books?
I tend to deal with the issue of trust…or more specific, broken trust. I think trust is the most important aspect of our lives and the struggle to gain it, believe in it and keep it, is something we all have to face. I have dealt with all manner of serious and not so serious issues in my books, but everything seems to come back to the issue of trust. Whether consciously or unconsciously!
·         How do you hope to make readers feel while reading your books?
                 That anything and everything is possible! From true love, to moving past
a devastating event or bereavement. My favourite aspect of writing romance is the inevitable happy ever after. Hopeful – that’s what I hope I make readers feel :D
·         If you had to choose three words to describe your most recent book, what would they be
A STRANGER IN THE COVE – inspiring, hopeful and exciting
·         When it comes to creating your characters, are they completely fictional or do you gather ideas from the people you know in real life?
I like to think they are all completely fictional as I’ve never had a specific person in mind when creating them, BUT I think every writer uses aspects of themselves or others in all their characters. There’s something of me in my characters, whether male or female, young or old.
·         How do you choose the settings of your books?
I’m very lucky to currently be writing two series – my historicals are set in Bath, which is right on my doorstep and my Templeton Cove stories are a combination of the seaside towns I’ve visited throughout my life.
·         Who are some of your favourite authors?
Nora Roberts, Tess Gerritsen, Jean Fullerton, Jodi Picoult and Philippa Gregory
·         Do you like to plan strategically, or do you let the characters lead the way?
A combination of the two! I am quite a plotter in that I write out a synopsis, character sketches and chapter plan before I start writing, BUT I willingly follow the characters if they go off course. A novelist has to trust her characters to tell the story the way it should be told!
·         If you could sit down and have lunch with any author, who would you choose and why?
Nora Roberts – I love her stories, especially the romantic suspense. I’d love to ask her how/if she plots and how she manages to bring just the right blend of romance and suspense. I try and hope I do well…but she is outstanding!
·         Is there a particular part of the writing process which you enjoy more than others?
I love when I’ve written ‘The End’ and then get to go back over and make the words and story better. The hard part is getting the words down (the middle is my nemesis!), but once they’re there, I love tweaking and rearranging.

·         How do you keep track of your writing progress? Do you use daily word goals? Do you aim to get a set number of chapters written?
I am lucky enough to write full time so I work from 8.30am to 5.30pm with a lunch break and a couple of dog walks in between. Ideally, I like to write at least 2,000 words a day, but with my normal being one book to promote, one to edit and one to write, that isn’t always possible

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Cowboy Romances...Krista Ames * GIVEAWAY*

Me Home, Cowboy

Story in the Cowboy, Mine Boxset

Krista Ames

two headstrong wills win out?

Ally Kincaid returns to Rock Creek,
Wyoming, to see her father after a two year absence. Anticipating a
quiet family reunion, she finds herself butting heads with Matt
Gentry--her father's foreman--instead. The man's arrogance and sexy
drawl push all her buttons, making her wonder what he's hiding
beneath his cowboy swagger.

When tragedy strikes, will building
tension and pride destroy their growing attraction or show them the
way home?

6 full stories in the Cowboy,Mine Boxset for only .99 cents!!**

a Cowboy's Arms

Story in the Cowboy, Yours Boxset

Krista Ames

to Take Me Home Cowboy

up on a farm with three brothers, Lacey Connelley was not attracted
to Cowboys in the slightest. Wannabe cowboy Jordan Cross is the
glitch she never expected and he's determined to prove her wrong
about him. 

6 full stories in the Cowboy,Yours Boxset for only .99 cents!!**

Ames was born and raised in Indiana. She now resides in Northern
Michigan with the love of her life and their 4 children.

is a full time stay-at-home mom and pursues her writing career when
she's not chasing kids, cooking or doing laundry.

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