Archives for category: publishing

Sorry, I usually only write one blog each month, but this is a little supplementary to let you know that I’m giving away a stash of goodies over on Facebook this week to celebrate reaching the fabulous number of 15 million books sold.

I’ll be drawing the prize on Saturday 13th, so you’ve just time to dash over and leave a comment.

+++Winner+++
 
Apologies for the weekend absence – a cold and the littlest grand’s fourth birthday have kept me away from the computer. I now have a winner of the goodie bag full of stuff and it’s Shell Cunliffe.
 
Because there were so many entries, I also have tote bags and pens for Abigail Beers and Claire McComisky.
 
Thanks to everyone for joining in the fun. Stick around, there will be more! Have a great week.

 

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bigstock--207134647Hello everyone and, if you’re in the northern hemisphere with me, welcome to autumn.

So, what’s happening at Fielding Towers? Well, the month did not start well with one of those horrible scam emails asking for $4000 to stop them sending all my contacts a video of me “enjoying” pornographic movies. Right. As if anyone would want to see that! Yuck!

I had a few moments in which I thought they might have stuck my head on someone else’s body and video’d that, but wiser councils prevailed. I was not alone, apparently and the advice was delete and forget it. It didn’t stop me wasting a lot of time changing passwords because, well, that’s what you do. I need one of those systems that generates a new one each time.

The Swish of the CurtainMore happily, I’ve joined the local gym (no, I won’t be muscle crunching – my only interest is the pool) and have been swimming with my daughter and granddaughters which has been just lovely. It’s only a couple of minutes walk from my front door, so is just perfect.

I’ve also joined the local bookclub. The first book was The Woolgrower’s Companion and we had an interesting talk from the author Joy Rhoades, especially on the issue of  cultural sensitivity. This month we’re reading Benjamin Markovits’ A Weekend in New York. Benjamin is coming to talk to us at our meeting at the end of the month.

I’ve also just treated myself to a new copy of The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown. I read it when I was about ten years old and desperate to be an actress. It’s one of those books that, when you mention it, women of a certain age will go all dewy eyed. So looking forward to reading it again.

image008The big event for me this month is on 6th October at ASDA in Crawley (and authors and editors at other ASDAs all over the country) when Mills and Boon team up with their “Tickled Pink” campaign to raise money for breast cancer research on the 5th and 6th October. So do look out for them, say hello and, if you can, buy one of the specially stickered books.

Tickled Pink Tee ShirtThis is a cause close to my heart and I’ll be shaking my bucket (with my daughter) between 10am and 1pm this Saturday 6th October. And a percentage of the all the specially stickered M&Bs will be going to the cause as well.

I hope to see you there.

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Vector Hand Drawn Floral Illustration. Hello September

There is so much happening this month on both the home and writing fronts.

I’ve been painting my bedroom (with the help of my lovely daughter) but still struggling to find homes for  piles of books, boxes and “stuff”. You would not believe how much “stuff” I have. Just the six years of accumulated accounts that you are legally required to keep takes up an awful lot of shelf space!

The most difficult are the small, beautiful pieces of furniture made for me by the best beloved that it is impossible to part with. This is the Shaker sewing table he made me.

Hopefully, when the new wardrobes arrive, I’ll be able to stop using the shower rail as my temporary clothes rail. It’s going to be a tight fit, though!

f36b05e4d2c092d4cfbdfdf76be7f2a0The good news is that I have finally signed off on the new book, The Billionaire’s Convenient Bride, which will be published next April. Here’s the Pinterest board. so that you can get to know Agnès, Kam and the dogs that add to the story.  This is Dora.

It’s set in Castle Creek, a Devon town that I’ve created and the story is set around the struggle for the Priddy (the local corruption of Prideaux) Castle itself and the clash between Agnès Prideaux and Kal Faulkner whose doomed teenage romance has haunted them both.

CarolineAnderson

Caroline Andersen

September is also the month when Mills and Boon authors gather in London for their annual lunch.

It’s a chance to catch up with friends and colleagues we may not have seen for a while and get to know some we’ve never met before. This year we have debut author, Ella Hayes  and visitors from overseas – US author Andrea Bolter (who will break into her Paris holiday to join us) as well as Elizabeth Rolls and Trish Morey from Australia. This will be followed by a cocktail party at the Mills and Boon offices where there will be a toast for the amazing Caroline Anderson, who has just signed off on her 100th book.

And then I am going to Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace with my daughter. If you are in the UK and were thinking of going, she has a discount code for tickets on her blog, Hooked, but it starts tomorrow through Sunday, so get your skates on!

Finally, I have just reached a rather stupendous milestone with Mills and Boon, having sold over 15 million copies of the books I’ve written for them. (There are seven others!)

They have been, and are still being, published and reprinted all over the world.

15 million books 2nd version

 

 

stack of pebbles and mini blackboard with text  hello augustI’m a bit late with my August blog, but the month has  been both stressful and exciting.

First, though, I need to give you a catch up on July.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following me anywhere, I’ve been waiting for my house sale/purchase to be finalised so that I can move to West Sussex to be near my daughter and her family.

While I was in Denver, I had a call from my lawyer asking if I was prepared to complete the contracts on 31st July. Gulp. There was a flurry of calls to the removal people to see if they could manage dates around then and I flew back home on the Monday and moved on the Friday.

There has been a slight issue over a bed and while I’ve been working at the flat, I’ve been sleeping at my daughter’s house. Finally, today,  23 August, I have made up the temporary bed loaned to me by the company who failed to deliver, and have moved in!

Back to Denver.

77971387-RWA+2018+-+2584The Sheikh’s Convenient Princess didn’t win a Rita, but I had no expectations – I was just thrilled my lovely sheikh had finalled, and I was able to fly to the US and have the best time meeting old friends, meeting old internet friends face-to-face, and making a lot of new friends. And I have another Rita finalist certificate to add the seven others that I really need to frame and put up on my office wall. Maybe. I have a lot of pictures that would look far prettier.

Harlequin PartyThe Romance Writers of America conference is an amazing event. So many wonderful writers, great workshops, breakfast with friends, lunches with editors and fabulous parties!

It took me a week to recover from two nine-hour flights, jetlag, the altitude and the kind of late nights I am not used to as well as dealing with the stress of moving – and leaving behind my lovely neighbours – in the hottest August I can ever remember.

The End Of Story Flat IllustrationI’d like to tell you that I’m sitting back and taking it easy after all that, but time and a deadline wait for no man. I’m just putting the final revisions to my new book, The Billionaire’s Convenient Bride. I don’t have a date yet, but I believe it will be out next summer.

I don’t often put together a play list for my books, but this one has been a bit special so here is some of the music and words I’ve been listening to as I wrote the ending, a couple of which actually appear in the book.

Jonas Kaufmann – You Are My Heart’s Delight

Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major

How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning read by Sian Phillips

The Rose by Bette Midler

Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”

And just because whenever I go to Youtube I listen to the amazing voice of Philippe Jaroussky, here’s Ombra mai fu by Handel

That’s it for now, but next month I’ll tell you about my next project, a quartet I’m writing with a fabulous group of authors and I’ll have a spiffy giveaway to celebrate a huge milestone in my writing life.

Enjoy the rest of August and happy reading!

 

Jbigstock--190113193uly is going to be crazy. so before I forget, some of my books are free at Smashwords this month so help yourself!

So, here’s my month.

First I have a book to deliver by the 31st. I’m half way through at the moment so doing pretty well but I’m not a fast writer so it’s a bit of hairy deadline. And talking of hairy, some of you may have seen the fun I had on Facebook this past week, looking for a rescue dog for my hero Kam Faulkner.

36783686_1037233633109831_5464184138456104960_nI had dozens of suggestions, lots of lovely pictures of FB followers’ dogs, but author Terri Nixon found this lovely guy and I knew he was the one the minute I set eyes on him (just like my ero). He’s a lurcher, a bit like the dog my hero had a boy,. He has a wonderful nature, is good with kids, intelligent, fast and (the one failing of this cross breed) lethal to cats. My heroine is allergic to cats so that’s okay. Probably.

Henry and Kam bonded with that first look, but as my hero is about to find out, his new best friend has one, rather serious, failing. You’ll have to read the book to find out what that is!

So that’s work sorted for this month.

bigstock--222367099Play is pretty serious, too. I’m off to Denver for the  Romance Writers of America conference.

I haven’t been to RWA for a few years but this year, as I may have mentioned :), my Harlequin Romance, The Sheikh’s Convenient Princess, has been nominated for a Rita, the romance authors’ Oscar.

Rita

This is one I was awarded earlier.

I’m flying out on Monday. It’s nine and a bit hours in the air, time to get some words down. Once I arrive, I  will be instantly launched into a round of  fun  hard work.

Breakfast with my loopies – the writing sisters of my soul. Lunches with editors, authors and publishers. Afternoon tea at Browns Hotel with the lovely crowd from Tule.

There will be receptions, the Harlequin book signings, meeting the bloggers, hopefully managing to catch up with a few workshops, and the big keynote lunch. There will also be the Rita awards ceremony, on Thursday 19th July between 7-9pm  which you can watch live online on the RWA website

If you’re in the area on Saturday, 21st July, you can catch up with me (and hundreds of other authors) in the Plaza Ballroom of the Sheraton Downtown hotel, where we will all be signing our books to raise money to help adult literacy.

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I am going to need a week to get over this trip, but I have that book to deliver and, I will also – hopefully – be moving house around then. July is going to be crazy but August looks like being just as interesting!

Stay posted. 🙂

Royal Wedding Invitations

 

a1b54294e9a74f055787892cf844cca6When Sophie Weston, Jessica Hart (Pamela Hartshorne), Anne McAllister and I looked around for a setting for our fictional Cotswold village for our Invitation to a Royal Wedding quartet, I immediately  thought of Castle Combe – the prettiest village in England. Allegedly. (Other villages are also extremely pretty!)

I’d had lunch at the Manor House Hotel with the Bath and Wiltshire Romantic Novelists’ Association chapter when Jill Mansell gave a talk there.

She’d used the hotel in her book, Daisy’s Place and I knew it would work very well for Hasebury Hall, the childhood home of Hope Kennard, Sophie’s heroine (The Prince’s Bride).

Sophie, Jessica, Anne and I had a day out walking the ground of “our” village on a gloriously sunny spring day and had a wonderful lunch there, purely in the necessity of research, you understand. Research is not all about surfing the ‘net and dusty libraries!

Jessica, who’d been the first out of the traps with a draft ms, had named the church  where the wedding was to take place St Philip and All Angels and when we went into the beautiful church in Castle Combe, one of the first things we saw was this array of angels on either side of the aisle.

One of those spine-tingly magic moments for a writer.

We found a suitably ancient monument where our bride’s ancestor would have been laid to rest and imagined a stained glass window bearing his coat of arms,

There was some discussion about the differences between a US wedding and one taking place in the UK – the bridesmaids follow the bride in the UK. The fact that the bride and groom (and their witnesses) disappear into the vestry after the service to sign the register. Details that may not be used but are important to know.

We walked around the churchyard, working out the where the television people would put their cherry picker – my heroine’s concern – and, because that’s what you can do when you’ve created your own location, we turned it around so that the heroine, walking from her family home, would not have to walk all around the graveyard.

There were other important locations. This is the market cross, Ally’s home, and the Three Bells where Ally was working when Fredrik arrived unexpectedly.

Actually the pub isn’t in Castle Combe but in the equally pretty village of  Lacock and is the pub where our local Romantic Novelists’ Chapter meet for supper once in a while.

And the last picture refers to something that our village and Castle Combe have in common. They are both used as locations for films and tv dramas.

Castle Combe was recently used in the film War Horse.

 

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LizFielding_ASummer'sLease_800pxI guess most authors have a book in the bottom drawer that, for one reason or another didn’t get published. There are as many reasons for this as there are books. The first, the big reason, is that for some reason your editor didn’t quite take to it.

As an inexperienced author you think she knows everything, but then the same editor (long gone) had undermined my confidence in another book – A Stranger’s Kiss – that became one of my bestsellers. (How many people turned down Harry Potter? Not that I’m suggesting, well you know…)

So much in publishing is about timing. The right ms on the right desk at the right moment.

When there’s nowhere else to publish (and there wasn’t when I wrote this) you stick the ms in the bottom drawer and get on with the next book. But every time you open that drawer it nags at you and the publishing world has changed out of all recognition and so A Summer’s Lease is published today at Amazon.

Here’s the set up…

In a midsummer’s dawn, high in the woods above Beaumont Court, Charlotte Palmer encounters a man who at first sight she thinks is the ghost of Harry Beaumont, the buccaneer who built the Court in the 16th century.
His passionate kiss blasts away the illusion but when he extends a hand to her, an invitation to go with him, she hesitates and in a heartbeat he’s gone.

Here’s a taster…
CHARLOTTE Palmer woke long before dawn and lay in the not-quite-dark of midsummer listening as the night sounds were gradually overlaid by the birds stirring and trying their early morning voices.

She had toured the house the evening before when everyone had gone and it was quiet, saying goodbye to the past.

Now, in the dawn, she would walk through the gardens and up into the woods to the special place she had always gone when she was unhappy or life was difficult. A place where she could see the house nestling in its hollow and the river beyond.    

Beaumont Court.

The one thing that had always been a constant in her life.

She finished plaiting her hair and picked up the miniature portrait of Harry Beaumont — painted when he was a favourite at the first Elizabeth’s court — from the table beside her bed. She could almost hear the laughter promised by bold blue eyes that glinted with a wicked merriment. She would need a friendly face to see her through this day and on a sudden impulse, she slipped it into her pocket.

‘Daisy,’ she called softly, when she reached the stables. The horses had long since been sold, but Richard Beaumont would never have a dog in the house and her spaniel had slept there ever since she’d been forced to move into the Court.

Last night she would have welcomed the comfort of Daisy’s soft warm body on her bed, but now that Richard was dead and she could have done what she liked it would have felt like a betrayal to take advantage.

The small liver and white spaniel needed no second invitation, but bounded joyously to heel, then ran on ahead, giving short excited yelps as she snuffled at trails in the grass.

‘No, this way, girl.’

It was a long walk to the top of the hill and the church clock had chimed six before she finally sank onto the dew-soaked grass of the clearing. She hugged her knees and gazed down into the valley.

Swathed in the golden mist rising from the river the house — built by the same Harry Beaumont who smiled from her precious miniature — had an ethereal, magical quality. It was easy to imagine him pausing here as he caught his first glimpse of its tall brick chimneys after the long ride from Elizabeth’s court at Richmond. Easy to imagine him spurring his horse on, eager to hold his beloved Maria, see his children.

He had been the first in a long unbroken line of Beaumont men to hold the house against the world. Today the latest to be given that trust would arrive at Beaumont Court.

He was late by any standards.

Matthew Ryan had, it seemed, been too busy with business commitments in the Far East to come home to be with the dying Richard. To come to his funeral. It was nearly two weeks since Richard Beaumont had been laid to rest with his ancestors in the family vault below the church and only now had his heir found some time in his crowded schedule to come and take control of his inheritance.

‘Daisy, be quiet.’ The spaniel was barking at something in the woods, drawing her mind back to the clearing, away from disturbing thoughts of the changes that were bound to be made with his arrival and how they would affect her. The dog, intent on her quarry, ignored her. ‘Daisy!’ she called again, more urgently, scrambling to her feet as she disappeared into the thicket well aware that if she took off after a rabbit she would be gone all day.

But Daisy danced backwards into the clearing letting out excited little yaps. Narrowing her eyes against the slanting sun, Charlotte took a step towards the copse, halted uncertainly, her breath catching in her throat as she saw the shadowy figure of a man astride a large black horse, at the edge of the clearing, the low slanting sun giving him a halo about his dark curls.

The trees began to retreat giddily and, as her legs buckled beneath her, the man threw his leg over the animal’s head and slid to the ground moving swiftly to catch her, his shadowed expression so familiar that she whispered his name.

‘Harry…’   

Read on…

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