School’s Out For Summer

F01At the end of each summer term we could look forward to an eight week break from rules, homework and school uniform. Since forming the New Romantics 4 and publishing our first novels last autumn we’ve learned that tide, time and readers’ expectations wait for no man. Last week, we met in Lizzie’s garden to draw up the road map for the months ahead, culminating in the launch of our second novels on Amazon as kindle downloads and paperbacks, individually launching our novels on our websites, attending the Festival of Romance and hosting four Red Carpet Road Shows in November.
Wisely, Lizzie wouldn’t let us have any prosecco until we’d been through the Agenda, and revealed our writing schedules for the next couple of months. They look something like this.


Lizzie’s Cunning Plan

Having edited #2 and had it back from beta readers I’m leaving it to ‘settle’ before giving it one final edit and then sending it to be checked by a copy editor and proof reader. Then the exciting bit, sending the finished manuscript to Jane Dixon-Smith to be formatted for e-reader and paperback, while I choose images for the front/ back cover. There will be a cover reveal in September, followed by a tweetathon when the book is launched – so you won’t have long to wait. Last time I held a tweetathon, I was locked up in Twitter Prison for sending out too many tweets!! Next time, you’ll need L plates, pink stetsons and bum-freezing skirts to take part in the fun. Oh, and if you can speak Russian, that’d help, too. Intrigued? Good!

I’m also planning to launch my brand new website with some giveaways and competitions and hopefully starting a quarterly newsletter. And to thank those friends and readers who came to our launches last autumn and bought Tall, Dark and Kilted, I will be hosting a garden party at Chez Lamb on July 28th.


Too Cool for Skool – Adrienne Vaughan

Aha amigos, isn’t it strange how the’ Brrr…’ of the British Isles succumbs to the ‘Meh!’ of the Mediterranean whenever we are blessed with more than a few days of consecutive sunshine?

Well, here in the wilds of South Leicestershire, all the doors and windows are flung wide, the heat is on and we love it!

As the tabloids scream ‘SIZZLE’, ‘SCORCHING!’ and ‘PHEW!” with reason enough to display as much exposed flesh as they dare, even those donning layers of linen beneath exotic parasols have to admit, to be able to plan a meal outdoors is heaven. Even better to sip a cool cocktail, watching the sunset as a soft evening breeze flutters candles in the dusk. Blissfully romantic, even if you’re only sharing the view with next door’s cat!

My horoscope said recently that if I stopped looking elsewhere I would find paradise in my own back yard. On days like this, the stars are not wrong. As for editing the new novel…ah manana!

Have a great Summer, see you in the Autumn, when my new novel, A Change of Heart will be ready just in time for a cosy, fireside read.


An Ideal Summer – Mags Cullingford

My ideal summer holiday was, is and always will be to idle away endless days beneath the shade of a Tamarisk at the far end of a secluded Mediterranean beach listening to the soothing schurr-schurr of waves displacing pebbles.  A vast sweep of bay, in the distance a harbour, a white-washed village, a backdrop of spectacular mountains, olive groves shimmering silver in the sun covering the foothills.  Just being, observing the sea’s changing hues, at dawn milky opal, later aquamarine – turquoise – jade – sapphire – streaks of red-gold as the water reflects the setting sun.  A change of scene, submerge, discover the plants and creatures below the water’s surface, or simply float on top face to the sun, eyes closed, let your body rock in its silky cradle. This restores a tired mind, heals an unquiet spirit.

This summer, “due to circumstances beyond my control”, I must be content to live vicariously while polishing my second novel, Twins of a Gazelle for publication in October.  Calista Blake spends three weeks on the Greek island of Ithaca.  Will the island’s magic work its spell, banish the disillusionment she feels about her marriage? Maybe, maybe not. We’ll see.


Distractions From The 20s – June Kearns

This summer, after chop-chopping and pruning A 20’s Girl’s Guide to Ghosts and All That Jazz (still a working title! Eek!) – I’ll be mostly colouring in.

Like many of us, I suppose – when I start writing, it’s all light and shade. Then, some slash and burn, before adding quirky bits and tweaks that hopefully zizz the story up and bring it to life. That’s my colouring in.

But … desk is a mess of old bits of paper, crumpled post-its and blue-tacked bon mots (who said that? why did I need it?)

Plus, I keep drifting over to last, seductive stage, where I fling sequins and sparkly bits all over it!

That 20’s music, it’s distracting me. Tunes of the time. Sniffing out titles as snazzy as the (much later) George Formby hit, that someone in this house keeps singing: ‘If Women Like That Like Men Like Them , Why Don’t Women Like Me?’ (Oh, boy.)

I’ve found ‘Doo-Wacka-Doo’ and a few more gems. ‘Olga, Come Back to the Volga’. Other top 20’s titles, anyone?

No, no! Headphones off. Head down. Must get on. Apparently, someone’s arranging a London book launch for us this year. Ooh heck!


WHAT HAVE YOU GOT PLANNED FOR THE SUMMER? Please leave a comment – we’re dying to know.


Posted on July 21, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. What a great Summer post team, sums us all up rather nicely methinks. Lizzie’s busy entertaining and scheduling, Mags’ postcard prose took me away completely and I can’t stop the Charleston ringing round my brain after going back to the roaring 20’s with June. My post gives the impression I’m quite laid back…such a work of fiction!

  2. Hi Ladies,
    I have to admit if I lived in the 20s, I’d be a flapper! Yes I can see me in one of those little dresses doing the Charleston, There would really be no controlling me!
    This summer my plans are to do more writing, I have to return to work on Monday, as my annual leave has finished. I have made good use of the time off, since returning from the conference, so am pleased with myself. You all look amazingly cool and relaxed in the garden, I hope all the summer plans come to pass.
    Lorraine x

    • newromantics4

      Lorraine, June and I were sitting in the garden two days ago leafing through a gorgeous book of original vogue costume designs for the 20’s. They were absolutely fabulous. Wasn’t the conference great? I came away energised but am now ploughing through edits in time honoured fashion. Keep up the hard work, that’s how we got finished. And, perhaps nagging each other kindly along the way.

  3. newromantics4

    Excellent blog, Nettie. Thanks for making such a wonderful job of our scribbles and jottings. See you in September if you haven’t emigrated.

  4. Another Fabulous blog, ladies. Anything summery has gotta be good 🙂 This post carries the perfect blend of warmth, wit, entertainment, fun and proper NewRomantics4 charm. Love it! Happy writing and Happy summer to you all xxx

    • Thank you, Jan, for all your support, for everything we do!
      Lovely comment from a wonderful friend. Happy hols!

    • newromantics4

      Thanks Jan, hopefully you;ll be able to type THE END at the bottom of your page soon. Trouble is, the sun draws us away from our WIPs and into the garden. I can’t work in the garden so I have to stay in my hobbit-hole of a study. LOL. I raise a glass to you for all your efforts. Good luck.

  5. I want to know where that beautiful picture is – very evocative that description! And believe it or not, the show I’m in at the moment actually has two ukulele players singing “If women like those…” Good luck to the next books, ladies.

    • newromantics4

      Lesley, doubtless Mags will say more, but I believe it is Ithica where her novel is set. Our blog-mistress, Nettie, found it for her. Thank you for coming on our blog it was great seeing you at the conference last weekend. Would like to learn more about the show you’re in!!

  6. Ooh, Lesley, how fabulous – and with ukuleles, too! Would love to see your show.
    Thanks for all your good wishes.

  7. Thank you, Nettie for making our blog so picturesque, thank you, Jan – as always your comments are so encouraging, and thank you Leslie – the picture is of Ithaca, and I can’t be absolutely certain, it’s a while since I was there, but I suspect it is Kioni. a small port on the island’s NE coast, which features in my second novel. Unless, of course, you’re talking about the picture of Ade’s two charming spaniels.

  8. P.S. Forgot to tick ‘notify me’.

  9. I’ve recently sent two long short ebooks for editing. The first in a new series and the fifth in another series. I plan to publish one of them hopefully end of this month, and the other in August. I have just started writing the fourth in my YA fantasy series about teenage guardian angels which I plan to publish for Halloween. Plus other small writing projects such as articles and a short story I want to send to Woman’s Weekly.

    • newromantics4

      Hi there. YA and NA seem to be flavour of the month, don;t they? I can’t imagine youngsters today toiling over the dreadful hardbacks we had to read as children – thick paper, blurred writing and no illustrations. Do you think that series are the way to go for self-published authors. They seem very popular on Amazon yet (correct me if I’m wrong) very few publishers seem very keen? Good luck with your teenage guardian angels.

  10. I’ll be working from my base in Italy, trying to imagine being in Stoke on Trent as I’m working on trying to complete my novel, ’52’ the protagonist of which is named after George Formby’s wife, Beryl. Great blog girls.

    • newromantics4

      Hi Barry, that would be a stretch of the imagination. I used to love that GF song: ‘Left Hand Side of Egypt Going in’!! Don;t know much about Beryl. Good luck with getting published and say hello to Italy for us.

    • Sounds a bit topsy-turvy, Barry – there must be a lot more people in Stoke on Trent trying to imagine themselves in Italy! Love the idea of Beryl, and I’m going to get Lizzie to sing me that George Formby song.

  11. Lovely blog entry! What a busy lot of bees you’ll be this summer. Having had my two scorching weeks abroad I’m knucking down too. This rewrite is taking far too long and I want to get it nailed by the autumn. Could do with it being a tad cooler for working in a south facing office, but we can’t have everything. Good luck with your final edits, girls. Looking forward to seeing your new books.

    • newromantics4

      Thanks for popping by Liz. I’m off to the isle of Wight in two weeks and its our 40th Wedding Anniversary so I’d like to spend it social media and writing free (if possible). Just on the last edit of #2 and would like to be able to send to Richard Shehan to be proof read by end of next week. That’s do-able I think. Good luck with your work, I hope to have a copy of it in my hands very soon.

  12. Have a fun summer! I’m currently working on a Nightingale Girls Christmas novella – tricky to get in the mood when the weather is scorching though!

  13. Have a fun summer! I’m currently working on a Nightingale Girls Christmas novella – tricky get in in the mood when the weather’s scorching! Dx

    • newromantics4

      Donna, I think I heard you at the RNA Conference mentioning this series (was I mistaken?) Series sell really well on Amazon and I’m thinking of putting together a little collection of my romance novels when I’ve got three written and ‘up there’. Just read Jean Fullerton’s CALL NURSE MILLIE and really enjoyed it.

    • Love your title, Donna! Will look forward to that.
      Am sweltering here,while editing an Atlantic crossing in a raging gale.

  14. Hello all, and thanks for such kindly and supportive comments. It’s great to hear what other writers are up to, even though there are four of us, we can each feel a little isolated at times. I was scribbling away at my sister’s place in Lanzarote, she asked if we should eat tapas for lunch and I said, I’ll have pastrami on rye, I’m in New York at the moment!

  15. By the way, just taken spaniels for haircut…too hot for a fur coat this weather!

  16. Love the photos, and I agree, no prosecco until the business is taken care of! Hope you’re all still on track.

    My co-author and I don’t plan (much) because of my health ups-and-downs and his never-know-where-I’ll-be-next lifestyle . . . but we did have a wonderful 10 days in France together with our spouses – yay!

    I rewrote a short story yesterday and was in need of a name for a character – Adrienne, you popped into my head, so that’s what she’s been called! (Only a minor role, I’m afraid!)

    Good luck with all the writing, editing and publishing. 🙂

    • Joanna, you have been a great supporter of us and our novels, too. I hope we have reciprocated. Health issues are really wearisome and the old phrase: ‘spirit willing/flesh weak’ certainly has a resonance for us all. The thing is to do what we can on the good days and stay away from writing on the bad days. Glad that you managed to have a super summer holiday. Adrienne is a great name for a character.

  1. Pingback: School’s Out For Summer | Adrienne Vaughan

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