Happy Birthday New Romantics Press

New Romantics Press - Five YearsIt’s five years since New Romantics Press published their first novels. We won’t repeat how the group formed, our path to publication has been covered in previous posts. Here we are in 2012 looking all fresh faced and hopeful. So you ask, what have we achieved since then, and what next? Cue drumroll and clash of cymbals.

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Lizzie Lamb

A retrospective is a great idea. It gives us a chance to thank readers/reviewers/bloggers and friends for the help and encouragement NRP has received over the last five years. I have a #1 bestseller (historical Scottish) and #3 bestseller (Scotland’s/Highlands and Islands) under my belt and have rubbed shoulders on Amazon with Diane Gabaldon and Jenny Colgan. I look at my four novels and ask myself: did I really write those?  It turns out that I did. I’m now working hard on a romance set in Wisconsin USA, then its back to Scotland and the Black Isle for #6. Thank you for travelling with me on this amazing journey. 

 

From Wednesday 22nd November to Wednesday 29th November my novels will be available to download for 99p. So, here’s your chance to stock up on some great romances and hunker down in front of the fire with until the first shoots of spring appear. 

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June Kearns

First, a huge thank-you to the lovely readers who are still discovering my first two books and reading and reviewing them!

On to book three, where I’m currently in the middle of 1960s London, unravelling the lives of three women (and one man) when their histories suddenly collide. The mother, no longer alive – a former D-Day Dame. Her daughter Lillie, now in the midst of an exploding London fashion scene, together with Margaux, the Frenchwoman who brought her up – formerly a seamstress at a Paris fashion house. Add an arrogant American photographer on a mission to that mix, and shake vigorously!

(I was in London myself at exactly that time and have probably been enjoying the research a bit too much!) Publishing date? Spring 2018. A headsup – my novels will available to download for 99p from 23rd November – 29th. So, fill up your kindle. 

Adrienne Vaughan

The last five years have certainly been a whirlwind. To achieve my life’s ambition to become a novelist is, without doubt, a dream come true and quite simply wouldn’t have happened without the support, encouragement and friendship of Lizzie, June and Mags.

To date, we’ve independently published a number of highly-acclaimed and award winning novels including my series of Irish-American romantic suspense – The Hollow Heart, A Change of Heart and Secrets of the Heart – each shortlisted for reader awards by the Festival of Romantic Fiction. Together with my collection of short stories and poems, Fur Coat & No Knickers – recently shortlisted for the coveted Irish literary CAP Award – this now means I have four warmly-received books being enjoyed by readers every day. What a thrill!

 My latest novel That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel, is published in January 2018 and in honour of this and my forthcoming birthday, I’m delighted to offer all my books for 99p for one week from Tuesday 21st November – Enjoy!

 

Mags Cullingford

Where I am now

Five years on, I am half way through writing my third novel. My intention was not to be so ‘palely loitering’. Regrettably, this tantalising stage was reached eighteen months ago, but real-life events have had to take priority. So, no ‘writer’s block’ to report as a sorry excuse, or losing the plot by having no idea of what happens next. That’s all there in my head, and now, with the Fates’ permission, I plan on publication by Midsummer 2018.

My third novel – title yet to be decided – is a departure from my first two. In both, a clever but emotionally naïve woman falls for the wrong man, or men, before meeting the right one. Number three involves mystery and intrigue although, inevitably, tortured relationships do figure. Private investigator, Forbes discovers past secrets and lies after Lexie Neave, the only daughter, and heir of a single well-heeled parent, is threatened after her mother’s suspicious death – and begins: Alexandra Neave, you now have something valuable, very valuable which by rights is mine.

Link to author page:  http://tinyurl.com/qj2hzlf 

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Here’s a slideshow of some of the highlights of the past five years.

 

 

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Route 500 – #1 – Inverness to Brora

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North Coast 500 is the UK’s answer to Route 66 and I am proud to say that we have covered every mile of it – with one exception. More of which later. If you decide to make this journey, you will find these two books and map invaluable. The books make great armchair reading when you’re planning your route and Charles Tait knows his subject well.

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These boots are made for walking ……

Our adventure started in Jamie’s Italian, Edinburgh where we met up with four friends to celebrate my husband Dave’s 66th birthday. Who could fail to fall in love with Auld Reekie? Although we have visited many times, it never fails to enchant and amaze.

To get ourselves into the mood, we toured the city via open-top bus and, on a separate day, visited the Jacobite exhibition at the National Museum. IMG_5970 (Edited)There we saw (shudder) the chopping block where Lord Lovat met his end on Tower Hill. That sent us on another quest, to track down the mausoleum where, allegedly, his remains were laid to rest by his family. As luck would have it, Dan Snow, the TV historian was also on Lord Lovat’s trail; here’s a wee snippet of the programme he will eventually produce. In the fictional Outlander series on TV, Lord Lovat is the hero Jamie Fraser’s grandfather.

While in Edinburgh, I met up with Nick Fiddes, owner of Clan.com. Nick, and his co-director Adele, allow me to use photographs from this site for the front cover of my books. IMG_5306[1]My published novels

Leaving Edinburgh we crossed the newly opened Queensferry Crossing and I managed to get a shot of all three bridges. Not easy from a moving camper van!

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Then we were on our way to Inverness with a stopover at Blair Atholl, where a piper IMG_5362.TRIM.MOV[2](video link) greeted us on the steps of the castle, a fitting start to our tour of the highlands.  The Duke lives in South Africa, but Dave  stood in for him on this occasion.

Unable to resist some retail therapy I spend some time at the nearby House of Bruar . The heroine of Girl in the Castle is Dr Henriette Bruar, so a pilgrimage made sense. Well, that’s my excuse, anyhoo.

At Inverness we camped at the Caravan and Motorhome’s site at Culloden. We’d visited the battlefield on two previous occasions and decided to give it a miss this time. If you’ve never visited the site, make a detour and take your tissues with you, it’s an incredibly atmospheric place, haunted by ghosts. If you’re a fan of Outlander, it’s a must. I had my fingers crossed that Outlander #3 was downloading onto Amazon Prime in our absence.

This time, we satisfied ourselves with a photograph of the Prisoners’ Stone as our objective was Chanonry Point on the Black Isle (photo below with rainbow) to watch  the dolphins chasing salmon up the Moray Firth when the tide turns.  You can just see the dorsal fin of a dolphin in the photo on the right. I don’t know why, but seeing dolphins in the wild – not jumping through hoops as part of a show, affected me almost as much as visiting Culloden.  Anyone would think I was a writer for goodness sake.

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click here to see my Youtube video of dolphins in the Moray Firth

Check out this website for when to see the dolphins, They can also be spotted across the firth at Fort George – well worth a visit on its own account, as is Inverness which has great shops, museums and cafes.

We planned to spend all of September touring Scotland and although we were hardly ‘roughing it’, standards had to be maintained at all times (cough cough). I started off trying to dry our clothes in the caravan, then bought a portable washing line. 

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More importantly. I also brought a variety of outdoor wear with us to cope with changes in the weather . . . including boots, gloves, long mac (previously used for playground duty!) and sunglasses – it didn’t rain all of the time.

Turning our backs on Inverness we headed for Brora and the north east of Scotland.

You can read all about that in #2 of my Coast Road 500.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post, check out my Scottish-themed novels 

Blogger and author Sharon Booth has written a moving and comprehensive review of Girl in the Castle which totally captures the mood of the novel. Thanks, Sharon. 💟

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As October meets November …

Girl in the Castle by Lizzie Lamb

Source: Girl in the Castle by Lizzie Lamb

 

Many thanks to Sharon Booth for writing this stunning review of Girl in the Castle. (and for all my other books). You are a star.

Happy Samhain (Halloween) – party photos, novel extract and free download

An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns #Fridayread

Lovely review for June’s novel.

Lizanne

Cowboy

This was a book I didn’t want to finish.  A romantic adventure set in the American wild west in 1867, in which the dignity and etiquette of an English lady is contrasted dramatically with the frank, masculine power of a half-breed cowboy.  But this is an oversimplification.  Annie Haddon is no simpering socialite.  Tolerated and put upon by her harsh Aunt Bea and treated abominably by her spoilt cousin Charlotte, she is the poor spinster expected to respond to all their whims, even when crammed into a stifling, hot stage-coach.

But everything changes when Annie finds herself trapped under the crashed coach, abandoned by her family.  Enter her saviour, Colt McCall, half Sioux, half Irish, who hates English women.  The dialogue-driven plot reveals much about Annie’s sad life and also her determination, but McCall keeps most of his secrets.  At times these two disparate characters argue bitterly, as Annie tries…

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Author Feature with Lizzie Lamb @lizzie_lamb @newromantics4

Source: Author Feature with Lizzie Lamb @lizzie_lamb @newromantics4

Many thanks to LOVE BOOK GROUP for featuring me on their fabulous blog. It’s a great time for a retrospective as I published my first novel – Tall Dark and Kilted – in November 2012. Now working on #5 and love being a writer.

(York) Tea for Two – and a Whole Host of RNA Writers

A brilliant write up of the RNA York Afternoon Tea by author Sharon Booth. Thanks for the mention, Sharon . . .

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Official tickets! Exciting. Or scary!

So there we were, Julie Heslington and me, standing outside The Royal York Hotel, all ready to go inside and brave our first “proper” Romantic Novelists’ Association event. Julie had been to a couple of conferences before but, for me, it was my first RNA event, full stop. The York Tea. A gathering of well-known, well-established romance writers, who would wonder who on earth we were, and how we dared to darken the doorstep of this place and rub shoulders with the elite of romantic fiction.

Well, that’s what we thought, anyway, in our darkest moments. “On the other hand,” we decided brightly, “they might be nice. We have to try, at least.”

Squaring our shoulders, we marched purposefully forward. Julie sailed into the hotel. I got tangled up in the revolving door and it took me slightly longer. Typical. Then, heads held high, we…

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New Romantics Press welcomes Julia Wild

Julia Wild

An Interview with talented novelist – Julia Wild 

Firstly, I must thank Lizzie Lamb for inviting me onto this wonderful blog.

Julia, you have always been unfailingly kind and supportive of New Romantics Press so it is our pleasure to have you on our blog. So, pull up a pew and tell us something about yourself.

I’m the current Hon Secretary of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, I’m just beginning my third year in the position. The post involves dealing with day to day admin of the RNA taking and producing minutes after meetings. I’m lucky to be working with such a fabulous bunch of hard-working committee members. Until I joined the committee, I had absolutely no inkling of all the effort that goes on behind the scenes of the RNA.

 

 

 

My writing life began in childhood when I would dream up stories to star in. As time went on, I wrote stories for chums, involving them and their choice of pop star/film star – or boy in our class. It was always romance, at its most innocent.

Before I married I had a variety of jobs, bank work (was politely asked to leave due to numeric dyslexia, which I didn’t know I had) Nightclub waitress (mini-skirt, butcher’s apron, white knee boots) loved it – but had all my tips stolen from apron pocket. Needlewoman Shop assistant in Regent Street, legal secretary…

 

 

 

As you do I married, had children, and then one fateful Saturday in 1989, I was given a Saturday job looking after a double glazing showroom. Well, as you can imagine, it wasn’t the busiest shop in the street! Once I’d done a bit of dusting and hoovering, I pulled a romance book from my handbag and began reading… And pretty soon thought: ‘I can do better than this.’ Anyone who writes knows – it’s seriously not that easy and there is so much you can only learn by actually writing. The obsession began. I wrote tomes – a contemporary crime/romance, three whopping historicals – 250 thousand words each – typed and retyped many times!

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In 1993, I won a competition to spend a week on a historical writing course and whilst on this, one of the tutors, the late Pamela Cleaver said I must join the RNA. I joined the New Writers’ Scheme and spent until 1997 submitting a variety of historical, contemporary romances and medical romances until in 1997, my book was accepted for publication. It was called Dark Canvas and went on to win the RNA’s New Writers’ Award (now the Joan Hessayon Award). Since then I had another four books published and Illusions won the RNA’s First Romance Prize (now the Rona Rose) in 2003.

 

 

 

The publishers closed though in 2003 and in 2014, when I was made redundant from my library post of 18 years– I decided to go through the process of publishing my backlist. Once I obtained the rights back, with the help of the Society of Authors, who are amazing. I had help and advice on self-publishing from several RNA members – Lizzie Lamb included (thank you, Lizzie!) Freda Lightfoot and Jenny Haddon. I’m sure there are more who I spoke with – apologies for not mentioning your names.

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One of the highlights of self-publishing was to bring out a new book, Moon Shadow – a book that was accepted by two publishers but never made it to print. In 2016, I brought this one out and it felt wonderful to free it from the office drawer at long last. A lovely university art graduate called Bori worked on the covers for me, and as anyone who has been involved in this process will know – it does take a lot of tweaking.

To read a sample, buy or share this book, click here. 

I write as Julia Wild and have recently freed my 18th Century romances from their corsets in the cupboard. One of them is currently with my editor friend who will tell me honestly whether it is worth working on! I hope so – I did shorten it from 250 thousand words to 96 thousand words, and I think when you do that, you can never be sure it has worked! Time will tell.PhotoFunia-1464513640

Before I leave, I must say thank you again to Lizzie Lamb and the New Romantics’ Press Blog for generously inviting me along here.

The pleasure has been all ours, Julia. See you very soon.

Julie Vince (Writes as Julia Wild) – do go over to her Amazon page for reviews, blurbs, and much, much more about her books. 1-PhotoFunia-1496071553

Today I’m hosting author Lizzie Lamb as she chats about the places that help bring her novels to life…