Category Archives: Guest Blogs

COVER REVEAL: “ALWAYS WITH YOU”

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Blurb: A mother who kept a secret for more than twenty years. A daughter intent on finding the truth…

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In 1994, twenty-one-year-old Evelyn Taylor left England to backpack around Australia. When she stopped off in the dusty outback town of Kununurra, she never expected to fall in love with the place – and the people. But Joe Sullivan captured her heart, and when her fun-filled year in Australia came to an end, saying goodbye to him was the hardest thing she’d ever done.

In 2017, Evelyn’s daughter, Libby, embarks on her own Australian adventure. Grief-stricken following her mother’s death, she’s determined to find the father she never met.

Little does she know that digging up the past will be more complicated than she ever imagined.

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**About the author: Hannah Ellis lives in Munich with her husband and two little boys. She’s originally from England and has also lived in America, Australia and Ireland. As well as writing, she also teaches English to kindergarten kids. In her spare time she likes to read books, drink tea and eat chocolate. She goes jogging regularly but hasn’t decided if she really enjoys it or not. She’s a huge fan of sunny days and loves visiting the many Munich beer gardens.

**Contact Hannah: Website   Facebook   Twitter

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**Check out other stops on Hannah’s Goddess Book Tour!:

Becky Martin   Chick Lit Plus   Monique McDonell

posted by Lizzie on behalf of New Romantics press

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50 Shades of Reader – What makes a great Bestseller?

Having had 50 Shades of Beige and 50 Shades of Greece, today we welcome Sarah Houldcroft to our blog with 50 Shades of Reader!

auburn haired lady reading 650Are there really 50 shades of reader or do we all basically want the same thing from the books we read?  The vast majority reading this blog will know of the hype surrounding 50 Shades of Grey and possibly a large number of those will have read the book, but is an almost equally large number criticising the way it was written?  It would appear so. There were, apparently, a large number of readers who were dissatisfied with the book, but it was still a runaway bestseller.

This would suggest that the style of writing does not necessarily dictate how popular a book will become. The ‘action’ and characters, in this instance, caught the imagination! But is that always the case? What makes a Bestseller?

I love to read to escape and become engrossed in the lives of the characters in the book I am reading. I almost think of them as friends and feel their pain or joy. I want to be transported away from my reading chair to other places and times.  For instance, in Lizzie Lamb’s own ‘Tall, Dark and Kilted’ I am standing on the side of the road with Fliss looking down into the Scottish Loch for the first time and catching a glimpse of the house that is to be her new home. With June Kearns’ The 20’s Girl, I could feel the Texas heat on my face and almost had to shake the desert sand off the book pages. So the warm water surrounding the Greek island in Margaret Cullingford’s Twins of a Gazelle was very refreshing and relaxing. I caught up with some old friends in the third and final part of Adrienne Vaughan’s Heartfelt series, I had really missed them!

But, does everyone else feel the same way I do about reading?

I asked three busy business ladies, who like to read to relax and switch off after a full day’s work, in their opinion what makes a bestseller.

 

Sue Ritchie‘To me what makes a bestseller is a combination of things:

Keeping the readers interest as you read the book and also evoking emotions, excitement, interest and intrigue and curiosity throughout.

I don’t think you particularly have to relate to the characters in the book, but they do have to have depth and character that is real.

Being able to paint the pictures so the reader can visualise the situation is very powerful too.’

Sue Ritchie
www.YourEcstaticHealth.com

Louisa Sando Patel‘A strong, bold cover design goes a long way in terms of whether I reach for a brand new book in-store. Online, I do rely heavily upon customer reviews, unless I am very familiar with the author.

Story-wise, I like to be kept in suspense on every page, and I love unexpected endings. Some of my favourite bestsellers are those where a story has been set across many time periods, reaching back into history and then bringing a storyline right up-to-date. What’s more, a series of well-defined characters set against a well-described backdrop, I believe are essential traits of a bestseller. I want to be able to ‘taste the sea air’ and to ‘smell the roses’.’

Louisa Sando-Patel
www.brightowlcopywriting.com

Bernie Sarginson‘A great fictional best seller from my perspective is all about the storyline and how the web of the story is created and unfolds around the characters.

The cover will attract my attention in the first place if it looks intriguing and draws me in, to check out that all important first page. If I’m hooked after the first few lines or paragraphs, then I’ll buy the book.

What I’m always looking for is a real page turner that I can’t put down because there is always something else happening and I love unexpected surprises, twists and turns within the plotlines.’

Bernadette Sarginson
www.theathenanetwork.co.uk/bernadettesarginson

 

We all come from different backgrounds and our businesses are very diverse, but we all seem to read with the same purpose in mind– to relax and escape. Strong characters and intriguing plots together with the ability for us to become emotionally involved in the story are the most important traits for all of us. Coupled together with a stunning cover, that seems to be the essence of a bestseller.

Ok, I know this is only the opinions of the four of us, but I suspect that most women will feel the same. We want to not just read the book, but feel what the characters are feeling, see what they are seeing, hearing and even sometimes smelling! It needs to be a complete sensory experience.

Of course, the authors of New Romantics Press do provide us with a fabulous mix of emotional content, together with, a generous helping of humour, not to mention our very own hot heroes!

So, an entire 50 shades of reader? I’m not so sure.

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Sarah Houldcroft VAforAuthors 400Sarah Houldcroft enjoys giving authors more time to write by helping them with all aspects of their self publishing journey. She offers a wide range of services from converting manuscripts to ebooks and print books, through to author websites and social media. She can be contacted at www.VAforAuthors.com

She lives in Leicestershire with her teenage son, three rescue dogs, two ageing bunnies and hundreds and hundreds of books.

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Guest Blog: Jean Fullerton and Her Writing Life

We are delighted to welcome the lovely Jean Fullerton to our blog today. We put her on the spot and asked her a few questions about her life as a writer.Jean Fullerton

Tell us all about you

I was born and raised within the sound of Bow Bells in the East End of London and grew in the Jack the Ripper old stomping ground, Wapping and Whitechapel. I’m a District Nurse and have worked in East London for twenty-five years.

My first four novels No Cure for Love, A Glimpse at Happiness, Perhaps Tomorrow and Hold on to Hope were set in Victorian East London and were shortlisted and won various prizes.

Call Nurse Millie, was released in 2013, and All Change for Nurse Millie, a year later. There are also two seasonal novellas, Christmas with Nurse Millie and Easter with Nurse Millie. The third in the series, Fetch Nurse Connie has just been released.

I live with my very own Hero-at-Home, a massive Bernese Mountain Dog called Molly and two cats called Tilley and Fudge.

What is a typical writing day?

I wish I had one! Contrary to popular belief most of us still have day jobs. Mine is teaching nursing at a London University and I squeeze in at least four hours writing in the evening and am often am at my desk until 1 or 2 in the morning.

How does the writing process work for you?

As I weave at least six patients’ stories through Connie’s over-arching story so I plan extensively to help me evenly space Connie’s meeting with her patients, family and her ex-fiancé Charlie. Of course it changes as ideas come to me but it gives me a place to start.

I do the research as I go and I’m not a fast writer 1500 is a good day and that’s because I worry over every word and shift dialogue around as I go.

Social Networking – a help or a hindrance?

Both. It helps me keep in touch with writer friends and fans but can be very distracting especially when you’re in a knotty bit of the book. I make a rule that I allocate 2 hour block of writing time during which time I will not click onto the internet or emails.

Do you have some advice for fledgling authors?

Just write the story. That’s what keeps readers sitting up to the wee small hours not the writing techniques. That said, and although it might sound contradictory, you do have to perfect the craft and that is hard, very hard. If it weren’t everyone would do it but if you’re in love with storytelling, as I am, that will carry you through the pain.

What are your top five writing tips?

  1. Learn your craft-plot, pace, structure, characterisation, dialogue.
  2. Read your chosen genre as this will help with the above.
  3. Don’t force a character to act out of character.
  4. Everyone gets stuck on chapter 5 so just keep writing.
  5. Never, never, never give up.

Who or what has inspired you the most to become a writer?

Bestsellers that were rubbish- we’ve all read them and I’m absolutely not naming names. I thought ‘I must be able to do better than that.’ It’s for readers to decide if I have.

If not a writer – then what?

What I am a nurse and teacher. Despite all the back-breaking hard works, government-driven targets and out-of-touch management nursing is still the most rewarding job in the world.

Tell us a little bit about your love for the East end of London

It’s a bit difficult to explain the affinity I have with the place where I was born. I feel very privileged to have been born in a unique culture The Fullertons arrived in East London in the 1800s while the ‘O Rileys were later amongst the wave of Irish migration triggered by the potato famine. The area became legendary for its Blitz spirit and thanks to popularity of music malls, cinema, war-time radio and early TV the Cockney culture is an integral part of London’s identity.

Someone once said to me that I was lucky to be able to draw on such a rich heritage and they were right.

Tell us about your current book

Fetch Nurse ConnieFetch Nurse Connie book cover

Connie Byrne, a nurse in London’s East End working alongside Millie Sullivan from Call Nurse Millie, is planning her wedding to Charlie Ross, set to take place as soon as he returns from the war. But when she meets him off the train at London Bridge, she finds that his homecoming isn’t going to go according to plan.

Connie’s busy professional life, and the larger-than-life patients in the district, offer a welcome distraction, but for how long?

Available from Orion Fiction on kindle, paperback and hardback on 4th June 2015. Check it out on Amazon here

Some reviews of your work

‘A delightful, well researched story that depicts nursing and the living conditions in the East End at the end of the war’ (Lesley Pearce)

‘…The writing shines off the page and begs for a sequel’ (Historical Novel Society)
‘…you will ride emotional highs and lows with each new birth and death. Beautifully written with some sharp dialogue.’ (THE LADY) (59 words)

Finally – what are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on the second of Connie’s books, as yet untitled. She is still working in Spitalfields as the deputy Superintendent and has the usual collections of eclectic mix of patients to deal with. Now, I don’t what to give too much away but look out for the new GP, Dr Hari MacLauchlan, survivor of the infamous Burma Railway, who is six foot one and half-Scottish, half Indian. Need I say more?

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Lizzie is so loving the sound of THAT one. Good luck with your writing Jean, and thanks for being a great guest on our blog.

Guest Blog: The Company Of Women by author June Kearns

Guest Blog: The Company Of Women by author June Kearns.

If you were born in the late 40’s/early 50′, this post will have a resonance for you. Fabulous.