Blog Archives

Write An Amazon Review Month!

Authors know how difficult it is to build a following of loyal readers and to gently persuade those  readers to review their book once they’ve read it. To help redress that, August 2016 has been decreed Write An Amazon Review Month! By @TerryTyler4 #AugustReviews and we’re going to do our bit to help.

On Monday 25th July, book blogger Rosie Amber wrote this post encouraging readers and writers alike to post a short review on Amazon for any book they’ve read and enjoyed ~ following this up, Terry Tyler is starting this initiative along with other writer-bloggers including Rosie, Cathy from Between The Lines, Barb Taub, Shelley Wilson and Alison WilliamsRosie's NotebookThe idea is that, from August 1st, everyone who reads this uses their Amazon account to post just one review on one book that they’ve read (but feel free to carry on if you get in the swing!).  You don’t even have to have read it recently, it can be any book you’ve read, any time.  The book does not have to have been purchased from Amazon, though if it is you get the ‘Verified Purchase’ tag on it; however, if you download all your books via Kindle Unlimited, as many do these days, they don’t show the VP tag, anyway.

Remember, this isn’t the Times Literary Supplement, it’s Amazon, where ordinary people go to choose their next £1.99 Kindle book.  No one expects you to write a thousand word, in-depth critique; I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to read one short paragraph or a couple of lines saying what an average reader thought of a book, than a long-winded essay about the pros and cons of the various literary techniques used.  Yes, those are welcome too (!), but no more so than a few words saying “I loved this book, I was up reading it until 3am”, or “I loved Jim and Vivien and the dialogue was so realistic”, or whatever!

Why should you write a review?

  • They help book buyers make decisions.  Don’t you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before deciding on a hotel, or any site from which you might buy an item for practical use?  Book reviews are no different
  • If the book is by a self-published author, or published by an independent press, the writers have to do all their promotion and marketing themselves ~ reviews from the reading public is their one free helping hand
  • The amount of reviews on Amazon helps a book’s visibility (allegedly).  If you love a writer’s work and want others to do so, too, this is the best possible way of making this happen
  • It’s your good deed for the day, and will only take five minutes

2015-09-11 07.41.30Internet hug

Off we go, then!  A few more pointers:

  1. If you need any help with writing your review, do click on Rosie’s post, above.
  2. A review can be as short as one word.  The shortest one I have is just two 🙂
  3. You don’t have to put your name to the review, as your Amazon ‘handle’ can be anything you like.
  4. No writer expects all their reviews to be 5* and say the book is the best thing ever written; there is a star rating guide on Rosie’s post.

Would you like to tell the Twittersphere about your review?  If so, tweet the link to it with the hashtag #AugustReviews ~ and thank you!  2015-08-14 08.14.06

 One last thing . . .  New Romantics Press’s latest venture is a tapas selection of our work. It is available on Kindle and is FREE to download this weekend and 99p thereafter. We think it gives you a real flavour of our writing and hopefully will bring our books to the attention of new readers.  You can download it here. 

All the best things in LIFE and FREE

 

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Take a chance on New Romantics Press –

JPEG - updated cover

It doesn’t seem possible that four years have passed since New Romantics Press was launched. At the time, we each said: “We’ll be happy just to see our novel in print.”

Since then, we’ve been bitten by the writing bug and gone on to write further novels, win accolades, reach the finals of a prestigious book award and achieve bestseller status (historical romance>Scottish) on Amazon. Not to forget, hosting a wonderful book launch at Waterstones in Kensington. Between us, we’ve written ten fabulous novels and gained a host of readers who are hungry for more! With four new novels in the pipeline, we thought it time to thank our wonderful readers/supporters and to celebrate our achievements by uploading a kindle book, containing the first two chapters of each of our novels to share with you.

The kindle is almost a novel/novella in its own right – almost forty thousand word in all!

So . . . if you have never read any of our novels, now’s the time to

 TAKE A CHANCE ON US

TACON (facebook poster)

Within the pages of the kindle you will find: romantic heroes and heroines aplenty; men in kilts, cowboys, Victorian Misses, Twenties Girls, wild Irish actors who bear more than a passing resemblance to Pierce Brosnan, feisty heroines who live on remote islands in the Atlantic, academics, priests, enigmatic heroes – and women ‘who love not wisely, but too well.’  In short, ten ideal summer reads to take to the beach with you – a book for every mood.

click here to pre-order your  copy of Take a chance on us

and, from all of us –  thank you very much – have a great summer!

Lizzie, Adrienne, June and Mags

 

PS – keep your eye open for Lizzie’s forthcoming SUMMER NEWSLETTER when you’ll have a chance to win a FREE signed copy of Scotch on the Rocks. But you have to be a subscriber to win . . . so, join 350 of Lizzie’s lovely readers today, and join in the fun.

 

 

Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop – cover reveal

Talented writer friend Isabella Anderson has revealed the fabulous cover of her soon-to-be-published novel – Cards from Khloe’s Flower Shop.

New Romantics Press is happy to share her cover with you

isabellalouiseanderson_cardsfromkhloes_web1_6 (2)

Blurb: As the owner of a successful florist shop, Khloe Harper trusts her instincts. She has a strong bond with her family and friends, but after being betrayed by her last love, she’s kept herself at arms’ length from romance. When dashing entertainment attorney Derek Thomas walks into her store, Khloe’s interested is piqued. What at first seems like a business relationship quickly turns into romance, and Derek slowly plucks away the petals she’s been hiding behind. Just as Khloe lets down her guard, she discovers that Derek may not be worthy of her love after all…

Frumpy Connie Albright has a faux fascination with an imaginary man named Walt, sending herself flowers from him to feel less out-of-place with the “mean girls” she works with. Gabby Lewis, a recently widowed senior, isn’t ready to give up on love—which means releasing herself from survivor’s guilt and taking a chance on finding happiness and companionship again.

As these stories intertwine through flowers and cards sent from Khloe’s shop, the three women begin to learn that love can only truly blossom when you trust your heart.

BioPic

Author Bio: Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn’t blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with working on her next book.

She created Chick Lit Goddess to share the love of the following genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance, and Romantic Comedies!  She loves featuring authors and their books, and has a book business, Goddess Book Tours. Currently, she lives in Dallas with her husband. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading.

Isabella’s short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel.

If you’d like to learn more about her, then these links will take you straight to her website/blog/Facebook page etc.

Find the books:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Isabella-Louise-Anderson/e/B00IWCNQFO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 isabella (2) - Copy
Isabella Louise Anderson
 isabellalouiseanderson_cardsfromkhloes_web1_6 (2)

 

Chick Lit Goddess-Author & Book Promotions
Goddess Book Tours
3506 Cedar Springs Rd.
Dallas, Texas  75219
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Lizzie’s Valentine’s Day Blog

Thanks to the wonder of the internet, I am able to talk to readers ‘down under’ on the Australian Romance Readers Association today about why I love writing Scottish themed novels. Here’s the link if you’d like to leave a comment.

https://australianromancereaders.wordpress.com/

 

I am also featured on Rosie Amber’s great blog today where she has published a fabulous review of Scotch on the Rocks written by witty Barb Taub. It’s the perfect download for Valentine’s Day and it reached #1 Best Seller status on Amazon two weeks after publication. Here’s the link to Barb’s review:

http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8Ko

 

All that remains is for me to wish everyone a lovely day and to share the opening lines of an anonymous Latin lyric titled The Vigil of Venus (3rd century A.D.)

Cras amet qui numquam amavit quique amavit cras amet

“Loveless hearts will love tomorrow,

Those who have loved will love again.”

And that, dear and gentle reader, is why I write romance.

1-1-Fireplace 2015

Have a great day,

Lizzie

What next for New Romantics Press?

Three years and a couple of months ago the New Romantics Press (NRP) – Adrienne Vaughan, Lizzie Lamb, Mags Cullingford and June Kearns ‒ was born. Huddled together in the backroom of a village pub in the wilds of rural Leicestershire, trembling with fear and trepidation, four fledgling authors – having met through the RNA and all on the New Writers’ Scheme ‒ launched themselves on the world.

Dozens of book launches, blogs, newspaper reports, radio interviews and videos later, we’ve embraced each and every element of what being an author in today’s multi-media environment entails; standing shoulder-to-shoulder, through drafts, edits, rewrites and great big gaping holes of self-confidence. And still, what remains at the very essence is our passion to tell our stories our way.

Ten acclaimed novels ‒ hundreds of reviews, award nominations and a best seller ‒ later, the dream is a reality and the greatest reward is still when someone says. “I loved your book, when is the next one coming out?”

Here’s a quick update as we hunker down into 2016 …

Lizzie Lamb

 Lizzie’s debut Tall, Dark and Kilted, was swiftly followed by Boot Camp Bride and having launched her third novel, Scotch on the Rocks last July, there was ‘no rest for the wicked’ as it rocketed up the Amazon charts to reach No 1 in Scottish Romance! So it was head down as Lizzie ‘got busy’ with novel number four, This Highland Magic.2015-12-29 14.39.20

I’m dreaming about hitting the road in 2016 with our caravan, computer, parrot and husband to research number four, so Highlands of Scotland, here I come. Our travels have become part of the writing process for me and I love the adventure, laughter and shared experiences of our trips, keeping us buoyed and enthused throughout the long winter months. I just know 2016 is going to be one of our best years ever!” Says Lizzie.

Mags Cullingford

Mags CullingfordMags’s first two novels, Last Bite of the Cherry and Twins of a Gazelle are definitely romance with edge and she will be the first to admit her writing errs on the darker side, with an undercurrent of tense, psychological drama heightening emotions.She is currently completing and polishing her, as yet, untitled third novel which features threatening letters, a fatal car accident and a private investigator and, knowing Mags, some deep, dark romance too.

Mags says, “I must confess although I love writing, I’m absolutely rubbish at marketing and promoting and it’s my readers reaction to my books – as well as my NRP comrades, chums in the RNA and my writer friends in general – who inspire me to keep going. My resolution for 2016 is to get to grips and improve on these necessary skills, at least once January is over. It’s not that I’m procrastinating but I do like to take a leaf out of our cat Tina’s book and for me January is the time for hibernating.”

June Kearns

June is our historical novelist and to date has written two fabulous novels, The Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy and The 20’s Girl, both acclaimed as eloquent and stylish with clever twists and turns, and nods to fashion and music, two of June’s passions.June in the swinging sixties with the Spencer Davis Group

Now working hard on novel No 3 June admits to be a little awry with her New Year resolutions. “So far I haven’t started reading War and Peace nor stayed away from the choc-and-nuts – but I have been working on my third book, so that’s something!

Set in the early 1960s, it’s gathering pace and coming along nicely. I’m trying to pin down recollections of the time by trawling through old photographs (I had a waist!), tramping London streets and visiting our son in San Francisco last year (my story is set in both places). It’s all bringing back lots of lovely memories and inspiration. Fingers crossed, I’m hoping to publish at the end of this year.”

Adrienne Vaughan

“I write romantic suspense and having trained as a journalist I love lifting the veil of celebrity to reveal what lies beneath the glitz. I set my characters against the elements and each other, taking readers to wild, romantic locations where literally anything can happen and it usually does!

AV-AuthorMy first three novels – never thought I’d be saying that – were well received, my debut The Hollow Heart shortlisted for a Reader Award at the Festival of Romantic Fiction, as was the follow-up A Change of Heart and then last November I was absolutely thrilled to learn Secrets of the Heart was shortlisted for a Love Reading Award, amazing! But no resting on laurels here, so last year saw me interviewing a friend’s daughter who dresses members of the cast of Downton Abbey and Strictly Come Dancing; poking around in military reference books and studying reports on plots to murder the Pope, as I started working on, Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel. I aim to have it completed by the end of January before sending to my fabulous mentor, June Tate – a dear friend who I met through the RNA – and who helps me edit and polish ahead of launching to the ‘waiting world’ (okay I made that last bit up!).

So 2016 looks as exciting as ever and it simply remains for us to thank you all for your continued support – we could NOT have done it with you.

2015-10-21 11.35.53

 

Adrienne’s – Fairy Tale of New York

Batman in New York

My favourite superhero Batman was there to greet me – a fairy tale come true!

Summer holidays exist to be savoured long after the local wine has been drunk (why does it never taste the same?) and the freckles have faded and it’s true, memories of happy times in sunnier climes keep us going through the January gloom.

Christopher Columbus - and a blue, blue sky!

Christopher Columbus – and a blue, blue sky!

I enjoyed many special times during the summer of 2015 ‒ precious family memories to treasure forever ‒ but I also did something ridiculously, extravagantly splurging and, yes I have to admit, totally self-indulgent! I took myself off to New York to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference and spent an entire week being something I’ve always wanted to be, an author in one of the most exciting cities on the planet. Now seriously, what’s not to like?

I’d barely mentioned the Romance Writers of America 35th anniversary conference in New York when a couple of lovely author chums, Katherine Garbera (US Today best seller) and Eloisa James (New York Times best seller) asked their mutual friend, Erin Fry, publications editor for the RWA, if I could tag along.

Erin did better than that, she organised a special press pass, so in the blink of an eye, having raided my ‘author’ piggy bank, I booked flights, hotel and was on my way!

Times Square - the energy is palpable!

Times Square- the energy is palpable!

The fabulous Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square was base camp for nearly 2000 delegates primed and eager to make the most of nearly 200 events/workshops/signings and 1-2-1s and of course, the fabulous RITAs and Golden Hearts Awards Ceremony. Delegates could start the day at 6.30am with Pilates and/or Romance Fit Club, followed by a networking breakfast and then straight into the action.

Some of my favourites included: ‘Bollywood Basics: Romance Tips from the World’s Largest Film Industry’; ‘How to Write Sexual Tension that will Knock Their Socks Off’; ‘Dead On, Writing ‘Killer’ Romantic Suspense’; ‘Staying Fit While You’re Writing’; and ‘Oops, the Publishing World Just Changed Again’.

I squeezed into Nora Roberts’ talk, acknowledged as the bestselling author on the planet, her ‘chat’ to a packed house was refreshing, honest and hilarious. Nora has written over 200 romance novels – thirty-four Nora Roberts’ titles are sold EVERY minute – she also writes suspense under the pen name J D Robbs, these titles sell pretty well too! Awesome.

During my trip I breakfasted at Simon & Schuster and had cocktails with the team at Hachette Book Group – mixing with writers, editors and agents, all asking lots of questions about the UK and how the market is here.

St Patricks Cathedral - made it to mass and found St Anthony hidden in a corner.

St Patrick’s Cathedral – made it to mass and found St Anthony in a corner

With the sun shining and so much to see, I took time to walk, New York is easy to navigate, the natives hospitable and happy to chat. Highlights included sunbathing in Central Park with pastrami salad and iced tea whilst reading Steven King’s On Writing; Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral where the celebrant’s singing was akin to Pavarotti and enjoying the movie The Longest Ride over brunch.

Fast forward to the conference finale, the glittering RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony – and I was delighted to see Jo Beverley – a member of the RWA Hall of Fame – present the Golden Heart for Historical to Sara Leyton for her novel The Reunion. I was also delighted and very proud when our own Carole Mortimer received a Lifetime Achievement Award. She has written over 200 books, yet spoke so generously and warmly, she was just delightful.

As the evening came to a close, a gorgeous girl sitting next to me asked if I would take a picture of her and her English chum – turns out the best buddies were also bestsellers, Tasmina Perry and Bella Andre. A quick snap and Bella was whisked on stage to do her presentation, talk about hanging out with the VIPs!

The RWA conference was a real eye opener, a fascinating insight into the business of being an author and what it takes to succeed and New York itself, such a special, fairy tale kind of place for me, it really was an experience to savour. You never know, one day I may return but in the meantime I can dream … after all that’s what gloomy January days are for.

The View from my 'desk' in Central Park

The view from my ‘desk’ in Central Park

 

Happy Birthday to New Romantics Press!!

Three years ago this month New Romantics Press was born, huddled together in the backroom of a village pub in the wilds of rural Leicestershire. Trembling with fear and trepidation, four fledgling authors launched themselves on the world …

Our Books !!

Dozens of book launches, blogs, reviews, newspaper reports, radio interviews and videos later, we’ve embraced each and every element of what being an author in today’s multi-media environment entails; standing shoulder to shoulder, through drafts, edits, rewrites and great big gaping holes of self-confidence…

 

Yet at the very essence our passion, our need to tell our stories our way, remains. The highlight of our journey so far? Holding a book launch in Waterstones, Kensington. That’s Kensington, London  -in case you’re wondering. We were hoping that Dustin Hoffman (who regularly shops there) was going to turn up, but alas he was otherwise engaged.

Ten acclaimed novels later … the dream is a reality and the greatest reward? Every single time a reader says: “I loved your book, when is the next one coming out?”

Happy birthday sisters, fairy Godmothers one and all. Cue music: ‘Sisters Doing it For Themselves’, and exit stage left.

So what are we up to ATM?

Here’s our news, hot off the press . . .

Adrienne“I’m currently working on my fourth novel, Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel, a contemporary Irish American romantic suspense, steeped in mystery from World War II.”

 

Lizzie? “I’ve started novel number four – working title: THIS HIGHLAND MAGIC. I hope to publish it on our fourth anniversary November 2016. No pressure, then. I have a heroine with a secret and gorgeous new hero who has his own demons to confront. I’m keeping him all to myself until then, ladies.”

 

Mags? “I’m currently working on novel number three (as yet, untitled). Here’s the blurb so far – After her mother’s fatal car accident, Lexie Neave receives four threatening anonymous letters. Private investigator Forbes’s brief is to identify the writer and discover what it is Lexie has that’s “valuable, very valuable; which by rights is mine”. Lexie hasn’t a clue. Forbes’s preliminary investigations convince him Lexie is in danger.”

 

June? “Until October this year, I’d been playing out scenes, progressing the story in my historical romance set in 1960’s London and San Francisco, (all going pretty well, I thought!) Then, I went back to SF, imagination took over and the story just went whizzing off in directions I hadn’t expected! So now, here I am – hanging on, getting it all down!”

 

So, it’s happy birthday to us and a big thank you to everyone who’s helped us on our way. Christmas is just around the corner and what could be better than to find a copy of one of our books in your Christmas stocking? Diamonds, you say? OK – we’re on the case.

2014-11-05 14.12.13

Happy Birthday to us !

 

 

LOVE CAN’T BE HURRIED, NOR CAN A SECOND NOVEL

 

book2My second novel Twins of a Gazelle is out, a mere six months later than my NR4 co-conspirators’ got out their seconds, the other fab three, Adrienne, June and Lizzie. My small band of readers are probably wondering, ‘So, what took you so long?’ Taking my cue from The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love”, I couldn’t hurry Twins of a Gazelle. No matter how hard I tried, I just had to take as long as it took. How(see below) will probably explain everything.

Way back in February, Sarah Houldcroft told us what every writer needs to know which is what readers want to know. I will do my best to answer her five questions.

What inspired you to write your novel?

Twins of a Gazelle began with a house nestling in the Leicestershire countryside. Over the years I have regularly driven past this house very much like the one in the picture. I thought, one day I shall write a story about the people who live there. Lonely, disillusioned, contrite Calista Blake and her charming, wealthy and manipulative husband Adam Burgess seemed ideal occupants. They began to haunt the house as they did my imagination. BUT, Calista needed to escape her comfortable prison and where better than to the enchanted Greek island of Ithaca where she becomes spellbound by PJ Wood.

????????????????????????

 

How, why and where do you write?

cat1 copyEasiest one first, where, here in my small back room. Not in a café, a library or on the kitchen table, an attention-seeking cat is distraction enough, though interruptions from The Long-suffering One with coffee or tea are always welcome.

 

Easier second, why, because I must or I would go ever so slightly madder.

How, slowly and with difficulty. I start with a character, to-date, a woman, clever, successful at what she does. Her flaw, to begin with, she is emotionally naïve. In both Twins of a Gazelle and Last Bite of the Cherry, the main character’s story-thread is interwoven with that of a second female character who started out as my heroine. On reflection, theirs was, for me, too straightforward, not so Calista’s in Twins of a Gazelle, nor Monica’s in Last Bite of the Cherry. I like to probe their character, their motivation, their psyche, find just the right words to convey their state of mind, their emotions, and the undercurrents beneath an-on-the-surface ordinary situation. All this is equally relevant to the men they fall in love with, the two or three or more ‘heroes’ before they find ‘the one’. To me all my heroes are lovable in their own way, even Adam. As a reader, please feel free to take your pick. My novels are so not boy-meets-girl, jump through a few hoops and then live happily ever after. For me, there are no endings, just new beginnings. At the end, I would like my readers to think, ‘Knowing them both as well as I do now . . .’ Maybe some do.

Afterthought: One of my reviewers of Last Bite of the Cherry wondered if the ending would have been ‘happy’ – to my mind it was more like ‘satisfying’ – if the main protagonist had been ‘poverty struck’. If I were to write about people struggling to make a living, feed their children, becoming homeless, that would be something quite else, which brings me to question 3.

Have you experienced first-hand any of the aspects in your books?

Well, I have been known to fall in love with unsuitable men, not unsuitable in themselves, just not for me. That’s character-building and informative. Makes you think ‘What do I really, really want?’ Answer: ‘Not this’. Also, many moons ago, I took myself by surprise by becoming pregnant. Now there’s a surreal experience. Anyone agree?

Did you base your character on a real person?

My characters come from my imagination based on many years’ observation of the way people are and behave towards each other. At social gatherings, events, meetings, airports, in trains, part of the time, most of the time I love sitting back people watching. Fascinating.

If so, was it you?

I suspect I do what most writers do which is imagine myself as the person I’m writing about at any given time, what they’re thinking, feeling, seeing and hearing, smelling, doing. I try my best to make it ‘real’. Then it’s me in so far as it’s what I may have thought, felt etc. in similar situations.

??????????Nuff said, I think. I shall now sail off into the sunset in PJ Wood’s sloop.

 

Mags, aka Margaret C.

 

LOVE CAN’T BE HURRIED…

…NOR COULD TWINS OF A GAZELLE, MY SECOND NOVEL!

Twins of a Gazelle MEDIUM (2)Twins of a Gazelle is out, a mere year and three months later than my New Romantics Press co-conspirators got out their seconds, the other fab three, Adrienne, June and Lizzie. My small band of readers are probably wondering, ‘So, what took you so long?’ Taking my cue from The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love”, I couldn’t hurry Twins of a Gazelle. No matter how hard I tried, I just had to take as long as it took. How (see below) will probably explain everything.

Way back in March 2014, Sarah Houldcroft told us what every writer needs to know which is what readers want to know. I will do my best to answer her five questions.

1. What inspired you to write your novel?

Twins of a Gazelle began with a house nestling in the Leicestershire countryside. Over the years I have regularly driven past this house very much like the one in the picture [insert jpeg of Calista’s house]. I thought, one day I shall write a story about the people who live there. Lonely, disillusioned, contrite Calista Blake and her charming, wealthy and manipulative husband Adam Burgess seemed ideal occupants. They began to haunt the house as they did my imagination. BUT, Calista needed to escape her comfortable prison and where better than to the enchanted Greek island of Ithaca where she becomes spellbound by PJ Wood.

The Old Rectory

2. How, why and where do you write?

catEasiest one first, where, here in my small back room. Not in a café, a library or on the kitchen table, an attention-seeking cat is distraction enough, though interruptions from The Long-suffering One with coffee or tea are always welcome.

Easier second, why, because I must or I would go ever so slightly madder.

How, slowly and with difficulty. I start with a character, to-date, a woman, clever, successful at what she does. Her flaw, to begin with, she is emotionally naïve. In both Twins of a Gazelle and Last Bite of the Cherry, the main character’s story-thread is interwoven with that of a second female character who started out as my heroine. On reflection, theirs was, for me, too straightforward, not so Calista’s in Twins of a Gazelle, nor Monica’s in Last Bite of the Cherry. I like to probe their character, their motivation, their psyche, find just the right words to convey their state of mind, their emotions, and the undercurrents beneath an-on-the-surface ordinary situation. All this is equally relevant to the men they fall in love with, the two or three or more ‘heroes’ before they find ‘the one’. To me all my heroes are lovable in their own way, even Adam. As a reader, please feel free to take your pick. My novels are so not boy-meets-girl, jump through a few hoops and then live happily ever after. For me, there are no endings, just new beginnings. At the end, I would like my readers to think, ‘Knowing them both as well as I do now . . .’ Maybe some do.

Afterthought: One of my reviewers of Last Bite of the Cherry wondered if the ending would have been ‘happy’ – to my mind it was more like ‘satisfying’ – if the main protagonist had been ‘poverty struck’. If I were to write about people struggling to make a living, feed their children, becoming homeless, that would be something quite else, which brings me to question 3.

3. Have you experienced first-hand any of the aspects in your books?

Well, I have been known to fall in love with unsuitable men, not unsuitable in themselves, just not for me. That’s character-building and informative. Makes you think ‘What do I really, really want?’ Answer: ‘Not this’. Also, many moons ago, I took myself by surprise by becoming pregnant. Now there’s a surreal experience. Anyone agree?

4. Did you base your character on a real person?

My characters come from my imagination based on many years’ observation of the way people are and behave towards each other. At social gatherings, events, meetings, airports, in trains, part of the time, most of the time I love sitting back people watching. Fascinating.

5. If so, was it you?

I suspect I do what most writers do which is imagine myself as the person I’m writing about at any given time, what they’re thinking, feeling, seeing and hearing, smelling, doing. I try my best to make it ‘real’. Then it’s me in so far as it’s what I may have thought, felt etc. in similar situations.

‘Nuff said, I think. I shall now sail off into the sunset in PJ Wood’s sloop.

PJ's sloop

Extract from Twins of a Gazelle:

‘PJ Wood.’ She took the hand he extended. Not used to callouses her turn to recoil except she didn’t. ‘Everyone calls me PJ.  Not even my mother has the courage of her convictions.’ He spoke clear, educated English with just a hint of mid-Atlantic. She refused to ask why he was known by his initials.

‘Calista Blake. I mean Burgess.’ He took the chair opposite. Whilst he discussed with Marcos what he would eat and drink, she could observe him without seeming rude. Beneath his polo shirt, he was lean and sinewy, the ideal shape for a long-distance runner. She wondered how he earned his living. ‘Are you eating?’ He smiled across the table. His face lit by light from inside the taverna, his eyes startled her. They were the deepest lobelia-blue. ‘I’ve already eaten.’ Not very much, her insides had been a tangle of knots. The thought of spending the night up at the villa alone . . . Anyone would think she was not used to being on her own, and Kioni was the least threatening of places. ‘Only a salad,’ Marcos said. ‘Why don’t I get Petros to prepare you the mixed fish dish for two? PJ would like that.’ He agreed he would. She was tempted. The wine had helped her relax and the mezedhes had given her an appetite. A meal would prolong the time she could spend in company. Her eyes met PJ’s, his look as guarded as she felt.

Twins of a Gazelle, by Margaret Cullingford, available on Amazon –http://tinyurl.com/qj2hzlf

New Romantics Press Author Showcase

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An ‘Author Showcase? So what, you ask?

Friends, let us tell you that four indie authors hosting an Author Showcase in a one of Waterstones flagship London bookstores is no mean feat. It has required determination on our part and the belief and open mindedness of Waterstones to ‘take us on’. On top of that, we’ve produced eight quality novels with proven sales records and have demonstrated our ability to deliver a night no one will forget.

This Author Showcase is the culmination of a dream. One which began two summers ago over lunch with Amanda Grange in Lizzie’s garden. Our path to publication is well documented in our blog but on November the thirteenth we will have exceeded what we hoped to accomplish on that bright summer’s day.

  • poster with live links removed (cropped)Written nine books between us
  • Created joint and individual blogs
  • Established a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn  and Pinterest
  • Hosted eight book launches
  • Presented two literary lunches for over twenty five guests
  • Fronted a Valentine’s Day event at Waterstones Market Harborough
  • Been short listed for awards at Lit Festivals
  • Appeared on writer panels telling others our road to publication
  • Created a professionally edited video of us and our achievements
  • All working to write, edit and publish our third/fourth novels in 2014 – 2015

There have been highs and lows on our journey. More highs than lows, overall, and we have kept moving forward. It’s been hard but rewarding work, but we have never lost sight of our main objective – to write the best novels we can and to share them with our expanding readership.

We see this Author Showcase as the culmination of that work and our dream. Thank you for sharing the journey with us.

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