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My latest novel – Take Me, I’m Yours –

I hope you’re having a great summer and enjoying these endless days of sunshine. It reached over 35 degrees in SCOTLAND (Motherwell) when I was there this summer researching my next novel. However, I turned my back on the glorious sunshine and spent time in the caravan putting the finishing touches to Take My, I’m Yours. IMG_1975(1)

For some of the time, I was working with my formatter, Sarah Houldcroft of Goldcrest Books almost 600 miles away in Leicestershire. On one occasion I had to travel across north-west Sutherland to find a phone signal in order to finalise the last details with her. Then I was forced to sit in the car park of the Fisheries Dept in Lochinver to check through and upload the final version of the novel.
See how I suffer for my art?

Anyhoo, here’s the blurb  – I hope it’ll tempt you to download a copy of Take Me, I’m Yours, or buy a paperback for yourself or a friend. 

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You’re probably wondering why I have deserted the highlands of Scotland for Lake Michigan. If you download the novel you’ll find the answer in the dedication. In Take Me, I’m Yours the hero Logan MacFarlane quotes Robert Frost, saying that he has ‘promises to keep’. I promised my friend Dee Paulsen that when I left the teaching profession to become a full-time author, I would write a romance set in Wisconsin. Take Me, I’m Yours is that novel.

Many years ago we stayed in Door County, Wisconsin. On our last day, we went to Egg Harbor and Cana Island to explore the lighthouses there. Images of that day stayed with me and when I came to write Take Me, I’m Yours, I had no trouble imagining Aunt Elspeth’s dilapidated house with its ancient lighthouse looming over it.  The story almost wrote itself because I’d spent many years thinking about it and having conversations with the characters in my head.

Here’s how the novel begins . . .

Sip and have fun!

The first reviews are in – Goodreads – and here’s what they say:

  • From the moment that Logan MacFarlane roars into view on his vintage Triumph motorcycle and India Buchanan grabs her monkey wrench to defend herself for their first skirmish, I knew I was going to love this bookjames-kresser-598017-unsplash
  • I fell in love with Scotland reading Lizzie’s books, and now with Wisconsin, too!
  • As usual Lizzie’s characters leapt off the page and I felt as if I knew them; loved some and despaired of others. A very satisfying read.
  •  Be ready for 19 chapters of pure escapism where witty, ironic dialogues mix skilfully with top romance.

If you’d like to read some of Take Me, I’m Yours  click here. TMIY is also free to read for Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime subscribers.

mara-ket-504242-unsplashI am proud of this novel and everything I’ve achieved over the last five and a half years as an an indie publisher. I could rest on my laurels but I am burning to start novel number 6, a ‘road-trip’ romance which will take readers from Cornwall of Scotland on the trail of two runaways.

And, of course I have another gorgeous hero waiting in the wings to meet you . . . and a less-than-impressed heroine who will keep him on his toes.

The first stages of my planning sheet for #6

Planning sheet for #6 which I started while in Scotland in June

Finally, from  the 15th – 21st of September, Take Me, I’m Yours will be on tourIMG_1919(1)

footnote: I received an email this morning from Amazon inviting me to enter Take Me, I’m Yours into the Kindle Storyteller Award 2018 judged by Lorraine Kelly and readers. Will I do it? Of course I will – as Del Boy once so famously said: she who dares, wins. It would really increase my chances of being shortlisted if you downloaded a copy and left  a review.

Thank you very much , Lizzie x

 

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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

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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

 

Take a chance on New Romantics Press –

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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

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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.

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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

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Isabella Louise Anderson
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Chick Lit Goddess-Author & Book Promotions
Goddess Book Tours
3506 Cedar Springs Rd.
Dallas, Texas  75219
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Welcome to our blog – SUE MOORCROFT

New Romantics Press is thrilled to welcome  successful author and fellow RNA member Sue Moorcroft to our blog. Lizzie has known Sue for quite a few years now (!) but thought some of our followers would like to learn more about Sue and her books.

Sue M

Sue, tell us all about yourself – 

I write women’s commercial fiction and my current contract is with Avon Books UK, part of HarperCollins. I also write short stories, columns, courses, serials and novellas, and I’m a creative writing tutor. I love being a full-time writer but in the past I worked for a bank, a digital prepress and Motor Cycle News.

What, for you would be a typical writing day?2016-04-16 20.42.27   I start about 7.30am and finish around 6.00pm, generally Monday to Friday but sometimes weekends. I usually take a couple of hours off for Zumba, FitStep, Yoga or piano. If I can, I shoehorn in a cuppa with my gym buddies. I always have a clear idea of my day: planning, writing a first draft, editing, writing front or back matter, working on promo with my publisher’s PR agency, writing course material etc. When I’m writing a first draft I tend to edit the day before’s session before moving on. It gets me in the zone.

We all have to embrace it, so Social Networking – a help or a hindrance?

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I lurve it, when I have time. Twitter and Facebook are part of my morning routine. I use social media for contact with readers and other writers, promo, research and fun. I’ve acquired useful research sources (such as a close protection officer) and workshops, interviews and blog posts and even my fantastic street team through social media. However, when I’m feeling the pressure of a deadline I reduce or remove social media from my day. You can read more about my views on social media on my blog

Sue, you must be thrilled to be have AVON BOOKS UK as your current publisher. We all know it takes years to be an overnight success –

do you have any  advice for fledgling authors?

  • Persist – I truly believe the name for an author who doesn’t give up is ‘published’.
  • Expand your knowledge. Other creative careers demand years of training so why shouldn’t writing?
  • Learn about publishing as well as writing so you can act professionally and in your own best interests.
  • Don’t be afraid to try different writing techniques. You never know when you’re going to discover something that works for you.
  • Balance a ‘can do’ attitude with healthy realism. You’re entering a competitive field that might involve sending work to someone you don’t know and hasn’t asked to see it, or presenting your writing to readers when there are a lot of other writers for them to read, so try hard to do the best job you can.

We’d love you to share your top five writing tips with us, Sue!

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Learn about viewpoint (from whose perspective you’re writing) and what use of it is acceptable in your genre or desired by any editor or agent you’re approaching.

Understand how to show rather than tell. If this seems hard, think about running everything through your viewpoint character: see, hear, taste, feel, think and know what they see, hear, taste, feel, think and know. Give your characters actions that reflect what they’re experiencing, ie Melissa wiped the sweat from her eyes rather than Melissa felt too hot.

  • Ultimately, you’re writing for readers. Do you know who they are and what they like? If you’re self-published this can be all you need to know … but it’s important that you do because you don’t have a publishing house to take care of such pesky details. If you’re seeking traditional publishing you need to understand what the editor/agent wants, too, as that person is the gatekeeper to your readers.
  • Hone your dialogue. Conversation breathes life into characters and passes information to readers. It’s a boon to your character development as vocabulary, syntax and rhythms of speech can indicate region, religion, education, interests, social adeptness, career, experience, mood and a host of facets. It can indicate the dynamics of a relationship, too – characters don’t usually speak to their mother in the same way they speak to their lover, for example.
  • Plunge into your story. View the first page/first chapter as an access corridor and don’t clutter it with too much description or backstory.

Tell us about your next book

My next book is The Christmas Promise and though scheduled for September/October publication it’s available for preorder now!

2015-11-30 12.04.06For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember …  On a snowy December evening Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava Blissham. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones…When PR guru Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special to him she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet. Ava needs this job – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully and she’s desperate for distraction because no one dreads Christmas like Ava Blissham. Soon Ava finds herself reluctantly needing something from Sam. He’s quick to help, but Ava is in for a nasty shock… Can Ava keep a cool head and be true to herself? Will she be able to keep her promise? If she does, might this be the Christmas dreams come true?

Finally – what are you working on ATM?

Having just finished the copy edits for The Christmas Promise I’m catching up on blog posts and writing a short story for S Magazine. Then, bliss, I’ll be able to return to Just for the Holidays, which is due to be published in May/June 2017. It’s about Leah, who has actively avoided acquiring a husband and kids, being stuck in France … looking after her sister’s husband and kids. On the bright side, she begins a holiday romance with Ronan, a grounded helicopter pilot spending the summer in his holiday-home next door – until his ex-wife turns up to live with him.

Thank you so much for sharing your time and expertise with us Sue. Good luck with all your projects. If anyone would like to learn more about Sue, here are the links where you can find her.

Website        Blog           Facebook        Facebook author page

Twitter         Google+     LinkedIn          Instagram:

Goodreads    Take Five Authors

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Guest post – Tamie Dearen

New Romantics Press would like to welcome a friend from across the pond onto their page. Drum roll – take it away, Tamie Dearen and welcome to the UK!

Secrets Behind The Best Girls Series

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Blurb from Her Best Match, Book One of The Best Girls Series.

 Feisty, stubborn, and bored with life in Texas, Anne Best is about to get more than she bargained for.

 The lovely widow heads off to the Big Apple for a job interview, expecting no more than a few days adventure in New York City, only to find herself with a new job working for the most infuriating man she’s ever met.

 Billionaire Steven Gherring is one of New York’s Most Eligible Bachelors, and he has every intention of staying that way. But Gram has other ideas. She’s on a not-so-secret campaign to find a wife for her grandson.

 As fearless as she is clumsy, Anne tackles every challenge (including her new boss) enthusiastically, with two lone exceptions… public speaking and recognizing her own feelings. Passions rise along with hemlines as Gram joins forces with Anne, a veteran matchmaker, to find the perfect match for Steven.

 If you like Hallmark movies, you’ll love The Best Girls!

 The Best Girls is a sweet romantic comedy series, currently made up of a free novella prequel and four novels, set in New York City and chronicling the romantic adventures of Texas native, Anne Best, her two daughters, Emily and Charlie, and their friends. Today, I’m going to let you in a few secrets about the characters.

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental

You’ve probably read that disclaimer a thousand times in various fictional books. But do you want to know a secret? The characters in The Best Girls Series are real! Let me introduce you.

 Anne Best is me. Okay, she’s a bit younger and a lot more outgoing. But she’s the same clumsy, matchmaking, competitive woman with a degree in Chemistry and two grown daughters. Steven Gherring? He’s my sweet, thoughtful, intelligent romantic husband, with a bigger bank account and slightly-more-visible six-pack abs. The two daughters, Emily and Charlie, are eerily similar to my own daughters, and our relationship is pretty identical to that of Anne and her girls. In fact, my daughters once called my cell and left a message. Hi Mom! This is Emily! This is Charlie! How are things going in New York City? We can’t wait to come visit you.

 What about Gram? She’s this funny, quirky, fireball widow from my church. You should meet her, she’ll keep you in stitches.

 I’ve got a son-in-law named Spencer. He’s tall, handsome, and athletic, and my daughter was the first girl he ever kissed. (How sweet is that?)

 Now Brad, Josh, Grace, Olivia, Claire and Hannah aren’t walking around in flesh and blood, but they are just as real to me as all the others. Here’s another little secret. I wrote the entire Best Girls Series, chapter by chapter, giving it to the girls at my office as it was written. We talked about those characters every day, laughing and crying together over every page. So all of those people became a part of my life, intertwined with the lives of my physical friends.

 Now, if you read about The Best Girls, you’ll know the inside story. Y’all come on over to Texas and visit. We’d love to have you!

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BIO:

Tamie Dearen lives in Texas with her very romantic husband of thirty-four years. They have two beautiful daughters, two amazing son-in-laws, and one awesome grandson. She plays piano, flute, harmonica, keyboards, and guitar, and loves composing and art. And she hates housework. She has been a dentist in private practice for thirty years. Tamie stays busy playing on her church’s praise team and leading a weekly Bible study. In her spare time, she writes books.

 Other Books by Tamie Dearen

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Amazon Author Page:ÊviewAuthor.at/TamieDearen

Amazon Books:

Barnes and Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/tamie-dearen

iBooks:https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/tamie-dearen/id819513899?mt=11

Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/TamieDearen

Facebook address: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tamie-Dearen/1384772145109650

Website address: http://tamiedearen.com

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.

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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.

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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 Christmas from New Romantics Press

What Christmas means to us . . . 

click on each photo to put a face to a name !

First up – June

My grandma would make 100 mince pies and 100 lemon curd and jam tarts every year at this time, before giving the house a thorough bottoming! Here the toaster has just exploded and I already have hurricane hair.

2014-03-26 10.02.35Soon though, every room will be full, every bed occupied, and like most of us, shutting myself away to write won’t be an option. I’m bound to be inspired enough by chat and conversation though, to keep scribbling notes on scraps of paper. (Must remember to keep them safe – not risk finding one stuck to the bottom of a Piccalilli jar in February, like last year.) One son recently met a person who studied photography as I did, in the ‘60s, then worked for BBC (and on Evita) as a make-up artist in ‘70s and ‘80s. Great background for my novel, so there’ll be some surreptitious scribbling about that!

Take it away – Adrienne

 

I love Christmas, always have. Luckily we live in a village with a church and a pub so we make the most of it. And with two cocker spaniels, there’s always a great excuse to trudge off excesses across fields, rewarding ourselves with a nice glass of mulled wine and mince pies in front of a roaring log fire. I do all of it! We’re going to visit family in Dublin too, which will be really special, the lights in the city are fabulous and we’ll head to the coast and then into the mountains for lunch, wonderful.

I’m completing the edits of my new novel Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel currently which will take me through to New Year, when we will be in sunny South Devon. I always start a new novel, fresh notebook, coloured pens at the ready while I’m there. The walks on the beach, steaming seafood chowder and local cider help get the brain cells working again – it’s all rather inspirational, so Christmas and New Year is a time of thanksgiving for me, I know how lucky we are.

How about you, Mags?

Mags is working on her third novel which features ‘heroine in jeopardy’ as its central theme. She will be spending  Christmas at the beck and call of her cat, Tina – no change there – who deserves to have a novel written just about her.

And, finally, Lizzie 

I’m dreaming about hitting the road in 2016 with our caravan, computer, parrot and husband to research number four. Highlands of Scotland, here I come. For me, Christmas is all about being with friends and family and taking time to do those things which the madness of modern life seems to push to the back of the queue – loving, laughter and sharing experiences. I’m very enthused about #4 which I’m currently writing and which features a wayward laird who is at odds with his son, an eccentric family of cousins and a missing ‘treasure.’ Hopefully you’ll be able to download it by the end of 2016.

 

It simply remains for us to thank you all for your continued support – whether it be downloading our novels, reviewing them, subscribing to newsletters or just chatting to us on Facebook. Have a great Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year. Soon the shortest day will have passed and we will start journeying towards the light.

 

Fireplace FINAL 550

Here are the links to our amazon pages if you would like to download one of our novels . . .

June , Adrienne, Mags and Lizzie