Posted by Lizzie Lamb
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
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.
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.
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:
September already! How the summer has flown by. To celebrate the start of the new “school year”, we’ve made a short video about us and our writing – we hope you enjoy it. And if you have a look below the “Loose Women,” you’ll find a few words from each of us about where we are with our projects.
Two years ago I uploaded Tall, Dark and Kilted on Create Space and tentatively pressed the ‘GO’ button. That kick-started my adventure as an indie author and it’s been a whirlwind ride. I now have two books available on amazon, a raft of reviews, thriving social networking presence and a growing number of readers. It’s been hard work but I’ve done it and I’m proud to have travelled the road with my fellow New Romantics: June, Adrienne and Mags. What does the future hold for me? Hopefully a new novel published early 2015 and one a year after that. As I have said on my blog – Life is not a rehearsal, if you have a dream go for it. That’s what I’ve done.
Without Adrienne, June and Lizzie, my debut novel, Last Bite of the Cherry, was unlikely to have been published in 2012, nor would I be about to bring out my second (eBook and paperback), Twins of a Gazelle. Both have a similar theme – clever woman, emotionally naïve, initially makes disastrous choice of man (men) before meeting ‘The One’. Not the conventional Girl-Meets-Boy love stories, so not instantly appealing to agents or publishers, yet my select band of readers seem to have enjoyed Last Bite. Some say they look forward to my next novel. To quote Russell Grandinetti of Amazon, “The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and the reader” [see The Observer, 17.08.2014]. With 30,000 words of as-yet-untitled novel number three in the bag, I hope he’s right.
Firstly, a huge thank-you to the lovely readers who’ve bought, reviewed and supported mine, Lizzie, Adrienne and Mag’s books this year. You’ve been wonderful.
So … where am I now, with my current WIP?
Um, not quite where I was supposed to be.
My 1930s novel hadn’t been going well – piles of clean white paper glaring accusingly whenever I sidled past my desk.
Then a plea came, via Twitter, for 60’s memorabilia, and as I rummaged through bits and bobs – match-book covers from jazz clubs, Biba receipts, photos – BINGO! I had one of those bombshell moments, (the sort that usually strike in the middle of the night, only to be forgotten the next morning!)
This, I thought, is what I should be writing about. The Sixties!
So, in the next 6 months, I hope to be well on the way to completing a first draft of said novel – 60s London setting, photographer hero – while still keeping abreast of all strands of social networking (gulp) – because failure to do these things will result in being beaten with a big stick by Lizzie.
I recently rediscovered my ‘long lost novel’ aka first attempt, and was horrified to find I first typed ‘The End’ nearly 30 years ago!
It wasn’t until I hooked up with Lizzie, June and Mags, that this long ago dream finally came true. With two books published, The Hollow Heart and A Change of Heart, and the final in the trilogy, Secrets of the Heart, well underway, I am, at last, a novelist with readers who love my books! #followyourdream
The New Romantics 4 write romance in its many forms . . . romantic adventure/suspense, romantic comedy, historical romance and dark romance with a soft centre. It being Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d share the moment when our hero and heroines experience the coup de foudre which will change their lives . . . forever.
Read our extracts and let tell us . . . when did you know that you’d met the love of your life?
‘Take care of my heart, I’ve left it with you.’ Edward Cullen
True Love? Romance? Ha! Rare as hen’s teeth in England after the First World War. After a trip to Texas, (The 20’s Girl), Gerardina Chiledexter is sure she’s had her one and only glimpse of both.
Back home, she confides in her friend, Prim:
Minutes ticked by.
Then, a slow, slow shake of Prim’s head. ‘Oh … my … Lord.’ She folded arms across her chest.
‘You admire him, don’t you?’
‘No! No, not in that sort of …’
‘You do. You’ve fallen for him.’
‘Well …’ Gerry sighed ‘… what if I have? Nothing happened.’ A few lovely moments of closeness and understanding, a frisson of pleasure. Nothing more. ‘It’s the land that Coop loves, the Circle-O.’
‘I knew it. Oh, Gerry …’
Fallen? Gerry was thinking. Is that like casting yourself over a cliff? Out of control, tumbling, floating through air? How do you get back, then? Can a person ever recover?
If only he hadn’t kissed her.
She could have stayed as she was, a frustrated spinster, in her narrow monk’s bed. Like Prim and most other women here. All those slowly breaking hearts, under buttoned-up layers of woolly cardigans.
Must stop thinking about it, must, must. Such a bad idea. But thoughts kept running away, out of control. She’d forget, eventually, of course she would.
‘Mmmn, yes,’ she imagined herself saying, eons later, ‘of course. I remember it now. There was someone once. That man, the man with no last name. Wrong time, wrong person.’
How long would it take to reach that stage, that blessed blur of not remembering? Until then, whenever the urge to think of him came over her – his touch, his mouth, that kiss – she’d have to lie down and wait, until it passed.
Whatever it was, it was over. The end.
‘Anyway …’ she said brightly, to Prim. ‘I’m here now, aren’t I. I’m home.’
Home. With rain pecking at the windows and the entire rest of her life stretching out emptily, in front of her.
Never again, she said to herself. Never again.
Movie star, Ryan O’Gorman arrives unannounced on the island of Innishmahon, hoping to rebuild the relationship with the love of his life Marianne Coltrane. Marianne can’t believe he’s turned up, assuming their troubles are in the past, and though she’s never been happier to see anyone in life, she doesn’t want him to know that …just yet.
“You mean you don’t want me here,” his voice was harsh in his throat. He laid a hand gently on her shoulder. It branded like an iron. She swallowed. She could smell him. He moved closer, his musky sea-scent filled her nostrils. She could not breathe. She ducked under his arm and found sanctuary by the kitchen door. She opened the top half, letting the breeze cool her. He came to stand beside her, following her gaze out past the little windblown garden, the gate to the lane and the sliver of sea beyond. Grey clouds broiled above the Atlantic.
“Marie,” he whispered, “tell me you want me back.” She did not answer. He stayed there, looking out to sea. She stole a glance at him as he watched the horizon, the breeze lifting his hair, thumb prints of tiredness stamped beneath his eyes. He caught her looking at him, and moved to block her view, lifting her chin with a finger, eyes burning into her.
“Well?” he lowered his mouth to hover over hers, she tasted his breath. She stepped back, slamming the top of the door closed.
“You’re wet. Go and shower, we’ll talk later,” she dismissed him.
“Did I do the wrong thing?” he asked again.
“Yes, Ryan you did,” she replied.
“Don’t you love me then?” he spoke quietly.
“Yes, Ryan I do,” she told him, avoiding his eyes.
“Gotcha!” he shouted, making them all jump. “Knew I was still in with a chance, can’t resist me, mad about me, that’s obvious.”
She picked a cushion up and threw it at him.
“Don’t get carried away, boyo, we’ve a lot to discuss, things we should have agreed before now, before this.” She made a gesture encompassing them all.
He gave an involuntary shudder.
“Shower!” She pointed at the door.
He left, attempting a sort of squishy samba, she rolled her eyes as he sashayed up the stairs.
“God loves a trier,” she told Monty, who was waiting patiently for his soup.
August 1973, Monica Sommers, eighteen years old, and Will Ackroyd, twenty one, are on their way to Florence, Italy on Will’s motorbike stopping off to spend a week on the French Riviera:
At last Cap d’Antibes, unerring, Will found their quaint little hotel . . .
‘Monsieur, comme vous voulez, un chambre avec un grand lit.’ . . .
‘You specifically asked for a double-bed?’ Monica said
‘Ah, bliss.’ Sitting on the side of what looked like a comfortable modern divan, Will undid his boots and kicked them off, then flung himself backwards, bouncing as he landed flat on his back. He closed his yes. ‘No road winding in front of me.’ A few seconds and he sat up looking concerned. ‘I’ll see if we can swop for singles, shall I?’
She turned away to pull open wider the tall window, push back shutters, lean over the wrought iron balustrade, breath in warm Mediterranean scents, wormwood, rosemary and pine. There room overlooked a secluded garden vibrant with scarlet geraniums, magenta bougainvillea, and white jasmine. To her left, an awning shaded a terrace where the hotel guests could sit and eat. Swivelling round, she inspected their room, white walls, white linen, white-matt painted armoire, dressing table, except the white wasn’t white. In early evening the room shimmered shades of pale apricot, its shadows tinged amber.
She looked across at Will. He was watching her, wary. Wet with sweat his curls clung tightly to his head, his face flushed with heat, beads of perspiration glistened on his upper lip. He was beautiful.
‘There’s a small hotel . . . Softly, she sang the opening lines of a song she remembered from one of her father’s old 78’s.
Will’s smile of relief only made him more beautiful. She rushed over, and pushing him backwards, threw herself onto him. He responded to her kiss with such hunger, she was taken by surprise.
There was a certain something about him; an air, a manner of just being that set him apart from the other men in their Paul Smith suits and two-hundred-pound shoes. It was almost as if, like her, he was here under false pretences. Then she assured herself that it was his clothes – battleship grey linen and silk mix trousers, loose-fitting jacket and white Sea Island cotton shirt – that made him stand out. Nothing more. Except – perhaps – his Byronic good looks. Charlee grimaced. If she was beginning to think in clichés, it was time for her to put down the empty glass and head for the cloakroom.
She was intrigued by him, by his mood switches and sudden change of tack. There was a story here, one the journo in her wanted to investigate. Why, for example, did he have a long, grey cashmere scarf wound loosely around his neck in this overheated room. Affectation? How come his eyes were dark-circled beneath his tropical tan – as though he was recovering from a long illness? Why, despite his obvious youth and vigour did he look world-weary – as though he’d been there, seen it, done it – and had worn out the tee shirt?
‘You walked off without giving me a chance of a rematch,’ he said smoothly, looking over Charlee’s shoulder at the photographs of the exhibition. His warm breath stirred the tendrils of hair on the nape of her neck and a tiny shiver of reaction travelled the length of her body. Charlee put the frisson, and the goose bumps in its wake, down to the fact that the gallery was cooling now that the evening was almost over and the big doors were wide open.
One of my earliest memories, is sitting on my grandad’s knee in a thick cloud of pipe smoke, (aromatic, home-grown, probably illegal now!), listening to some mystical words on the Home Service: Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne and Dogger; easterly, veering south-easterly. Becoming cyclonic?
What was all that about? What did it mean? Didn’t matter.
Then, the wonderfully warm voice of Daphne Oxenford, who died last year: ‘Are you sitting comfortably? Then, I’ll begin.’
Ah, lovely. Listen with Mother. Or, grandfather, in my case.
More fond memories, of sitting under the kitchen table, hidden by fringing on the chenille tablecloth and listening to my mum, her sisters, my grandma – the rise and fall of their voices, the buzz of gossip. Knitting needles clicked, teaspoons clinked. A lot of laughter, some sniffing and tutting.
Even then, that ritual – the music and rhythm of words and voices – seemed so seductive.
At seven, an only child and living in my head, I became an avid reader, anything and everything – copying out pages and pages of Enid Blyton to see how she did it. (How did she do it!)
The habit of plucking out words from texts, started around then.
This is a small part of my ‘office’ at home. It’s a bit like a mouse’s nest – a mess of fluff and feathers, paper, pens, post-its. (My mind’s probably much the same.) On every wall, bits and bobs – phrases, poems, hints, tips, pics – from Ovid to Spike Milligan. They spur me on, slow me down, lift me up. I’m still collecting, just can’t stop it.
Who else remembers Shannon, Rockall, Viking, German Bight? Light icing! In South Utsirra? Magical, seductive. Don’t you think ?
And what was that song? Faraway places with strange-sounding names, calling, calling me. It’s why I wrote An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy!
Fantasising about my heart’s desire, you know gazing doe-eyed at people on trains, in restaurants, in fact everywhere, was becoming a habit. No, not searching for the love of my life you understand but for the other thing I so desperately needed…a literary agent!
It manifested itself in earnest at the airport. I was idly scanning rows of world-weary passengers, fiddling with clear plastic bags, when I noticed an attractive woman and found myself staring at her, and doing it again, wondering, just wondering. Read the rest of this entry →