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Lizzie interviews Rosie Travers for New Romantics Press.

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It’s a pleasure to welcome Rosie Travers to our blog today. 

If you don’t know Rosie or her novels, here’s your chance to find out – 

Welcome Rosie, tell us a little about your background

I grew up in Southampton on the south coast of England and loved escaping into a good book from a very early age. As a teenager I landed my dream job working in a book shop, and spent much of my spare time scribbling numerous short stories and novels, none of which I was ever brave enough to show anyone. Sadly, the real world took over and my writing habit was put on hold for marriage, mortgages and motherhood. In 2009 I moved across the Atlantic to Southern California when my husband took up a three year overseas work assignment.  Life as an ex-pat wife wasn’t quite as glamorous as I’d first envisaged, so to fend off the loneliness and homesickness, I began a blog about our life in Los Angeles, which re-ignited my creative juices.

When I returned to the UK I undertook a creative writing course and boosted by a couple of short story competition successes I joined the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers’ Scheme. My debut novel, The Theatre of Dreams, was published on 1 August 2018.

Tell us about Theatre of Dreams. Great cover and it sounds an intriguing read. 

Rosie Travers Theatre of Dreams

Rosie said: The wonderful thing about being an author is being able to rewrite history – my inspiration for The Theatre of Dreams is the historic Lee Tower which was once situated on the seafront at Lee-on-the-Solent in my native Hampshire.  The Art Deco complex was constructed in 1935 and originally comprised a cinema, ballroom, restaurant and 120ft observation tower. The buildings were demolished by the local council in 1971 and the site is now a car-park – a travesty in a town with so few amenities. I spotted a commemorative notice about the tower and my imagination was captured.

The Theatre of Dreams is a story of new beginnings, laced with romance, tragedy and intrigue. Set in a fictional south coast resort,  a devious octogenarian, a disgraced actress and a bankrupt architect form an unlikely alliance to save an iconic local landmark,  but each has a very different motive.

I was so intrigued that I searched for Lee Tower on Google and here’s what I found – Sadly, the images are copyrighted, but you can look for yourself. 

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Official Blurb

Musical theatre actress Tara is down on her luck and in desperate need of a job. When terminally-ill octogenarian Kitty invites her to take over the running of her former dance academy in the old-fashioned resort of Hookes Bay, Tara thinks she’s found her guardian angel. But it soon becomes very clear Kitty is being far from benevolent. Too late, Tara realises helping Kitty will signal the end of an already tarnished career, unless she can pull off the performance of a life-time.

The Theatre of Dreams is published by Crooked Cat Books

Here’s what some reviewers have said about The Theatre of Dreams

“a true pleasure to read from first page to last….I challenge anyone to read this book and not become completely enthralled with these characters. The character development in this book was just simply stellar!”

“This is a highly enjoyable book with just the right balance of all the elements needed to make it a satisfyingly great read. it really does deserve 5 big shiny, glittery stars!”

The Theatre of Dreams is available on Amazon in ebook and paperback.

Official Blurb

Musical theatre actress Tara is down on her luck and in desperate need of a job. When terminally-ill octogenarian Kitty invites her to take over the running of her former dance academy in the old-fashioned resort of Hookes Bay, Tara thinks she’s found her guardian angel. But it soon becomes very clear Kitty is being far from benevolent. Too late, Tara realises helping Kitty will signal the end of an already tarnished career, unless she can pull off the performance of a life-time.

The Theatre of Dreams is published by Crooked Cat Books

If you’d like to read an extract – click on this link:

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If you’d like to learn out more about Rosie, here’s where you need to look –

Website: www.rosietravers.com

Twitter @RosieTravers

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rosietraversauthor

Instagram: rosietraversauthor

STOP PRESS * Rosie’s second book, Your Secret’s Safe With Me, will be released next year.   

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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

 

That Summer at The Seahorse Hotel

– BREAKING NEWS –

ADRIENNE VAUGHAN’S LATEST NOVEL

now available to pre order 

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That Summer at The Seahorse Hotel 

One family, one secret – that changes everything forever

Blurb

Mia Flanagan has never been told who her father is and aged ten, stopped asking. Haunted by this, she remains a dutiful daughter who would never bring scandal or shame on her beautiful and famously single mother.

So when Archie Fitzgerald, one of Hollywood’s favourite actors, decides to leave Mia his Irish estate, she asks herself – is he her father after all?

That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel is a tale of passion, jealousy and betrayal – and the ghost of a secret love that binds this colourful cast yet still threatens, after all these years, to tear each of them apart.

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That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel is a tale of passion, jealousy and betrayal – and the ghost of a secret love that binds this colourful cast yet still threatens, after all these years, to tear each of them apart.

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The author – Adrienne Vaughan

That Summer at The Seahorse Hotel is now available to pre order as a quality paperback and to read as a kindle download

buying links –

http://amzn.to/2rP6nxb  (UK)

http://amzn.to/2GudjTH (US)

Many congratulations, Adrienne, from all at New Romantics Press 

Happy Birthday New Romantics Press

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

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Lizzie Lamb

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

 

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

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June Kearns

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

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

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

Adrienne Vaughan

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

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

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

 

Mags Cullingford

Where I am now

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

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

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

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

 

 

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New Romantics Press welcomes Julia Wild

Julia Wild

An Interview with talented novelist – Julia Wild 

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NR4 Summer Celebration

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.

 

~Lizzie Lamb

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.

~Mags Cullingford

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.

~June Kearns

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.

~Adrienne Vaughan

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

 

Midsummer Madness with the New Romantics 4

Midsummer Madness with the New Romantics 4.

 

Check out our fabulous blog on the Romaniacs site today.

via Midsummer Madness with the New Romantics 4.

Are You Sitting Com-fort-ably?

photo (1) blog 1One 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.

photo 2A blog 1This 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!

June

 

ARE YOU MY SECRET AGENT?

Basic RGBFantasising 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