Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Interview with Penny Grubb

Penny Grubb writes a crime series featuring PI, Annie Raymond. Penny won the CWA Debut Dagger for THE DOLL MAKERS and had a local best-seller with THE JAWBONE GANG. Her fourth book, WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, is just out. A writer all her life, Penny’s words have appeared in academic technical tomes, textbooks, non-fiction, radio features and newspaper articles as well as her crime novels. She has worked in academia since the 1980s. She specializes in active-reading and critical-writing techniques working mainly with nurses and health care managers, but also teaches creative writing to Arts students. 
Welcome to the RNA blog, Penny, please describe your journey as a writer. How did it begin?

It all began when I was four years old. I declared my intention to become a published novelist and I wrote my first book: almost half a page in one of those small exercise books where the lines are far apart. I was still at primary school when I won my first writing competition but it was four decades before my first novel was accepted for publication. This gives me a great opportunity to shoehorn in all the quips about overnight successes when giving talks.

Your latest crime novel is WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, the 4th Annie Raymond novel. Do tell us what inspired you to write this series. 

I began this series years before any publisher showed interest in any of my novels. In fact, I’d long given up on it and was writing other things. It was no easy task to get it out from the back of the cupboard and dust it off for publication. THE DOLL MAKERS was the one they wanted of course, because it had won the CWA Dagger, but it wasn’t the first in the series. I had one other novel written plus 20 pages of back story for another.

But apart from having to rewrite them from scratch because the early writing really didn’t cut the mustard, I also had to update them. I know historical novels take a lot of research, but at least the history stands still. When you leave a contemporary novel alone for 10 years, everything changes. When I wrote the first drafts, no one routinely used email (imagine that!) or mobile phones. Memories had to change. The 70 year old who had been a young adolescent in WWII had to have her whole life shifted by 10 years and was suddenly too young for all those memories that had popped up in the book.

The 20 pages of backstory worked just fine, though, and became THE JAWBONE GANG. My real worry was that I didn’t want to find myself rewriting the same novel again and again. I’ve seen it happen with series. So far, so good. I seem to have found a new direction for Annie with each book and as the series has progressed, so has she. From an inexperienced rookie, she’s become a respected practitioner. My research into the security industry and the world of private investigation has paid off.

As an academic you have also written text books and how-tos. 

Which came first, non-fiction or fiction, and which is your favourite? They both came together. As children we were constantly documenting everything we did. I don’t have a favourite because it’s chalk and cheese. Although that isn’t enough by way of comparison. Fiction writing, non-fiction writing and specifically academic writing – three very different things: chalk, cheese and cats.

Do you have to juggle writing with the day job? What is your work schedule? 

Juggle? I’ll say! When I retire from one or more of the day jobs I reckon I could walk right into a circus and wow them with a spinning-plates-on-sticks act. I don’t know how everything gets fitted in, but one way or another it does. I’d love to have a work schedule. I work better with a schedule. But my two day jobs don’t allow it. The hours are too variable. For example I know I can write better in the mornings, but if work is whisking me off somewhere that needs me to be at an airport at 4 am, then that peaceful hour or two at the keyboard is right out of the window. The upshot has been that I have become incredibly, nerdishly, well-organised. I love to write at home because of the peaceful view from my office, but many of my words first come out as a changing landscape races by through the windows of a train.

In addition to all of this you manage also to be chair of the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) For the benefit of new authors can you explain why it is important for them to join.

The ALCS is a multi-million pound not-for-profit organisation that collects secondary royalties for writers. Last year the ALCS collected over £30m. Writers’ work is used in all sorts of places around the globe and where it is used, writers should be paid. For example, educational establishments buy licences to allow them to use copyright works, works are borrowed in libraries around the world, businesses and governments routinely use writers’ work. These types of use are things that individual writers couldn’t possibly keep track of themselves so there is a worldwide network of collecting societies that does the job for them. The ALCS is one of these. With over 85,000 members and growing, it is the largest writers’ organisation in the world. If you have had a work published, broadcast or performed: fiction, non-fiction, article, book, film, TV or poetry, then you should join the ALCS.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer wishing to turn to crime, albeit with a touch of romance thrown in?

Rule 1: don’t get caught. Rules 2,3 and 4: read, read and read even more. Actually, I’m wary of anything that smacks of rules because things work differently for different people. But essentially, I’d say always remember that you have to do it for yourself. No one else will do it for you. Take the trouble to learn the craft because there’s no point trying to fight your way through with one hand tied behind your back and in the end one of the most important skills a writer needs is the ability to get words on paper – so don’t forget that one. Even if the words aren’t great; even if you might throw them all out and start again; words on paper (or the electronic equivalent) are a basic requirement.

Which three books would you take on a desert island with you, and why?

I can never answer this one. It’s like being asked what is my favourite book – the answer changes day to day. Often the favourite is the one I just read and really loved, but would I want it with me on a desert island? My three would have to include some huge tome that I know I can read and reread – Gone with the Wind or Wolf Hall perhaps. And harking back to that organisational nerdishness, I’d look out for a manual called ‘How to organise your way off a desert island and back to civilisation’.

What makes you laugh the most? 

Helpless with laughter usually means one of those daft conversations with family or friends which somehow takes off into some parallel universe and leaves everyone in a state of collapse. TV dramas that don’t take themselves too seriously can make me laugh, too, when they’re well done: early episodes of New Tricks or Shameless, old classics like Monty Python, but only the good bits. There was a lot of dross, too. I can still laugh out loud at the best bits in the William books or ditto Jane Austen.

So what next? Can you tell us a little about your work in progress?

I have quite a lot going on. The Doll Makers and The Jawbone Gang are due out as ebooks before Christmas. Also one of my How To books, THE WRITERS’ TOOLKIT. It’s one I co-authored with Danuta Reah where we picked apart the structure of a commercial fiction novel (romance, crime, any genre really) and then showed how all the components fitted together. It’s been out as a paperback for a while and wasn’t easy to rewrite as an ebook – it has a lot of things in tables and the publisher was quite strict over how it might be formatted. And of course, Annie number 5 is underway. I’ve kept her in a parallel world from police enquiries to date, but in this one she’s going to get tangled at the heart of things. It will be more of a police procedural than the others.

Thank you for sparing time to talk to us today Penny, it’s been fascinating. We wish you continuing success with your books. 

Best wishes, Freda 

If you wish to find out more check Penny out here: 
Website: www.pennygrubb.com 
Blog: www.pennygrubb.blogspot.com 
Twitter: @PennyGrubb 

When Annie’s arch-critic, Barbara Thompson, goes to extraordinary lengths to seek her help, Annie doesn’t have to play along, but curiosity wins and she has to know why. The unexpected reappearance of a guy Annie used to be crazy about does nothing to simplify the situation, especially as he’s now married and it isn’t clear why he sought her out. But it’s when someone knocks Barbara out of the picture Annie realises that Barbara was playing a dangerous game. And now it’s too late to walk away. She’s left with guesswork, supposition and the knowledge that whoever silenced Barbara now thinks Annie herself knows too much.

Interviews on the RNA Blog are for RNA members, although we do occasionally take guests. If you are interested in an interview, please contact me: freda@fredalightfoot.co.uk

Friday, October 26, 2012

Voodoo with Janice Horton

RNA member Janice Horton lives in Scotland and writes contemporary romance with humour. Her novels ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot’ and ‘Reaching for the Stars’ are both Amazon Kindle bestsellers. Her latest title ‘How Do You Voodoo?’ is a novella and launches today - 26th October! 

So, for a bit of spellbinding fun, do pop over to Janice’s blog today or follow the party on Twitter using the hashtag #voodoo.

Tell us more about How Do You Voodoo? 

The idea for this story was sparked by a real life event. On a flight back from the Caribbean, I witnessed a nasty spat between two female passengers. My imagination soon took over and I thought - ‘what if one had put a voodoo curse on the other?’ - and it had me scribbling in my notebook for the rest of the flight.

This is the story I came up with:

Loveless fashion model Nola Nichols thinks being beautiful is a curse; that is until she is cursed and her looks begin to fade just a week before the most important photo shoot of her career. Nola rejects all rational explanation on what might be causing her lost looks and decides she has to find a way to get uncursed. This imaginative quest takes her from the Caribbean to Glasgow’s own City of the Dead. Along the way, she finds herself taking part in a rather unconventional funeral, involved in a voodoo ritual, reveals one or two unrests in her own past and falls madly in love with a doctor. Erm, that would be a witch doctor, right…?

Janice, tell us why you decided to write a novella?

It occurred to me that there are certain times of the year like Valentine’s Day, Christmas or Halloween, when an opportunity exists for an author to offer readers a seasonal short fun read between full length novels. I’m currently working on another full length novel but I’m mindful that it will have taken me a full year to write it. I like to think that by offering novellas in between novels, I can retain the interest of my readers and also have some extra writing fun myself. It’s also a good way to introduce new readers to your writing as they may then go on to read your other work.

Tell us how you set about the research.

I find the research I do for my stories just as much fun as writing them! On this occasion, a central scene in ‘How Do You Voodoo?’ takes place in a huge spooky Victorian cemetery in Glasgow known as ‘The City of the Dead’. You do know that all my books include a Scottish setting, don’t you? You didn’t? Well, I suggest you pop over to my tartantastic blog and check them all out! Photos – Janice exploring Glasgow’s spooky ‘City of the Dead’.

Find out more about Janice and her novels:
Author Blog: http://www.janicehortonwriter.blogspot.co.uk
Follow her on Twitter: @JaniceHorton
Like her Author Facebook Page
Featured Author & Associate Editor at: Loveahappyending.com 
Link to her ebooks on Amazon.co.uk 
Link to her ebooks on Amazon.com

That was such fun, thank you for sharing with us Janice, and we wish you every success with your new book.
Best wishes, Freda

Interviews on the RNA Blog are for RNA members, although we do occasionally take guests. If you are interested in an interview, please contact me: freda@fredalightfoot.co.uk

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interview with Tanith Davenport

Tanith Davenport lives in Yorkshire with her long-suffering husband and pampered cats. Her interests range wildly between rock music and modern cinema to medieval literature and the language of flowers. She loves to travel and dreams of one day taking a driving tour of the United States, preferably in a classic 1950s pink Cadillac Eldorado. Her idea of heaven is an Indian head massage with a Mojito at her side. So tell us Tanith, would you say you always wanted to be a writer, or did it happen by chance?

I always wanted to be a writer - I'm sure the girls I went to school with will remember passing stories of mine around the class. Fortunately none of those stories survived, because they were terrible!

I HEARD YOUR VOICE is your latest book, tell us how you got the idea for it.

I was watching a lot of Most Haunted at the time and became very interested in the idea of paranormal investigation. I attended an organised investigation in Bradford and have to say it was a lot less exciting than either TV or my book showed, but it's still something that fascinates me.

You write erotic fiction, what attracted you to that particular genre? 

It was as much a surprise to me as it was to everyone who hears about it. I was reading a lot of online erotic fiction when I first began writing and I suppose I was used to it. I find sexuality a complex issue and I enjoy exploring all the possibilities in my writing. I also found that traditional romance was frustrating for me because often the hero and heroine would dance around each other until the very end, whereas in erotic romance they are brought together much earlier.

Love your assistant here. Does Spot help you produce a synopsis, or does it come easy to you?

They're not my favourite thing to do, but they've got easier. I try to keep a note of the important points as I write so that I can refer to them when doing the synopsis later.

Do you have a yearning to write some other type of novel, and if so, what genre would it be?

I have some ideas for literary fiction, but whether they will come to anything depends on if I have time. I have a lot of erotic romance lined up at the moment!

Can you tell us something of what you are working on now? 

I'm currently working on a project for Total-e-Bound that I'm not allowed to give details of yet. I'm also working on a number of shorts for anthologies.

Tamar Steele’s life was never supposed to be like this. A sensitive working with a team of paranormal investigators, she is trapped in a loveless relationship with the team’s medium, Reed James, who believes that having sex on haunted ground enhances paranormal activity. Tamar maintains their partnership for the sake of the crew, forcing herself to ignore the burgeoning sexual tension between her and fellow investigator Jason Bray. Until one night when, alone and bored, Tamar sings to herself and is knocked to the ground by an invisible force. Somehow she is able to invoke spirits with the power of her voice. And one particular sexy, matchmaking spirit is determined to turn her life upside down. 

Click here to find out more about Tanith and her books.

Thank you for sparing time to talk to us today Tanith. We wish you continuing success with your books. 
Best wishes, 

Interviews on the RNA Blog are for RNA members, although we do occasionally take guests. If you are interested in an interview, please contact me: freda@fredalightfoot.co.uk

Friday, October 19, 2012

Interview with Linda Sole

I’m delighted to welcome Linda Sole to the RNA Blog today. Born in Swindon, her family moved to Ely in Cambridgeshire when she was nine. Linda married at eighteen and ran her own hairdressing business for some years before she started writing in 1976, combining this with helping her husband to run his antique shop. Writing as Anne Herries, Linda won the 2004 RNA Romance Award and the Betty Neels Trophy. As an established author writing under several names, tell us about your first success and if it changed your life?

Writing was something that I was bound to do sooner or later. I had always made up stories in my head, but like many others it was a while before I put some of my ideas down on paper and sought an outlet for them. Yes, being accepted first by Robert Hale as Lynn Granville for the WITCH CHILD and then as Anne Herries for Mills and Boon, for DEVIL'S KIND, did change my life. It gave me an absorbing interest, one that is as passionate today as it was from the very first. So tell us about these different identities, and how you manage to juggle them all. I started with Lynn Granville but then I wanted to try for Mills and Boon and so I chose another identity because, should I be accepted, I didn’t want the books to clash. It was possible to write for two publishers at the same time but did not seem fair or viable to use the same name.

Because I’ve always been prolific, I’ve carried this on into my ebooks. In more recent years I came up with the name Anne Ireland, because Anne is my favourite Christian name and Ireland is my maiden name. I also write as Linda Sole, because when LOVERS & SINNERS was born my agent wanted me to use a different name. One of my publishers suggested the Emma Quincey name, because they wanted two books a year from me but under different names - I suppose it is all down to marketing.

What inspires you most, people or places?

I think for a start places. Atmosphere comes from a place you’ve seen and felt in your soul and it is this source you draw on when creating your locations, even if they are fictional. Think of the famous words from a wonderful singer - a walk in the forest and filling your senses - and this song always inspires me. I think it is called Annie’s Song.

I know that you are very involved in reviewing other writers’ work, does this help or hinder your own writing?

I started my reviewing to help young authors who were struggling to get a foothold on the ladder. It was particularly intended for ebook writers as at that time I felt they often got a raw deal, few sales and not much money for weeks of work. These days the situation is better. It is now possible to make a lot of money from ebooks, though the high pay days still I think come from the mainstream publishers, but even the smaller ones are doing better. It is just a case of getting your name out there. I also have a site where I meet various authors and they tell me about their work. I feel I’ve been lucky and if I can squeeze the time to give a little back, I do.

What tips would you offer to any aspiring writer wishing to write a regency? 

First of all you need to read a lot of Georgette Heyer to get the feeling for the period. Research it well and then decide whether you’re going for the sexy stuff or the traditional. I personally prefer the traditional and my favourite of other people’s regency books are the funny ones. Linda Banche does some that make me giggle. Heyer is the Bible but you need a slightly different stance for M&B. Just as with the modern stories the heroine and hero need to be in an intense relationship with lots of things and people trying to pull them apart. I still want to see the regency background coming through in the style but you need to keep it concise and not get bogged down by your research.

The essence of regency I think is the banter. If you can get a good patter going that sounds right you’re halfway there - but think of your market, because the English style regency and the American regency are very different. Some English authors feel the Americans are not accurate enough, but they do have a very strong style and format all their own. If you want to sell regency in mainstream - a few publishers still do it - you probably need more mystery, more period detail and mannerisms, but that won’t get you published in M&B. So choose your market or you’ll waste your own time and that of the editors - and you’ll be disappointed. 

How did you devise the hero and heroine for your latest book?

It’s always difficult for me to decide which is my latest book because by the time one comes out I’ve written perhaps three or four more. The Regency I’m working on from a desire to put a little mystery into the plot and I’ve started with something a little shocking - a murder that actually happens on screen rather than in the past. The hero had to be made of stern stuff, because he needs to discover who killed someone dear to him and he also has to save his estate from ruin. So I gave him a military background, an uncertain childhood and made him proud. He doesn’t want to do what his friends do and seek out a rich bride to save him.

The heroine of this piece is a very calm young woman. When someone is shot and fatally wounded in front of her, she doesn’t scream or faint, she gets on and looks after the ladies who do. She believes herself to be poor at first and thinks she is attracted to Adam - she knows he must marry an heiress - but when she discovers she is rich how can she tell him without hurting his pride.
With the increasing popularity of ebooks, how do you think digitisation has helped or changed your own career as a writer? Have you self published anything? 

The jury is still out on this one. While my ebooks are getting strong sales now I think the paperbacks have fallen off a little but this won’t be proved until a few more statements come in. I think ebooks are wonderful and read them all the time myself - but I would hate to kill off the paperbacks, because there is nothing like holding a copy in your hands.

What was your most memorable Christmas?

I think the best ones for me were years ago when both our parents were alive. These days we are usually at home after visiting the family in the run up to the big day. I always look forward to Christmas and enjoy it, but we had some big parties years ago and they were huge fun. However, I still like my parcels under the tree and sharing a drink with my husband. I always listen to the carols from Kings College every year - so really every christmas is a good one.

I have a lovely Christmas Story coming out with another author in November so I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will do well for us both, Candlelight Kisses...

Which authors do you choose to read for pleasure? 

Oh, lots, I am forever buying books and have over 160 on my kindle, a lot of which I haven’t had time to read yet. I love Jeffrey Archer, Ken Follet - particularly his Medieval books. Wonderful. I usually go for historical rather than modern, but my choice can vary from a short fairly sexy read to huge tomes filled with lots of history. I’m reading Lindsay Townsend at the moment. She writes both historical and modern mysteries and this is one of the latter - intriguing! Heyer is still one of my favourites though and I love Paul Marshall and her books.

So what next? Can you tell us a little about your work in progress?

I have written a couple of huge Medieval books that are still looking for a publisher - one was almost taken by a big mainstream editor but some of her team said no. I have also written a big saga, which I have hopes for. However, I am currently working on a five book contract for HMB and very much enjoying it. The truth is I would go on writing even if no one took my books because it is in my blood.

"A passionate drama in the Family Feud series from a well-loved storyteller. - "1887. When farmer's daughter Carrie Blake announces that she has been ravished by Squire Thornton, it sets off a train of tragic events. Her elder brother Dick challenges the squire - and both end up dead. Her father turns to drink, leaving Carrie's mother and her surviving brother, Tom, to carry the load of the farm. The two families become bitter enemies thereon. So when Tom and Roz, the squire's daughter, discover a mutual attraction, they know that it can never be. But their fates are entwined, and bitterness soon threatens to tear their lives apart . . .

Published by Severn House
27 September

Thank you for sparing time to talk to us today Linda. I’m thoroughly impressed by your output and wish you continuing success. 
Best wishes, Freda  

To discover more about Linda and her many personas, you can find her here: http//:www.lindasole.co.uk

Interviews on the RNA Blog are for RNA members, although we do occasionally take guests. If you are interested in an interview, please contact me: freda@fredalightfoot.co.uk

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October Independent Releases

Janice Horton HOW DO YOU VOODOO?
Thornhill Print
Kindle Ebook Novella
26th October 2012
Blurb: Loveless and lonely, top fashion model Nola Nichols, thinks being beautiful is a curse; that is until she is cursed and her looks begin to fade.

Cuthland Press
1 st October
Blurb - The Austen Addicts return for a special Jane Austen Christmas conference at Purley Hall but, when a first edition of Pride and Prejudice goes missing, the guests have to forget the fun and games and turn detective...

Kindle ebook
Oct 2012
A lonely career woman stranded in a blizzard, a disillusioned man who has cut himself off from women. When he rescues her from the snow and takes her into his home, the spirit of Christmas and his little girl's love work their magic.

Fenella J Miller BARBARA'S WAR
KDP and Create Space
Kindle & Paperback
Kindle £1.99
Book £8.50
As war rages over Europe, Barbara Sinclair is desperate to escape from her unhappy home which is a target of the German Luftwaffe. Caught up by the emotion of the moment she agrees to marry John, her childhood friend, who is leaving to join the RAF, but a meeting with Simon Farley, the son of a local industrialist, and an encounter with Alex Everton, a Spitfire pilot, complicate matters. With rationing, bombing and the constant threat of death all around her, Barbara must unravel the complexities of her home life and the difficulties of her emotional relationships in this gripping coming-of-age wartime drama.

September 2012
The daughter of a social outcast finds the path of true love proverbially rough when she reluctantly falls for an arbiter of fashion…

Friday, October 12, 2012

Interview with Chris Stovell

Winning a tin of chocolate in a national essay competition at primary school inspired Chris Stovell to become a writer, but after graduating from UEA, she took various jobs in the public sector instead. Losing her dad to cancer made her realise she had to put her writing first. Setting off, with her husband, in a vintage wooden boat to sail halfway round Britain inspired her debut novel TURNING THE TIDE. Christine lives on the beautiful West Wales coast which provided one of the settings for her second novel, MOVE OVER DARLING. 

Welcome to the RNA Blog, Chris. Turning the Tide is your debut novel, what do you think was that magic ingredient that got you published? 

I finished the book! And it was bereavement rather than magic that got me published. Firstly, my husband became seriously ill after an operation. He recovered, thank goodness, but then my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I realised that time runs out and that I would never achieve my lifelong ambition to get published unless I stopped procrastinating and abandoning scripts half way through.

Having completed my manuscript, I had it professionally appraised by Hilary Johnson (Hilary Johnson’s Author’s Advisory Service) who liked it and sent it to an agent. After an agonising wait, the agent ‘reluctantly’ turned it down, but then I read about a new independent publisher, Choc Lit, and sent them an email that same afternoon. Some might say that there was magic in the air that day, but I think it was as much about changing my attitude and keeping a professional eye open for opportunities.

Did this acceptance give you the spur to write on with more confidence?

No, I fell apart! Before publication, I was cocooned in my private fictional world, just me and my characters, then suddenly we were all ‘out there’ for everyone to have an opinion about! Despite some really lovely reviews, I was hit by a crippling lack of confidence and paralysed by self-doubt. It certainly wasn’t the reaction I expected, having dreamt of being a published writer for so long. To add to the fun, my mum had a serious accident, our house, which had been on the market for months sold and we moved to a property that needed total renovation. But what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger (back to death again!). I feel far more confident having completed my second novel, because I’ve learned that the perfect writing conditions never arrive. It’s about applying yourself in whatever time’s available and working hard! A reviewer said the book was ‘bubbling with laughter’.

Did writing humour come naturally, or was it a skill you needed to learn?

I think I was fortunate to find my ‘writing voice’ quite early on, possibly at primary school when we were encouraged to enter a competition sponsored by Cadburys. I was halfway through my story ‘My Life as a Cocoa Bean’ when I realised there could only be one tragic ending - but I was thrilled to win a posh tin of chocolates for something I thoroughly enjoyed doing. I certainly don’t claim to write ‘laugh out loud’ stories; what humour there is probably stems from a lifetime of filtering the world through what has sometimes been a fairly dark glass. I do, however, adore word-play, puns and demanding pets.

Do you have to juggle writing with the day job? What is your work schedule?

Writing is my day job, but living a long way away from a large extended family means we have frequent visitors. I write when I can. How do you relax? What interests do you have other than writing? I read widely and enjoy live music, but my main relaxation comes from living in a very beautiful part of the world on the West Wales coast. We live just a short distance away from a lovely National Trust beach; it’s a glorious walk down, through winding country lanes and a punishing uphill slog back home. Throw in a swim as well, and I’m very relaxed indeed by the time I get in!

Which author has most influenced your work? 

Like all writers, I’ll pick things up from everything I read. I was an early reader, teaching myself from whatever comic Dad had bought for me when he collected the Sunday papers. When I began reading aloud from ‘The News of the World’, Mum quickly decided to enrol me at the library and that opened a whole new world for me.

Do you have any other kind of promotion lined up besides social networking? 

Radio Wales have rashly invited me to come and chat. I only hope my teeth will stop chattering enough to allow me to speak.

Which three books would you take with you on a desert island, and why?

I’d take Sally Beauman’s LANDSCAPE OF LOVE for the quality of her writing, for the character of Daniel Nunn and the mystery at the heart of the novel which I’ve never managed to solve. I’d take the OXFORD LIBRARY OF ENGLISH POETRY to inspire me (slightly cheating as there are three volumes) and nature writer Roger Deakin’s diary of wild swimming, WATERLOG, because it’s such a soothing, therapeutic read.

What would represent a romantic gesture to you?

My husband is the cook in our family – having my dinner cooked feels very romantic to me!

Can you tell us something of what you are working on now?

I’ve a couple of short stories on the go, I’m working on my third novel which will include a return to my fictional seaside town, Little Spitmarsh, and I’ve started putting notes together for book four. Generally, I tend not to talk about works in progress as I’m too afraid of losing the spark before I’ve lit the fire.

Move Over Darling
Published by Choc Lit 7 October. 
When is it time to stop running?

Coralie Casey is haunted by her past. Deciding it’s time for a fresh start, she sets up ‘Sweet Cleans’, a range of natural beauty and cleaning products, and escapes to Penmorfa, a quiet coastal village in west Wales. Gethin Lewis thinks he’s about to put his home village Penmorfa behind him for good. Now an internationally-acclaimed artist living in New York, he just has to return one last time to wind up his father’s estate. But the village soon disrupts their carefully laid plans. As truths are uncovered which threaten to split the community apart, Gethin is forced to question his real reasons for abandoning Penmorfa, and Coralie is made to face the fact that some stains just won’t go away.

Thank you for sparing time to talk to us today, Chris. We wish you every success in your new career. Best wishes,

To learn more about Chris and her books, you can find her here:
Website: http://www.christinestovell.com/ 
Blog: http://homethoughtsweekly.blogspot.co.uk/ 

Interviews on the RNA Blog are for RNA members, although we do occasionally take guests. If you are interested in an interview, please contact me: freda@fredalightfoot.co.uk

Monday, October 8, 2012

October Releases

Little Brown
25th October 2012

Can the imperfect family really have the perfect Christmas?
Juliet Joyce adores Christmas.  She loves the presents, the tree, the turkey, the tinsel, everything. Already the festive spirit is upon her, which is just as well as this Christmas things are starting to get out of hand. Her son Tom is out of work and bringing home a slew of unsuitable partners; pregnant daughter Chloe and her little boy have moved back in; Juliet’s father, Frank, is getting over a heartbreak of his own and Rita, her eccentric mother, is behaving more erratically each day.  And has the chaos got too much for Juliet’s husband Rick?  With the big day fast approaching, Juliet hopes that she can stop everything spiralling out of control, because the only thing she wants is her family all around her and her home to be filled… WITH LOVE AT CHRISTMAS

Phillipa Ashley MIRANDA'S MOUNT
Piatkus Entice
4th October 2012
A sexy, funny contemporary romance set in Cornwall

When Miranda finds herself fighting for her home, her job and her heart, sleeping with the enemy may not be the best tactic…
With no family of her own, Miranda Marshall has developed a healthy respect – some would say obsession – with other people’s histories. As property manager of a spectacular island castle in Cornwall, she’s made St Merryn’s Mount one of the UK’s most popular heritage attractions. While she may have the castle running like clockwork, Miranda hasn’t bargained on its sexy owner returning to claim his birthright. Dark, handsome and with a rakish reputation, Jago St Merryn not only looks like a pirate but is intent on flogging the Mount to a soulless leisure corporation. Miranda faces the battle of her life as she tries to persuade him to face up to his past and continue the St Merryn dynasty. But Jago has his own reasons for jumping ship and when he throws down the gauntlet to Miranda, she’s forced to delve into painful memories she’d much rather keep hidden…

HMB Riva
1 October
Armed only with a photo of the house her grandfather stayed in, the village, and the name Lucia, Sarah sets out to find the woman who saved her great-grandfather's life during the war.

Christine Stovell MOVE OVER DARLING
Choc Lit
7 October 2012
When is it time to stop running?  Coralie Casey doesn’t like the hand fate has dealt her so she’s taken charge of her own destiny.  Setting up ‘Sweet Cleans’, her range of natural cleaning products for body and home, she wipes away the past and starts afresh in Penmorfa, a quiet coastal village in west Wales.

Gethin Lewis thinks he’s about to escape Penmorfa for good.  Now an internationally-acclaimed artist living in New York, all he has to do is return to his home village one last time to wind up his father’s estate.

But the people of Penmorfa have other plans.  Securing a new work from a major artist could mean a big boost for the village.  And who better than Coralie to persuade Gethin to help the place that once rejected him – even if she has to go all the way to New York to seal the deal?  Yet it seems everyone in Penmorfa has something to hide; as truths are uncovered which threaten to split the community apart, Coralie also has to face the fact that some stains just won’t go away.
Mills & Boon
paperback and ebook
Could writing someone else’s life story mean re-writing her own? Sipping a cocktail under the warm Greek sun, Lexi Sloane can almost taste success. Ghost-writing a celebrity memoir on a postcard-perfect island will be the career breakthrough she’s been working towards for years…but only if she can persuade the infuriatingly guarded Mark Belmont to open up about his famous mother. Mark grew up in the spotlight and learned young to stay cautious and alert to intrusion, so Lexi has her work cut out. Lexi is hiding too – behind the experiences of those she writes about…Could she learn to be the star of her own life?
If you like the films Mamma Mia or Love Actually, you’ll love this.

Tanith Davenport I HEARD YOUR VOICE
22 October 2012
£2.48 on pre-order, £2.75 after
Paranormal investigator Tamar Steele is stuck in a loveless relationship with arrogant medium Reed James - until one night she sings to herself and is knocked down by an invisible force. Somehow she can raise spirits with her voice. And one matchmaking spirit is determined to turn her life upside down.

Rena George Another Chance
My Weekly Pocket Novel
4th October, 2012
 "Rowan Fairlie, head teacher at Balcreggan Primary School, had no idea how her life would change when wealthy Clett Drummond and his two young daughters, Charlotte and Poppy, took on the tenancy of Ballinbrae Farm.
Clett insists he's come to the Highlands to help the girls recover from their mother's recent death in a car accident, but Rowan suspects there's more to it.
And why does her growing friendship with the family so infuriate the new laird, Simon Fraser?  Is his apparent hatred of Clett merely jealousy because he wants Rowan for himself, or are the two men linked by some terrible way from the past?"

Annie Burrows HIS WICKED CHRISTMAS WAGER, a short story
The last person Lord Crispin Sinclair expects to see in a disreputable inn is the woman he's there to forget: Lady Caroline Fallowfield. He hasn't forgiven her for marrying another man--or forgotten their mutual passion. When she implores him to come home for his brother's Christmas nuptials, he agrees--if the now-widowed Caroline is willing to share his bed and take another gamble on love...

Ann a Jacobs THE TRADER’S DREAM #3 in The Traders series
Hodder & Stoughton, 11 October 2012
1869: Bram Deagan dreams of bringing his family from Ireland to join him in Australia, but a typhus epidemic in Ireland decimates the Deagan family, leaving only Maura Deagain left to look after her orphaned nieces and nephew. Forced to abandon her own ambitions, Maura sets sail, travelling via the newly opened Suez Canal. It is only when a storm throws her and fellow passenger Hugh Beaufort together that Maura realises this journey may also give her a chance to realise a dream she set aside years ago – to have a family of her own.

Angela Britnell  HUSHED WORDS
DC Thomson
18 October 2012
Cassie Moore and Jay Burton have a one-night stand on holiday in Italy but when fate brings them together again it's the start of a rocky ride towards lasting love. Cassie's a single mother of a troubled teenaged son and Jay has forged a successful financial career in London, far from his large Irish family. They rekindle their sizzling romance but Cassie's overwhelming family problems make a future with Jay seem nothing more than a dream. Jay's fear of commitment  and growing dissatisfaction with his extravagant lifestyle lead him to make a drastic change. When he discovers the direction he wants to take Jay finds the courage to lay it all on the line with Cassie.