Saturday, 19 August 2017

Keeping My Writing Fresh...

The market is full of romance books – mainstream romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, medical romance, cowboy romance…the list goes on. So how does a romance writer attempt to stand out from the crowd? To keep her or his precious readers interested and anticipating their next release?

I am lucky enough to write three romance sub-genres for two different publishers – I write Victorian romance for eKensington/Lyrical press, mainstream romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance. The fact that I get to alternate between the three keeps me interested as a writer and, I hope, keeps my readers looking forward to seeing what type of romance releases next.

As I am currently writing my twenty-second novel, the issue of what keeps my writing fresh is a big one. I hope because I live so close to where my Victorian books are set and that Bath is a different city from London, I can bring a different feel and atmosphere than many other historical romances.

For my contemporary work, I am the first author to have books in the Harlequin Superromance line with all British characters in a British setting. Again, I hope this makes my books different than others on offer.

As for the stories themselves? My Victorian romances tend to focus on the lower classes and their problems, rather than balls, dances and upper class propriety. I like to research how the ‘real people’ lived in the late 1800s. The problems they faced, the changing world around them, domestic changes, moral changes, the fact that more and more women wanted to stretch further than keeping a nice house and a happy husband. I like that I am building a reputation for writing darker historical romances and the feedback from readers and reviewers has given me the confidence that there is a space in the market for me and my work.

The Harlequin Superromance line runs to 80,000 words so are the biggest of Harlequin lines. There is room outside of the central romance to explore. I have touched on domestic abuse, money laundering and drug abuse––issues you wouldn’t normally expect between the pages of a romance novel!

I personally feel that romance writing has as much scope and freedom as any mainstream novel…as long as the relationship of the hero and heroine is always at the forefront. I hope you try one of my books!

Rachel x

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Introducing Disciplined by the Duke by Alyson Chase... *GIVEAWAY*

Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness 
of his kisses without revealing her true identity and darkest secrets? 


Lords of Discipline #1

Alyson Chase

Releasing Aug 15, 2017


The day her sister murdered their abusive father, Elizabeth Wilcox stopped being a
gentleman’s daughter. Willing to do anything to save her sister from the
hangman’s noose, now she is a spy... A servant. A liar. A thief. A submissive.

Masquerading as a parlor maid and entrenched in the Duke of Montague’s estate, Liz is
willing to risk all to uncover the secrets that would save her sister. But
submitting to the duke’s peculiar brand of discipline surprises her with a
heady mixture of pleasure and pain. Eager to relinquish control of her messy
life, Liz soon craves the rough hands of Montague and his powerful, passionate
attentions. Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness of
his kisses without revealing her true identity and darkest secrets? And what
punishment will she face when he realizes her betrayal?

Alyson Chase writes historical romances that are just a bit…naughty. She is a former attorney, and thought that her flair for dramatic and sexy writing was seriously undervalued in her legal career. She also writes under the name Allyson Charles. 

She lives in Northern California where the incredible weather and natural beauty so
far outweigh the overcrowding and congested freeways. Also, the food in the Bay
Area rocks. 

If you want to know when the next book is coming out, visit her at website and sign up for her newsletter.

TWITTER: @1AlysonChase

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Introducing Swept Into Love by Melissa Foster... *GIVEAWAY*

One night changes everything, putting their friendship—and their love—on the line.


The Ryders #5

Melissa Foster

Releasing Aug 16, 2017

World Literary Press

It’s been years since Sally Tuft’s husband died and she was left to raise her teenage son
alone. And almost as long since she told the only other man she’d ever wanted
that they should be just friends. Now her son has left for college and Sally
has no distractions to keep her from thinking about her best friend and
coworker, Gage Ryder, and what could have been.

Gage always believed that one day Sally would move past the death of her husband and they
would finally explore the passion that’s simmered between them since the day
they met. Tasked with opening a new youth center in Oak Falls, Virginia, Gage
hopes the trip away is just what they need to finally come together.

Before Gage and Sally ever reach Oak Falls, one night at a conference changes everything,
putting their friendship—and their love—on the line, and the two must decide if
getting swept up in love is the beginning of forever, or the end of their
friendship as they know it.

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes
sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with
emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last
page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family
oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading
about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

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Saturday, 12 August 2017

Love my hometown...

I reluctantly left Bristol to move to Chippenham when I was six months pregnant with my second child as well as struggling with my very active two-year old. My husband had landed an amazing career advancement and we would’ve been crazy to turn it down. So we left Bristol on the understanding if I was still unhappy in twelve months time, we’d move back…that was almost sixteen years ago.

The town of Chippenham is fairly small but after living in a city for so many years, I have come to love a trip into town taking no more than ten minutes and seeing a familiar face every time I venture out of the house. More than anything, what I love about living here is its location to the surrounding towns. We have the wonderful, historical Bath in one direction and the gorgeous countryside and incomparable Cotswolds in the other.

Bath is an historical author’s dream and it is just thirty minutes drive from where I live – and yes, I take full advantage! My first historical “The Arrival of Lily Curtis” was set there, as are the four books I have contracted with eKensington. I love that I can jump in the car and stroll around a city where the buildings and architecture are so unchanged you can still see how things were and looked in the 1800s.

As for the Cotswolds, I would love to live in Bourton-on-the-Water, one of my most favourite places to visit in the world (so far!). I love to go there each season and watch it change. It is as beautiful in the mid-summer sunshine as it is in the February snowfall. The tiny shops, the stream running through its centre and fabulous old pubs provide the perfect Sunday afternoon out. Gorgeous!

As well as Bourton-on-the-Water, a visit to the Cotswolds means a visit to a whole bunch of other stunning villages and hamlets just a few minutes drive away. If you want to stay over, a visit to the famous water park, hotels and campsites near the beautiful shopping town of Cirencester are well worth it too.

I have plenty of inspiration to keep me busy for the next few novels at least, right on my doorstep – then again, maybe there’s even more inspiration in the States, Canada, the Maldives… ;)

My latest historical release, Her One True Love - here’s the blurb and an excerpt:


She Can't Forget Him…

Jane Charlotte Danes has loved the squire of her idyllic country town for as long as she can remember. He is good, kind, and alluring beyond words… and he chose to marry another. Tired of dwelling on her futile longings, Jane plans a move to Bath, where she dreams of a new beginning. But the man who has so imprisoned her heart is only a few steps behind…

He Can't Let Her Go…

Until now, Matthew Cleaves has endeavored to meet the responsibilities of his position with dignity and good spirits--including his dutiful marriage. But when his wife leaves him for another man, Matthew is at last free to pursue his one true love. Only one vital question remains: will the captivating, stubborn, beautiful Jane allow him the challenge, and the pleasure, of winning her back?.. 

Matthew turned and faced Jane. “When are you leaving for the city?”
She took another step back, her gaze darting over his face. “The day after tomorrow. Why?”
“Because I will escort you. We can travel together in my carriage.”
“No, I do not need your––”
“I will be going anyway. I planned to visit some contacts in the city in the hope of securing guaranteed trade for Biddestone in the coming year. It seems unnecessary for us to make the trip separately when I have a carriage plenty big enough for us both.”
“There is absolutely no need. Jeannie will be coming with me.”
“My offer still stands.”
She glared. “It’s my intention to start on the path of independence, of finding out what the world has to offer me on my own merit. I will hardly be carving out my own path when at the first step from my home, I lean on you.”
“You are being stubborn.”
She pulled back her shoulders. “And you are not?”
The longer he looked at her, the more Matthew saw the quiet beauty he’d desperately tried to ignore. He took a steadying breath. “Please, Jane. Let me escort you to Bath.”
The seconds passed, but Matthew held his tongue. It was imperative she spoke next, that she understood he didn’t mean to bully her but wanted to ensure her safety to a city ravaged by danger, as much as opportunity.
She sighed. “Fine. On one condition.”
He held her gaze. “Which is?”
Her eyes softened, slowly lighting with mischief. “You smile. Now. You smile at me like you did before she left.”
Heat rose to his face. “You want me to smile?”
“Yes. Smile for me, Matthew.”
Empathy and passion swirled in her eyes, but they also bore a deep, painful awareness that scratched hard over his heart. The longer he stared, the more he wanted to make her happy.
He smiled, his gaze on hers…and was surprised to find the trade no effort at all.
Buy Links:

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Welcome Wild Rose Press author, Jennifer Wilck...

Hi Jennifer! Great to have you here today - I'm looking forward to catching up with you and finding out more about your latest release, Addicted To Love. Let's kick off with my questions...

1.)              What is your favourite thing about yourself?

Oh wow, that’s a tough question, since I hate talking about myself and feel weird bragging (which makes self promotion a real challenge!). I guess what I like about myself is my ability to find humor in most things. If I can laugh about something, it automatically improves the situation, and if I can make someone else laugh, then hopefully I’m making them feel good about themselves or better about something they might be going through.

2.)              What do you wish you’d known before you started writing?

I wish I’d known how important it is to develop a thick skin. Writing and reading are subjective and no one is going to like everything I do. If I can learn to accept that, it becomes a lot easier to deal with criticism, accept the valuable points, and let the rest go.

3.)              Share a romantic moment in your life.

That would have to be dancing with my husband at the top of the Empire State Building in New York City. We were dating, it was New Year’s Eve and it was just about perfect.

4.)              Is there one subject you’d never write about as an author? What is it?

I write romance, so that’s the subject I like to stick to. I’m not sure my writing style or my personality fit with writing anything else.

5.)              Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Read a lot, in a variety of different genres and styles. Watch TV and movies and examine the dialogue for what you like and don’t like. Clear your head by going to museums or gardens or the beach—really anywhere that fills you creatively. Then sit down and write, and keep writing until you’re finished. Don’t give up no matter what others might say.

6.)              If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why?

I’d love to be J.K.Rowling. Not because she’s so successful, but because her mind is amazing. The fictional worlds she creates, the take she has on the real world and the way she relates to people is just inspiring.

7.)              What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

I really didn’t get into trouble all that much growing up—I’m an only child, so there weren’t that many opportunities for me to do so. I think I probably cause more trouble as an adult. J

8.)              If I came to your house for dinner what would you prepare for me? Why?

Oh, that would be fun! Well, first of all, I’d prepare way too much food, because I’m terrible at portion size and growing up in my family, the biggest sin was not serving enough food. You could be forgiven for murder, but not for not having enough food. So we’d start with cheese and crackers, hummus and pita, veggies and dip. I might add some hot appetizers, like a spinach roll or an artichoke dip. For the main course, I’d probably prepare a broiled sirloin and maybe some garlic shrimp as well, along with a rice and mushroom pilaf and either roasted vegetables or a salad of some sort. And then, of course, there’d be dessert. Definitely chocolate, but maybe something else, just in case. And that would totally depend on my mood. I know you like wine, so there would be plenty of that. So, when are you coming over?

Blurb: Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.
Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.
As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.
Biography: Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and doesn’t share her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. All are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Buy Links:
The Wild Rose Press:
Barnes & Noble:
Social Media:

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Welcome contemporary romance author, Sarah Bennett...

 Hi Sarah! Great to welcome you to my blog and to be a part of your ongoing tour - wishing you all the best with Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove. Let's kick off with my questions...

1.)              What is your favourite thing about yourself?

 I strive to be kind. I think kindness is the greatest gift we can give to each other.

2.)              What do you wish you’d known before you started writing?

 Once you open the door and let the characters start talking to you, they never stop. I’m never alone, there is always a scene from a story turning over in my head.

3.)              Share a romantic moment in your life.

 My husband brings me a cup of tea in bed every morning – after nearly fifteen years together, that’s pretty bloody romantic 😊

4.)              Is there one subject you’d never write about as an author? What is it? 

Horror. I don’t read it or watch horror movies, and I can’t imagine writing it. My imagination is very vivid and I dream a lot, I prefer my dreams to be about happy endings.

5.)              Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they? 

Read. A lot. Learn to read critically, to recognise the strengths and weaknesses in other people’s writing and then apply those lessons to your own work. There’s a lot of advice out there, don’t be afraid to ignore it!

6.)              If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why? 

My absolute favourite series is Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling books. Her world building is off the scale and she has created an incredibly vivid near-future world I would love to be a part of.

7.)              What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

 I was generally very good. I do remember calling my brother a ‘bloody pig’ when I was about eight or nine and he stole one of my tennis balls. I was playing two-ball against the wall at my Nanny’s house and I yelled it down the street at him. My mum sent me upstairs to sit on my own and then forgot I was there. My aunt found me when she came home about two hours later and I was in a terrible state because I thought I would never be forgiven!

8.)                 If I came to your house for dinner what would you prepare for me? Why? What do you like?

 I like to serve things that can be made in advance so I can focus on spending time with my guests. I don’t do cordon bleu, but if you sit at my table you can expect hearty food, plenty to drink and lots of laughs. 

Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennett

Blurb  A second chance by the sea?
When Kiki Jackson’s marriage falls to pieces, there’s only one place that she knows she can escape to – her sister’s little guesthouse in Butterfly Cove.

But she’s worried that turning up on bride-to-be Mia’s doorstep, especially with her two adorable children in tow, will spoil her sister’s imminent wedding plans!

Luckily, handsome neighbour Aaron Spenser offers to share his new cottage with Kiki until she’s back on her feet. And as the wedding draws closer, Kiki realises that Butterfly Cove may be offering her little family more than just a new home…

Maybe this is where her new life begins…?

An uplifting and heartwarming read, perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Rachael Lucas and Hilary Boyd

Buy Links

Author Bio

Sarah Bennett has been reading for as long as she can remember. Raised in a family of bookworms, her love affair with books of all genres has culminated in the ultimate Happy Ever After – getting to write her own stories to share with others.

Born and raised in a military family, she is happily married to her own Officer (who is sometimes even A Gentleman). Home is wherever he lays his hat, and life has taught them both that the best family is the one you create from friends as well as relatives.

When not reading or writing, Sarah is a devotee of afternoon naps and sailing the high seas, but only on vessels large enough to accommodate a casino and a choice of restaurants.

Author Links

Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove Giveaway

This giveaway is for a notebook and necklace and a £10 Amazon gift card. 1 winner, UK only. Please include the photos I have provided also.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Interview & GIVEAWAY with contemporary romance author, Daisy James...

 Hi, Daisy! Welcome to my blog - wishing you much sales and success with your latest release, SUNSHINE AFTER THE RAIN. Let's kick off with my questions...

First of all, a huge thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. It’s great to be here and I really enjoyed answering your questions!

1.)                What is the strangest talent you have?

Gosh, I had to think about my answer to this question for a while. I’m not sure if this counts as a strange talent, but one of the ways I like to relax after a hard day hunched over the keyboard is to spend a couple of hours shooting at my archery club. My son also plays so it’s a way of spending some quality time together, although he’s much better than I am. I shoot a recurve bow, but would like to progress to a long bow – much more quirky and interesting – but there’s no sight on a long bow so I’ll stick with my current bow for the time being until I improve my aim. There are regular competitions which are always lots of fun and a chance to meet other enthusiasts, but I’ve yet to win a badge!

2.)                Are the titles of your books important?

Absolutely! I do try very hard to come up with an interesting title, but one which also reflects what the story is about. Sunshine After the Rain is the perfect title for Evie’s story of escaping the frazzled workaholic lifestyle she had grown accustomed to in London and spending some down time on the sunshine beaches of Corfu. My spring book is called There’s Something About Cornwall and follows food photographer Emilie as she undertakes a road trip around the gorgeous county photographing the images for celebrity cookery book writer Lucinda Carlton-Rose. When I was writing the book, I had lots of fun researching the Cornish artisan products that would feature and I came to understand that there really is something fabulous about Cornwall and everything it has to offer the committed foodie.

3.)                If you’re struggling with a scene or difficult character, what methods help you through it?

My favourite way to blow away the cobwebs of creativity is to go for a walk. I’m lucky enough to have a bridle path running along the edge of the estate where I live, so I pull on a jacket and walk until I’ve solved the problem. Sometimes it takes ten minutes and I have to jog back home to get it down on paper before I forget, sometimes I’m out there for the whole afternoon! If the weather is bad, then the next best way is to take to the kitchen and sprinkle some flour and edible glitter. Not only does that distract me from worrying about it, there’s always something delicious to nibble on when I do eventually sit back down at the keyboard.

4.)                Do you prefer dog, cats or none of the above?

I love both. But if I was forced to choose it would be cats. They are so independent, so nonchalant. We don’t have a pet at the moment, but that is going to change as soon as the summer holidays arrive, although there may well be a disagreement over what kind of pet to get!

5.)                Who’s your favourite author? Why?

I don’t have a favourite author as such, but I have a favourite genre. I love reading contemporary women’s fiction and, of course, romcoms, but there’s nothing I like more than to curl up with a good travel memoir.
I love reading about ordinary (and extraordinary) people who have decided to ditch the struggle to six p.m. and make a new life for themselves in far flung corners of the world. I enjoy following the trial and tribulations of intrepid adventurers who have set out on epic journeys across continents, on foot or on a bicycle, on a horse or a canal boat. These people have my deepest admiration for deciding that they need to make changes in their lives and have actually gone ahead and done something about it.
I’ve just finished reading Snowball Oranges by Peter Kerr – what a great title!

6.)                Do you have a pet peeve?

I’m a pretty relaxed person, but if there’s one thing that does upset me it’s if someone is late for an appointment. Ten minutes, no problem; fifteen fine, but anything longer than that, without a reasonable explanation such as traffic issues etc, then it does seem unfair. It’s as though the perpetual late-comer feels that their time is more important than yours, that your life is so dull that you have nothing better to do than sit and wait for them to arrive. I always carry a pen and notebook to scribble in so that tend to reduce any irritation.

7.)                Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning?

No, I don’t really. The only dream I seem to remember with any frequency is one where I’m running up a flight of stairs and never seem to reach the top. I’ve no doubt a psychologist would be able to read something into that, but I’d rather not know!

Blurb: A summer that changes everything…
Frazzled workaholic Evie Johnson has finally had enough! When she’s blamed for a publicity disaster at the art gallery she loves, she decides to flee the bright lights of London for the sun-drenched shores of Corfu and turn her life upside-down.
Under the shade of the olive trees, she picks up her dusty paintbrushes and begins to chase the dreams she had put aside for so long. But she never expected to bump into drop-dead-gorgeous Sam Bradbury – and certainly not whilst wrapped only in a towel!
A summer fling is the last thing Evie wanted but a few stolen kisses under the stars might just begin to change her mind…

Buy Links: 

Author Bio:
Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. Her husband and young son were willing samplers of her baking creations which were triple-tested for her debut novel, The Runaway Bridesmaid. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

Daisy would love to hear from readers via her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter @daisyjamesbooks,

Author Links:
Twitter:   @daisyjamesbooks


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