Tuesday, 24 May 2016

I have an agent! by Emily Royal...

Trying to secure an agent feels like a fairground tombola. You win the big prize if you pick an odd-numbered raffle ticket – not realising that out of 2000 tickets, 1999 are even.
Almost a year ago I started searching – following guidelines, submitting in batches, issuing new submissions after each rejection.

I got a lot of rejection.

Some never responded, or just said “not for us”. Those sending personal messages all said the same – liked the writing, but didn’t feel passionate enough. A couple said they really liked it but had no idea where/how to sell it. The first rejection hurts. You cry after the sixth. Then immunity kicks in (“another one? – whatever!”).

Up to that point I’d picked agencies using my head, researching agents who broadly fitted the genre or represented writers I knew.

Time to use my heart – it’s romance, after all. I love most of the genre but there are few authors whose writing really fires my synapses. Most of them are dead. One isn’t. Luckily she has an agent.
They’re US based but the heart goes where it must. Where UK agents want a query letter and sample chapters, this agent just wanted a letter. Query letters must be taken seriously – but when it’s all they ask for, that really sharpens the mind. So I drafted, re-drafted, printed, checked, spell-checked, left to stew, reviewed then sent the most important consecutive string of 400 words I’ve written. What did it contain? – a 1-line twitter-style “hook”, a 2-line summary plus a longer blurb (not revealing the end!), finishing with an explanation of why I was passionate about my favourite author, comparing my novel to hers but also explaining how it differed.

It worked.

I almost missed their response. It arrived two days later, 20 minutes after another rejection when I’d just poured a consolatory gin. I had to re-read before realising it wasn’t another “no” – they wanted to see the first five chapters. The lovely lady sounded enthusiastic but my rejection immunity curbed my excitement. A week later they requested the full manuscript; two days after that the agent e:mailed saying she wanted to pursue it. Coincidentally, each time they contacted me I was in an airport departure lounge – I now have a “lucky seat” at Heathrow.

We struck up a dialogue to see if we got on, working on a few edits before arranging a videoconference. They got right down to business – no fanfare – discussing further edits, and I almost missed the words “we’d like to represent this.” Even then, it didn’t sink in until the signed agreement came through. One of the best days of my life and I’m looking forward to a long and productive relationship!

I still cannot say “my agent” aloud for fear I’ll wake up to find it’s not real. But the advice I’d give anyone wanting an agent is:
·         Join an organisation like the RNA – the support is invaluable
·         Join a critique group; share your work
·         Follow your heart when querying agents
·         Perfect your query letter…
·         …review it at least 10 times before sending. It’s the first thing they’ll read
·         Find a lucky seat. Sit on it.

Emily Royal has always loved gritty, emotional stories with dark sexy heroes. She joined the New Writer’s Scheme of the Romantic Novelists Association in 2015 to pursue her passion for writing. She lives in rural Scotland with her family and menagerie of pets.
Emily writes on any surface she can lay her hands on, even aeroplane tray tables or at home on her kitchen table or lap, often with one of her pet snakes round her neck.  She can be found on twitter at @eroyalauthor and Facebook at www.facebook.com/eroyalauthor.

[Emily Royal is the pen name of Sally Calder]

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Inspiration…The Temptation of Laura

One of the most frequently questions asked of authors is, “Where do you get your ideas?” The simple answer is everywhere, but that rarely satisfies the curious reader or aspiring author…but it’s the truth.

Ideas can come from newspapers, TV shows, snippets of conversation, the author’s life experiences, their friends and family’s experiences, moral issues, books and films. The list goes on.

The inspiration for The Temptation of Laura was already established before I started writing the novel. Laura is a secondary character in the debut book of my Victorian romance series with eKensington, The Seduction of Emily. In this book, Laura is a prostitute who the hero goes to for help in the hope of imprisoning the villain. The more Laura appeared in the book, the more I learned and liked about her. I wanted to tell her story…luckily my editor suggested it first!

My Victorian books are set in and around Bath so I started thinking about famous buildings in Bath that I could use in my next book. I eventually decided on the Theatre Royal. How could I use Laura’s prostitution and the theatre?

I started trawling the Internet for accounts of famous prostitutes turned actresses – that was when inspiration struck in the form of Nell Gwynn. Nell’s story fascinated me. A prostitute, turned actress, turned mistress of Charles II who bore him two children. What a story!

I read a couple of biographies on Nell’s life and then the novel, The Darling Strumpet by Gillian Bagwell, which I absolutely loved. Roll forward another 200 years and Laura Robinson, prostitute turned actress, was alive and very real in my imagination.

The Temptation of Laura was a joy to write and covers poverty, hope, loss, joy, success and ultimately, true love. I hope you enjoy Laura and Adam’s journey as much as I did writing it.

I’d love to hear how non-fiction and fiction based on real-life people inspires or interests you J

The Temptation of Laura blurb & buy links:

Laura Robinson has always been dazzled by the glamour of the stage. But perhaps acting and selling one’s favors are not so different—for Laura must feign pleasure with the men she beds to survive. Now, with her only friend at death’s door and a ruthless pimp at her heels, escaping her occupation seems impossible. Hoping to attract a gentleman, she attends the theater. Yet the man Laura captivates is no customer, but a rising star and playwright…

Adam Lacey has been driven to distraction since the moment he saw Laura. She is his ideal leading lady come to irresistible life—and so much more. Certain they can make the perfect team on and off stage, he is determined to win her heart—and discover her story. But that is precisely what Laura fears. And she has no idea that Adam harbors shameful secrets of his own. Will the truth free them to love—or destroy all their dreams…?

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Welcome Choc Lit author, Annemarie Brear...

Hi, Annemarie! It's so great to have you visit my blog again and have the chance to catch up with you and your latest release, Where Dragonflies Hover (great title!). Let's start with my questions...

1.)              What is the strangest talent you have?
I don’t think this is a talent, or at least not one I’m proud of but I forget people’s names as soon as they tell me. I’m dreadful.

2.)              What is the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?

Being an Australian, Halloween wasn’t very big when I was growing up. We saw it as an American thing. So, I can say I am one of those rare people who have never dressed up for Halloween.

3.)              Are the titles of your books important?
Yes, I think they are quite important. I know it isn’t always easy to think of a title, and two of mine have changed over the years, but the rest are usually spot on to what I feel the story is about.
One of my titles, Kitty McKenzie, hasn’t changed. I felt the story was Kitty’s story, and she is such a strong woman that the title couldn’t be anything flippant or flowery, even the sequel, Kitty McKenzie’s Land, needed to simply state her name and the fight for her land, and it was enough. Her story, her name.
However, I do like some titles that have flair and meaning. My historical, To Gain What’s Lost, is about Anna and her journey to find all that had been taken from her by her cruel mother, a home, a fulfilling life and happiness.
My split era novel, Where Dragonflies Hover, was originally titled The Diary, but my publisher Choc Lit, felt the story, (or two stories,) deserved to be given a title that was more evocative, and I agreed. I love it.

4.)              If you’re struggling with a scene or difficult character, what methods help you through it?
Chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
Coffee. Lots of coffee.
Then I’ll re-read previous chapters and have a think. Then I usually throw a curve ball in to up the stakes. Someone will die, get sick, have a fight, get pregnant, fall in love, etc. Then suddenly the story starts flowing again.
I once wrote death scene while listening to sad love songs, and I ended up a little emotional, but the scene was so good. I was pleased with the result.

5.)              Do you prefer dog, cats or none of the above?
Definitely dogs, especially well trained dogs. I don’t like cats. I’ve always had dogs in my life until the last few years when I relocated from Australia to England.

6.)              Who’s your favourite author? Why?
Such a tough question, and I have no clear answer as there are too many. I will read every book Elizabeth Chadwick releases. Her work is exceptional. When I was younger I read all of Catherine Cookson’s books, and later all of Audrey Howard’s book. Audrey Howard, I feel, is a bit of an unsung author in my opinion. I have laughed and cried reading her books, not many authors has done that. The Woman from Browhead and The Juniper Bush, especially, are fantastic books.
Other than those author I read a variety of authors, including a lot of small indie authors.

7.)              Do you have a pet peeve?
Just one? I have loads. LOL
Lack of respect shown to others and property.
I can’t abide the amount of money footballers get for kicking a ball and are called heroes, yet the armed forces and emergency services are the true heroes and earn nothing close to such money.
The list is endless. I’ll stop now.

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

Most of the time yes. I’ve always been a dreamer, and had nightmares frequently as a child (the kind where my Mum would find me climbing out of the bedroom window, etc).
My dreams are hardly ever nice and romantic. For some reason my dreams are dramatic. I wake up startled, as I’m usually running for my life or something just as traumatic. It’s exhausting. :o)

Where Dragonflies Hover blurb:

Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future …

Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House – a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire – and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it. 
Whilst exploring the grounds she stumbles across an old diary and, within its pages, she meets Allie – an Australian nurse working in France during the First World War.
Lexi finally realises her dream of buying Hollingsworth but her obsession with the house leaves her marriage in tatters. In the lonely nights that follow, Allie’s diary becomes Lexi’s companion, comforting her in moments of darkness and pain. And as Lexi reads, the nurse’s scandalous connection to the house is revealed …

The late sunshine enveloped the house in a golden glow. Again, it seemed to call to her, begging for attention. A path on the left of the drive looked inviting as it meandered through a small strand of poplars. Lexi grabbed her keys, locked the car and took off to explore again. She had nothing to rush home to now, and if she got caught for trespassing, then so be it.
The overgrown pathway brought her out on the far side of the grounds near the end of a small lake. She gazed over the water towards the back of the house and noticed a paved terrace area. From there the lawn then sloped down to the water. She’d not been around the back before and fell even more in love with the property. She could imagine the serenity of sipping a cool drink on a hot summer’s day and looking out over the lake.
Lexi stepped out along the bank. A lone duck swam by, its movement serene on the glassy, dark surface. This side of the lake was in shadow from large pine trees, and she stumbled on fallen pinecones hidden in the long grass. On the opposite side of the water were some small buildings, a garage, fruit trees in early blossom, and an overgrown vegetable patch, complete with a broken, rejected-looking scarecrow.
She wandered over to a narrow shed on her left and peered through its sole, dirty window. Unable to make out much in the dimness, she walked around to the front and was surprised when she was able to pull the bolt back on the door. Why didn’t people lock things? A covered rowboat took up most of the space inside. She smiled, seeing herself rowing it on the lake. Growing more excited, Lexi edged around it to peer at the workbenches and the odd assortment of tools and useless things one found in abandoned sheds. It was like treasure hunting in an antique shop. She used to love doing that with her grandfather.
She glanced about and spied a dusty painting leaning against the wall. The scene was of a child and a brown dog. Behind the canvas were more paintings, some framed, some not. Lexi flicked through them. The ones that caught her attention she took out and set aside.
She looked for somewhere to sit and study the paintings. A small tin trunk wedged under a workbench seemed the only offering. Thinking it empty, she went to tug it out, but it remained fast.
Using both hands, she heaved it out and was showered in a puff of dust. Squatting down, she inspected the latch that was held tight with a small lock. ‘Why are you locked?’ she murmured. The shed was open to anyone passing by, yet this ugly little chest had a lock on it. The trunk was nothing special, plain and in parts rusted. No ornament or writing hinted at its use.
Intrigued, she grabbed a hammer from the workbench, but then hesitated. She had no right to open someone else’s property. Lexi closed her eyes momentarily. What was she thinking of breaking into the trunk? What am I doing? Never had she broken the law and here she was guilty of trespassing and breaking and entering! She looked around the rowboat as though expecting someone to jump out and arrest her.
Something inside urged her on. She knew she couldn’t stop now. Sucking in a deep breath, she bent and hit the lock hard. The ringing sound was loud in the quiet serenity of the garden. The metal dented and with another few solid whacks the lock gave.
Shivers of excitement tingled along her skin. Gently, she eased up the lid.

Buy links:
Also available in Apple ibooks, etc.

About Annemarie Brear:
Australian born Annemarie Brear writes historical novels and modern romances. Currently living in England, her passions, apart from writing, are reading, researching, genealogy, roaming historical sites, buying books and gardening. She is an author of historical women's fiction, contemporary romance and several short stories. Also lover of chocolate, good movies and her family!

Annemarie Brear on the web:
   Twitter @annemariebrear.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Welcome to one of my favourite authors, the fabulous Jean Fullerton...

Hi Jean! I am so thrilled to have you visit my blog today - Jean and I became quick and firm friends when we met at the 2010 Romantic Novelists Association conference in Greenwich. Since then I have called on Jean for help with my own Victorian novels, purely because I love and admire her books so much. I am proud to call you my friend, lovely lady! Let's start with my questions...

Hi, Rachel, thank you for hosting me on your website today and what a interesting set of questions. 
1.)                What did you want to be when you grew up?
A costume designer and I nearly was. Because of my love of history and all things historical I was glued to our black and white TV set whenever anything historical was showing. All the women of my family worked in the Rag Trade as machinists and I made all my own clothes so when I left school I followed in their footsteps and got a job as a designer’s assistant in one of the clothing factories in Aldgate. After learning how to draft and cut patterns for new designs I decided to apply for an apprenticeship with Berman's And Nathan's the big constumiers in London.  I got the post too, but sadly the £4 15/- per week they were offering wasn’t enough for me to live on so I had to turn it down.

2.)                Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?
Tea for me, please. Milk no sugar. 

3.)                What genre do you typically read? Why?
That’s a tricky one as I’m happy to read anything that holds my interest. For contemporary fiction I’d go for Carole Matthews, Jill Mansell or Julie Cohen and I do like a bit of crime but my real love is well-written and historically-accurate story that transport me back in time. I’ve found a couple of new authors recently Paul Fraser Collard and William Ryan’s his Korolev series set in 1930s Stalin Russia but as I say I’m open to offers and like to discover new authors   

4.)                Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?
Matching underwear I’m always buying new sets. When my three daughters were younger and money was tight I used to have to make do with washed out miss-matched undies but not anymore. I know if I ever got knocked down and taken to hospital I’d have a great many things to worry about but thankfully, my underwear wouldn’t be one of them.   

5.)                What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?
Getting to know the characters and that normally take the first 1/3 of the book after which the writing becomes quicker. By then I’ve already established in the readers mind the world my protagonists inhabit so I don’t have to describe everything again and as I get to know them they start to give their own responses to situations. 

6.)                Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?

I try to get at least a scene done each day. That usually works out to about 1200 – 1400 words but if possible I like to push on to do hall of the next before I finish for the day. Of course it doesn’t always work out like that but if I don’t set a target time would just slip by. I write a log for each day of what I’m going to do so perhaps admin 9.30 – 11 then a bit of social media until 12 then lunch followed by four hours of writing between 1.30 and 5.30 then another couple of hours after dinner from 7 – 9 after which I flop in the armchair alongside the Hero at Home to catch up on some TV.  

7.)                What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Readers love them and so do I. They allow you and your readers to follow your characters through various stages of their lives and it’s very satisfying. However, there are a couple of the drawbacks for the writer is you can get stuck there and too comfortable but the big problem is you can get bored. Luckily, after 4 books of my Victorian East London series I was asked to jump forward 100 years and write the East London Nurse series and now I’ve been contracted to write a World War 2 East London series title and released to be announced later this year. The wealth of research into such a fascinating period of East London’s history will keep me engrossed for a while, I’m sure.

 Thanks again for inviting me, Rachel. XX  


It's 1948 and the nurses of the East End of London are making the most of life post-war. For Connie in particular, things are looking rosy as she looks forward to planning a future with her sweetheart, Malcolm. But, as many a young bride-to-be has proved, the course of true love never did run smooth and Connie finds herself having to grapple with interfering mothers and Malcolm's reluctance to set the date.
But while there are many obstacles to overcome before walking down the aisle, at least Connie can relax in the knowledge that she'll soon be married to the man of her dreams, can't she?
Life at work isn't all smooth sailing either. The newly-formed NHS is keeping the nurses of Fry House extremely busy and as ever in the life of a nurse heartbreak lurks at every turn. But there are some new faces to keep things interesting. And one in particular might be the answer to all of Connie's problems...

Writing about Jean’s earlier books readers have said:
‘A delightful, well researched story that depicts nursing and the living conditions in the East End at the end of the war’ (Lesley Pearce)

‘...The writing shines off the page and begs for a sequel’ (Historical Novel Society)

‘…you will ride emotional highs and lows with each new birth and death. Beautifully written with some sharp dialogue.’ (THE LADY)

‘5 star read! Going on my Top Reads for 2014!’ Dizzy C book blogger

‘I just love Jean Fullerton's books - they are so evocative of a time gone-by in the East End of London.’ Chris a Reader

Wedding Bells for Nurse Connie available in paperback and kindle from WHS, Waterstones, all good bookshops and supermarkets and from Amazon:

Visit Jean’s website on www.jeanfullerton.com

or Twitter @JeanFullerton__   

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Introducing Finding My Highlander by Aleigha Siron...

Out Now – Finding My Highlander by Aleigha Siron (@AleighaSiron) #FindingMyHighlander 

On a windswept cliff above San Francisco Bay in 2013, 27 year-old Andra Cameron, the last member of her family, prepares to scatter her family's ashes to the wind. An earthquake catapults her to the Scottish Highlands in 1705. She wakes, aching and bloody, to the sound of horses thundering through the trees. Terrified and with no other options, Andra accompanies these rugged warriors. She can't deny the undeniable attraction that ignites between herself and the handsome but gruff Kendrick. Will she trust him to provide protection in the harsh reality of 18th century Scotland and with her secret, or will she find a way to return home to the 21st century?
Laird Kendrick MacLean and his men, escaping a recent skirmish with their worst nemeses, clan Cameron and their Sassenach allies, are shocked to find an injured, unprotected female in their path. How could she not know her kin and how had she landed in the middle of the wilderness alone? His men suspect she's a spy or a witch. Still, Kendrick will not abandon an injured woman, even if she speaks unusually accented English, and her name is Cameron. Will he ransom her to others or will their closed hearts open to each other? Although he questions her every utterance, this feisty, outspoken woman inflames his desire like no other.
Buy links

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:






“Lass, can I help you?” His voice was softer than the others, his stance relaxed, composed, despite the dirt and blood splattered over his massive arms and clothing. He seemed to be a quiet, gentle man, though physically as imposing as the others.
“You could bring me my bag.”
He moved his hand from behind him and cautiously extended her mother’s old carpetbag. “Do I need to check it for weapons?” A slight crinkle lifted the corner of his mouth. A piece of leather cord tied wavy, light-brown hair at the nape of his neck and tight braids spilled alongside sharp, scruffy cheeks. His eyes were dark and shadowed.
“Thank you…it’s Rabbie, correct?”
“Aye,” he nodded.
Andra granted him a guarded smile. “I’ll pull no further weapons if you promise to be kind.” The slight attempt at humor from both of them eased the tension coiled in her gut.
He swept an arm gracefully in front of him and bowed, “Always, m’lady, as I learned at me mother’s knee.” Then he left her to tend the horses.
She searched her bag for the washcloth, hand towel, and first aid kit she always carried when traveling. The washcloth came to hand first. She dipped it into the cold water and wiped the dried and clotted blood from her face and hair. Then she dunked her head in the pool several more times.
“I seem to be awake,” she whispered, just for the comfort on her own voice. “My surroundings feel solid enough,” she pounded her fist on the dirt, “so it must be real. Accept it, Andra, and decide what to do next.”
She could hear the men speaking Gaelic, hushed yet clearly distraught about the condition of their clansman. They gathered near another pool of water several yards from where she knelt. She watched them over her shoulder for a few minutes struggling to fit the scene into her new reality. A million questions rose in her throat.
“Not now. Patience and observation are what’s required. All will be revealed in time.” What a stupid cliché.
Should she offer her help with their friend; would they accept it? She could not sit here and do nothing when one of them was seriously injured. Besides, anxiety always spurred her to take action. Her father had always said, “Move, keep busy, and don’t let dust gather under your feet.” With her father’s words ringing in her ears, she approached the men cautiously, keeping her eye on the mean one, Struan.
“May I be of assistance?” She stood with her feet firmly planted on the hard-packed, dirt floor, her head held high, one hand pressed flat against her side, the other rested on the cross dangling on her chest. It took an extreme effort to control her trembling body. Her palms moistened with sweat. She steadied her focus on Kendrick. His strong hands moved carefully over his brother’s body. The mean one harrumphed and growled.
A growl? Really?
Kendrick looked up, concern etched on his face. His dark, probing eyes bore through her. “Are you a healer, then?” he asked.
“Not a healer exactly, but I have cared for ill and injured persons and have some training in first aid. I wish to help if you’ll permit me.”
“I dinnae ken your meaning. What’s the first aid of which you speak? As you can see, we give him aid, but if you can do anything to help save my brother’s life, I will gladly accept your offer.”
The mean one growled again. “Don’t trust her, she’s the enemy and will just as soon slit his throat.”
Ignoring the slur, she continued, “Have you determined the extent of his injuries?”
“Aye, his shoulder is dislocated, several fingers broken, which we have straightened and bound as best we’re able. We need to stitch multiple, deep wounds, and he’s lost a lot of blood, though blood no longer flows freely.”
The injured man lay on a plaid, stripped completely naked, his kilt torn away from his battered body. Mud, blood, and all manner of vile debris caked the hard planes of his bronzed chest. Andra couldn’t identify the severity or location of all his injuries. He moaned but appeared unconscious, or so she assumed, since he hadn’t opened his eyes. Clumps of dried blood crusted over wounds on one leg and foot. Dark, matted refuse covered the entire other leg.
His manhood lay flaccid against his thigh, and none of the men seemed concerned about his state of undress in front of a strange female. She stood quietly, waiting for several breaths.

Author Bio:

After more than twenty years writing and delivering management and other training programs for modest-sized to Fortune Five Hundred companies, and ten years developing community crisis-intervention training programs, Aleigha turned her writing efforts to her first loves, fiction, and poetry.  Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and university presses over the past few decades.  Following a difficult period in her life, she discovered solace in romance novels that inspired her to write in this genre.  As she says, "who doesn't desire a guaranteed happy-ever-after scenario?" Always interested in the concept of time-travel, she knew her first few stories would follow that theme.

When not writing, her trusty four-legged companion/helper, Strider, accompanies her on sunset walks along the shore. During these quiet walks under an expansive sky, with the whoosh of waves across the sand and her gaze drifting over the rolling sea, her best glimmers of inspiration come to mindFollowing the recent discovery of distant Scottish ancestors, she embarked on a trip to the Highlands. Although she had already developed the characters for Finding My Highlander, her trip to the Highlands enriched the characters and enhanced the story direction. This is her first full-length romance novel.  Aleigha is working on a prequel to Finding My Highlander, and another time-travel novel set in a later period.  

WWW (Aleigha Siron’s Webpage)

Aleigha Siron’s  Book page at Tirgearr Publishing

Tirgearr Publishing Home Page


Thursday, 12 May 2016

Welcome fellow RNA member, Amanda James...

1.)              What was your first job? Did you like or dislike it? Why?
I was an apprentice hairdresser straight from school. I liked the idea of becoming a hairdresser but I ended up in a really snooty salon and couldn’t cope with being bossed about! I eventually became a teacher so it all worked out in the end.

2.)              Do you have a pet peeve? If so what is it?
I would like people to be honest and say what they mean instead of beating about the bush. We all do it to an extent, but I wish we didn’t.

3.)              Would you describe your style as shabby chic, timeless elegance, eclectic, country or _Eclectic I think.__­­­_?

4.)              Tell me about your book Summer in Tintagel and where you got your inspiration for it? It is about young journalist, Rosa Fernley’s quest to fulfil her grandmother’s dying wishes by visiting the mysterious Tintagel in Cornwall. When she gets there she comes face-to-face with the fact that many things she’s always believed about her life and her past are untrue. She also meets a mysterious psychic that knows more about Rosa than she does herself.

I was inspired by the area itself as I am lucky enough to only live forty-minutes away. Tintagel is full of history and mystery and the story came to me when I was walking round the old castle.

5.)              Who is your role model? Why?
The suspense writer Dean Kontz because he is a master at what he does.

6.)              How much of your book is realistic?
Lots of it. The setting is real and the history behind it. The main character, Rosa does have a sixth sense however, which some people might not see as realistic. However, a small part of the story is based on what a psychic once told me.

7.)              What are your ambitions for your writing career?
To carry on getting my books published and for readers to enjoy them.

8) Share one fact about yourself that would surprise people.

I wish I could fly. Not on a plane – I mean like a superhero type flying!

This is a link to my author page which has info about me and the blurb. http://urbanepublications.com/book_author/amanda-james/

Summer in Tintagel (Urbane Publications July 2016)
Cross Stitch (Choc Lit December 2014)
Somewhere Beyond the Sea ( Choc Lit April 2014)
Dancing in the Rain (Choc Lit March 2014)
A Stitch in Time (Choc Lit) - http://www.choc-lit.com/
Righteous Exposure (Crooked Cat) - http://www.crookedcatbooks.com/

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Welcome fellow RNA member, Julia Wild...

 Hi Julie! It's always lovely to welcome a fellow RNA member to my blog - looking forward to learning more about you and your latest release, MOON SHADOW. Let's start with my questions...

Hi Rachel,

Thank you for inviting me onto your blog; it’s a pleasure to be here.

My name is Julie Vince, I’m currently the RNA’s Hon Secretary and I write as Julia Wild. I won the New Writers’ Award in 1997, with Dark Canvas and what is now known as the Rona Rose in 2003 with Illusions. I’m currently bringing out my backlist on Amazon and Createspace. Moon Shadow was my latest – a new release – that came out in early February 2016.

1.) What is your favourite thing about yourself?
My favourite thing is being a writer. That and my feet – I love my toes when they have nail varnish on and pretty peep-toe shoes!

2.) What do you wish you’d known before you started writing?
I thought long and hard about this question, Rachel. When I began writing, it was 1989 and I was published in 1997, so I’m glad I didn’t know how long it would take! I think, like life, sometimes it’s better not to know things before you embark on a life-changing love like writing – ignorance is bliss. 

3.) Share a romantic moment in your life.
I met my husband-to-be whilst waiting for my boyfriend of five years on Saturday lunchtime in the Gloucester Arms, Gloucester Place in 1979. I knew I’d marry him as soon as he spoke to me. 

4.) Is there one subject you’d never write about as an author? What is it?
There are some subjects that are so dark and upsetting that I would rather avoid them. The top of that list would be the ill-treatment and abuse of a child.

5.) Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
In my opinion, one of the best tips I have ever had is that if you are struggling with your work in progress, reading it aloud shows up the lumps and bumps in your writing. This tip also helps unnatural dialogue to show up clearly.

6.) If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why?
My favourite book of all time is called Simply Heaven by Serena Mackesy. It embodies everything I love to read – intense romance, elements of a thriller, comedy, truly awful relatives, a gorgeous hero and wondrously flawed heroine. The pace of the book is exciting, and whenever I need inspiration, I pick it up to remind me what I want to achieve in my own writing. I have read this book more times than any other – and it still gives me a thrill.

7.) What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
When I was very little, my Mum caught me wiping a worm on the back door mat. ‘What are you doing?’ she asked. ‘Wiping his feet before I bring him in to play.’ Said I! You can imagine the rest, but I think my Mum found it funny really. 
We lived near a spot called Luzley Brook, near Manchester. There were trees beside the brook that ran from a rope-works. I was lucky enough to grow up when all the neighbours knew one another and the only warning given before escaping out of the back door to go and ‘play out’ was: don’t take sweets from strangers and don’t talk to strangers. I charged out one day to run around and climb trees – wearing a skirt of all things. I fell out of the tree, saved by the skirt – but had to dangle on the end of a branch until the skirt ripped and deposited me on the grass below! I was so worried about what my Mum & Dad would say, but again, they looked more amused than cross. I just thought I would be in a lot of trouble.

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

I’d ask you what you enjoy eating the most. If you said ‘anything,’ then I’d make meat and potato pie. It’s a family favourite – we slow cook the meat and onions for around 24-36 hours, then mix the meat with diced potatoes with a dash of Worcester sauce, gravy browning and return it to the oven after adding an egg-glazed topping of shortcrust pastry.  Our youngsters have left home now, but when we do a pie – we always send a message out to the family, so they can join us!
Thank you again, Rachel for inviting me onto your blog. All the very best, Julie

‘You’ll destroy me if I let you…’

Ellie Morrison is an actress by trade, so what’s she doing on a ranch in Montana posing as a housekeeper and investigating the murky past of its good-looking owner Declan Kelloway? And why does she find herself attracted to her new boss? After all, she has a perfectly satisfactory man in her life. And Declan is just part of her job, isn’t he?

Julia Wild Short Author Bio

A member of the Romantic Novelists Association since the 1990s, I came through the New Writers Scheme to win the New Writers Award (now known as the Joan Hessayon award) with Dark Canvas, my first book.
I am married and live in Bedfordshire and have three fantastic children – all grown up now – but all still very much part of my life.

I worked in the local mobile Housebound library for nine wonderful years, and then was re-deployed to a local library until 2014. When the huge cutbacks came, I took redundancy and am taking some time to be self-employed, doing what I love best – escaping into the writing world.
Illusions won the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2003 (Now the Rona Rose)

Other books I’ve written are:
Dark Canvas
Blue Silk Promise
Soul Whispers
New release – Moon Shadow (Feb 2016