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Showing posts from 2013

Merry Twixtmas

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It's that funny bit of the year that didn't have a name when I was growing up.  I'm a little late to wish you all a Happy Christmas, and a little early for New Year.  Still, I hope you're enjoying the festive season and haven't been too inconvenienced by the weather.

If, like me, you're already thinking about fitting in more big writing projects next year, you may enjoy my post over at Book in a Week about time management books for writers:

http://www.book-in-a-week.com/2013/12/time-management-books-writers/

On the other hand, if you're looking for a smaller project, you may like last month's post on writing a haiku a day:

http://www.book-in-a-week.com/2013/12/haiku-day/

And finally, did you catch my visit to Melinda Dozier's blog before Christmas?  The Santa Next Door makes an appearance, and Melinda asks me some intriguing questions about writing and Christmas.

http://melindadozier.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/12-days-of-romance-santa-next-door-by.html?zx=…

25 Days of Christmas: Ellen Butler, SECOND CHANCE CHRISTMAS

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I was delighted with Melissa Stark's review of The Santa Next Door, and today I'm happy to be helping out by reviewing Ellen Butler's Second Chance Christmas as part of Melissa's 25 Days of Christmas series.  Have you visited yet?  If not, you can see all the stories on the blog, or read my review of Ellen Butler's book here:

http://www.melissasnark.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/25-days-of-christmas-stories-second.html


By the way, don't forget the competition to win a pdf copy of The Santa Next Door is still running over at Melissa's blog, until Saturday 21st December.  All you have to do is leave a comment on your favourite Christmas food - is it the mince pies that feature in The Santa Next Door, or turkey, or something else?  So far, Italian Christmas food seems to be a hit!

Santa's out and about

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As Christmas approaches, Santa is getting busier, and so is The Santa Next Door! 


I'm over the moon about Melissa Snark's delightful review on the 25 Days of Christmas, which you can read here:

http://melissasnark.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/25-days-of-christmas-stories-santa-next.html


And there's a sweet snippet from The Santa Next Door on Exquisite Quills' First Kiss Wednesday:

http://exquisitequills.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/first-kiss-wednesday_11.html



Still Moments Magazine

This week I was excited to discover not one but two of my books reviewed in Still Moments Magazine's website!

You can read their short but sweet 4* review of The Santa Next Door here: http://stillmomentsezine.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/The%20Santa%20Next%20Door

And Perfect Partners is here, with a slightly less exciting 3.5*:
http://stillmomentsezine.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Perfect%20Partners

I also loved discovering that my books were reviewed alongside Rachel Brimble's delightful historical, Love's Debt.  You can read her review here:

http://stillmomentsezine.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Love%27s%20Debt

Book Review: Bells Will be Ringing

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Bells Will Be Ringing by Monica Tillery et al
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For me, the standout feature of this anthology was its sheer range. Bravely, the editors picked four stories which have nothing in common except Christmas... well, and sweet romantic storylines! The settings range from historic England to contemporary Hawaii and the mainland US.
I think my favourite story was 'His Hawaiian Christmas', for its charm and originality. In any other context, snow at Christmas would be a cliche, but in Hawaii it's magical and eye-opening. When laid-back-to-the-point-of-horizontal surfer-dude Kai takes uptight hotel manager Clara up a mountain to discover Hawaii's one and only chilly spot, he shows her there's more to him - and to the island paradise - than she's previously realised.
Another strong contender for favourite story was 'Merry's Wonderful Christmas Gift', an endearing historical romp with an English village setting, complete with oak tr…

Sun, sea and Sine FM

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I may possibly have forgotten to mention my latest appearance on local radio - or at least, the appearance of Angela Wren, wonderfully voicing my story, New Horizons, as part of National Short Story Week.  The story is a tie-in to my book from Crimson Romance, 'Perfect Partners', and features Mark and Elaine, dance teachers and mentors to Lisa and Redmond. 

Serendipitously, the story also mentions a trip to Australia, and where was I when the story was broadcast?  Why, in the sunny land of Oz!  A big thank you to Sheila North, David North, Jon Kelly and Angela Wren (and anyone else I've forgotten) for making it all happen without my physical presence - ah, the magic of radio! 

You can catch New Horizons and the other 4 stories here:

http://www.sinefm.com/a_z_of_shows/national_short_story_week

But get in quickly, because I don't know how long the link will be valid!  

Oh, and in case you need a brief escape from our chilly November, here's a picture of Australia to mak…

25 Days of Christmas

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And in other news... The Santa Next Door will also be one of the books featured on popular blogsite Snarkology's 25 days of Christmas series.  Check out Melissa's shiny, lovely site over the course of December to be introduced to a whole Christmas cornucopia of seasonal stories!

Here she is:

http://melissasnark.blogspot.co.uk/



Year End Splash

Just in case I don't get a chance to post tomorrow, I just wanted to let everyone know it's here... The Santa Next Door is a prize on The Romance Reviews Year End Splash tomorrow (27th, from noon to midnight Eastern time - yes, ebooks are a global phenomenon!).  There's just one simple question to answer, and a pdf copy could be winging its way into your inbox.  What's that you say?  You already read it and loved it?  Well, don't tell me, tell Amazon - there's nothing more authors love than finding a happy smiley review on the biggest ebook store of all... But if you haven't already read it, then why not hop on over and see if you can snag a free copy as an early Christmas gift?

Year End Splash: Sneak Preview

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The weather may be getting colder but things are heating up at The Romance Reviews in preparation for the Year End Splash.  Visit them here to see a list of the huge number of participating authors (including yours truly) and get a sneak preview of some of the games.  I completed the cover matching game in 28 clicks - can you beat me?



No Plot, No Problem

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This month at Book-In-A-Week I'm reviewing Chris Baty's definitive guide to National Novel Writing Month, 'No Plot, No Problem, A Low-Stress, High Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days'.  I still haven't decided whether to do NaNoWriMo this year or not, but whether I'm participating or not, this book is never far out of reach.

www.book-in-a-week.com/2013/10/no-plot-no-problem/

I'm at Just Contemporary Romance

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I'm at Just Contemporary Romance today talking about whether Christmas really is the most romantic time of the year, in connection with my Christmas romance, The Santa Next Door.  Plus, there's a giveaway!  Share your opinion about the most romantic season, and you could win a copy of my first published romance, Desperate Bid. 

Free: Get in the mood for Christmas

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If you've heard those horrible announcements on the radio which tell you how few days you've got left to do your Christmas shopping, you might welcome something to help get you in the mood for Christmas. Here's one idea: The Santa Next Door is free on Kindle from today until Saturday 19th October. Why not download a copy and get back in touch with the spirit of Christmas? Or pop a copy on your Kindle now and save it until you're ready to feel the Christmas spirit (but maybe 24th December would be a little late...!)

Click here to view the book on Amazon and get your free download.


Did you catch me at Book-in-a-Week this month?

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This month at Book-in-a-Week I'm talking about what to do when your writing really needs the boost of a writing retreat, but time or money gets in the way of a full-on writing week away.  Click on the link below if you'd like to find out more about organising an informal writing retreat of your own.

http://www.book-in-a-week.com/2013/10/informal-writing-retreats/

A Milestone in the Life of 'The Santa Next Door'

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There are certain moments in the life of a book that stick in your memory.  Getting a first sentence you love.  Writing 'The End' and meaning it.  Seeing the cover for the first time.  And of course, the first review.

'The Santa Next Door' has its first review, and thanks to book blogger Katie L Thompson, it was an absolute delight for me to read.  You have to love a reviewer who says about your book: 'I’d give it 6/5 if I could'!  She praises the book's writing style, characters and plot - click here if you want to find out why.  I'm hugely excited about this review, because although my friends, family and editors have all said good things about Santa, that's not the same as hearing a positive opinion from someone whose only connection with me is the book.

Amanda Hocking, bestselling author of Switched, says that book bloggers can make a huge difference to the success of a book, and with Santa's first review being a 5-star one, I'm excited …

Book Review: The Texas Millionaire's Runaway Wife

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The Texas Millionaire's Runaway Wife by Mary Malcolm
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Considering this book's title is a jumble of cliches, and the story boasted a good number too (millionaire hero, fake marriage, woman who will do anything to help out her suffering family), it's somewhat ridiculous how much I loved reading 'The Texas Millionaire's Runaway Wife'.  This is one of those stories that breathes new life into old romance tropes. Cassie and Stephen are believable people, with both flaws and lovable features that are just a little larger than life.

Cassie is impetuous, bossy and has a slight vicious streak, yet this is balanced by her deep capacity for love and kindness, as well as the natural beauty which Stephen falls unexpectedly in love with. Stephen is in many ways your classic millionaire alpha male - domineering, controlling and possessive - but he has a sweet streak too (generous, funny and good with children). It was easy to accept Stephen and Cassi…

Coming Soon: The Romance Reviews Year End Splash

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I'm looking forward to being part of this event.  Check out The Romance Reviews website in November to find out more about great giveaways, new authors, and online fun and frolics.

Book Review: Switched

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Switched by Amanda Hocking
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was all ready to hate 'Switched' on the grounds that I'd heard so much about it, I was bored before I started reading it. By the end of the first chapter, I'd changed my mind.
'Switched' is a thoroughly modern take on a classic idea that's fascinated me ever since childhood, the idea of changelings - human children taken by fairies, or, in this case, trolls (Trylle).

It's easy to identify with Wendy, the child who just doesn't belong. Even though few of us can have been rejected quite so extremely, we've surely all had moments when we were certain we belonged anywhere but here. Hocking plays brilliantly on this familiar feeling to make the extraordinary events of 'Switched' seem not only possible but almost normal. IPads, music collections, dresses and nail polish help to ground the story, as does the location of the Trylle kingdom in a backwater of rural America.

Wendy's i…

Romance Lives Forever!

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