Category Archives: Preorder
It’s my pleasure to reveal the LOVELY cover for One Summer in Italy! I absolutely adore it and want to rush back to Italy this very minute.
If you buy the book you will find news of a lovely opportunity in the back! Can’t tell you any more right now but … look out for it.
And here’s what happened, one summer in Italy:
When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.
So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.
Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off …
It’s 21 years since I sold my first short story and 13 since I sold (or my then-agent sold) my first novel but I’m still surprised – even shocked – by certain aspects of being an author. I thought I’d share some with you.
- Fresh ideas can be hard to come by, not because too many people have written about them before – but because I have!
- Likewise, character names. (If anyone ever wants to gather all my character names together in one document, please do let me know. I can help you achieve that ambition.)
- People asking for my help. I’m afraid I have to disappoint a lot of people over this one. Please see ‘Time Pressure’ below.
- People asking for charitable donations. I’m so sorry I can’t fulfil all of these requests. I try to give time as a speaker when I can but I’ve stopped donating signed books because over one-third of the donation goes straight to the Royal Mail in postage.
- Time pressure. Writing to an agreed schedule is different to writing if and when I feel like it.
- People telling me what I meant when I wrote something. It’s always interesting to hear these interpretations and compare them with my own thoughts on the subject. Sometimes I wish I had meant whatever it’s thought I meant because it makes me look brainier or more insightful than I am.
- Lovely messages on social media. These are such a privilege. Seriously. They make my heart dance and sing.
- People waiting for my next book. (Cue dancing, singing heart again.)
- Being in magazines – just me, not even my books.
- Needing patience when it comes to contracts and similar transactions. (Patience never has been my best thing.)
- My characters getting fan mail of their own. (Isn’t that awesome?)
- Occasionally needing a skin like a rhinoceros and a back like a duck. (You’re trying to draw this in your mind now, aren’t you?)
- It being perfectly legitimate to spend working hours perusing magazines or watching TV for ideas or research. Ditto travel to other countries.
- People actively wanting to help with research.
- Team Sue Moorcroft, my street team, even existing. (You can read about – and even join – the street team here.)
- Being taken out to lunch or sent gifts.
- Being asked to talk about myself. Really. And even getting paid for it.
- Being asked to read other authors’ books and supply a quote. I can’t do all of these either, for a wide variety of reasons, but it’s lovely all the same and it makes me feel better about giving to my publisher the names of other authors who might quote for my books.
- People wanting to receive my newsletter or share my posts.
- Being able to go to parties, lunches, talks and conferences in the names of education and networking.
- Being able to set my travel to/from events and cost of tickets and other relevant costs against tax.
- Thinking of a lot of ideas for blog posts around the publication of a book.
- The rush of excitement that accompanies publication.
- The heady disbelief when a book surpasses my wildest dreams (like The Christmas Promise getting to #1. The Little Village Christmas and A Christmas Gift becoming Sunday Times bestsellers. Just for the Holidays being nominated for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Sorry. I try and introduce these facts to conversations whenever remotely possible.)
- And receiving copies of my books, seeing the cover art and marketing plans.
- People thinking they see themselves in my characters. I try never to let this happen but maybe it’s unconscious?
- People saying they know where Middledip is. It’s on a big piece of paper in my study and that’s it, I’m afraid.
- Doing exciting research. (Helicopters, travel abroad, meeting interesting people.)
- Emails often being exciting.
- People reading my blog.
If I’ve missed out anything you have on your list, please add it in the comments!
Here it is! I’ve been dying to show you this for ages – the cover of Just for the Holidays.
I’m thrilled with such a stunning cover.
The paperback, which will be released on the same day as the ebook, will have lots of lovely purple foil and I can’t wait to have a copy in my hands! (For those of you who like audiobooks, it, too, will be released on 18 May 2017.)
Here’s the blurb:
The #1 bestselling author returns for summer! Grab your sun hat, a cool glass of wine, and the only book you need on holiday…
In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy.
Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for – but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.
But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…
A glorious summer read, for you to devour in one sitting – perfect for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.
Whether your holidays plans this year will involve somewhere exotic or a ‘staycation’ at home, I think that Leah’s holiday will make your summer look better. You can already pre-order Just for the Holidays. Grab your sunscreen!
And for those of you who followed my adventures in a helicopter, it’s this book I was researching!
Since I decided to give Ava Bliss in The Christmas Promise the career of milliner I’ve taken a lot more interest in hats. Before I go further, here’s a quick summary of terms:
But, basically, Ava makes hats for people, to order, by hand. Abigail Crampton of Abigail Crampton Millinery was my research source and now she’s making a couture hat for me! A cocktail hat, very evening-y and gorgeous. I’ve had the first consultation and on Tuesday I’m visiting her studio again for a fitting. (Pause for excited shiver.) I had a wonderful time trying on Abigail’s sample hats and choosing colour, fabric, shape and decoration. I can’t wait to see the next step!
Meanwhile, the fab team at Avon Books UK sent out lots of fun DIY hat-making kits and here’s what I came up with from mine:
I can see your looks of astonished admiration from here! 🙂 (If I squint a lot.)
Tomorrow (6 October) is ebook publication day, which is mahoosively thrilling. (Trying to find synonyms for exciting.) Oh, go on then, I’ll remind you what the ebook cover looks like:
The paperback and audio book will be published on the 1st December but don’t forget that you have one exclusive opportunity to grab the paperback well ahead of publication at a special event in Nottingham:
Stock has been released to this store for this special event so why not come along and help me launch the book? I’ll be happy to sign all books purchased, of course! (A signed book makes a lovely Christmas present.) NB I will be wearing the hat Abigail makes me to the launch rather than the one I made myself …
Huge thanks to all the lovely readers who have already ordered The Christmas Promise.
If you’d like to buy, too, you can choose your favourite platform here.
It seems like forever since I originated a post for my own blog. I’ve reblogged a couple of things but haven’t managed a new post. Here’s my list of excuses:
- Summer is my busy time as I’ve led courses in Italy (Arte Umbria), Derby (Swanwick) and Devon (Fiction on the Taw). A fact about running courses is that there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work, not just preparing the course but being in contact with organisers for admin reasons and perhaps reading work of the participants.
The Christmas Promise approached production and I had proofs to check bonus material to write and promo ideas to talk over. One of the many lovely aspects of being an author.
- I also took a holiday in my beloved Malta. I had beer to drink and sunshine to enjoy. That took two weeks.
- I received a lovely invitation to write a two-part story for My Weekly to go in their Christmas issues (3 and 10 December. Look out for that story because you can win a free book!).
- Throw in the RNA’s conference in the middle of that lot and you begin to get the picture.
Now I’ve realised how much I’ve neglected my blog I can’t really think what to write about! Whenever I’m asked to guest on someone else’s blog I can think of a subject but for my own blog? I’ve come up blank. So, in place of a proper post, here are ten things about me you may or may not know.
- My parents were both in the army. My mum originally outranked my dad and he got in trouble for talking to her with his hands in his pockets. He only rose higher than her when she left the army.
- I can’t ride a bike no-handed.
- I have no tattoos but five piercings.
- Chocolate is my favourite food group.
- My Saturday job when a teenager was in a butcher’s shop.
- I can do the ‘waterfall’ with a pack of cards.
- I find it hard to join in conversations about TV because I watch so little.
- But I know a lot about Formula 1.
- I’m incredibly thankful for good friends.
- I try only to read books I love. Life’s too short for those I’m told I ‘should’ read.
Blogpost done! 🙂
Here’s the cover of The Christmas Promise! I’ve been adoring it in private for some weeks, now, but, finally, I can reveal it in all its beauty.
I always get excited over a cover, even though it’s the part of the book I hardly influence. Or maybe because it’s the part of the book I hardly influence.
I know that skilled people at Avon Books UK have been painstakingly putting together the ingredients that they, with their experience, consider will best serve my work and sell my novel. They have intimate knowledge of the market and the readership – i.e. what fiction buyers will stock and what readers will pick up from the shelf. The cover even impacts on which shelves in which retailers the book will reside. I’m thrilled to have them working on my behalf.
Here’s the ‘wet proof’ that has been sitting on my desk for me to sigh happily over. Lots of bling! And the title font now being gold, the paperback’s going to truly sparkle.
For the sake of completeness, here’s the back cover, too. (If it looks a slightly different colour on your screen that’s because it’s a scan rather than a JPEG, I think.)
The back cover blurb’s also written by an expert in the job. In case you’re having to squint a bit to read it, here it is:
For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember…
On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava Blissham. Sparks fly, and not necessarily good ones.
Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.
So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life.
She just doesn’t know it yet…