Tag Archives: Choc Lit

Dream a Little Dream shortlisted for a RoNA!

ImageI’ve been sitting on this news for weeks – Dream a Little Dream has been shortlisted for a ‘RoNA’ in the Contemporary category. I’m so thrilled!

In all my years in the Romantic Novelists’ Association I’ve wanted to be shortlisted for an award but – as you’ll probably appreciate – the competition is fierce. And this, year, finally, it’s happened.

‘RoNA’ stands for ‘Romantic Novel Award’. There’s a glittering awards event at the RAF Club in Piccadilly, London, on the 26th of February, when the winner of each category will be announced and receive a beautiful piece of crystal. Then those winners go forward to the Romantic Novel of the Year Award presented at the RNA’s Summer Party in May.

My congratulations go to everyone else on the shortlists and I hope they’re all as excited and pleased as I am.

And my thanks to Choc Lit, without whom there would be no book.

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Ta-daaaahhh! Gorgeous new cover

Due out November 2013

Due out November 2013

I’m thrilled to be able to reveal my new cover.

I think it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Covers are crucial to giving a book a chance of success. Completely contrary to the saying ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ books are constantly judged in exactly that way. Browsers, particularly, are attracted or otherwise by the visual appeal. We sometimes refer to it as ‘pickupability’ – that elusive image that draws prospective readers to take a book from the shelf.

Choc Lit have given me a fine array of covers and this one is no exception. Berni Stevens is the talented cover artist who created this (and Dream a Little Dream) and I often don’t envy her her job. It’s common for cover artists to submit an array of concepts, have one taken up, work on refining and completing the design with the publisher – only for the buyers from major booksellers to give it the thumbs down. So then the cover artists begins all over again …

Berni was particularly under pressure with this cover because not only were we getting close to deadline for the American market but the lovely people at My Weekly had asked me to write a story for their 2014 Annual, due out ITL?_packshot copyin October 2013, and were including an interview with me, partly about Is This Love?, due out a month later. We all wanted the new cover to be included in the feature – and they go to press with the annual first thing this morning. So Berni did a fantastic job getting the cover finalised with a day in hand.

From a writer’s perspective, part of whether a cover ‘works’ for us relies on whether the it correctly interprets our words. It must be irritating to be given a cover depicting a woman with red hair if the story tells us her hair is black or that the hero drives a sportscar but we see him in a family saloon. And I never see how glaring inaccuracies contribute to pickupability. So I’m lucky that Berni reads my books and then creates something that’s truly awesome.

What do you think? Do you like the new cover?

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Free short stories from Choc Lit and National Express!

Love Match cropChoc Lit and National Express are giving away twelve lovely short stories with choccy recipies as downloads – Just click here.
It’s my story that’s today’s freebie!
‘Are Diamonds Forever?’ features a ring, a tattoo, a fox (in more ways than one) and a recipe for Rocky Row (which features a lot of scrummy stuff and I have selflessly tried it out for you. Several times.)

So if you’d like to treat yourself to short stories from Choc Lit’s wonderful writers, just follow the link, and enjoy.

Ebooks can be read on loads of devices, these days, from your phone to your tablet to your PC. My device of choice is a Kindle and I’ve been stocking it up ready for time off over Christmas. Here’s what’s awaiting me:

Staying Away at Christmas, Katie Fforde

Old Desires, Liz Fielding

Winter Warmers, Carole Matthews

You Had Me at Hello, Mhairi McFarlane

Tall, Dark and Kilted, Lizzie Lamb

Santa Maybe, Scarlett Bailey

The Silent Touch of Shadows, Christina Courtenay

Holiday Affair, Annie Seaton.

OK, I probably won’t get them all read, but it’s great to have a lovely big ‘to be read’ list.

So what are you going to be reading over Christmas?

 

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My New Baby – Darcie’s Dilemma

DARCIE'S DILEMMA_revise 2

This week sees the publication of my new baby – Darcie’s Dilemma. Writers are fond of calling their books their babies, because we love them so much, even though the labour pains are so fierce. But I’m calling Darcie’s Dilemma ‘a baby’ because it’s a novella. It’s a halfling, to use a handy Lord of the Rings term, and, at least for the moment, it’s only out as an ebook.

Novellas are becoming increasingly popular in the ebook world – publishers don’t have the same economic factors to take into account as they do with a print book; readers seem to like a few shorter pieces on their ereader – and so Choc Lit invited their writers to submit novellas for the ‘Choc Lit Lite’ line. Darcie’s Dilemma isn’t a short story, it’s a shorter book, so there’s plenty of plot, emotion, heat, characterisation, and everything else readers like and, kind of disappointingly, there was still a LOT of research to do! But I really enjoyed spinning a story for Darcie and Jake, and Darcie’s little brother, Ross, and the strange, fey, dysfunctional Casey.
Here’s the blurb:

How do you weigh one love against another? Things haven’t been easy for Darcie Killengrey; left with the responsibility of her troubled teenage brother Ross and a past of unhappiness and heartbreak. And then Jake Belfast strides back into her life, as acerbic and contrary as he is exciting and handsome— he also just happens to be her best friend’s brother. Having parted on bad terms two years previously, Darcie and Jake now find themselves flung back together. Tensions reach new heights when they’re forced to work in the same place and the pair struggle to put the past behind them. And, all the while, Ross is becoming increasingly involved with a dangerous influence, which looks set to make Darcie’s problems with Jake pale into insignificance …

I set Darcie’s Dilemma in Bettsbrough, which readers of Starting Over and All That Mullarkey will have caught a glimpse of as it’s a town close to Middledip village. The plot needed just a little more space to unfold.

It’s a really pretty cover, isn’t it? The colour reminds me of being under water.

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