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Monday, 1 December 2014

NEW RELEASE... Christmas Is Cancelled

Almost two years since my debut book took its first steps into the big wide, world and launched my publishing career, Christmas Is Cancelled has been back on the editing table and is now back on sale, better than ever.


It’s impossible to forget…
Matilda ‘Tilly’ Carter has had the week from hell – and now, with all trains cancelled, it looks like Christmas will be too! With a mascara-streaked face, a broken heel and nowhere to go, there’s never been a worse time to run into the man who once broke her heart. Especially when he looks better than ever. 
The one that got away…
For Dean, Christmas has always been hard. The Tilly standing before him is no longer the firecracker of his memories—even if the way she makes his heart race hasn’t changed at all. He is determined to uphold the promise that kept them apart nine years ago. But spending a cosy Christmas with Tilly would break a better man and each accidental touch, heated look and stolen kiss is taking its toll on Dean.
After all this time, can the magic of Christmas bring Tilly and Dean together at last? 

Buy It Now...


Add to Goodreads
Released: 1st December 2014
ISBN: 978-1-474-00844-0

Amazon UK ¦ US ¦ AUS
iBooks
Nook UK ¦ Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Google Play

For more purchase options, please go to my website.

I hope you love the new and improved Christmas Is Cancelled and hope that it helps get you in the mood for Christmas.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Pinterest Board... Facing the Music novels

It's been on my to-do list for some time, but at last, I have finally got started on a Pinterest board for the Facing the Music novels; featuring teasers, outfits, recipes, settings, inspiration, and more.

I will also be creating character sheets for each of the main characters over the coming months, as well as getting stuck into writing book 3, so be sure to follow the board to stay up to date with the latest pins.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Competition Time and a Thanksgiving Recipe with... Gina Henning


The How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie Blog Tour runs from November 7th until November 18th, each day of the tour a different character will share their favorite recipe for Thanksgiving. Stop by and see what’s cooking in the Hauser kitchen and be sure and enter the giveaway for a $50 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card, just in time for Thanksgiving!

Martin Hauser’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe

The back office at the Hauser home has been converted into a mini-video recording studio for each member of the Hauser family along with two special guests to share one of their favorite Thanksgiving recipes other than the pecan pie.

Hauser Family File: Martin Hauser is married to Leia Hauser and the father of Luke, Megan, and Lauren. When Martin isn’t at work or enjoying great meals prepared by his family, he can be found at the golf course.

“Roll the tape.”

Martin strolls into the room and nods at the camera. He’s just returned home from playing golf with his friends.

“Alright, my favorite recipe to share, besides the pie.” He raises and eyebrow and pushes his lips out to form a masculine duck face. Martin places his index finger over his lips and taps them twice.

“A few years ago, Megan made the best stuffing I’ve ever had and believe me I’ve had my share of stuffing over the years.” He laughs and pats his stomach.

He eyes the camera. “Apparently, Megan got this recipe from one of those Food Network chef people.” Martin pulls out a piece of paper from his khaki shorts. “Here it is.” He holds the paper up to the camera.

Megan’s Cornbread Stuffing Recipe (Courtesy of Tyler Florence)

2 tablespoons butter                                                    2 onions, chopped
6 large cornmeal muffins, cubed                                Handful fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 egg                                                                            1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chicken stock                                                 Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until soft and caramelized. Add sage and scrape into a large mixing bowl. Add the cornbread pieces, season well with salt and pepper, and give it a good toss until it's well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and stock, and pour that over the cornbread. Stir the stuffing together and stuff the cavity of the turkey. You could also spoon it into a buttered baking dish and put it in the oven along with the turkey. Bake until hot and crusty on top, about 30 minutes.

*Don’t miss the Hauser family Thanksgiving, available now from all these fine eBook Retailers:

Amazon US ¦ Amazon UK ¦ Nook US ¦ Nook GB ¦ Google Play ¦ Kobo ¦ 



A warm pie. A tasty guy. Happy Thanksgiving indeed.
Lauren Hauser is home for the holidays, and she’s been given a challenge: preparing her grandmother’s pecan pie. The problem? Lauren’s not famed for her baking skills. In fact, while her sister would win Star Baker every week, and her mom at least knows a sieve from a spatula, Lauren’s bakes have always been more dangerous than delicious!
Still, no Thanksgiving would be complete without dessert…which is why Lauren finds herself searching for pecans on Thanksgiving Eve. Stumbling into a gorgeous stranger laden down with bags of pecans seems like a holiday miracle…but despite Jack’s kissable lips he’s frostier than a snow cone…and out of sight before she can say ‘Macy’s Parade’!
As the clock counts down to Thanksgiving dinner, Lauren is running out of time. And without her grandmother’s perfect pecan pie it won’t be a very Happy Thanksgiving! What Lauren needs is a knight in shining armour. And it might just be that the magic of Thanksgiving will find her one after all…

Competition Time...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is also the link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d43499e02/

Blog Tour...


Be sure to stop by these blogs for sneak peeks and secrets from the Hauser Family!

7th November – Candy’s Raves
8th November – Avid Book Hoarder
9th November – Krysten Lindsay
10th November – Aurelia B Rowl
11th November – Rosie Amber
12th November – Holly Martin
13th November – Karen Aldous
14th November – Rebecca Raisin
15th November – eBook Review Gal
16th November – Mika Jolie
17th November – Katie Oliver
18th November – Gina Henning


Monday, 3 November 2014

Competition Time with... A.L. Michael

Santa, Baby
(Or: Writing a Christmas Teenage Pregnancy Story without Cliche)

The problem with writing is that eventually you realise that every single story has been done before. The thing you’ve got to cling to is that (hopefully) no-one else has done it with your voice.

I’ve blogged before about how certain topics come with a level of responsibility to the reader, to not appear one-sided or judgemental. When I write about sex, I try and write about safe sex, about mutual, consensual, crazy-about-you sorta sex. There is never going to be a moment where I write ‘don’t worry about the condom’. Yes, I know it happens in real life, but I want my characters, whilst fallible, to be working towards something positive.

So when I decided to write a pregnant teenager, I was faced with the same situation. Pregnancy happens. There’s meant to be a new romantic comedy movie coming out soon where the story is about a girl getting an abortion. The reason there aren’t often movies or books (or romantic comedies) about that response to pregnancy is that there is no story after that. I mean, unless she falls in love with the nurse, or meets a guy in the waiting room, that isn’t the beginning of a story. So whilst I’m pro-choice, I had to be sure there was a reason Megan would keep her baby. There is a part in the book where Megan discusses her own views, and why she feels like a hypocrite. Writing about pregnancy is a really big thing! You want to show that young mothers can do amazing things, but you also don’t want to make it seem easy. Raising kids is never easy.

It’s way too easy to get bogged down in the ‘what’s my message’ feeling of a book, when, really, you just need to let your characters get on with what they want to get on with. They’re human. Or they’re meant to be. The majority of real life people are motivated by their thoughts, beliefs, feelings and desires. Not by what other people think. So...I wrote a story about a young girl who was trying to please everyone else, and protect everyone, and was lonely and sad, and made a couple of bad choices. But the book is about how even when you’ve done an amazing job, when you’ve ‘made good’ and you’re living the best life you possibly can, you can still be scared that you’ll be defined by that one mistake, even if it turned out to be a great decision.


Megan McAllister is home for Christmas…whether she likes it or not!
Christmas is about family…and for Megan family means two people: herself, and her daughter Skye. It doesn’t mean her parents who, ten years ago, saw her pregnancy as anything but a miracle. And it definitely doesn’t include her irresistible ex-boyfriend Lucas Bright.
So ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ has never been top of Megan’s festive playlist. But for Skye, she knows she needs to spend the holiday season with the people she’s left behind. She can do this. Even if the thought of meeting Lucas under the mistletoe still has her feeling like she’s drunk one-too-many Snowballs!
But somewhere between the hanging of stockings and the crackle of wrapping paper, Christmas starts to sparkle. And Megan begins to wonder if family could be bigger than her and Skye after all…Pop the buck’s fizz, stoke the fire and prepare to giggle the festive season away with AL Michael!

Released: 28th October 2014
ISBN: 9781472096517

Amazon UK ¦ US
Kobo ¦ WHSmith
Nook UK ¦ Barnes & Noble
eBooks.com
Google Play
iBookstore
BlinkBox (Tesco) ¦ Sainsbury

Competition...


To win a Driving Home for Christmas goodie bag, including merchandise, festive treats and a £10 Amazon giftcard!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

COVER REVEAL... Christmas Is Cancelled

I didn't think I could love the new cover for Christmas is Cancelled more than the original one but I am delighted to have been proved wrong...I mean, look... it's SPARKLY!!
Add to Goodreads

This new and improved Christmas is Cancelled will be released on December 1st and should be up for pre-order soon.

The web page for Christmas is Cancelled is currently caught in the awkward limbo between old version and new, but I will be updating the page as soon as the new details and links become available so keep your eyes peeled.

As the first story I ever wrote, this one will always have a special place in my heart so I am thrilled that I got the chance to update it, making the story even stronger, and I hope you love it too.


Saturday, 18 October 2014

Competition Time with... Amelia Thorne

Beneath the Moon and the Starsby Amelia Thorne is out now.


Home, sweet home…
Joy Cartier has been to some of the most beautiful places in the world – but none of them have ever felt like home. So moving into a tiny cottage in the idyllic village of Bramble Hill, walking distance from her childhood home, seems like the perfect plan.
That is, until she gets there. The surly inhabitants of Britain’s Friendliest Village are anything but welcoming. Even her neighbour, reclusive Hollywood star Finn Mackenzie, takes one look at her and walks in the other direction.
But when the village animosity steps up a gear, it is the infuriatingly brooding Finn who keeps coming to her rescue. Slowly Joy begins to realise that maybe a happy home isn’t about where you live, but who you’re with…

Giveaway...


To celebrate the launch Amelia has a fab prize bundle to giveaway.  You could win these gorgeous hand carved wooden necklaces, a £15 iTunes voucher and a £50 theatre ticket voucher.

All you have to do is copy one of the pre-prepared tweets below, tweet it and you’ll automatically be entered into the draw to win this prize bundle. The more you tweet, the more times you’ll be entered.

You can even make up your own tweet about the book, just as long as it has the book link to amazon, (http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw) the hashtag #BeneathTheMoon and Amelia’s Twitter name @Amelia_Writes in the tweet you’ll be entered into the draw.

The competition will run until midnight (UK time) on Sunday 26th October and the winner will be announced on Tuesday 28th October so plenty of time for tweeting. Every time you tweet, you’ll be entered into the draw.

The Tweets...


Beneath The Moon and the Stars by @Amelia_Writes is out now, a gorgeous story of love, friendship and secrets
http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw
* * *
Beneath the Moon and the Stars by @Amelia_Writes has it all; beautiful men,a feisty heroine and a gorgeous lovestory
http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw
* * *
Beneath the Moon and the Stars by @Amelia_Writes has it all; 3 gorgeous men,2 adorable dogs, 1 beautiful love story
http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw
* * * 
Beneath the Moon and the Stars by @Amelia_Writes is a gorgeous story of love, secrets and misguided revenge
http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw
* * * 
Beneath the Moon and the Stars by @Amelia_Writes has secrets, revenge, a diamond thief & a beautiful love story
http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw
* * * 
Beneath the Moon and the Stars by @Amelia_Writes has 3 gorgeous men, 2 weddings and a whole heap load of secrets
http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw

Good luck!!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Rebecca Raisin Cordially Invites You...


Released Today!


You are invited to the wedding of the year!
Snow is falling thick and fast outside the Gingerbread Café and, inside, its owner Lily is planning the wedding of the year. Her wedding! She never dreamt it would happen, but this Christmas she’ll be marrying the man of her dreams — in a Christmas-card-perfect ceremony!
The gingerbread is baking, the dress is fitted and the mistletoe’s in place — for once, everything’s going to plan. That is until her mother-in-law arrives... Suddenly, Lily’s famous cool is being tested like never before and her dream wedding is crumbling before her eyes.
In the blink of a fairy light, the Gingerbread Café has been thrown into chaos! Lily thought she had this wedding wrapped up, but with so much to do before she says ‘I do’, can Lily get to the church on time — and make this Christmas sparkle after all?

Excerpt...


Chapter One
Ten days

Monday, 13 October 2014

Twenty Questions with... Kathleen McGurl

I am delighted to welcome fellow Carina UK author Kathleen McGurl onto my blog today, author of The Emerald Comb, released a couple of weeks ago.

Grab a brew and make yourself comfortable for a round of twenty questions that features John O'Groats, Orinoco (yes, the Womble), and wise words from Joe Konrath.

ACT ONE – all about you…


Kathleen McGurl lives near the sea in Bournemouth, with her husband, sons and cats. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present., and enjoys exploring these links in her novels. 

When not writing or working at her full-time job in IT, she likes to go out running or sea-swimming, both of which she does rather slowly. She is definitely quicker at writing.

You can find out more at her website, http://kathleenmcgurl.com/, or follow her on Twitter @KathMcGurl.


1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I was always going to be a writer, when I had the time! From a young age it was something I aspired to. During  my first maternity leave, before my son was born I started a novel. Then the baby came along, he wasn’t a sleeper and I found I hadn’t the time to write. Also, this was back in the mid-nineties and we had no computer. I’ve since found that I need to type a first draft for best results! It was about 10 years ago that I finally, properly started writing and since then I have not looked back.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

Style-wise, I think I have two ‘voices’. There’s one I use on my womagwriter blog which is chatty and friendly, and worked well for my two ‘how to write’ books. Then there’s the voice I use for novel writing. 

Writing rituals – no. I have none. I just sit down on the sofa when I have time, and get on with it, trying not to be too distracted by social media!

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

I think writers are influenced to some extent by everything they read, and I have always read a wide and varied selection of books. I love timeslip or dual timeline novels, and those by Kate Morton and Katherine Webb are my favourites, so I guess I’ve been more influenced by those two authors than anyone else.

4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?

Yes. I think it was on Joe Konrath’s blog that I came across the quote -  There’s a word for a writer who never gives up: Published. 

5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

Ooh! Right then, here goes:

1 – I once cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End, carrying camping gear on my bike panniers. It took 3 weeks and it rained every day.

2 – I love sewing and craft skills, and have reupholstered nearly every item of furniture in my house and my mum’s flat. I gave up doing upholstery when I began writing. Now the sofas are wearing out again – maybe I’ll need to go back to it!

3 – I have a full set of Womble pencil top figures, collected when I was 10. My favourite is Orinoco.

6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

1 – My Kindle. Love it to bits.

2 – Moisturiser. Though it’s more of an essential than a luxury.

3 – My fit-flops. World’s most comfortable footwear.

4 – My laptop. Current one is a hand-me-down from my son. You know your kids have grown up when they start passing their electronics on to you rather than the other way round.

5 – My leather jacket. After coveting one for 25 years I finally bought it earlier this year and now I don’t understand how I managed without it.


ACT TWO – all about your new release…


Some secrets are best left buried...
One afternoon, Katie takes a drive to visit Kingsley House, the family home of her ancestors, the St Clairs. She falls in love the minute she sees it. It may be old and in desperate need of modernisation, but it is her link to the past and, having researched her family tree extensively, she feels a sense of belonging to the crumbling old estate.
When it suddenly comes up for sale, she cannot resist persuading her family to sell up and buy it, never telling them the truth of their connection with it. But soon the past collides with the present, as the house begins to reveal the secrets it has hidden for generations. Does Katie really want to discover what she has come from?

7) Congratulations on your recent release of The Emerald Comb, what was your inspiration for writing Katie's story?

I’d researched my own family tree, and wrote a novella based on it (self-published as Mr Cavell’s Diamond). Then I started thinking, what if you dug up more than you bargained for? What if you discovered skeleton’s in your family history closet? And so The Emerald Comb was born.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

The historical section flowed well. The contemporary sections took more work as they had to fit around the historical story. If I get stuck on a scene I tend to leave it and push on with the next one. Chances are when I come back to it I’ll decide I don’t need the difficult scene anyway.

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

Hmm, let me think. I started writing it in March 2012. It was complete by the summer of 2013 and I submitted it to some agents around that time. But it was a year later in June 2014 that I sent it to Carina and was offered a two book deal on the back of it.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?

What a great question! I think this bit, from the prologue, will do nicely:

Read this only after I am dead, after I am buried. Read this and understand why you must never sell Kingsley House. You must live in it until the end of your days, guarding its secrets, as I have.

11) Over to you, what can you tell us about The Emerald Comb, to make us rush out and buy it?

There’s a lot of fascination with family history research. The TV programme Who Do You Think You Are has been very popular. My character Katie thinks she knows her ancestry but has she got it right? Her ancestors had dark secrets which they’ve buried deeply – can Katie ever uncover the truth?

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now? 

I’m working on another timeslip novel – this one is part 1944 and part contemporary, and has a supernatural element.


QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

Plotter. Mostly.

14) Digital books or print books?

Both. Print for keepers, digital for holidays/long journeys/reading in bed.

15) Tea or coffee?

Both! Tea first then coffee, and back to tea in the afternoon.

16) Extrovert or introvert?

Introvert.

17) Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook. Though Twitter’s growing on me.

18) Christmas or birthday? 

Christmas. Definitely. 

19) Morning person or night owl?

Neither – middle of the day for me!

20) Sweet or savoury?

Savoury. Except chocolate, obviously.

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Kath, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about Kathleen McGurl, and to keep up with her latest projects, you can visit her at:

Website     Facebook     Twitter


Buy it now…


Add to Goodreads
Release date: 22nd September 2014
ISBN: 9781474007504

Amazon UK ¦ US

Friday, 3 October 2014

NEW RELEASE: A Girl Called Malice

After a year in the making, the time has finally come for Alice to make her mark on the world.

I have plumbed the depths of my emotions and spent an obscenely unhealthy amount of time trapped inside the head of one very messed up character and I couldn't be more proud of Alice's story and her eventful journey.


It’s not easy being the Queen Bee.
Alice Taylor should know.
You know that girl. The one that the whole school’s social life seems to revolve around. Alice used to be that girl until she decided to quit sixth form college. Suddenly her ‘friends’ aren’t so interested in following her around and her attention-grabbing behaviour is about to get her kicked out of home. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, her world starts spiralling seriously out of control.
Only new friend Zac Newton seems to believe in her. Lifeguard and poolside hottie, Zac is quite literally her lifesaver. But then, he’s never met ‘Malice’, her mean-girl alter ego, and Alice wants to keep it that way. She knows this is her last chance for a fresh start until her sordid past catches up with her at the worst possible moment.
As everything Alice has worked towards comes crashing down around her, she realises that the hardest thing of all is being yourself…

Giveaway...


To celebrate the release, I am running a giveaway on Facebook and Twitter; all you have to do is share a photo of you with A Girl Called Malice open on your ereader or tablet. Simple!



Buy it now...

Add to Goodreads
Released: 3rd October 2014
ISBN: 978-1-474-00755-9

Amazon UK ¦ US
Kobo
Nook UK
Google Books
Sainsbury's
Blinkbox (Tesco)
eBooks.com


More links will be added to the A Girl Called Malice page of my website as they go live.

I hope you love A Girl Called Malice...and Alice...as much as I do!

Happy reading,
Aurelia x


Monday, 22 September 2014

COVER REVEAL... A Girl Called Malice

It's all getting very exciting with the standalone sequel to Popping the Cherry less than a fortnight away from release, and today I am delighted to reveal the cover for A Girl Called Malice...



It’s not easy being the Queen Bee. Alice Taylor should know. 
You know that girl. The one that the whole school’s social life seems to revolve around. Alice used to be that girl until she decided to quit sixth form college. Suddenly her ‘friends’ aren’t so interested in following her around and her attention-grabbing behaviour is about to get her kicked out of home. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, her world starts spiralling seriously out of control.
Only new friend Zac Newton seems to believe in her. Lifeguard and poolside hottie, Zac is quite literally her lifesaver. But then, he’s never met ‘Malice’, her mean-girl alter ego, and Alice wants to keep it that way. She knows this is her last chance for a fresh start until her sordid past catches up with her at the worst possible moment.
As everything Alice has worked towards comes crashing down around her, she realises that the hardest thing of all is being yourself…
I am so ridiculously excited that it's almost time for you to get your hands on Alice's story; I hope you learn to forgive her and let her into your hearts.

On that note, I shall be back with the pre-order/buy links as soon as they are available but in the meantime, I'd love it if you could add it to your TBR list today...

Popping the Cherry

Friday, 19 September 2014

Revealed...a brand new look for Popping the Cherry

I can hardly believe it but Popping the Cherry celebrates its first anniversary today and I am delighted to reveal that it has a whole new look...

Buy links and first chapter HERE

Isn't it lovely?

If you've not yet read it, get in quick before book two, A Girl Called Malice, is released in a matter of weeks.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Summer is over so it's back to work...

(c) Image credit
Hey everyone!

The school holidays are over and the kids are back at school so I figured an update was long overdue, especially with lots of exciting stuff still to come this year.


WalkTen (c) ABR
Our summer started with the kids' sponsored 10K walk at Tatton Park to raise funds for Marie Curie, which The Hub and I therefore did too, but it was a lovely evening rounded off beautifully with fireworks.

We then took ourselves off to North Wales for a couple of weeks over the holidays. The weather wasn't great but we still managed to get around several castles, a spooky house in Conway, the Welsh Mountain Zoo, and various jaunts to the beach.

Puffin Island (N. Wales) (c) ABR
The good and bad thing about where we stay is the lack of phone signal, let alone no WiFi, so I always find it hard when I'm such an internet junkie. On the upside, I got a lot of reading done once the kids were in bed for the night which you can see on my 'Just Finished' shelf on Goodreads if you're interested.


Aurelia's just-finished book montage

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
Let's Call The Whole Thing Off
Reasons Not to Fall in Love
Simply Irresistible
The Millionaire Tempted Fate
Making It Good Enough
One Hundred Proposals
The Bookshop on the Corner
The Language of Spells
Prada and Prejudice
The Guestbook
Dirty Minds
Dan Taylor Is Giving Up on Women
Doubting Abbey
The Right Side of Mr Wrong
When Alice met Danny
Without Saying A Word
Eloping With Emmy
You Had me at Bonjour
High Heels & Bicycle Wheels


Aurelia B. Rowl's Just Finished books »



On the writing front, the year so far has been all about Malice, the mean girl from Popping the Cherry, and getting her story down on paper. All being well, A Girl Called Malice will be hitting the virtual shelves on October 3rd and I cannot wait for you to read her story. In associated news, Popping the Cherry is being repackaged with a new cover to tie in with A Girl Called Malice so I hope to have those to share with you soon. All very exciting!

Also coming soon is the re-release of Christmas is Cancelled on December 1st and I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled I am for my debut story to be taken under the Harlequin wing. Sadly it will mean a new cover, even though I adore the original one, but I have high hopes for what the Carina UK team will come up with.

Next up is an 'Allie' project but after that, it's back into the world of Popping the Cherry to get stuck into books 3 and 4. I've already been given the nod by my editor so book 3 is going to be Nathan's story and book 4 will be Flick's story assuming everything goes to plan. Even though the books are all interlinked, with the storyline and timelines overlapping, you can read them as standalone stories and out of order if you don't mind the spoilers in the subsequent books.

If anybody is interested in joining my team, Aurelia's Antics, on Facebook and/or Goodreads to get sneak previews and hidden insights along with access to advance review copies, just send a request to join or get in touch.

Anyway, even waffling, I have a book trailer to make and much to do (including a new release as Allie this month) so I'd better crack on with it. Next time I post, it will hopefully be with gorgeous new covers so make sure you're following me.

Bye for now,
Aurelia x

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Twenty Questions with... A.L. Michael

I am delighted to welcome fellow Carina UK chum, A.L. Michael, onto my blog today, author of The Last Word.

You can read even more about her and her London roots here.


ACT ONE – all about you…


A.L. Michael is a twenty something writer from London. She works as a creative facilitator, running workshops in creative writing, writing for wellbeing, and children's lessons. She has a BA in English Literature with Creative Writing, an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship, and is working towards an MsC in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She is not at all reliant on her student discount card.

When she's not writing or talking about writing, she bakes, runs, plays with her puppy, and gets continually distracted by shiny things on Pinterest.


1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

Always, absolutely always. I decided at 11 that it was what I wanted to do, and I never wavered.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

When I was younger I’d make a black coffee, have a cigarette and sit down to write. The only thing missing from the cliche was a beret and some bongos. Now I just sit and get on with it. Usually I do admin in the morning, and by early afternoon I’ve worked my way into it.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

I think the books you read when you’re younger really influence you, and Sarra Manning always had a big effect. I read her column and her books through reading J17 Magazine as a kid, and just was absorbed. I still read her books now. It was the first time I thought ‘there are authors out there, who do this as their job, who are real people’. It was an exciting thought!

4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?

It’s my main one, and it’s sort of a pet peeve: if you’re talking about writing, you’re not writing. Don’t waste time telling people about your characters or that line in chapter 12 that’s just genius- WRITE! I feel like talking dilutes your story, and it stops it being about you. The writers I know who want to talk about their work all the time never seem to finish a book.

5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

I’m half Greek Cypriot.
I can only sing ‘How Much Is That Doggy In The Window’ backwards, because Mum thought it would be funny.
I am obsessed with Corgis.

6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

My Mac! Do everything on it to the point where it may as well be attached.
My Iphone- ditto.
Benefit make-up, because it’s magical and the designs are all really cool.
Wine! That’s a luxury, right?
My Kindle- I’m a convert. Plus I have less back pain from lugging around books in my bag all the time.


ACT TWO – all about your new release…



Tabby Riley’s online life was a roaring success. Her blog had hundreds of followers, and legions of young fans ardently awaited her every Tweet. Her real life was a bit more of a disappointment. Living in a shared flat in North London, scratching a living writing magazine articles on ‘How To Please Your Man in Bed’ wasn’t where she thought she’d be at twenty-six – especially when there was a serious lack of action in her own bedroom.
Although that might all be about to change when she’s offered a position at online newspaper The Type as a real journalist – and gains a sexy new editor, Harry Shulman, to work with. Harry’s confident, smooth talking, and completely aware that he drives Tabby mad. Which is fine, because Tabby’s dated an editor before, and it’s never happening again. Ever. But as her reputation at the paper grows, Tabby has to wonder: is it time to get out from behind the screen and live her life in the real world?

7) Congratulations on your recent release of The Last Word, what was your inspiration for writing Tabby’s story?

I felt a lot like Tabby at the time of writing it- I was mid-twenties, in a bit of a career slump, and nothing seemed to be changing. I wanted to write about what it felt like to be a graduate, in one of the greatest cities in the world, and feeling stagnant and irritated that these big dreams weren’t happening.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

It happened pretty naturally, but I think that’s because I was writing it just for me. I’d never planned to even show it to anybody!

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

I wrote it over a few months, maybe five or so? Then I left it until I saw Carina accepting submissions, did some editing, and sent it off. I think they got back about six weeks later. So in total it was just under a year from creation to being accepted.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?

‘So, how are you, Tabby? Good weekend?’ 
Tabby thought back to the five am trip back on the nightbus, and how she’d narrowly avoided throwing up in a rubbish bin on the side of the road, ‘I’d call it a success. You?’
‘Oh, absolutely a success.’ How did he get his eyes to twinkle like that? And his voice had lowered to a deliciously dirty level. Her lips quirked up, and then she shook it off, trying to get back to professionalism. If there was anything she’d learnt since her journalistic fall from grace all those years ago, it was ‘Do not trust your editor’. And whilst Harry was cute, he was also an arsehole. An arsehole who was there to make money from her. So there was no point playing nice.

11) Over to you, what can you tell us about The Last Word, to make us rush out and buy it?

There’s lots of snarky, sarcastic banter between the characters, lots of sexual tension and great friendships. I let me characters actually have the right comebacks at the right time, because I never do!

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

My next novel, Without You To Hold, comes out in the autumn, and it’s Christmassy and lovely, and I’m really excited about it. After that a return to snarky, angry girls of London in The Young and Bitter Club, which will be out in the new year.


QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

Tiny bit of plotter, mostly pantser

14) Digital books or print books?

Both! Digital mostly, print for beautiful editions.

15) Tea or coffee?

Tea, unless I need a massive boost.

16) Extrovert or introvert?

Highly functioning introvert

17) Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook

18) Christmas or birthday? 

Birthday

19) Morning person or night owl?

Morning

20) Sweet or savoury?

Sweet

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Andi, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about A.L. Michael, and to keep up with her latest projects, you can visit her at:

Website     Twitter     Facebook


Buy it now…


Add to Goodreads
ISBN: 9781472095237
Release date: 27th May 2014

Carina UK / Mills & Boon
Amazon UK / US
iBooks
Nook UK / B&N
Kobo
Google Play
Blinkbox (Tesco)




Saturday, 26 July 2014

Twenty Questions with... Terri Nixon

I am delighted to welcome Terri Nixon onto my blog today, author of A Rose in Flanders Fields released last week by Carina (Harlequin UK).

Even better, you can snap up a copy for a bargain price in honour of the 100 year commemoration of WW1.



ACT ONE – all about you…


Terri was born in Plymouth, England in 1965. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to a small village on the edge of Bodmin Moor, where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one's ever offered to pay her for doing those.

Terri now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don't possess pens.

1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I’ve written (mostly nonsense) for as long as I can remember; all through school I was the sad one who gave a secret fist-pump under the desk whenever the word ‘essay’ was mentioned.  I used to write stories for my friends, featuring boys they fancied – my first taste of “fan-fic!” 

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

This will sound odd, and probably counter-productive, but the first thing I do is open and play Bejeweled Blitz! It’s the best way to relax the mind, zone out of reality and into wherever/whenever I’m writing about. I play two or three games, thinking about the book, then I’m ready to go! I keep it open for when I hit snags, and while I play I talk – usually out loud –  about the problem, and the solutions nearly always appear. Plus, I get kick-ass scores because I’m not thinking about the game! ;)

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

The ‘Outlander’ series by Diana Gabaldon, which I’ve been reading and re-reading for more years than I can actually work out. Diana writes relationships and situations  of intense beauty and brutality, so real you can’t help but live the story instead of just reading it. Her writing is just superb, and her characters are faceted, flawed and vibrant, never black and white – I dream of writing with the same fire and flair. 

4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?

This is something I received in a handwritten note from Dean Koontz some time ago, after I wrote to him, and I look at it every day: 
“Good luck with your own writing. Do it always for the love of doing it, and in my experience the success will follow. Although also in my experience, perhaps slowly!”

5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

Ooh-er. Okay, let’s think!
1. I was a founder member and chair of a motorcycle club. So I’m a bona fide, fully-licensed biker chick!
2. I did a solo (static line) parachute jump 2 weeks before I got married, back in the middle-ages.
3. I played “Ronnette” (one of the three singing girls) in a production of Little Shop of Horrors in the Barbican Theatre here in Plymouth. Also back in the mists of time. I’m very dull nowadays…

6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

1. My laptop.
2. My phone.
3. My Kindle
4. Savoury snackage
5. Wine. Yes, I really am that shallow!


ACT TWO – all about your new release…



Driving an ambulance through the mud in Flanders, aristocrat Evie Creswell is a long way from home. At Oaklands Manor all she had been expected to do was to look pretty and make a good marriage. But with the arrival of World War One everything changed…
And Evie, to the horror of her family, does not choose a husband from her blue-blooded set; instead she weds artist Will Davies, who works as a butcher’s apprentice. Soon she is struggling nightly to transport the wounded to hospital, avoiding the shells and gas attacks – her privileged home life, and her family’s disappointment at her marriage, a lifetime away. 
And while Evie drives an ambulance in Belgium, Will is in the trenches in France. He withdraws from her, the trauma of his experience taking hold. Evie has the courage to deal with her war work, but it breaks her heart to think she is losing Will’s love. Can their marriage survive this terrible war? That is, if they both get out alive…

7) Congratulations on your recent release of A Rose in Flanders Fields. what was your inspiration for writing Evie’s story?

Thank you so much! Evie was a character in the previous book, Maid of Oaklands Manor, although not the main character. She was, if you like, my main character’s main character! I liked the way she came through in Oaklands, she showed herself to be sparky and slightly rebellious, and I’d already decided I wanted to explore what she got up to during the war years, perhaps as a companion novella looking at some of the other characters, since Oaklands was told in the first person. Happily it turned into a full-length novel though. Again, it is written in the first person which hopefully brings the reader deeper into her mind during an extremely turbulent time.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

It’s a fairly complex storyline, so it took a lot of planning, and the research had to be as spot-on as I could make it, but each individual scene came very easily once I’d fixed in my mind where I wanted to go with it. Both books in this series, and now the third, which I’m working on now, have flowed very naturally and have been a joyful experience to write. I’ve loved every minute!

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

As I mentioned before, I’d had the initial idea while Oaklands was being written, so all-in-all it took about 2 years from conception to acceptance. But it was written very quickly once I got going!

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?

It seems logical to give you the first sentence here! 

“The explosion was more than a noise, it was a pressure and a fist, and a scream that started in the pit of my stomach and flashed outward through every nerve.”

11) Over to you, what can you tell us about A Rose in Flanders Fields, to make us rush out and buy it?

At a time when the world is remembering the outbreak of the Great War, this book takes you through it in the company of a young woman of great determination and courage, who is faced with the grim reality that sometimes the only choices you have left are the wrong ones. Yet those choices must still be made. 

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now? 

The third book in the Oaklands Manor Trilogy, Daughter of Dark River Farm, tells the story of Kitty, Evie’s former companion in Flanders, now a Land Girl in Devon. Kitty’s experience at the Western Front forms a major part of the events in A Rose in Flanders Fields, and we continue it in book 3.


QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

Happy pantser, with a twist of obsessive plotter!

14) Digital books or print books?

Print. But I do love my Kindle!

15) Tea or coffee?

Coffee

16) Extrovert or introvert?

Is there such a thing as a painfully shy extrovert? That’s me.

17) Facebook or Twitter?

Both! Far too much!

18) Christmas or birthday? 

Christmas, all the way. I’m a big kid.

19) Morning person or night owl?

Morning person. Particularly for writing.

20) Sweet or savoury?

Savoury! (see ‘luxury item’ #4!)

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Terri, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about Terri Nixon, and to keep up with her latest projects, you can visit her at:

Facebook     Twitter     Website 



Buy it now…


Add to Goodreads
Released: 17th July 2014
ISBN: 9781472096470

Amazon UK / US

Don't forget, you can snap it up for just 99p/99c for a limited time only!


Excerpt…


We’d arrived in the late autumn of 1914 and collected as much bedding as we could find, but the luxury of gathering equipment, setting up what we’d imagined would be our sweet little dressing station, with comfort and curtains, and hot drinks for the Tommies, was not to be. We were thrown into it right away, attached to the Unit a couple of miles away, and, with no field telephone, we quickly grew acccustomed to the shrill whistle of the runner on his bicycle as he summoned us to duty. Days blurred into long, cold nights, weeks into months while we battled extremes of boredom and terror, and we faithfully wrote our sunny, “gosh it’s exciting being in the thick of it!” letters home so our parents could boast about us to their friends. Heaven forbid they should find out what we actually did, night after night, I’m not certain Mother would have sat quietly at home if she’d known.

Our own tentative excitement had been bashed out of us after the first, awful night. With nothing of our own base ready, we’d volunteered our services at least and turned out to help the Red Cross, lining up with the other drivers at the railway station. The trains had come in; old, rattling things in these early days of the war, filled from end to end with wounded. Weeping men; silent men; angry, bewildered men; men numbed with misery and mute with horror … dear God, was Will in danger of becoming one of these?

We’d sat, still and shocked, while the orderlies loaded us up and barked our load: four stretchers, one sitter, and then driven, somehow, to the sergeant at the gate. ‘Four stretchers, one sitter,’ I repeated, stumbling over the impersonal words that were supposed to somehow explain the softly moaning, tangled mass of humanity I was carrying.

He consulted his clip-board. ‘Number Five.’ He waved us through, and we were on our way. Where was Number Five?  I was utterly lost, both mentally and geographically, but we found Number Five hospital mercifully quickly and were unloaded. Then it was back again; the train was still crammed with men awaiting their turn. Or their deaths. As dawn raked the sky with glorious pink rays that belied the tragedy beneath it, Boxy and I returned, in trembling silence, to our beds. Different women. Grown up in the space of a few horrific and nauseating hours.