Holiday with the Mystery Italian by Ellie Darkins – out now!

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Publication day today for the fabulous new book from Ellie Darkins – I have read it and loved it! On Sunday we have the honour of chatting to Ellie too, so stay tuned for that!

Now, more about the book – I gave the story 5 stars!

Winning the ultimate prize

Since the accident that paralyzed him, Italian tycoon Mauro Evans vowed to embrace life. So when he stars in a dating show for charity, picking prickly journalist Amber Harris as the winner to take on holiday is a challenge he can’t resist!

In Amber’s experience, relationships equal pain, so she’s determined to ignore her attraction to charismatic Mauro. But his bravery and strength threaten to tear down her defenses, giving her a new Christmas dream – ringing in the New Year with wedding bells!

Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which had a super sweet ending. I love a slow burning romance which keeps you shouting at the pages for them to get it together! The chemistry between the characters was described so well it fizzes from the pages, and I really rooted for them to get together. Beautiful surroundings and a TV show make this plot very enjoyable.

Out now on Amazon

Author Spotlight: Elisabeth Hobbes

 

Hi Elisabeth, thanks for coming to chat to us today!

Hi, it’s great to be here, thanks for having me.

Q1. Can you tell us a little about your WIP?

It’s a reunion story set shortly after the Norman conquest of England.  It’s my darkest story so far (just right for the festive season) with a hero and heroine who have both been deeply damaged during their time apart and must learn to trust each other again in order to defeat a common enemy.  There are secrets to reveal, rifts to mend and treachery to uncover that will change their lives forever.

When Aelric’s band of outlaws ambush Constance on her journey back to Cheshire, after seven years since their last encounter, Aelric sees the opportunity to use her as means of revenge on the man that destroyed his life.  As the feelings they once shared begin to reignite Aleric is torn between his lust for revenge and his desire for Constance.  Now widowed and with a secret duty she is determined to carry out, Constance is prepared to do anything to regain her freedom, including playing on the closeness she once shared with the young Saxon.

Q2.What’s next for the writing? What are you working on currently?

I’m telling the story of the hero’s villainous brother from The Blacksmith’s Wife, my third book.  Roger was a character a lot of readers responded to strongly.  I began wondering how the privileged, self-centred seducer who led my innocent heroine on would cope with a woman who wasn’t prepared to fall into his bed at a snap of his fingers.  I thought it would be fascinating to see if I could redeem him.  I hope readers will agree he earns his happily ever after.

Q3. In addition to your books, what kind of career have you had?

I teach Primary school three days a week.  I originally trained to teach History and English at 11-18 but after a couple of years teaching English in Greece I returned to the UK and started supply teaching where I discovered I much preferred the younger age range.  I also have an eleven and nine year old who keep me pretty busy.

Q4. A typical day in the life of you – what does that look like?

It depends if it’s a school day or writing day.  Either way it starts with a cup of tea before anyone else is awake.  If it’s a school day I dash out of the house by 7.30 and spend the drive mulling over my latest chapters then I’m in a school based blur until I leave.  I rarely get any chance to write on those days after I’ve fed the family, marked books and done my prep for the following day.  I’m always amazed that there are still people who think teaching is a 9-3 job!

If it’s a writing day I drop my kids at school and walk to the library where I write (no internet to distract me).  These are the days when I also do the housework, shopping and family admin.

Any type of day involves lots of tea, cats and random bursting into song and dance routines in the kitchen, much to the embarrassment of my daughter.

Q5. I collect elephant ornaments (and books of course!) – do you have something you collect?

I love earrings.  I don’t wear any other jewellery (not even my wedding ring) but I have around thirty pairs and keep buying more.  I also love rooting through vintage and junk shops and finding odd ornaments and old tins and boxes.

Q6. Women writers, and romance writers in particular, often see prejudice and a certain ‘pigeon holing’ when it comes to their books – what would you say about your own work?

I think its human nature to pigeonhole things to relate them to what we already know but I hate the easy dismissal of genre fiction as formulaic or lazy.  I’m lucky not to have experienced too much prejudice personally but it infuriates me that people are so quick to dismiss an entire genre they might enjoy.  I try to think of it their loss.

If I had to pigeonhole my work I’d say my heroes tend to be underdogs or lower social status than my heroines.  My heroines are strong, independent women who more than give their heroes a run for their money.

Q7. If you could branch out into a different genre, which one would you choose and why? I’d love to write a murder mystery because I love reading them and trying to spot the culprit.  I imagine the plotting would get the better of me though.

Q8. Do you have any tips for the budding novelists out there reading this?

Even if you really don’t feel like it get some words down on paper as often as possible.  You can’t edit if you don’t have anything to edit.

Q9. What are you reading currently?

Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks by John Curran.  I love going ‘behind the scenes’ and it’s fascinating to see the evolution of her plots and characters.

Q10. Finally, do you have a next goal or dream in life? If so, what is it?

I’d love become successful enough to write full time.

Thanks for coming to chat to us Elisabeth – I have every faith you will get there!

The Saxon Outlaw’s Revenge is out now in ebook and paperback in UK and US.

Book Blogger Showcase: It is just a word

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December tomorrow! Last day of the month, which means Book Blogger Showcase day! I am delighted to have Natasha chat today from the fab

  1. How long have you been a book blogger?

I started itisjustaWord when I started university about four years ago. My blog, back then, was just a place that I could put up my latest writing extracts and quotes from Plath and Eliot that I thought were deep and pretty and were really just pretentious. I then revamped my blog after I started working at Little, Brown Book Group (a year ago) in their Sales department. I wanted to bring the element of getting into publishing to my blog as well as writing book reviews, issues within publishing, books and writing and general information about books too.

  1. How old is your blog? Did you have any before?

(same as answer above)

  1. Why did you get into blogging in the first place?

I got into blogging because I wanted to do something with my infatuation for books and I wanted to learn more about the book trade and what it means to work and be with books. I also wanted a place to showcase my writing to those who also love books. I’ve said books WAY too many times in that sentence. BOOKS.

  1. Tell me about your blog, why the theme? Why is your blog different than the others?

The theme for my blog is for all things bookish whether that means writing a book, reading a book, learning about books, information surrounding books, the publication process. When I was reading a lot of blogs in the past, the main focus was on reviews. And whilst I think this is important I also wanted to add an element about getting jobs in books – particularly as I know that this is such a competitive and popular industry. I also wanted to revamp the old book review style and have started adopting a listicles approach to my reviews which I feel are easier to digest and I can also use gifs which is just the best part.

  1. Talking books – what genres do you review/prefer?

I love every genre. I have a rule: I won’t read two books in a row that have the same theme and genre. I like to broaden my horizons because I think there are so many different aspects to books out there and I think as a book lover and breather and a writer, you need to know the breadth of the world that you live in. If I had to pick a genre, I would chose contemporary women’s fiction – I love the whole ‘girls’ trend that is in at the moment usually featuring an element of erotica, a twist and domestic noir. I like thrillers too. I am reading American Pastoral right now by Philip Roth which is COMPLETELY different to what I normally read and that is blowing my mind right out of the park.

  1. Apart from blogs – do you blog about any other subject? If not, do you have plans to in the future?

I do blog about writing and publishing. I want to expand this though into career and mental health advice. I wrote a piece recently about failing and why it is ok to fail and this was one of my most well-received posts. I still have friends and friends of friends and complete strangers coming up to me or emailing me to tell me how much that post helped them. I think I want to write more about mental health issues in relation to the work place. I also thought potentially about expanding my blog to a musical side as I also taught myself how to play the guitar. I also want to collaborate with other bloggers and do podcasts, vlogs and online chats with them about important subjects – maybe do an online book club and discussion. But I work 9am – 5pm and there are only so many hours in the day so we shall see.

  1. What is your favourite book so far this year?

My favourite book is The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – although this technically doesn’t come out until next year. The proof copy I received was absolutely gorgeous and the story was so unexpected and brilliant and beautifully written. I adored it. I also loved Maestra by L. S Hilton and Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman. But American Pastoral is also up there. I haven’t really answered the question have I?

  1. What is your favourite book?

Easy: The Lovely Bones. This was the book. The book that would make me love all books and find something in them that nobody else could see. This was also the book that started me off as a writer. I owe Alice Sebold everything.

  1. Which book are you looking forward to the most due to come out?

I’m really excited for The Roanoke Girls which comes out next year as I think this will be BIG and I want to be one of those people that’s like I TOLD YOU SO because I’m a terrible person.

  1. Tell me a little about you!

I’m Tash. Some people call me Natasha which is fine but makes me sound like a Russian super spy. I live in London right now and I work at Hachette Children’s Group in Marketing and I LOVE my job. My boyfriend is my best friend and I tell him everything. I love books which shock me and have passages that will restructure my entire brain chemistry. I love books with romance plotlines and a well-written erotic scene. I like to write when I can and when my brain is working. I like to write books that I give up on half way through and then take up again somewhere down the line. I teach myself guitar and eat too much cake and have a fast metabolism.  That’s about it.

  1. Sweet or savoury?

Sweet

  1. Summer or Christmas?

Christmas

  1. Finally, if you could have written any book already in existence, which one would you choose and why?

A cliché but probably The Bell Jar because this has affected so many people in such small ways and I’d LOVE to do that with a book. It’s also a favourite of mine and Sylvia Plath was an absolute legend.

Thanks for coming to chat Natasha – I shall be checking out those books!

To read more check out her blog!

Book Blogger Showcase: Brook Cottage Books

Today I talk (belatedly, since I was away in London having fun at the RNA Winter Party) to JB Johnston of Brook Cottage Books!

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1. How long have you been a book blogger?

4 years!

2. How old is your blog? Did you have any before?

I’ve been reviewing books for a number of years now, firstly on a personal blog I had at the time but then the requests for so many reviews were coming in that I set up Brook Cottage Books in 2012.

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2. Why did you get into blogging in the first place?

I won a copy of a book in an online competition and reviewed it on my personal blog which was a special needs / family blog. Lots of people saw it and authors started sending me in requests. Soon I realised that my personal blog was being overrun with book reviews and they weren’t really relevant to what the blog was about. So, I set up Brook Cottage Books to meet demand. I’ve always been a bookworm so this seemed like a natural progression.

4. Tell me about your blog, why the theme? Why is your blog different than the others?

My blog, which I had professionally designed, not only publishes book reviews, but it also offers a range of author services, mainly online book tours and promotions. It also offers a range of free services too. It’s always important to support authors and bloggers.  I think the thing that makes my blog different from other’s is that although it is now a business as well as a hobby, it has never lost that friendly, personal approach.  I don’t do the hard-nosed business woman. I tailor posts / services to meet what the author / publisher wants. I don’t view authors and bloggers as customers, but as friends and part of a wider bookish family.  If I don’t think I’ve done a good enough job I don’t invoice for some of the paid services. Ultimately however,

Brook Cottage Books shows a love and respect for the art of writing. That comes before making any money.

5. Talking books – what genres do you review/prefer?

Well, before I started blogging I was very closed in what I read. I only ever read horror or thrillers with the odd contemporary fiction book thrown in. However, thankfully I become more open minded and I review all genres, although I do find Sci-fi a little difficult. I also believe it’s really important to review book written by indie authors. As book bloggers, we need to support this often unrecognised wealth of talent. My favourite genre still remains thrillers.

6. Apart from blogs – do you blog about any other subject? If not, do you have plans to in the future?

I now no longer have my personal special needs blog. This blog centred around what it was like to have a special needs child. But, when a mother from my child’s school identified me as the writer I felt it was time to stop. I have tried my hand at a products review blog too but I have to say that hasn’t really held my interest. I do have another personal blog called The Debbie Diaries which is mainly about my own writing journey. I completed NaNoWriMo in 2015 and wrote a novel. I’m still in the process of editing and rewriting so its still a work in progress.

7. What is your favourite book so far this year?

Oh that’s an easy question. Although I have read so many wonderful books this year, the one I only finished last week was by a local author Lesley Allen. Her book The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir is an amazing and heart wrenching story of bullying and the effects it can have. It made me cry!

8. What is your favourite book?

That is a hard one but I adore Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.

rebecca

9. Which book are you looking forward to the most due to come out?

Well, I am P.A for author Karen Long. I was fortunate enough to read the manuscript for her new book, which is book 3 in the Eleanor Raven Series. I cannot wait for the reaction this book will get. It’s brilliant! Also, The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin has recently been released. I’ve been waiting ages for the final part of this trilogy and I’m looking forward to setting aside a bit of time for myself to read this tome of a book!

10. Tell me a little about you!

Well, I’m not terribly interesting! I’m 46 years old and I’m a social worker by trade. I’m happily married and have 2 children and 2 step children. I’m a vegetarian and have been since I was 15 years old. I still get cravings for bacon! I’m afraid of the dark and believe in ghosts, fairies and all things magical……………except God! I’m also a little obsessed with Zombies!

I am an aspiring writer and have my own parenting advice column called HOME HELP on http://www.loveahappyending.com I’ve contributed to some charity anthologies and co-wrote a children’s book Little Kitty The Cat Burglar, all the proceeds of which go to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

I have recently started taking yoga classes and dance classes. I can now do a mean Burlesque routine! Friendship and family means everything to me and I recently discovered I have 2 half-sisters which I am hoping to meet soon.  I love meeting up with my group of close friends. The six of us have known each other for about 30 years. We met in secondary school. I’m considered the slightly nutty one out of the group!

It’s my dream to make the book world into my full-time career so if anyone wants to offer me a job, I’m all yours! I’m hoping Brook Cottage Books continues to evolve and be successful to allow me to eventually do this.

11. Sweet or savoury?

I’m afraid I’m so greedy I like both!

12. Summer or Christmas?

Christmas but only because I keep wishing for snow!

13. Finally, if you could have written any book already in existence, which one would you choose and why?

Oh my gosh I think that’s the toughest question yet! Every time I read a great book I wish I’d been the one to write it! Maybe one day someone will read my book and wish they’d written it!

I have used Brook Cottage Books for a book tour before, and I loved the service – can highly recommend!

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Author Interview – Heidi Swain

Author Interview – Heidi Swain

 

heidi-1

Hello Rachel. Thank you so much for inviting me to visit your wonderful blog and on today of all days. I’m hugely excited as my third novel, Mince Pies and Mistletoe at The Christmas Market is out today and I can’t wait to go and see it sitting on the festive shelves!

Q1. Care to tell us a little about your path to publication so far?

I’ve written forever (or so it seems), but the actual path that led me to publication once I decided to take my writing seriously has been an absolute whirlwind.

My debut novel, The Cherry Tree Café, was selected by the wonderful Books and The City team at Simon and Schuster following their #oneday open submission day in 2014 and it was published in June 2015. There have been two more novels since then, Summer at Skylark Farm (July 2016) and Mince Pies and Mistletoe at The Christmas Market (November 16) and a fourth is now almost ready to be published next summer. Phew!

Perhaps that explains why I haven’t got around to looking for an agent yet, but I will soon.

mince-pies-and-mistletoe-at-the-christmas-market-final-cover

Q2. Your festive novel – what time of year did you actually write it? What did you use for inspiration writing out of season?

 The first draft was written in the spring, but the editing was all undertaken in the height of summer.

There are quite a few special festive bakes gracing the pages of the book so having some oranges and cinnamon sticks on the table and a jar of mincemeat in the fridge to occasionally sniff really helped with the scents of the season and of course the obligatory festive tunes played a big part in helping extend Christmas into August. Writing a winter landscape in thirty degree heat is no mean feat so I was pleased the first draft was finished when there was still a modicum of frost around.

Q3. Can you tell us about the plot of your Christmas novel?

I absolutely loved writing this book. Returning to the town of Wynbridge is always a treat and this festive tale follows the story of Ruby who we first met working part-time with Jemma and Lizzie in The Cherry Tree Café. I always knew that with her sassy attitude and winged eye-liner she had a tale to tell and this is it…

Ruby has finished with university and is heading home for the holidays to save up for her trip around the world in January. Against her father’s wishes, she takes on a stall at the local market, and sets about making it the best Christmas market stall ever. There’ll be bunting and mistletoe and maybe even a bit of mulled wine.

But with a new retail park just opened on their doorstep, the market is under threat. So together with all the other stallholders, Ruby devises a plan to make sure that Wynbridge is the first port of call for everyone’s Christmas shopping needs.

The only thing standing in her way is Ruby’s ex, Steve. It’s pretty hard to concentrate on saving the world when he works on the stall opposite, especially when she realises that her feelings for him are still there…

Q4. What traditions do you like to follow in your home at Christmas?

Even though the kids are now grown (21 and 16), we still keep Christmas in much the same way as we always have.

The top of the tree is adorned with every wonky eyed angel creation which was expertly crafted at primary school and I bake mammoth batches of mince pies and sausage rolls which never make it as far as the freezer.

We all have a stocking to hang on Christmas Eve and I bemoan the fact that every year I try to sit down with a sherry to watch Carols from King’s and everyone talks through it. Always.

My husband reads The Night Before Christmas before bed on the 24th and we always stand together outside to track Santa as he mingles with the stars in the crisp night sky.

 

Q5. What’s next for you in 2017?

Having had two books published this year has kept me on my toes and I haven’t really had the opportunity to look too far ahead. My head is buzzing with ideas for novel number five but until the fourth is safely put to bed I’ll be striving to stop it from taking over!

So, for now, I’m focused on the summer 2017 publication day and I’m also going to dip my toe in the water and see if I can secure an agent.

 

Q6. Can you tell me the worst thing about being a novelist in your opinion?

Fortunately the good things outweigh the bad a million to one but the worst, for me, is the fear that I won’t be able to do the story justice. Some books are ‘easy’ to write. They just flow out of the end of the fingertips and on to the screen but there are some, which I know in my head are wonderful in themselves, but I worry I won’t be able to turn them into what I imagine? What if I literally can’t find the words or the right ones anyway?

I have spoken to lots of authors about this and no-one has the answer. Confidence is hard to come by whether it is the first book you’ve written or the twenty third and perhaps that’s how it should be. That fear of failure keeps us on our toes, striving to produce the best possible book we can for those much loved readers who are prepared to part with their hard earned cash to read what we have to say for ourselves.

 Q7. And the best?

There are so many good things about being a novelist and every time I take part in an event or reach a new milestone I think to myself, ‘this is it. It can’t possibly get any better,’ but of course it does.

I thought the author experience had peaked this year when I held my own paperback for the first time, but then I saw it sitting alongside JK Rowling on the Sainsbury’s bookshelves and then readers started getting in touch to tell me they had taken it on holiday… and loved it. After that came a magazine feature and some accompanying short stories and that was all thrilling and new and exciting!

I don’t honestly think I’ll ever know what the best thing is because for the most part it’s all brilliant!

Q8. Finally – do you have favourite Christmas reads of your own?

Every year, without exception, I read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Along with hanging the advent calendar, Mr Dickens provides that first hint of the excitement that’s to come and I know as soon as the book is added to the pile on the table next to the bed that we’re in for a fun few weeks.

Invariably I also turn to Trisha Ashley and cram in as many festive reads as I can into November and December.

 

Thank you!

Thank you so much for welcoming me. Merry Christmas everyone!

Read on to hear more about Heidi and her books…

A bit about me…

Although passionate about writing from an early age, Heidi Swain gained a degree in Literature, flirted briefly with a newspaper career, married and had two children before she plucked up the courage to join a creative writing class and take her literary ambitions seriously.

She now lives in Norfolk with her wonderful family and a mischievous cat called Storm and writes commercial fiction for Simon and Schuster.

Her debut novel, The Cherry Tree Café was published in June 2015 and Summer at Skylark Farm followed in July 2016.

Mince Pies and Mistletoe at The Christmas Market is available from today!

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Mince Pies and Mistletoe:

E-book:

Amazon

Paperback

 

Author Interview: Kathryn Freeman – A Second Christmas Wish

Today on the blog I chat to author Kathryn Freeman, who has a book out. Isn’t the cover beautiful!

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Out now from Amazon and other retailers!

Hi, thanks for coming to chat to us today!

My pleasure – thank you for inviting me to chat. Most people I know ask me to stop talking…

Q1. Can you tell us a little about your latest book?

A Second Christmas wish is my first Christmas book – and the reason why I’ve started getting excited about Christmas very early this year. It features a mum and her son who’ve had some pretty miserable Christmas’s to date, leading seven-year-old William to doubt the existence of Father Christmas. But then Melissa enrols William for some tennis lessons, and they meet Daniel, a hunky ex tennis pro. Can he get them both to believe in Christmas again?

Q2.What’s next for the writing?

My next book is one I actually wrote years ago, before I was lucky enough to be taken on by Choc Lit. I naively sent it off to be critiqued, hoping it would come back with a few minor typo’s. Instead it came back thoroughly torn apart. Deservedly so, I might add (though I didn’t think it at the time). Because I loved the story so much I attacked it again last year with fresh eyes (and three added years of writing experience). Though it would probably have been quicker and easier to start again from scratch, thankfully after all that effort the Choc Lit Tasting Panel liked it. So next year vivacious model Lizzie, and her reserved accountant friend Nick, will finally have their story published.

Q3. In addition to your books, what kind of career have you had?

I’m a pharmacist by training, first working for Boots before joining the pharmaceutical industry where I worked in the medical department writing about medicines and disease. I still do it, though now I’m self-employed so I can fit in writing romance, too. Some days a heart is the centre of a cardiovascular system. Other days it’s the beating pulse between a boy and girl J

Q4. A typical day in the life of you – what does that look like?

After the school run I exercise – a swim or a jog – then head to my study. I tap into a computer, in between nipping downstairs for regular cups of tea and sustenance, until it’s time to do the school run again. As my kids don’t usually want to talk to me, I usually manage another hour or two until they tell me they’re hungry. The routine is the same whatever I’m writing, though if it’s a romance day, I do it all with a smile on my face.

Q5. I collect elephant ornaments (and books of course!) – do you have something you collect?

I love to travel and collect mementos from every place I visit. Sometimes it’s just a colourful fish for the bathroom wall, or a pretty bowl. On our trip to Thailand we came back with something you would love. A thigh high wooden elephant – or rather he came back separately, by cargo!

gift(I love him! Ed)

Q6. Women writers, and romance writers in particular, often see prejudice and a certain ‘pigeon holing’ when it comes to their books – what would you say about your own work?

I write the type of books I love to read – where the focus is on the romance rather than an intricate plot. I don’t really mind what others say because I’m actually writing for me. Though of course if anyone is kind enough to say they enjoyed my book, I feel ten foot tall for the rest of the day.

Q7. If you could branch out into a different genre, which one would you choose and why?

I’m a romance nut so that would have to still be a major focus of the story, but I’d like to go down the romantic suspense route some time. No aliens or vampires, I don’t have the imagination for it, though if it’s a romance between a sexy vampire and a kick ass alien, I’ll happily read it.

Q8. Do you have any tips for the budding novelists out there reading this?

They will have heard this a million times before but really it is the best thing you can do. Write, write, write. Also, I think about the book in my head a long time before I put anything on paper. Oh and writing biographies and plot outlines before you start – even though you might change things around – really helps. Especially if you’re writing round your day job and it could be a few days before you see your manuscript again.

Q9. What are you reading currently?

I’m reading The Goal, the latest of Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus series. It’s as good as all the others and I can thoroughly recommend them if you love your romance on the hot side.

Q10. Finally, do you have a next goal or dream in life? If so, what is it?

To have one of my books made into a movie? Hey, you did say a dream… J

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

Author Interview: Rachel Brimble

I am delighted to have Rachel Brimble on the blog today. Here is a little bit about Rachel, and her path to publication so far…

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had six books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and recently signed a contract for two more. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.

She also recently signed with a UK agent so is represented both sides of the Atlantic.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

Hi Rachel, thanks for coming to chat to us today!

Q1. Can you tell us a little about your WIP?

I am currently plotting book 8 of my series with Harlequin (Templeton Cove Stories). This will be a mainstream romance and will feature a new hero to the Cove, but I’m giving an existing character the starring role of heroine. It is a story which will fill in the background of a favourite character of mine who has appeared in almost all of the books so far. Marian Cohen is the town matriarch and came to the Cove under pretty unexplained circumstances. All the books can be read stand-alone, but it’s fun exploring Marian and sharing more about her with existing fans of the series.

Q2.What’s next for the writing? What are you working on currently?

After Templeton Cove book 8 is done, I plan to either write the second book of an Edwardian series (my agent is currently reading book one). Alternatively, I have a single-title romantic suspense in my mind that is getting harder and harder to ignore!

Q3. In addition to your books, what kind of career have you had?

I have led a very sheltered existence workwise! I worked in a bank for ten years before giving up to become a stay at home mum to my two daughters. Once the youngest started school full-time, I had a ‘now or never’ moment and began to pursue my dream of becoming a published novelist. The Wild Rose Press published Searching For Sophie in 2007 and I’ve had at least one novel published every year since.

Q4. A typical day in the life of you – what does that look like?

On a good day, I am usually up by 7.15 am and packing the kids off to school and at my desk by 8.30am. I usually spend the first hour or so on admin, then the next hour on promotion work. I then take a break and walk my beloved chocolate Lab, Tyler. I usually read when I walk him so it’s always nice having a little time to enjoy other authors’ work! Then it’s on with the writing or plotting until I break for lunch around 1.30pm. I then work another hour or so before taking the dog out again and then it’s back to my desk until around 5.30pm.

As I am lucky enough to write full-time (not including the various demands of a husband, two teenage daughters and a dog!) so I am very disciplined and work all day as I don’t take my opportunity for granted. In the evenings, I spend time with my family whether we go out or sit in front of the TV.

Q5. I collect elephant ornaments (and books of course!) – do you have something you collect?

Not really – it’s books all the way! I am a complete bibliophile and terrible when I discover a new author that I love. I HAVE to go back and buy their entire backlist…much to my husband’s despair!

Q6. Women writers, and romance writers in particular, often see prejudice and a certain ‘pigeon holing’ when it comes to their books – what would you say about your own work?

The most infuriating aspect of pigeon holing for me is some people’s reaction when I tell them I write for Harlequin. People either assume the books are all akin to the 1970s bodice-rippers OR that I have been let in on some industry secret and churn books out with little thought because I know the ‘formula’. Drives me mad! Writing is a hard slog most of the time and it never gets easier. Right now, I am plotting my twenty-first book and desperately trying to remember how I wrote the others, lol!

Q7. If you could branch out into a different genre, which one would you choose and why?

It would probably be crime or women’s fiction – I read a lot of both genres as well as romance. Two of my favourite crime writers are C J Sansom and Alex Grecian so I think I would like to write crime set in an historical period. Most likely Victorian. As for women’s fiction, I love ‘dilemma’ type stories written so fabulously by Jodi Picoult and would love to tackle something like that one day.

Q8. Do you have any tips for the budding novelists out there reading this?

Write, write and write! The only way to learn the craft is by doing it over and over again until you find your voice and have the confidence to write the stories you want to write, not what you think you should write or what will sell. Also, the best piece of advice I ever received was ‘Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft.’ This boosted my daily word count overnight.

Q9. What are you reading currently?

I usually have two books I am reading at any one time – one is usually a hardback for reading in bed and the other is a paperback for reading in the bath or when I’m walking the dog. I’m currently reading Black Magick by Nora Roberts and a biography of Queen Victoria called Victoria by Elizabeth Longford.

Q10. Finally, do you have a next goal or dream in life? If so, what is it?

My next goal is for my agent to sell my new Edwardian book and series to a big UK publisher for an astronomical advance, lol! Isn’t that what every novelist dreams of??

 

Here is more about the book, and where to buy!

How can she forgive him for what he didn’t do? 

Photographer Izzy Cooper feels as frozen as her pictures. Trent Palmer might be the hottest firefighter in Templeton Cove, but she can never face him again. Not after he failed to save her brother. But when they’re forced together by a calendar shoot, the sparks between them are undeniable. 

Izzy knows it’s not fair to blame Trent for the tragedy, but opening herself up to loss again isn’t something she’s prepared to do, no matter how determined Trent is to show her that pain is part of life and that love—their love—can make any suffering bearable.

 Buy Links:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01JFHYGQW

Amazon US: https://amzn.com/B01FQX473Q

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saved-by-the-firefighter-rachel-brimble/1123750035?ean=9781488006906

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/saved-by-the-firefighter-mills-boon-superromance-templeton-cove-stories-book-6

Rachel likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. She would love to hear from you!

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