Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Chippenham Lit Fest

I had a fantastic time last night at the Chippenham Library, taking part in a panel talk which in turn was part of the Chippenham Lit Fest.  It’s always lovely to get together with fellow RNA members and much more fun when you’re not alone doing a talk!

There were six of us – Nicola Cornick, Louise Douglas, Alison Knight, Jean Burnett, Teresa F Morgan and myself – on the panel.  There were some fab questions from the librarian in charge and also from the audience, and it’s always fun to hear the varying answers of so many authors – we’re all so different in the way we approach things!

There was delicious home-made cake and other refreshments, and lots of chatting afterwards.  All in all, a really enjoyable event so huge thanks to everyone who took part and organised it!

Here are some of my photos:-

The librarians

The librarians

Me and Rosemary Ann Smith

Me and Rosemary Ann Smith

photo(4)

Alison Knight - organiser extraordinaire

Alison Knight – organiser extraordinaire

All the panelists (courtesy of Nicola) - from left to right - Teresa, Alison, Louise, me, Jean and Nicola

All the panellists (courtesy of Nicola) – from left to right – Teresa, Alison, Louise, me, Jean and Nicola

An Author’s Apprentice

Have just had a fabulous week with my Swedish “apprentice”, Adam!  We’ve had fun going round London in search of ideas, inspiration, settings and characters and I hope he enjoyed it as much as I did 🙂 photo(3)

In Sweden, teenagers get to have a week at the end of year 8 where they go out into a workplace to see what it’s like to do different jobs – preferably the sort they think they might like to pursue as a career in the future.  They get to try out various aspects and really find out what a job entails, which I think is great.  Either they’ll love it or they can see it’s not for them, but whatever happens it’s important and a great opportunity.

Adam wants to be an author, so he’d asked if he could be my “apprentice” for a week and I was very happy to agree.  I don’t know how useful it’s been in terms of deciding his future, but I hope I’ve given him a little taste of what I do.   And London is definitely a very inspiring place!

Here are some photos from our outings/fact-finding missions:-

Dragon's eggs?

Dragon’s eggs?

... which turn into small dragons!

… which turn into small dragons!

 

photo(4)photo(5)photoSelfie Tower

Not very Botticelli!

Not very Botticelli!

London Book Fair 2016

photo(4)Last week I attended the annual London Book Fair at Olympia, West Kensington, and as always the place was buzzing!  There were some amazing stands with imaginative displays – not just of books, but everything the publishing industry could possibly want or need.  A very enjoyable three days!

Here are some of the photos I took:-

Selfie with Sue Moorcroft and Adrienne Vaughan

Selfie with Sue Moorcroft and Adrienne Vaughan

Jeffrey Archer giving an amusing talk

Jeffrey Archer giving an amusing talk

Meg Rosoff being interviewed

Meg Rosoff being interviewed

A rather strange attendee!

A rather strange attendee!

These fantastic blue orchids were on display throughout the halls - loved them!

These fantastic blue orchids were on display throughout the halls – loved them!

After three days of walking around, some hot chocolate was definitely needed!

After three days of walking around, some hot chocolate was definitely needed!

RoNAs 2016

Lesley Field, Jane Jackson, Iona Grey and I

Jane Jackson, Lesley Field, Iona Grey and I

Had a lovely time at the RoNA Awards Event last night even though The Secret Kiss of Darkness didn’t win – huge congratulations to Iona Grey who won both our category and the overall prize of Romantic Novel of the Year!

As always, it was wonderful to be at the Gladstone Library, the perfect venue for any literary event, and it was fun to catch up with friends and fellow ChocLiphoto(6)teers, one of whom won the Contemporary category – congrats to Melanie Hudson!

photo(1)

Fern Britton and compere Jane Wenham-Jones

The prizes were presented by TV personality and author Fern Britton and I really enjoyed all the thank you speeches, in particular those given by the two Outstanding Achievement Award winners, Claire Lorrimer and Anita Burgh.  They were both very amusing and were given a standing ovation by the audience – fab!

I’m sure there will be official photos soon, but here are some of mine!

Me with fellow ChocLiteers Melanie Hudson, Alison May, Linn Halton and Angela Britnell

Me with fellow ChocLiteers Melanie Hudson, Alison May, Linn Halton and Angela Britnell

The Gladstone Library

The Gladstone Library

The beautiful table decorations

The beautiful table decorations

Romance Conference in Madrid

I have just returned from two days in Spain where I attended the sixth annual ‘Yo Leo RA’ (roughly translated ‘I read romantic fiction’) ‘Encuentros RA’ conference in the heart of Madrid – a fantastic experience!

MeRAThis was a conference for readers and authors of romantic fiction which started six years ago with around 80 people getting together in a bar to share their love of the romance genre. It has been growing steadily ever since and this time there were over 500 attendees, 120 of them authors! I really enjoyed chatting to some of them and all were enthusiastic and extremely friendly, making me feel very welcome.

Me and Laura

Me and Laura

Among them were the lovely Laura Frias of the Cientos de Miles de Historias blog (whom I have had the pleasure of meeting before so it was great to see her again!), fellow Libros de Seda author Nuria Llop and the lady who runs the Lectur Adictiva blog.  It was great to see romance appreciated so much and the way the audience engaged in the discussions showed how passionate they are about romantic novels – just as it should be!

Me and Merche

Me and Merche

I was honoured to have been invited to take part in the programme and after listening to two panel discussions, it was my turn to take to the stage, where author and organiser Merche Diolch asked me questions. My Spanish is a little rusty (I can understand most of it but have forgotten so many words!) but fortunately I had two members of the Libros de Seda team (my Spanish publisher) to help me with translation – Maria José de Jaime and Alex Manyé – huge thanks to them and to Merche for her patience!

With Alex and Maria Jose

With Alex and Maria Jose

Unusually for Spain, the weather was awful with rain and strong winds, but I managed to get to the Prado and Thyssen-Bournemisza museums to have a look at all the fabulous artworks on display. It was almost too much to take in, a real feast for the eyes with some paintings so beautiful it was hard to believe anyone could have created them.

I finished my time in Madrid with a stroll round the old streets in the centre, narrow with the typical Spanish houses covered in wrought-iron balconies, and the sense of history was overwhelming. A stark contrast to the very new and very modern airport, whose ceilings had to be seen to be believed! All in all, a very enjoyable visit to one of my favourite countries – a very big thank you to the ‘Yo Leo RA’ organisers for inviting me!

With some of the lovely Spanish readers!

With some of the lovely Spanish readers!

Signing books

Signing books

The Prado Museum

The Prado Museum

Madrid's narrow streets

Madrid’s narrow streets

Mad1

The ultra-modern airport's amazing ceiling!

The ultra-modern airport’s amazing ceiling!

Air2

On the RoNA Shortlists!

The RoNA (RNA’s Romantic Novel Awards) shortlists have been announced and I am thrilled to have The Secret Kiss of Darkness nominated in the Historical Romantic Novel category!  I have known for a while but was sworn to secrecy so it’s lovely to be able to tell everyone at last 🙂

I’m up against some fabulous historical authors and am very much looking forward to reading their books.  Here’s the list:-

2016 historical books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and here are the author photos:-

2016 authors Historical-1

 

 

 

(photos courtesy of the RNA and put together by the lovely Janet Gover)

 

 

 

Special shout out for fellow ChocLiteers Melanie Hudson, Alison May and Angela Britnell who are also shortlisted in various categories – so exciting!

The awards ceremony is on the 7th March – please keep your fingers crossed for me!

New Regency Novella – ‘Marry for Love’

MARRY FOR LOVE_Front finalToday I’m very pleased to be able to reveal the cover of my new Regency novella, Marry for Loveit’s a new style of cover for this series and I love it!

Marry for Love is available for pre-order now and will be published in ebook format on Monday (11th January).  Here is the blurb:-

Trapped in an intolerable marriage?

Delilah cannot bear to watch as her twin sister Deborah marries Hamish Baillie, Fourth Earl of Blackwood. Not only because she knows that her conniving sister has manipulated the poor man into marriage, but also because she has been in love with the Earl since she first set eyes on him …

Delilah is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save Hamish from a life of unhappiness – but will her plan work, or will she have to accept that she is no match for her twin’s scheming ways?

 

 

 

 
 

 

Christmas Wishes

The boys and I just wanted to wish you all a very

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

BowFuBowShen2BowFudF

Happy Halloween!

Autumn is my favourite time of year and although it’s getting darker, nature puts on such an amazing display to brighten up the days it doesn’t matter!

All the Halloween pumpkins certainly add a splash of colour and it’s wonderful to see all the little kids getting excited about dressing up – don’t they make you smile too?  Happy Halloween everyone!

HHHHH

H1H2H3

(Who says they all have to be round?)

(Who says they all have to be round?)

The Jade Lioness – out now!

TJL medium frontToday is paperback publication day for The Jade Lioness – I’m so pleased the third book in the trilogy is available at last!  I always like complete sets of a series on my book shelves 🙂

In order to celebrate there is a competition over on the Choc Lit blog (Choc Lit Corner) where you can win these lovely jade items plus a signed copy of the book.  Just head over there and leave a comment and you could be in with a chance!

J2

 

 

 

 

J1

Meanwhile, here is the blurb:-

Can an impossible love become possible?

Nagasaki, 1648

Temperance Marston longs to escape war-torn England and explore the exotic empire of Japan. When offered the chance to accompany her cousin and Captain Noordholt on a trading expedition to Nagasaki, she jumps at the opportunity.  However, she soon finds the country’s strict laws for foreigners curtail her freedom.

On a dangerous and foolhardy venture she meets Kazuo, a ronin. Kazuo is fascinated by her blonde hair and blue eyes, but he has a mission to complete and he cannot be distracted. Long ago, his father was accused of a crime he didn’t commit – stealing a valuable jade lioness ornament from the Shogun – and Kazuo must restore his family’s honour.

But when Temperance is kidnapped and sold as a concubine, he has to make a decision – can he save her and keep the promise he made to his father?

Buy links:-

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jade-Lioness-Kumashiro-Christina-Courtenay/dp/1781892377/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444222646&sr=1-1

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1781892377?keywords=The%20jade%20lioness&qid=1444222741&ref_=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2&sr=8-1