Posts Tagged ‘Christina Courtenay’

Regency Bookshop in Surbiton

Last night Henriette Gyland and I had the pleasure of doing a book signing event at the Regency Bookshop in Surbiton and we had a wonderful time!

The store owner Pat and her helper Prue were extremely welcoming, and had invited all their customers for a special evening with wine and mince pies.  It was great fun to mingle and chat with them, all obviously book lovers – our favourite kind of people 🙂

The bookshop itself has an original Regency bow fronted window, which I loved, and inside is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of books, toys and stationery.  I couldn’t resist a bit of browsing myself and although I managed to resist the books, I found some fab Christmas wrapping paper with brussels sprouts on – I’m sure my OH is going to love that!

For anyone who lives anywhere near Surbiton – a visit to this shop is a must!  A huge thank you to Pat for having us!

Cover Reveal

If you have visited the Choc Lit Author’s Corner recently, some of you may have noticed that the banner at the top has changed to show some of the lovely new covers for Choc Lit books coming out this year.  One of them is mine so I thought I’d do a proper ‘cover reveal’ today to show it in all its glory.  Here it is, the cover for New England Rocks!

New England Rocks is a completely new departure for me – the first in a series of Young Adult contemporary stories set in, yes, you guessed it, New England, USA.  I wanted a change from writing historicals with all the research that entails, so I decided to have a go at the YA genre instead and this is the result.  I have to admit I had a lot of fun writing this as it took me down memory lane to my own teenage years.  I hope readers will enjoy it as well!

Here is the blurb:-

First impressions, how wrong can you get?

When Rain Mackenzie is expelled from her British boarding school, she can’t believe her bad luck. Not only is she forced to move to New England, USA, she’s also sent to the local high school as a punishment.

Rain makes it her mission to dislike everything about Northbrooke High, but what she doesn’t bank on is meeting Jesse Devlin …

Not only is Jesse the hottest guy Rain’s ever seen, he also plays guitar in an awesome rock band.

There’s just one small problem …  Jesse already has a girlfriend, little miss perfect Amber Lawrence, who looks set to cause trouble as Rain and Jesse get closer.

But, what does any of it matter? New England sucks anyway, and Rain doesn’t plan on sticking around …

Does she?

The Gilded Fan – today is the day!

Today is the official publication day for The Gilded Fan, the sequel to The Scarlet Kimono (although it can be read as a stand-alone) and I’ve just received this gorgeous bouquet!  Huge thanks to the lovely Choc Lit team for that and for all their hard work on The Gilded Fan!

Although there is nothing more wonderful – and terrifying! – than seeing your ‘baby’ go out into the world, I’m so pleased that this story has now been published.  It’s one of those that has gone through numerous rewrites, but I hope it has emerged stronger for it and that readers will like it.

Here is the blurb:-

How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love?

It’s 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord, is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England. Midori is trained in the arts of war, but is that enough to help her survive a journey, with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain she doesn’t trust?

Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can’t keep his own eyes off her?

During their journey, Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England, a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive …

If you’d like to help me celebrate, have a piece of chocolate (or several) – I am!

The Gilded Fan on Kindle!

Just wanted to let you know that The Gilded Fan is now available on Kindle, a little earlier than expected but in time for Christmas!

Here is the blurb:-

How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love?

It’s 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord, is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England. Midori is trained in the arts of war, but is that enough to help her survive a journey, with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain she doesn’t trust?

Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can’t keep his own eyes off her?

During their journey, Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England, a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive…

The Next Big Thing

A couple of days ago, the lovely Jean Fullerton – author of brilliant novels set in the East End of London – very kindly ‘tagged’ me in her post about ‘The Next Big Thing’.  That means it’s now my turn to answer ten questions about my next book, which will be released in February 2013, and to tag some other authors who will tell you about their new novels on their own blogs.  So here are the Q & A’s:-

What is the title of your next book? The Gilded Fan

Where did the idea come from for the book? It’s the sequel to my second novel The Scarlet Kimono – as the hero and heroine of that story were from very different cultures, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen to their children, so I decided to find out.

What genre does your book fall under? Historical romance and adventure.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a film version? The heroine would be someone like Tia Carrere and the hero would have to be Chris Hemsworth.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love?’

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? It will be published by independent publisher Choc Lit.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? Six months maybe?  I can’t remember exactly.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I can’t really think of any books like it, apart from the prequel.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? The story was partly inspired by a song, The Temple of the King by Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow.  It’s very evocative and conjured up images in my mind.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The heroine is half Japanese and half English and has to flee persecution by the Shogun (ruler) of Japan.  So how will a heathen girl like her cope with her English relatives in Plymouth, a world away from where she’d grown up?  And as Puritans, how will the relatives cope with her?  Then there’s the additional strain of the English Civil War which begins just as she arrives in Europe …

Now I’m going to tag the following authors:-

Chris Stovell, whose wonderful contemporary novels I love (her blog is at http://homethoughtsweekly.blogspot.co.uk/ )

and

Henriette Gyland, who writes brilliant romantic suspense novels, which I also love!  (See http://henriettegyland.wordpress.com/ )

New Author Pics!

Some of us are born photogenic and some are not – I’m definitely one of the latter.  I’ve always hated having my picture taken and it’s very rare that I like any photos of me.  This could have been a problem since I had to have some author photographs, but fortunately there was a solution to hand – her name is Marte Lundby Rekaa.

I first met Marte when she came to take the official pics for RNA awards and parties.  We got chatting since she’s Norwegian and I’m half Swedish (we speak English, funnily enough, even though we can understand each other in our native languages too) and I loved the work she did for the RNA.

When I heard that Marte was offering a special portrait service (called “Promote Me” – see her website here), I decided to take advantage of this.  The results were great (see photo on the right) and I actually liked the images of myself to the extent that when Marte asked if I wanted to do it again, I said yes!

She wanted to try out different things and explore various possibilities with regard to what was suitable for an author photo specifically.  So I arrived at her studio armed with a whole bunch of different outfits and props for us to play around with.  Marte herself already had a huge pink pencil (twice my height almost) and we started off with that, but that didn’t turn out too well, so instead we tried my clothing collection.  It’s amazing what a difference it can make when you wear different colours and also change the background colour and lighting.

I was even more pleased with the results this time and had a very hard time choosing from the contact sheets Marte sent me, so I ended up with a selection of my favourites (although I may have to buy some of the others at a future date).  Here are a couple of them – what do you think?

At the end of the session I decided to turn the tables on Marte and I snapped her with my iPhone – not quite as good, is it 😀  But it was a fun end to an enjoyable session!

A Long Weekend “Up North”

I’ve just come back from five fabulous days “up north”, more precisely Dumfries and Penrith, and I’m exhausted, but had a wonderful time!

The RNA’s annual conference was held at Penrith this year, just south of the border to Scotland, so I thought I’d take the chance to visit my writing buddy Gill in Dumfries first.  The area where she lives is absolutely stunning and when we went for walks I couldn’t stop taking photos so I thought I’d share some with you here.

The Forest of Ae appeals to me especially because it reminds me so much of the Swedish forests near the town where I grew up.  At a distance, they seem almost identical, but when I look more closely there are subtle differences.  For instance, the fir trees in Dumfries are mostly Douglas firs, whereas the Swedish ones are a slightly different variety that are less bushy.  The wonderful scents of pine and greenery are the same though, and we came across a river (in full spate due to all the recent rain no doubt) which made me long for “home”.

And once out of the forest, the far-reaching views, all the way across to the Solway Firth, were just stunning!  If it hadn’t been for the midges, I could have sat there and admired them all day.  I was very sad to leave 🙁

You would have thought that going to a conference held on a university campus would seem like a let-down after all that scenery, but not so.  RNA conferences are always huge fun – talks, workshops, meeting up with writing friends you usually only talk to via the internet, and of course the sessions in the bar and various communal kitchens in the evenings.  It was a non-stop whirl of activity from beginning to end, but I can’t wait for next year!

I leave you with a photo of the Morris dancing lesson, which I confess I chickened out of (was simply too tired by that point and had a six hour drive ahead of me).  I really enjoyed watching though!

TSTOS Competition – Final Week!

Official publication day of The Silent Touch of Shadows is getting closer, only a few days to go! Pre-launch celebrations continue here, on Twitter, FB and on the Choc Lit website, and as promised you’ll have a chance to win a Kindle loaded with some of Choc Lit’s fab novels.  So here’s what you have to do in order to enter the competition.

Simply answer the following questions (some research required):-

How many books has Christina Courtenay published with Choc Lit?

Highland Storms won which award?

Which century is The Silent Touch of Shadows partly set in?

Trade Winds is the prequel to which novel?

Who was abducted by a samurai warlord in 17th century Japan?

Save your answers, as there’s a catch – you need to email the answers to info@choc-lit.com on Publication Day – Saturday 7th July.  Emails must be received on the 7th July (GMT) to be eligible.  A winner with all correct answers will be selected randomly using random.org.  Emails received before or after the 7th July (GMT) will not be eligible.

GOOD LUCK!

TSTOS Competition – 2nd Week’s Winner!

Thank you very much to everyone who took part in the competition and tried to guess the ghost’s name!

So many of you were very close with Sir Joss, but Morton Gray got it right with his full name which was Sir Jocelyn!  Congratulations, Morton, please e-mail me your address and the little ghost will be on his way to you very soon!

For a chance to win a Kindle, pre-loaded with some fab Choc Lit novels, please come back tomorrow and I’ll give you the details on how to enter!

TSTOS Competition – Week 2 – Entry Details

If you’d like to enter the second week’s The Silent Touch of Shadows competition and win one of these sweet little ghost charms, here are the details again:-

All you have to do is guess the ghost’s name, either here or on Twitter or Facebook and as before, I’ll give you five clues – look out for them at lunchtime (weekdays only)!

The ghost in The Silent Touch of Shadows is called Sir Roger, as he’s a medieval knight and warrior.  That was also the name of the real ghost he is based on, so I didn’t have much choice when it came to naming him.  However, there was another name I considered giving him and that’s the one you have to guess.

Clue number 1 – “It’s a very noble sort of name” (and he is a knight, so ‘Sir [name]’ of course)

Clue number 2 – “It was used by the Normans”

Clue number 3 – “It’s the name of a famous actor”

Clue number 4 – “Half of it is the first name of a UK singer”

Clue number 5 – “The actor’s surname is Ackland and the singer’s is Stone”

I’ll announce the winner tomorrow – good luck!