Posts Tagged ‘The Gilded Fan’

The Gilded Fan is a Winner!

This year’s RoNA’s (the RNA’s Romantic Novel Awards) took place in the gorgeous Gladstone Library at One Whitehall in London, and I think a good time was had by all!  The pink fizz was flowing, the canapés were delicious and the tables were covered in pink heart-shaped chocolates (my personal favourite, of course!).  As always, at an RNA gathering, the noise levels had to be heard to be believed.

There were lots of witty speeches (although probably not mine – can’t actually remember what I said), and I particularly enjoyed those of Milly Johnson, Dr David Hessayon and Helen Fielding.  The awards were presented by the lovely Darcey Bussell and it was a great pleasure to meet her.

For me, it was an extra special evening as The Gilded Fan won the Historical category, despite being shortlisted together with amazing authors Liz Harris, Charlotte Betts, Carol McGrath, Annie Murray and Joanna Hickson.  I was so thrilled the readers had chosen my story – huge thanks to them, whoever they are!  (Readers for the award are anonymous)  And of course, a massive thank you to the wonderful Choc Lit team who believed in this story and published the book!

The RNA’s press release can be found here.

With Darcey Bussell

With Dr David Hessayon

All the RoNA winners with Ms Bussell

Presenting flowers to the lovely Katie Fforde

Awards and shortlisting

Today I was absolutely thrilled to find out  The Gilded Fan has won a coveted 2013 Single Titles Reviewers’ Choice Award from the wonderful Single Titles website!  This is a huge honour and I’m so pleased they liked my story – many thanks to the lovely reviewers!  The full list of winners can be found here.

Yesterday was the day the Romantic Novelists’ Association announced the shortlists for their RoNAs (Romantic Novel Awards) and I’m very happy to have two books selected – The Gilded Fan in the Historical category and New England Rocks in the YA group.  Many thanks to the readers and organisers who do such a massive job and congratulations to all my fellow shortlistees!

And finally, today is release day for The Soft Whisper of Dreams, the digital only sequel to The Secret Kiss of Darkness.  Here is the blurb:-

Some dreams shouldn’t come true …

Maddie Browne thought she’d grown out of the recurring dream that plagued her as a child, but after a shocking family secret is revealed, it comes back to haunt her – the same swing in the same garden, the kind red-haired giant and the swarthy arms which grab her from behind and try to take her away …

In an attempt to forget her troubles, Maddie travels to Devon to spend time with her friends, Kayla and Wes. However, it becomes clear that relaxation will not be on the agenda after a disturbing encounter with a gypsy fortune teller. Not to mention the presence of Wes’s dangerously handsome brother, Alex.

And then there’s the fact that Maddie’s dream seems to be coming true …

It’s been quite a week!

‘My Writing Process’ Blog Hop

Many thanks to Liz Harris for inviting me to take part in this ‘blog hop’ – you can find her post from last week here.  All the participants have to answer four questions (see below) and then pass the baton to others.  I asked Henriette Gyland and Celia J Anderson to take part and their blogs will appear on 10th Feb so please don’t forget to check them out!  You’ll find their links and a short bio for them at the end of this post.  Thank you for stopping by!

Q & A:-

1)     What am I working on? – At the moment I’m working on the third book in my Japanese themed trilogy, which began with The Scarlet Kimono and The Gilded Fan. The final instalment is provisionally called The Snow Ghost and follows Temperance Marston on her adventures when she travels to Japan with her cousin Midori.  She’s always dreamed of travelling and thinks it’s going to be wonderful, but the reality isn’t quite the way she had envisaged it.  And when she is kidnapped by some Japanese ronin (outlaws), she embarks on the biggest adventure of her life …

2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre? – I think mostly it’s the settings I choose that are different, as I often feature Japan (or other places in the Far East) and/or Sweden.  They say you should write about what you know and as I’ve lived in these countries myself, I try to follow that advice and hope it will interest readers.

3)     Why do I write what I do? – I have absolutely no idea – the stories just come into my head, triggered by all kinds of weird and wonderful things.  You could say I write romantic fiction because that’s what I love to read myself, and mostly I write historicals, as I’ve always been fascinated by history.

4)     How does your writing process work? – I think I may have mentioned this before, but I work in a very haphazard way.  My stories usually start with a scene that pops into my head unexpectedly, and then grow from that.  The scene can be anywhere in the book, so I might find myself working backwards or forwards from that point on.  Somehow it all comes together in the end – just don’t ask me how!

These are the authors who will be joining the blog hop next week (10th February):-

Henriette Gyland grew up in Denmark but moved to England after graduating from university. Before she became a writer and a freelance translator, she worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a consultancy company, in banking, hospital administration, and a county court. In 2011 Henriette won the New Talent Award from the Festival of Romance. Her website and blog can be found at http://henriettegyland.wordpress.com.

Celia J Anderson – when she’s not teaching ten year olds or writing stories involving pants, this author spends far too much time on Facebook and does a lot of walking to counteract the cooking, eating and drinking which form most of her hobbies. She blogs as part of the Romaniacs online writers’ group, her website was recently launched thanks to Lucy Felthouse – http://celiajanderson.co.uk and she tweets spasmodically as @CeliaAnderson, She now has an author page on Facebook to celebrate the August 2013 release of her first novel Sweet Proposal with Piatkus Entice after winning a writing competition for a contract. Her ultimate dream is to have children’s books published. Usually sea-starved in the depths of the Midlands, she can often be found wandering around Brighton visiting her two daughters and pretending to collect ideas for her next book.

Enjoy their posts and thank you again for reading this!

Festival of Romance 2013

Last weekend I attended the Festival of Romance in Bedford and thoroughly enjoyed myself!  At the moment, it’s the only event of its kind here in the UK, and if you ask me, we need more of them because it was such fun!

The weekend started with an Art & Romance evening on the Friday night at the newly opened Higgins Museum, which was great.  We were given a quick tour and being a history buff, I really liked the China collection (especially the tea pots and caddies), fascinating pieces of furniture and other displays.  The house itself was lovely too!  After the tour, there were readings by authors of historical novels, including me.  Most of us had dressed up in period costume and mine was that of an ordinary woman of the 1640s (English Civil War) – this was in order to fit the clothing of the heroine from my novel The Gilded Fan.

Romance Fair

On the Saturday, there were lots of things going on at the same time – a Romance Fair, a Coffee & Cake morning with readings, an author panel (led by the brilliant Louise Graham), plus talks and workshops.  I enjoyed all the events I took part in and only wished I’d had time to go to everything.

Author panel led by Louise Graham

The day culminated with the FoR Ball and Awards, where Choc Lit triumphed as Publisher of the Year and a lot of my friends won other categories – Liz Fenwick for Best Romantic Read, Charlotte Betts for Best Historical Read, Fiona Harper for Best Short Romantic Novel, among many others.  I also accepted an award on behalf of the Romantic Novelists’ Association who were inducted into the FoR Hall of Fame for “being a defining, driving and positive force for the genre since 1960” – well deserved I think!

Accepting the RNA's award from FoR organiser Kate Allan

All in all, it was a great weekend which even the miserable weather couldn’t put a dampener on!

Choc Lit's awards!

Historical reading

Jenny Barden, Liz Harris and John Jackson

My 1640s costume

Liz Harris and I at the Fair

With Sue Moorcroft and Jane Lovering at the Fair

With Adrienne Vaughan and Liz Harris at the Ball

Saying thank you on behalf of the RNA

Shortlistees for Best Historical Read

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!

New on Kindle

The new year is already almost two weeks old – how did that happen?  I’ve spent most of that time in the garden picking up piles of leaves (which should have been picked up back in November as they are now very soggy and exctremely heavy!), or at least it feels like it.  My muscles are telling me that writers weren’t meant for such heavy lifting, but the fresh air and excercise serve to counter-balance my chocolate intake I hope.

To start the year off, my second Regency novella Once Bitten, Twice Shy was released on Kindle last week with a lovely new cover in lilac (my favourite colour, as you’ve probably gathered by now).  Here is the blurb:-

“Once was more than enough!”

Jason Warwycke, Marquess of Wyckeham, has vowed never to wed again after his disastrous first marriage, which left him with nothing but a tarnished reputation and a rather unfortunate nickname ? ‘Lord Wicked’.

That is, until he sets eyes on Ianthe Templeton …

Ianthe lives in the shadow of her beautiful twin sister, Serena and longs to escape the “mindless entertainments” she is forced to endure in London. She soon finds herself captivated by the enigmatic Wyckeham and tempted by his promises of a new life in the idyllic English countryside …

But can Wyckeham and Ianthe overcome the malicious schemes of spiteful siblings and evil stepmothers to find wedded bliss? Or will Wyckeham discover, all too painfully, that the past has come back to bite him for a second time?

Another Kindle release which has received a make-over is the Choc Lit Love Match short story anthology, which includes my story Sweet Beginnings. I love the new look, very stylish indeed!

And it’s not long now till the official publication day on 7th February for the paperback of The Gilded Fan!  There will be some competitions and Twitter fun to mark the occasion.  In the meantime, as I mentioned, it’s already available on Kindle.

Now, it’s back to the grindstone for me, as I’m hard at work on the sequel to Trade Winds and Highland Storms

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/ )