Posts Tagged ‘time slip’

The RoNA Awards 2017 – Shortlistings!

As I’ve been away, I’m a bit late posting about this, but I was absolutely over the moon to find out that not just one, but TWO of my books have been shortlisted for this years RoNAs!

The RoNAs are the UK Romantic Novelists’ Association’s annual awards for excellence in romantic fiction, and this year they comprise seven categories (one more than last year).  My novel The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight is shortlisted in the newest category, Paranormal, as it features ghosts and other paranormal phenomena, and it’s lovely to be one of the first books acknowledged in this way.  I’m up against some great RNA friends of mine – Jan Jones, Kate Johnson and Hywela Lyn – and it will be very exciting to see which one of us triumphs on the night.

New England Dreams by Pia FentonAs if that wasn’t wonderful enough, New England Dreams, written under my own name, has been shortlisted in the Young Adult category.  I’m really pleased about this as it was self-published and this is the first time the RNA has allowed independently published books to feature on the shortlists.  I may also be the first author to be shortlisted under two different names in the same year (?!), which would be an added bonus.

The awards event will be held on Monday 13th March and whatever happens I know it will be a fun evening – can’t wait!

 

Guest Interview – Kirsty Ferry

Today I have as my guest fellow Choc Lit author Kirsty Ferry, whose latest book The Girl in the Photograph (the third book in her Rossetti Mysteries series) has just been published as an ebook, while the second book in the series, The Girl in the Painting is now out in paperback.  I’ve had the privilege of reading an advance copy of this novel and I can highly recommend it – it’s a wonderful time slip story!

Here’s a Q & A with Kirsty to tell us a bit more about it:-

The books in this trilogy all feature Pre-Raphaelite or Victorian artists – what first drew them to your attention and have you studied them at uni (you are very knowledgeable about Victorian art)? – I think the thing that drew me to them initially was when I read about Dante Gabriel Rossetti digging up Lizzie Siddal’s body and raiding her coffin to retrieve a book of poems he’d buried with her. I started researching a little bit more just out of morbid curiosity really, and the more I found out, the more fascinated I became. I wrote a short story called The Other Ophelia which was a YA ghost story where a young lad was recreating the famous Millais Ophelia painting and the ghost of Rossetti didn’t like it. What actually happened in real life, is that Lizzie lay freezing in a bath of cold water while Millais painted her, and she became very ill – and the public turned her into a sort of Gothic, idealised, Victorian ‘celebrity’. Beyond all that you have this overriding, quite dangerous, obsessive passion between her and Rossetti. I filed the short story away for a few years, then pulled it out again when I decided to write The Girl in the Painting. I’d read some of Rossetti’s poems by then, and was struck by Sudden Light, which is all about soulmates. Some Veil Did Fall was based on that poem, The Girl in the Painting was inspired by Lizzie and The Girl in the Photograph by Pre-Raphaelite photography – another art form that took the world by storm. I studied a little bit of art history during my degree but would love to take it further. Everything else was gleaned by good old-fashioned research and reading. You should see the pile of books I acquired!

I’m particularly fond of Millais’ paintings, but also like other Victorian artists, especially Lord Leighton. Who is your favourite? – I love the Pre-Raphaelites of course, but some of Rossetti’s work is quite wild and slapdash when you compare it with the perfection of Millais! I am also a huge fan of the Impressionists and could stare at Degas’ ballerina pictures for hours. And John Singer Sargent did some fabulous work – but he was a little later, and more of an Edwardian artist, I suppose.

If you could own one painting from that era which one would you choose?  (Not sure I could choose one as there are so many amazing ones!) – Ohhhh – what a choice! Can I just own the Tate Gallery? If pushed I’d have to say Millais Ophelia was up there, naturally, or I might have to expand the timeline slightly and go for Edward Robert Hughes Midsummer Eve, which is a gorgeous piece of ‘fairy art’ from about 1908. That’s actually a really tough question! But do you know, Landseer’s Dignity and Impudence would be wonderful – Google it. It’s two dogs in a kennel and the little one is so cheeky!

Photographic plates

This novel also deals with photography – did you have to do a lot of research about this?  Have you tried it yourself? – I love old photographs and again did plenty of reading about the Pre-Raphaelite side of it, and especially about Julia Margaret Cameron for The Girl in the Photograph. Lorelei was a perfect heroine to team up with my Edwardian photographer – all she ever wanted to do was have a photograph taken of her. It’s something we take for granted nowadays.

Photographic plates

I also visited Lacock Abbey, which was the home of Henry Fox Talbot, an innovative Victorian photographer, and I saw the window which exists in the first photographic negative. At Lacock there were some astonishing statistics of the amount of pictures we take now to the amount they took then – it’s very thought-provoking. I had a lovely camera when I was in my early twenties. Then my Dad dismantled it for some reason and I was left with a working light-meter and nothing else. He kindly held the meter up and demonstrated how it still worked, but that was no use to me at all! I’ve tinkered with things like Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro and have taken some really nice photographs unexpectedly; but again it’s something I’d like to pursue further. Maybe one day!

Do you have any old photos you can share with us? – When I was researching photographic plates I fell in love with something on eBay from America – these original Edwardian glass photo plates. I have no idea who the people are, but had to buy them. I took them to work and one of the technicians scanned them into a machine for me and the pictures you see here are the result.

Kirsty’s Grandma

I’ve also got this lovely little one of my Grandma. I think it was a school photo, and it’s tiny as you can see by the pencil I put next to it – I suspect she was just cut out of a group shot. She was born in 1909, so it’s quite an old one. The original is all cracked and damaged, so I scanned it in and spent hours cleaning it up with Paint Shop Pro. Then I printed out a new copy for me and one for my mum. It really is one of my most precious possessions.

Many thanks, Kirsty! I love the old photos and photo plates, amazing what you can find on eBay. Happy publication for The Girl in the Photograph!

Bio:-

Kirsty is from the North East of England and won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 with the ghostly tale ‘Enchantment’. Her timeslip novel, Some Veil Did Fall, a paranormal romance set in Whitby, was published by Choc Lit in Autumn 2014. This was followed by another Choc Lit timeslip, The Girl in the Painting in February 2016 and now The Girl in the Photograph (March 2017). The experience of signing ‘Some Veil Did Fall’ in a quirky bookshop in the midst of Goth Weekend in Whitby, dressed as a recently undead person, was one of the highlights of her writing career so far! Kirsty’s day-job involves sharing a Georgian building with an eclectic collection of ghosts – which can sometimes prove rather interesting.

You can find out more about Kirsty and her work at www.rosethornpress.co.ukcatch her on her Facebook Author Page or follow her on Twitter @kirsty_ferry.

THE GIRL IN THE PHOTOGRAPH

What if the past was trying to teach you a lesson?

Staying alone in the shadow of an abandoned manor house in Yorkshire would be madness to some, but art enthusiast Lissy de Luca can’t wait. Lissy has her reasons for seeking isolation, and she wants to study the Staithes Group – an artists’ commune active at the turn of the twentieth century.

Lissy is fascinated by the imposing Sea Scarr Hall – but the deeper she delves, the stranger things get. A lonely figure patrols the cove at night, whilst a hidden painting leads to a chilling realisation. And then there’s the photograph of the girl; so beautiful she could be a mermaid … and so familiar.

As Lissy further immerses herself, she comes to an eerie conclusion: The occupants of Sea Scarr Hall are long gone, but they have a message for her – and they’re going to make sure she gets it. 

Publication Day for THE VELVET CLOAK OF MOONLIGHT

velvet-cloak-_front5Today is publication day for The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight at last and I’m so pleased it’s finally out there!  This was one of those novels that was “brewing” in my mind for a long time before I actually started it so it feels like it’s been a long time coming, but I hope readers will enjoy the end result.

Here is the blurb:

“As the velvet cloak of moonlight settled over the ruined towers of Raglan Castle, the shadows beneath them stirred …”

When newly widowed Tess visits Raglan Castle, she experiences an extraordinary vision that transports her to seventeenth-century Wales and a castle on the brink of a siege.

Even when Tess leaves Raglan to return to Merrick Court, her late husband’s home, the strange dreams continue as her life becomes increasingly intertwined with the past. And when the new owner of the estate arrives – New Zealander Josh Owens – the parallels become even more obvious.

But perhaps the visions aren’t just trying to tell their own story, maybe they’re also giving a warning …

Raglan Castle is a very special and magical place – if you’re ever passing by, do stop for a visit if you have the time as it’s well worth it.  The people who defended it so valiantly during the final siege in 1646 must have been very special too and I hope I’ve done them justice!

Raglan Castle

Raglan Castle

Raglan Castle - Oriel Window

Raglan Castle – Oriel Window

Raglan Castle - The New Gate

Raglan Castle – The New Gate

r-tower-from-inside

The Secret Kiss of Darkness – ebook publication!

It’s out there at last – The Secret Kiss of Darkness is published on Kindle now, soon to be followed by the paperback!  Forbidden love, smugglers and romance guaranteed.

Here’s the blurb:-

Must forbidden love end in heartbreak?

Kayla Sinclair knows she’s in big trouble when she almost bankrupts herself to buy a life-size portrait of a mysterious eighteenth century man at an auction.

Jago Kerswell, inn-keeper and smuggler, knows there is danger in those stolen moments with Lady Eliza Marcombe, but he’ll take any risk to be with her.

Over two centuries separate Kayla and Jago, but when Kayla’s jealous fiancé presents her with an ultimatum, and Jago and Eliza’s affair is tragically discovered, their lives become inextricably linked thanks to a gypsy’s spell. Kayla finds herself on a quest that could heal the past, but what she cannot foresee is the danger in her own future.

Will Kayla find heartache or happiness?

Buy links:-

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Kiss-Darkness-Christina-Courtenay/dp/1781890676/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389145312&sr=1-5

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Kiss-Darkness-Christina-Courtenay/dp/1781890676/ref=sr_1_14?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389145429&sr=1-14&keywords=christina+courtenay

Catching Up and Cover Reveal

I’m ashamed to see I haven’t posted on the blog for over a month!  But it’s been a manically busy summer for me and there just never seem to be enough hours in the day.  Perhaps I need better time management?  Or just less work 🙂

At the moment I’m working on the edits for my next novel, The Secret Kiss of Darkness, and this reminded me that I haven’t done a cover reveal for it yet.  So here it is – tah-dah!  Yet another triumph for Choc Lit’s cover designer, Berni Stevens – I love the deep, dark red!

The Secret Kiss of Darkness is a time slip novel and here is the blurb to give you an idea of the story:-

Must forbidden love end in heartbreak?

Kayla Sinclair knows she’s in big trouble when she almost bankrupts herself to buy a life-size portrait of a mysterious eighteenth century man at an auction.

Jago Kerswell, inn-keeper and smuggler, knows there is danger in those stolen moments with Lady Eliza Marcombe, but he’ll take any risk to be with her.

Over two centuries separate Kayla and Jago, but when Kayla’s jealous fiancé presents her with an ultimatum, and Jago and Eliza’s affair is tragically discovered, their lives become inextricably linked thanks to a gypsy’s spell. Kayla finds herself on a quest that could heal the past, but what she cannot foresee is the danger in her own future.

Will Kayla find heartache or happiness?

It’s due to be published by Choc Lit in February 2014, but should be available as an e-book before then.

In the meantime, New England Rocks has been well and truly launched and my talented daughter has helped me create some lovely character bookmarks to use as giveaways for reviewers, bloggers and competition winners.  If you’d like some, let me know!

Hope you’ve all had a great summer!

Must forbidden love end in heartbreak?

Kayla Sinclair knows she’s in big trouble when she almost bankrupts herself to buy a life-size portrait of a mysterious eighteenth century man at an auction.

Jago Kerswell, inn-keeper and smuggler, knows there is danger in those stolen moments with Lady Eliza Marcombe, but he’ll take any risk to be with her.

Over two centuries separate Kayla and Jago, but when Kayla’s jealous fiancé presents her with an ultimatum, and Jago and Eliza’s affair is tragically discovered, their lives become inextricably linked thanks to a gypsy’s spell. Kayla finds herself on a quest that could heal the past, but what she cannot foresee is the danger in her own future.

Will Kayla find heartache or happiness?

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!

Competition with Lovely Prizes!

For the next three weeks, in the run-up to the paperback publication of my new novel, The Silent Touch of Shadows, you will have a chance to win some fabulous prizes!  We (the Choc Lit team and I) decided to have some fun with weekly competitions rather than a launch party. So I do hope you’ll join in!

On publication day itself, Saturday 7th July, we’ll be giving away the top prize – a Kindle, pre-loaded with some of mine and the other Choc Lit authors’ award-winning novels! – to one lucky person who has entered the contest during the previous weeks and the final day.  To make it fair, we’ll put all the names in a hat and draw one at random.  It could be you!

Now for the first two weeks, we would like you to guess the answer to a question and we’ll be posting one clue a day to help you out.  During this time, there will also be random book giveaways to those folks that RT on Twitter, Share on Facebook and generally spread the word – so there’s a chance to win something every day.  What could be better?

So can you guess what this week’s prize is? Well, that’s the first question, and here’s the first clue – it’s something you can wear on your wrist (and it’s vaguely related to the book of course). We’ll be giving you four more clues – one each day, on Twitter, Facebook and here on my blog.  Once you know the answer, please leave a comment here.  The correct one, plus the week’s winner, will be revealed here in a week’s time, together with next week’s competition.

Please keep checking Twitter (@PiaCCourtenay), Facebook and my blog for clues and best of luck everyone!

(And if you don’t want to wait, The Silent Touch of Shadows is available now on Kindle)

TSTOS on Kindle!

It’s nail-biting time again as The Silent Touch of Shadows has been sent out to reviewers (such as the lovely Squizzey from the Nut Press – shown here with the book and complimentary chocolate) and I await their verdict and comments.  It’s always scary sending your work out into the world and it doesn’t seem to get easier with every book as I had expected – rather the opposite!

The Silent Touch of Shadows has also just been released for Kindle so if anyone is a fan of time slips, here is the blurb:-

What will it take to put the past to rest?

Professional genealogist Melissa Grantham receives an invitation to visit her family’s ancestral home, Ashleigh Manor. From the moment she arrives, life-like dreams and visions haunt her. The spiritual connection to a medieval young woman and her forbidden lover have her questioning her sanity, but Melissa is determined to solve the mystery.

Jake Precy, owner of a nearby cottage, has disturbing dreams too, but it’s not until he meets Melissa that they begin to make sense. He hires her to research his family’s history, unaware their lives are already entwined. Is the mutual attraction real or the result of ghostly interference?

A haunting love story set partly in the present and partly in fifteenth century Kent.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silent-Touch-Shadows-Choc-ebook/dp/B008834GRY/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339147858&sr=1-1