Thursday, June 28, 2012

Yay - a Minxy sale!

I'm behind the times with the news, since the whole world has known about it for a full week, but at last I'd like to congratulate my Minxy CP, Joanne Pibworth, on her sale to Harper Collins.

Jo's book The Lighthouse will be published under the pen name Jodie James, and the lovely people at Harper Collins are running a contest on their Authonomy site to find the book a new name. You can find out more here.

Jo's call story is up on her blog, but the post that touched me most was this one she did for the Seven Sassy Sisters.

We Minxes shared the ups and downs of Jo's journey, but what's really moved me about her success, is what I've learned from her along the way.

I love that in spite of multiple rejections from her publisher of choice, having to re-think her career as a writer, then the 21 agent rejections she received on this book before it sold, she has remained strong and cheerful. Those rejections stung, but she never let them get her down. She kept faith in her story, and she never gave up. And that positivity and resilience has been rewarded.

Thanks Jo, for teaching me the value of hope!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Stogumber Part Two - and another prize

In honour of this month's release of Dear Julia, today's picture is of a house in the village of Lower Vellow in Somerset which features briefly in the book. The picture is from the website of Rightmove Estate Agents. The house fascinates me because it's neither modern nor old, and it seems lost in the wilderness.

What kind of characters would choose to live here, and why? What do they do for a living? Let your imagination run free.

The commenter who fires my imagination wins a copy of Dear Julia.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A good laugh and yet more FSOG

I'm pretty sure most of Blogland is bored to tears of all the talk of Fifty Shades of Grey. But please bear with me anyway.

If you're one of those who, like me, have wondered what all the hype is about but couldn't be bothered to read the book, I highly, highly recommend Sally Quilford's series of reviews on it. You can find links to the ongoing saga of FSOG here.

Thanks Sally, for making me laugh more times in one week than I've laughed all year.

And while we're having a good laugh, check out this delightful blog post from The Bloggess on picking your battles. An oldie but a goodie.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy holidays and getting back in the groove

This morning my kids started a month long winter vacation. I know a lot of other mommy writers cry when their kids stay at home, but for me it means the hour and a half spent commuting to and from school every morning becomes Writing Time.

And so to celebrate getting back into the groove, here's a little gift from me to you, a little Monday inspiration courtesy of Robin Sampson on Pinterest.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Midnight in Paris

I’m not a big fan of Woody Allen movies. As in, there is no amount of money you could pay me to make me sit through Annie Hall a second time. That said, after enough people had recommended Midnight in Paris to me, I gave in and watched it.

I can’t tell you what a thrilling experience this film was! Maybe the three glasses of wine and stressful work week that preceded it may have influenced my feelings, but ... wow!

The film was made in 2011, and is the story of present day author Gil, in Paris with his girlfriend when he accidentally stumbles back into the past, into the Golden Age of Paris in the 1920s. Since I'm a writer, and I write stories set in the 20s, I've had a lot of people tell me I have to see this movie.

The moment when Gil walks into a club and gets chatting to a vivacious young woman from Alabama, my skin prickled.Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald ... Cole Porter .... Josephine Baker ... Salvador Dali ... Ernest Hemingway ... they’re all there in a cast of characters so inspiring I forgot to finish my third glass of wine!

This movie is not going to win any awards for great character arcs or story, and it doesn't explore any new depths or reveal any great truths, but it was a sweet, predictable love story with a fun "Spot the 20s celebrity" element.

Thank you to everyone who recommended this film! I really owe you. It has just become my absolute favourite movie of all time set in the 20s.

Monday, June 11, 2012

My birthday treat for you

It's my birthday month, and also the month of birth for Dear Julia so I have a special treat for you: this month you're going to get a Birthday Bumper Bonus and we're going to play two Endless Possibilities games.

The next few Endless Possibilities pictures are all from the area of Somerset where this Rae Summers novella is set. And this month there will also be a prize: the most imaginative commenter on today's blog post will win a copy of Dear Julia.

Today's image is taken from the blog 60 Going on 16 and was taken in the village of Stogumber where Dear Julia is set.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dear Julia Launch Wave - last stop

Welcome to the final instalment in the Dear Julia Launch Wave.

Thank you to all the lovely authors who’ve hosted this wave, and to all you readers who’ve followed the story and tweeted.

Here is the full list of participating blogs:
Stop 1 - Minxes of Romance
Stop 2 - Sally Clements
Stop 3 - Rachel Bailey
Stop 4 - Scarlet Wilson
Stop 5 - Olivia Miles
Stop 6 - Jennifer Shirk
Stop 7 - Suzanne Jones
Stop 8 - you are here!

* * * 

Dear Julia is set in the English countryside in the early 1920s, and is part of the Love Letters series from The Wild Rose Press.

Read the opening extract here.

Extract Eight

On the first sunny day after the rainy spell, she dressed in her prettiest frock, a frosty pink silk and lace concoction, and set off across the fields towards the Manor. The sun warmed her bare head and arms, birds sang in the trees, and her spirit soared.
Her objective was in sight.
The Manor lay beyond the village, hidden from the road by a veritable forest of trees. It seemed isolated, cut off from the village by a will of its own.
Whatever she expected, when she rounded the curve in the drive and the house appeared before her, she wasn’t sure. But it wasn’t this.
From Mrs. Ferncroft’s description of the “big old house,” she’d expected a ramshackle Elizabethan sprawl, something draughty and dilapidated. Instead, she faced a stately double-storey Georgian house, gracefully symmetrical, with bay windows on either side of a porticoed entrance. The windows stood open to the sunlight. A neat lawn ran from the last of the trees right up to the door, cut in two by the straight gravel drive. In the bright morning sunlight, the house’s stone walls turned a mellow gold. It was the most welcoming house she’d ever seen, and not at all what she’d imagined as the home of two confirmed bachelors.
She pulled the old bell pull beside the door and chimes echoed behind the door, then slow, measured footsteps. At last, the door swung open.

* * *

If you enjoyed this extract, you can buy the full story at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, and direct from the publisher, The Wild Rose Press. You can find out more about this novella here - and don’t forget to tweet your feedback using the hashtag #DearJulia.

I’m also running a contest on my Rae Summers blog. Answer a simple question about this story, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Dear Julia. Entries close Sunday night, and the winner will be announced on Monday.

I hope you’ve all had as much fun following this wave as I have!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dear Julia now on sale

My new 1920s novella, Dear Julia, released yesterday through The Wild Rose Press. To celebrate its release, I'm running a contest on my Rae Summers blog where you can win a free copy.

Tomorrow is Launch Wave day. I'll be sharing the opening chapter, spread across 8 blogs. Check back here to follow the wave, which starts at Minxes of Romance and ends right here.

* * *

About Dear Julia

The discovery of a long-lost love letter in a house she’s redecorating sends Rosalie Stanton on a quest to find its rightful owner.

Since his return from the Great War, William Cavendish has lived as a recluse. His peaceful existence is shattered by the return of the letter that once held all his hopes — and by its bearer, the irrepressible Rosalie, who bears an uncanny resemblance to his lost love.

As Rosalie sets out to lure William back into society, she realises that in him she might just have met her match.

You can buy the book at Amazon, Amaxon UK and direct from The Wild Rose Press.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday laugh

It's Monday morning and if you feel anything like I do after a not-so-restful weekend, then you need a laugh to start the week. So how about this?

It's a sign I saw outside a shebeen (informal, unregistered pub) on Saturday. And a Zonkey, is a cross between a Zebra and a Donkey. You can see one here on this Minxes blog post.

For those who need a little translation, the sign says:

The shebeen is available for functions, parties, and happy time (i.e. happy hour).

Welcome to South Africa!