Monday, January 19, 2015

Marie Laval, BACK with A SPELL IN PROVENCE

I adore Marie Laval's historical romances and find it very exciting that she's turned her hand to contemporary romance.  Rest assured, that just like her previous published works, this one will have an elegant French touch, as Marie is a Frenchwoman. I've taken the opportunity to ask her a couple of questions about her latest release, A SPELL IN PROVENCE.

MARIE LAVAL ON THE WEB:

Website        Facebook  

Thank you very much for welcoming me on your blog today Maria to talk about my first contemporary romance  A SPELL IN PROVENCE which was recently published by Áccent Press.

What made you decide to write contemporary romance, Marie?  I'd always thought your forte  was historical...
I love writing historical romance, but when I got the idea for a contemporary story whilst on a family holiday in the South of France, I just knew I had to write it.  Provence is a wonderful setting for a novel. There are so many quaint hill-top villages and old farmhouses. The skies and the landscapes are beautiful and very atmospheric, not to mention the little coves and the bright blue sea. What particularly inspired me were the fountains. They were everywhere. Some were very grand like in Aix-en-Provence, others ancient and plain, a rough stone basin with just a tap spurting fresh water.

 It is obvious when you travel through Provence that fountains were - and still are - very important for locals. There is even an old Provençal proverb that says that 'water is gold.' One fountain in particular captured my imagination. It was in the little town of Cassis where we had stopped for an impromptu picnic. As soon as I saw it and read its inscription in Latin, I knew I had the basis of a plot. I immediately went to the local 'bureau de tabac' , bought a notebook and started writing. The initial title was The Lady of Bellefontaine,
because this is the name of the farmhouse my heroine Amy buys to start her new life, and her hotel venture.

Did you find it hugely different, writing a different genre?
I do find writing a contemporary romance very different indeed, but I enjoyed just as much as writing a historical. My big problem with a contemporary setting is modern technology. I am completely rubbish with the latest gadgets and know very little about mobile phones, apps, computers and etc..., so I am always afraid to make a mistake!


Did it take you longer to write, or did you find writing contemporary romance quicker?
It was just as fast for me to write A SPELL IN PROVENCE than it was to write my two historicals, but it took me a long time to edit it because I am now working full-time as a teacher and my writing has to take place at night or at weekends. It would be heaven if I could have more time to write, but then I am sure I am not the only writer to think that!

Which is your favourite genre to write in?
I can honestly say that I love both and do not have a preference. Both genres are very different, with the historical requiring a lot more research, but I do enjoy researching settings, plots, historical backgrounds and anecdotes, so it's no hardship to me. At the end of the day, both genres are about love stories which I very much enjoy writing.

Will there be more contemporary romances to come? More historicals?
My new historical romance, DANCING FOR THE DEVIL, should be released some time this year by Áccent Press. I am currently working on a contemporary romance set in Scotland, and I am researching four new projects - all historicals! I only hope I will have enough time to write them all!
 Thank you very much Maria for inviting me today. It was a pleasure talking to you.



A SPELL IN PROVENCE

With few roots in England and having just lost her job, Amy Carter decides to give up on home and start a new life in France, spending her redundancy package turning an overgrown Provençal farmhouse, Bellefontaine, into a successful hotel. Though she has big plans for her new home, none of them involves falling in love – least of all with Fabien Coste, the handsome but arrogant owner of a nearby château.  As romance blossoms, eerie and strange happenings in Bellefontaine hint at a dark mystery of the Provençal countryside which dates back many centuries and holds an entanglement between the ladies of Bellefontaine and the ducs de Coste at its centre. As Amy works to unravel the mystery, she begins to wonder if it may not just be her heart at risk, but her life too. 

GET THIS BOOK HERE:  Amazon  Amazon UK     (ebooks)  

PRINT COPIES AVAILABLE:  Accent Press

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie  Laval studied History and Law at university, before moving to Lancashire in England. There, she worked in a variety of jobs, from PA in a busy university department to teaching French in schools and colleges. Writing, however, was always her passion, and she spends what little free time she has dreaming and making up stories. Her historical romances ANGEL HEART and THE LION'S EMBRACE are published by MuseItUp Publishing. A SPELL IN PROVENCE is her first contemporary romance. It is published by Áccent Press.


Snippet

"He looked down. The light of the rising sun played on his face and made his green eyes seem deep and warm. Time slowed down. The noise from the crowd became muffled and distant, and all she could hear was the crystalline spring water trickling in the old fountain. The spring that ran through the forest between Manoir Coste and Bellefontaine and bound hearts and lives together, or so the spell said … Her heartbeat slowed, or maybe it stopped altogether. It was as if Fabien and she were alone. Desire, fear and another feeling she didn’t recognise overwhelmed her and made her dizzy."




Friday, January 16, 2015

BOOK BLOGGER TURNS AUTHOR - VOICES OLD AND NEW - AN INDIREADS ANTHOLOGY


Today, I'm proud and happy to introduce a book of my own on MBB.  VOICES OLD AND NEW is an anthology of south Asian writing gathered and published by Indireads, a digital publishing company dedicated to south Asian fiction in English and moving it forward and bringing it to the widest possible audience.  Although not native to  this region, I've lived here in southern Asia for twenty years and it is a great honour to have my story included in this collection.  VOICES OLD AND NEW has a number of stories in four different genres - romance, crime, paranormal and drama.  My story, MEETING BY ARRANGEMENT, was the popular pick in the romance category of the Indireads short story competition in 2014.  My thanks are due to
Naheed Hassan and Sabahat Muhammad at Indireads for their vision in bringing this project forward.  Many thanks also to my fellow writers - together, we've made an incredible book, with something for everyone to enjoy.  Congratulations to all involved in the production of this book.


VOICES OLD AND NEW


An anthology of the best short stories, both winners and finalists from Indireads’ 2nd Short Story Competition 2014. 

Indireads’ 2nd Short Story Competition 2014 yielded some extraordinary talent, including Ruchi Singh with Boomerang, Ada Wiam with Within, Komal Singh with How Does It Make You Feel, Roshan Radhakrishnan with The Ballet Lesson, Sid Balachandran with The Message, Dola Basu Singh
with Where Darkness Reigns, Maria Perry Mohan with Meeting by Arrangement and Aniesha Brahma with The Difference. We have compiled the winners, and the very best of the entries into one compelling anthology, highlighting the immense creativity and potential talent that exists in South Asia. 

Get this ebook here:  Amazon, Amazon UK, Indireads

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Aditi Chopra's Mr. Imperfect Series - A Perfect Three-In-One

MBB is back after a fairly long Christmas break.  For our first post of the new year, we are delighted to welcome Aditi Chopra with her recently released "Mr Imperfect Series".  The set consists of Aditi's three most recent women's fiction novellas, which are based in the NRI (Non-Resident Indian) world.  There's "House of Love", "Arranged Marriage" and "Love Tango".  Nikki, Sonali and Maya, three very different non-resident Indian ladies have three very different love stories to tell.  Nikki is ABCD (American born, confused desi), that's an Indian woman born abroad.  Her love story makes intriguing reading.  She is a western woman but she cannot forget her sub-continental heritage.  Sonali is an Indian-born girl who weds a non-resident Indian man by arrangement.  And Maya - well, Maya's romance is something very different indeed.  Aditi Chopra captures the NRI world beautifully in her writing, so pick up a copy of this collection.  Well worth reading.


Aditi Chopra
About Aditi Chopra

Aditi Chopra was born in India and now lives in Texas with her family. She is passionate about writing and helping others succeed. Aditi writes NRI (Non-Resident Indian) fiction and non-fiction books. She has found her creative bone in fiction writing. Her fiction stories are rooted in Indian tradition and yet very modern. You might see a glimpse of Bollywood in her stories and will definitely enjoy the emotional ride.


ADITI CHOPRA ON THE WEB:

Facebook       Twitter       Website


Interview with Aditi Chopra

Aditi, you are known primarily as a business person.  From where did you get the motivation to write fiction?
I wanted to challenge myself in the writing business and see if I could write fiction.  Overcoming a challenge has always been a part of my personality.

From where do you get your ideas?
Great question!  Inspiration is everywhere, we just need to keep our eyes open!  When I think of a concept for a book, inspiration starts appearing in front of me from various avenues.

Is writing fiction work for you, or is it fun?
It is a lot of fun.  I enjoy the whole process, right from the conceptualization to writing the scenes.  It's a lot more creative than non-fiction.

Do you identify with your main characters?
Most of my female characters are career driven and I have always been like that, so yes, I do identify with them at that level.

Are there more NRI fiction stories to come?
Yes, absolutely.  At the time of this interview, I am working on a story involving corporate drama, currently focussing on characterization.


Review of  'MR IMPERFECT SERIES' 

HOUSE OF LOVE: She’s done it again.
Aditi Chopra has her finger firmly on the pulse of the condition of what is sometimes called the ABCD (American Born, Confused Desi). A person of Indian origin, born in the western world to Indian parents. The world calls you Indian, but your inner feelings are not so sure. How do you reconcile your Indian heritage with the way of life you know now? Will you wear Indian or western dress? To date or not to date? You find the person you want to marry. Do you submit your choice for parental approval? If they withhold their approval, what will you do? Follow your heart? Or follow your culture?A deceptively simple novella which makes some excellent points. The characters of Nikki Desai and her boyfriend Karan and the dilemmas they face make for interesting reading. For anyone interested in modern Indian culture and the changes faced by young Indian in today’s fast changing world. Or for anyone who just enjoys a good story.


ARRANGED MARRIAGE: A deceptively simple novella from a wonderful writer of NRI (non-resident Indian) fiction, Aditi Chopra. I say Chopra’s work is deceptively simple because while her stories are engaging, easy to read and straightforward enough, I think she’s one author who perfectly sums up the NRI experience in a nutshell. Straddling two cultures is not easy – there is the deeply rooted, traditional culture of the Indian sub-continent on one hand, with it’s myriad obligations and accompanying advantages of permanence, security and sometimes suffocating grip. Then there’s the freedom and sometimes the rootlessness of western life, which can seems initially attractive to outsiders yet can be empty and indifferent for those who don’t have real roots there. There’s a freshness about this story which draws the reader in and the characters of Ishan and Sonali, finding their way towards love and companionship, are so likeable that the reader finds herself (or himself) caring for them and about what happens to them.
This book is perfect for romance readers, for lovers of contemporary Indian fiction and even for people who desire to know more about Indian culture. A short, enjoyable and insightful
read, which will please you as much as it will teach you.


LOVE TANGO: An enjoyable romance from the author whom I call the queen of NRI fiction. I don't know what it is, but I find Aditi Chopra's fiction very soothing and enjoyable. Just the type of relaxing read you need after a busy day. It's the story of Maya Sarin a non-resident Indian dance teacher who runs her own school. The hero is Tahir Ali, the son of Turkish immigrants to the US. The pair meet and find their equation very good. But when difficulties and misunderstandings arise, will the two of them be able to sort them out?

I liked the fact that in Maya and Tahir being from different communities wasn't even an issue. Very refreshing.

I read each book of the series as it was released and I am happy that it has been released as a trilogy. It is a good buy for people who like reading stories about India, or the Indian experience abroad.


Maria Perry Mohan

GET THIS BOOK HERE:   Amazon:  Print   Ebook



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SPOTLIGHT - God Is A Gamer by Ravi Subramanian




God is a Gamer 
by 
Ravi Subramanium 




The Blurb
Aditya runs a gaming company that is struggling to break even. A banker slips off a highrise building, plunging to her death. The finance minister has made some promises that he is finding hard to keep. The LTTE has unleashed terror in America that sends the FBI on a wild goose chase, bringing them to Mumbai.

Enter Varun, parttime drug dealer and fulltime genius. He turns around the gaming company before disaster strikes. Meanwhile, the investigators plunge headlong into
the shady world of bitcoins and the Dark Net, websites that only exist for illegal transactions—drugs, sex and money. God Is a Gamer culminates in a stunning climax where money means nothing, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

Buy @


Watch It 







Meet the Author





Described as the ‘John Grisham of banking’, by the Wall Street Journal, Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, is the author of five bestselling commercial novels—If God was a Banker (2007), Devil in Pinstripes (2009), The Incredible Banker (2011), The Bankster (2012) and Bankerupt (2013)—based on financial crime. His latest book God is a Gamer, releases on September 12th.
Having been a banker himself, he has a unique insight into the industry he writes about and a flair for spinning intricate plots that keep readers on the edge of their seats
His debut novel, If God was a Banker, won the 2008 Golden Quill Readers’ Choice Award and, more recently, The Incredible Banker won the 2011 Economist-Crossword Book Award in the ‘Popular’ category. He won the Crossword book award for The BANKSTER in 2012.
Ravi lives in Mumbai with his Biotechnologist turned banker wife, Dharini and his fourteen year old daughter Anusha.



You can stalk Ravi Subramanium @

                          

           
       




Check out The Book Club Tour Schedule 




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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Spotlighting AGAINST ALL ODDS by Jazz Singh, Indian Author.



Against All Odds
by 
Jazz Singh 




The Blurb

The first time they collide, he thinks she’s a con artist, she believes he’s an arrogant snob.

It takes several meetings to change their minds about each other, but eventually, Abhimanyu and Sanjana strike up a friendship that seems destined to turn into something more. He’s a rich successful businessman, however, and she’s a small-town girl who doesn’t fit into his glittering world; a fact that Abhimanyu’s mother has taken pains to point out.

Will they ever overcome the odds, or are their lives on parallel tracks, never destined to cross?

Buy @


Watch It 






Meet the Author



Dear Readers,

Jazz Singh is one of the most elusive writers I have met. So respecting her need for privacy we have not asked her for a profile picture or a writeup. Long back, when I had first interacted with her.. I had asked her the reason behind this. Her answer was... I want to be known for my work. All I can say to that is... She will be...

Regards,

Rubina Ramesh 
The Book Club



You can stalk her @

                          

         




This Tour is Hosted by 





Monday, October 27, 2014

Meet Author Robin Gianna - Interview and GIVEAWAY

Today, MBB is absolutely delighted to welcome the charming and very talented writer of medical/human interest romances, Robin Gianna, whose work I greatly enjoy.  Medicals are probably my favourite type of romance fiction (apart from historicals of course) because they always have a little bit more than a romance to them. That's my thought, anyway.  So as you can see, I'm delighted to get Robin Gianna for an interview on MBB, now that she's blog touring in connection with her latest release, FLIRTING WITH DR OFF LIMITS.


After completing a degree in journalism, working in the advertising industry, then becoming a stay-at-home mom, Robin Gianna had what she likes to call her ‘awakening’. While on vacation, lying in the sun with a beach read, she realized she wanted to write the romance novels she'd loved since her teens.

Robin loves pushing her characters toward their own happily-ever-afters! When she's not writing, Robin's life is filled with a happily messy kitchen, a needy garden, a wonderful husband, three great kids, a drooling bulldog and one grouchy Siamese cat.

Robin Gianna on the web:


Website             Facebook         Twitter





 How do you come up with the ideas for new stories?
 It might seem crazy, but the universe seems to throw story ideas at me (and probably most other writers feel the same way) all the time.  It might come from an overheard snippet of conversation, or a longer conversation with a stranger where you learn some incredible thing about their life and think ‘Wow, that has the bones of a great story!’  Or some surprising or emotional news item might get my attention, and have me thinking about a way to create a story around it.  The book I’m currently working on is set in Greece, because I got to spend two weeks there this summer and felt inspired by that experience.  I have a fat file of story ideas - the hard part is finding enough time to write them all!

 Does writer’s block ever happen to you?
 Unfortunately, yes!  It happens for different reasons, I think.  Most often it has to do with the story or characters, but recently it’s been due to the stress of my mother being seriously ill, and having to work through the mental and emotional fatigue of that.

How do you/would you cope if/when it strikes?    
Sometimes when I’m stuck, I just don’t know why.  If I can’t
unstick myself fairly soon, I have to dig deeper to figure out 
what the problem could be.  That’s when I go back and think
about what the characters want, why they want it, and what’s
keeping them from getting it.  Sometimes I realize I don’t have
as clear an idea of that as I thought I did!  Figuring that out
always gets me going in forward motion again.

Dealing with my mother’s failing health and caring for her really took its toll on my muse just recently.  Every time I tried to write, I simply couldn’t.  It was an awful feeling, and I finally realized the well had simply been sucked dry by all of it.  Adding to that the stress of needing to get a book written for a deadline when I was having so much trouble making that happen seemed to lock up my muse even more.  I finally confessed my problems to my editor, who was lovely about it.  The relief of her being so understanding, and my intentionally making time to refill the well (with long walks and time with writer friends) helped me break out of the block and get going again.  And let me tell you, I sent up a big prayer of thanks for that!

 Of all the stories you’ve written, what’s your favourite?
 Ah, such a hard question!  Honestly, it would probably be the first story I ever wrote, which is currently an under-the-bed-book (meaning, it can’t see the light of day in its current state!)  I’ve learned a tremendous amount about fiction writing since then, and one of these days I’m going to pull it out, dust it off, and rewrite it.  Stay tuned! :-)

Do you live in your character’s world while you write?
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I think you have to, to at least some degree.  You have to work to feel what they’re feeling, see what they’re seeing, for the characters’ experiences and emotions to become believable on the page.  Sometimes it comes easily, and it’s almost like being in a trance!  Other times, it’s an effort to get there, but definitely a necessity.


FLIRTING WITH DR OFF LIMITS

Flirting with the forbidden… 

For intern Dr. Katy Pappas, seeing delectable surgeon Alec Armstrong again is sweet torture! He might have rejected her after their sinfully delicious kiss years before, but he still sets her pulse racing!
Alec is captivated by gorgeous, grown-up Katy. But as his best friend's sister, a colleague and his student, Katy is definitely off-limits! He's made the mistake of mixing business with pleasure before, and he won't risk Katy's career. Yet can he resist the oh-so-wrong when it feels oh-so-right…?

Read Reader Reviews
Read an Excerpt

Buy Links:

Amazon         Amazon Aus               Amazon UK


Mills & Boon UK         Mills & Boon Aust   

Harlequin US                 B&N

Enter this Goodreads Giveaway to win signed copies! 

  





Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When Inspiration Vanishes - Interview with Aurelia B. Rowl

MBB is delighted to welcome back Aurelia B. Rowl, who has just released the second book in her POPPING THE CHERRY series.  It's a wonderful read named A GIRL CALLED MALICE.  

In a really interesting interview which is more like a chat, really, Aurelia shared some of her personal experiences while writing this book. She has some great insight to offer on what to do when the inspiration just isn't there when you need it.


Aurelia B. Rowl lives on the edge of the Peak District in the UK with her very understanding husband, their two fantastic children, and their mad rescue mutt who doesn’t mind being used as a sounding post and source of inspiration. She regularly wows them all with her curious, hastily thrown together meals when she gets too caught up with her latest writing project...or five!...and she has developed the fine art of ignoring the housework.

Aurelia writes Young Adult/New Adult crossover fiction and contemporary romance. To find out more about Aurelia, or check out which project she’s working on right now, you can visit her website: www.aureliabrowl.com


AURELIA B. ROWL ON THE WEB:

Blog  ¦  Facebook  ¦  Twitter  ¦  Google+  ¦  Pinterest  ¦  
Tumblr  ¦  YouTube  ¦Linked-In  ¦  Amazon  ¦




Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
Inspiration is everywhere; from nature to entertainment, from social media and real life interactions, from stories in the media to the never-ending possibilities of ‘what if’ where you can think through alternate endings as though living in a series of parallel worlds.

The trick is not only catching the inspiration particles as they float in the air, but also remembering them and applying them to your stories, especially when it comes to emotions; the way something makes you feel from the stuttering heartbeat to the great sighing gush of relief or giddy laugh of joy.

What do you do when the inspiration just doesn’t flow?
Oh, this totally happened to me in my latest book, A Girl Called Malice and it is HARD when it happens. Not so much writers’ block, but struggling to find that missing element that links everything together.

By my very nature, I am more plotter than write-by-the-seat-of-your-pants author. I don’t like to micro-plot though, which is why the W-plot structure works for me. Rather than plotting every single scene, I have islands that I need to reach – think of the points and the path of the W with its ups and down - in order to keep the story on track but I have the freedom to choose how I actually get there, and I can let the characters lead me.

When writing A Girl Called Malice, I piled an enormous amount of pressure on myself. Not only was I writing to demand with deadlines, the story is a sequel yet the timeline overlaps with the first book; it had to be able to stand alone yet maintain continuity throughout while maintaining individual personalities from a huge cast of recurring characters. Hardest of all, I needed to make sure the voice of Alice was different to the voice of Lena, with both stories written in first person.

Alice is the most reviled character from book 1 and I knew it was a risk making her the main character for book 2. I had to make sure she remained true to the awful character portrayed in book 1, but I also needed to change readers opinion of her – fast – so that they wanted to follow her journey and also root for her, maybe learn to love her for all that she is and all that she has overcome in her life.

I still can’t quite believe I took on the challenge, especially since I would class myself as a fairly new writer. I’ve not even been writing three years yet so it was a massive undertaking, and if I’m honest, there were many moments when I thought I’d failed and I wanted to give up. Forever.

It took a long time for Alice to learn to trust me and to allow me to take a peek inside her head. She is so fiercely hidden behind her protective mental barriers that one deadline after another passed by the wayside and the pressure mounted.

The journeys between the islands that I mentioned before weren’t easy to navigate, with me quite often walking blindly one step in front of the other. Literally! Whenever I am struggling over plot or how to connect scenes, I pull on my boots, plug in my headphones and hit the road. In one week alone I think I walked sixteen miles, but it works for me. I live in a beautiful part of the Peak District in the UK, surrounded by rolling green hills and trees, which not only allows me to ground myself, the combination of nature and exercise recharges me and gets me out of the house away from distraction.
Another thing I did was compile a music soundtrack on Spotify, with songs representing key scenes or emotions, or actual people. They helped me to get into the moment, into the mood, or simply inside a character’s head.

I did it though, albeit six months after that initial deadline, and A Girl Called Malice stands at over 136,000 words, spanning almost two years. The HUGE story is the culmination of my blood, sweat, and tears and I have never been so proud of myself.

How did you make this story flow? I know it is inspired by the earlier book.
I shall let you in on a secret…when I started writing Popping the Cherry, I never intended it to be a series. When ‘the call’ came in from Carina UK for a two book deal, I hadn’t even got past chapter three of the first book let alone come up with a story for the second book. I happened to mention during that call that I was considering writing a spin off from Popping the Cherry and my wonderfully supportive editor made encouraging sounds. That was it. The total thought process at that time. I didn’t have the faintest idea whose story it was, let alone an idea for a plot, and busied myself with getting that first book written.

As the first draft progressed, I found myself more and more intrigued with Alice. Why was she so mean? What, or who, had made her that way? If she stayed on her current path, what would she become? Did she have any redeeming qualities? Could she be saved?

The title was actually the first thing that came to me…A Girl Called Malice…it had a certain ring to it and opened my mind to a plethora of possibilities. Alas, the story didn’t flow – not at all – but it also wouldn’t let me move on. Alice’s story had to be written, even if it broke me, which it very nearly did.

How do you relax when you’re not writing?
I have these wonderful little things known as ‘children’ – these ones in particular are a 7 year old boy and a 5 five year old girl – and they are a bundle of excitement, energy and activity. I try to make the rule that I don’t work when they’re around, so I write while they’re at school and then again once they’re in bed for the night. I take weekends off (unless a massive deadline dictates otherwise) and I don’t work during the daytime in school holidays. I go into ‘mum’ mode, and I think that’s where having a pseudonym helps me to distance the ‘writer’ version of me.
This past year, I have also taken up ballet – I don’t mind if you laugh! – since it is something I have always wanted to do but never got the opportunity. When my daughter’s dance school floated the suggestion of starting adult beginner classes, there was no stopping me. Almost a year on and I still love it. Fitness, posture and focus all rolled into one fun activity with a wonderful bunch of ladies.
Oh, and I read. Naturally. Sadly, I don’t get to read anywhere near as much as I would like at the moment so I tend to binge read during the school holidays.

Any tips for an aspiring writer whose inspiration has dried up?
Oooh, tricky one.

If a particular story you’re working on cannot hold your attention, maybe park it up and try something new – something that excites you – but if nothing comes to mind, I’ve actually found writing short stories fulfilling. It focuses the mind and hones your skill since there isn’t an unlimited amount of words at your disposal. You get to work through a plot from beginning to end over a short span of time and get to hold the finished article in your hands. Even if nobody else ever sees it, you yourself will know that you have written a whole story. Flash fiction and writing prompts are also great for this, and there are various groups on social media that welcome new members. Just keep writing. A person cannot decide to take up running and then put themselves in for a marathon the following week; it takes time to get fit and build up muscle tone and stamina. Writing is like a muscle that needs to be used and stretched in order to reach its potential.

Try to find what works for you to unlock your mind; for me it’s walking and nature, thinking in the shower, and also music. Where do you get your best ideas? Do you have a particular time of day when you feel more attuned to writing? Carry a notebook everywhere and jot down the little things in life that catch your eye.

Read outside your ‘usual’ genre to broaden your reading experience. Although you may never write a certain genre, you may discover writing styles or a voice that you can connect with it. A lot of young adult fiction is written in first person whereas romance tends to be written in third person, often from a dual point of view. Until I read one particular book by Joanna Wylde, I would never have considered writing a full length novel in first person but with a select few chapters written in third person from the secondary characters point of view but I immediately latched onto it and implemented it in the Popping the Cherry series, hopefully to great effect.

Feel free to experiment with your style and genre to discover your ‘voice’ – I have now had four different stories published yet each one is in a different genre, whilst I find what works for me. In reality, I actually enjoyed writing all of them but then I’m the type of person that gets bored in a job easily and very quickly so I like being able to jump from ‘teen angst’ to *cough* ‘adult romance’ and I also have plans for children’s adventure stories as well as a fantasy series.

Most of all, never compare yourself to another writer. We each have our own journeys and our own experiences to follow and draw upon. Comparing yourself to others strips you of your confidence and your self-esteem. Most ‘overnight successes’ have actually spent years honing their skills and could support a king-size bed with their discarded manuscripts. Similarly, try not to be disheartened when a newcomer finds a hidden shortcut; they will most likely be as shocked as you and may suddenly face the gargantuous task of having to write to demand without the time to make mistakes and learn their trade in private. Just be true to you.


Funnily enough, that’s exactly what the Popping the Cherry series is all about…being true to who you really are and then learning how to be yourself. There are two more books already contracted for the series, including my first attempt at gay romance, yet there are other characters jumping up and down in the wings asking for their stories to be told too, so who knows how many books there will be in total? 

A GIRL CALLED MALICE




New Adult contemporary romance
Release date: 3 October 2014
Publisher: Carina UK (Harlequin)
ISBN: 978-1-474-00755-9
Series: (awaiting series title, #2)



It’s not easy being the Queen Bee. Alice Taylor should know.

You know that girl. The one that the whole school’s social life seems to revolve around. Alice used to be that girl until she decided to quit sixth form college. Suddenly her ‘friends’ aren’t so interested in following her around and her attention-grabbing behaviour is about to get her kicked out of home. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, her world starts spiralling seriously out of control.

Only new friend Zac Newton seems to believe in her. Lifeguard and poolside hottie, Zac is quite literally her lifesaver. But then, he’s never met ‘Malice’, her mean-girl alter ego, and Alice wants to keep it that way. She knows this is her last chance for a fresh start until her sordid past catches up with her at the worst possible moment.

As everything Alice has worked towards comes crashing down around her, she realises that the hardest thing of all is being yourself…



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Sainsbury’s¦ Blinkbox (Tesco) ¦ Waterstones