RNA Conference, Sheffield 2013

I had a great weekend at the Romantic Novelists’ Association annual conference,this year held in Sheffield.

Sheffield Edge building

Mandy Baggot was my co-driver for our road trip

Move over Thelma and Louise, here come Velma and Daphne

Sheffield going home car

It was lovely to  meet up with some of the Romaniacs

(L-R) Vanessa Savage, Me, Debbie White, Laura E James, Celia J Anderson

Sheffield Romaniacs

And Linn B Halton from Love A Happy Ending Lifestyle Magazine

Sheffield Linn Mandy

Fab goody bags awaited us all!

Sheffield goody bag

I attended some great presentations

Julie Cohen‘s talk on ‘theme’ being one of them

Sheffield Julie Cohen

Sue Moorcroft’s talk on ‘hot’ scenes

Sheffield Sue M

Fiona Harper gave a fantastic talk on structure in a novel.

Talks from the publishing industry were very interesting too

Anna Boatman, Editor, Piatkus Entice

Sheffield Piaktus

A fabulous gala dinner, which involved a lot of laughter and possibly a drop of wine!

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Sheffield Laura Rhoda

Sheffield Debs Linn

Sheffield cheers

But plenty of time to relax and chat

Sheffield Sue Celia Kitchen

Sheffield Laura Vanessa

My 6.30 morning strolls with Mandy Baggot took us via the duck pond

Sheffield ducks

It was a fantastic weekend – thank you Sheffield University and the RNA.

A Quick Round Up

Just a quick round up of where I’m blogging/posting today and anything else that might be of interest

Today I’m over at the Love A Happy Ending Lifestyle Magazine talking about Clothkits and sewing.

clothkit

There are lots of great articles at the Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine ranging from travel and gardening to chickens and traditions, with everything in between. Well worth a look.

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I have a mini blog at Love A Happy Ending Bookshelf where I’ve popped a post up.

manuscript

I received a lovely review of my book, United State of Love, from BestChickLit yesterday.

united-state-of-love

I’ve sent a couple of books off to The Bookstop Cafe in Lincoln who are opening their book/coffee shop this weekend and are keen to support Indie authors. Good luck to them!

At The Romaniacs‘ blog, we have Pauline Barclay talking about her latest novel, Storm Clouds Gathering.

Romaniac Logo jpeg

And this evening I’m off to a talk from Chichester Copywriter about publishing.

Have a good week!

Sue

x

Book Review : Security by Mandy Baggot

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REVIEW

With a slight shift in sub-genre from romance to romantic suspense, Mandy Baggot’s books get stronger and stronger.  This is probably my favourite one to date.

We meet Autumn Raine, singing superstar and she is not instantly likeable, coming across as spoilt and self-obsessed. However, gradually the walls come down and you get to know the real woman underneath who is both vulnerable and determined at the same time. Underneath the celebrity exterior, there is a genuine likeable person. She’s had a lot of emotional obstacles to overcome and has not always had the best advice. Now she’s up against the biggest challenge yet with her life in danger.

Cue mean and moody, northern bodyguard, Nathan Regan. He doesn’t change his attitude or his mind for anyone, that is until he comes up against Autumn Raine . As if outwitting kidnap plots and extremists isn’t enough for one guy, he also has  demons of his own to battle at the same time.

With unexpected twists in the plot, Security, has suspense and tension all the way through, together with some great chemistry and tough romance, this really is my sort of book.

Description

Autumn Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She’s a style icon, the paparazzi’s darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.

Enter Nathan Regan, an ex-elite soldier who is assigned to protect her. He’s a good man doing bad things but what drives him? Passion? Madness? Or grief? Demons from his past are threatening to consume him. Can he win the fight alone or will he have to admit he needs help?

As the threat deepens, Autumn starts to find out who she really needs in her life. Is there still room for personal assistant Janey or rapper boyfriend Rockweiler? When everyone around her is feeding her lies, how does she work out the truth? Does her record producer know more than he’s letting on? What is her mother, the British Foreign Secretary’s involvement in the situation? And can Autumn put her faith in a forty-something Jamaican woman who handles an automatic weapon as expertly as she cooks?

Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything?

GIVEAWAY

As part of of the Security launch, Mandy is having a giveaway. Anyone who posts a review on Amazon up until the end of May can enter into the Rafflecopter draw to win a £25/$40 Amazon gift certificate. You will be able to enter via this link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e42d6b8/

About the Author

Mandy Baggot brings you award-winning fiction! In 2012 she won the coveted Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her novel Strings Attached was also short listed for Best Author Published Read!.

Mandy writes strong contemporary romance and characters you’ll fall in love with. Previously self-published, she was signed by US
mandy baggotpublishing house Sapphire Star Publishing in January 2012. Shortly afterwards she became a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Mandy is a self-confessed Twitter addict who also likes to show off her singing talents on You Tube – check out Lady Gaga! She has auditioned for X Factor, appeared on ITV1s Who Dares Sings and longs to duet with Bryan Adams. She also has a fondness for white wine, mashed potato, country music and World’s Strongest Man.

Mandy lives near Salisbury in Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and two cats called Kravitz and Springsteen.

You can find out more on Mandy’s website
http://mandybaggot.com

or check out her author page at Sapphire Star Publishing
http://www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/mandybaggot

mandy's books

This visit was arranged by

fiction addiction book tours

Book Trailer ‘The Fallen Stars’ by Stephanie Keyes

Hello everyone! I am very excited about hosting the Trailer Reveal today for fellow Love A Happy Ending Lifestyle author, Stephanie Keyes’ second book, The Fallen Stars.

Read on for more information about the trailer and the book!

The Trailer

The Book

The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

Release Date: April 12th, 2013 |

Pre-order Your Copy | Add to Goodreads

When all is lost, he will have to make the ultimate decision.

Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to the Celtic Goddess, Calienta. But then everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when he and Cali end up on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why they’re being hunted.
Continue reading

Orion’s Gift by Anneli Purchase

Orion's_Gift

About Orion’s Gift

While camping in the exotic landscape of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, Kevin and Sylvia, both on the run from abusive relationships, meet and fall in love.

Two things stand in the way of their happiness. One—the secrets they keep from each other. Two—their abusers hunting them down.

Will fear drive them apart or will passion and trust surmount the violence and hostility they have endured?

My Review

Told in the first person from different points of view, I found Orion’s Gift refreshing and enjoyed getting into the head of each different character.  

It was good to really get to know the cast and their back stories, having inside information as it were added to the atmosphere and kept the tension high throughout the book.  

As I read Orion’s Gift I was struck by the setting. It was beautifully described with lots of small detail that added to creating a very vivid picture of the area.

Laced with danger, tension and emotion throughout I very much enjoyed reading this novel. At the heart of Orion’s Gift  is the love story of two people leaving behind failing marriages and finding inner-strength and happiness in their new love.

Orion's_GiftLinks for Orion’s Gift:

On Amazon.com http://amzn.to/UhJE00

On Smashwords.com http://bit.ly/MFOcOX

 

AnneliBlog: http://wordsfromanneli.wordpress.com

Website: http://www.anneli-purchase.com

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Sophie’s Run visits Hamburg

Come on Tour with Sophie and Dan… Discover the Hanseatic city of Hamburg!

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Sophie’s Run

Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…

Who says that the road towards true love is straight and even?  Sophie is certainly discovering that it is anything but.

So she has finally found the man of her dreams! Well… she knows who he is, even though she hasn’t actually quite met him yet.  But she misses her opportunity, and then her life goes crazy.  Rock star and ex-fiancé, Dan, keeps getting in the way of her new romance—even if he is just trying to be helpful.  A fire, an impromptu mini-trip with Dan, and a dreaded wedding later, Sophie is still struggling to meet the love of her life. Then, just as she is getting it together with her perfect man, best friend Rachel commits an act of unspeakable betrayal.

Sophie has had enough. Confused and distraught, she decides that it is time for radical change.  Surprising herself and shocking her friends, she embarks on a secret journey and eventually gets her life back on track.

Sophie’s Run is now available in Kindle edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and in Paperback edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. You can also get the paperback at Barnes & Noble, or download Sophie’s Run onto your Nook (coming soon).

My Review of Sophie’s Run

I have been looking forward to reading Sophie’s Run after having so much fun following Sophie’s adventures in the prequel, Sophie’s Turn. It was great to catch up with Sophie again, not to mention the utterly gorgeous Dan. Rachel, BBF, is still there and we get to meet some new faces too.

I found that Sophie’s Run, while in keeping with the style and fun element of Sophie’s Turn, it does perhaps go a bit deeper but in a way that is in keeping with the genre. The characters really develop and mature. There are some big emotional moments, some moments that are great fun and other moments that are beautifully and romantically touching.

I loved the settings, can’t say too much without spoiling the plot, but afterwards I could almost convince myself I had been to a couple of new locations.

A great read, one that I would thoroughly recommend.

Today, Sophie gives you the lowdown on Hamburg, a city that she was passing through but that captured her imagination and made her stay a few days longer than she thought.

Nicky: Hi, Sophie, thanks for joining us here today on Sue’s lovely blog.
Sophie: It’s fab to be here, thanks, Sue, for inviting me.
Nicky: So… Hamburg. Tell us about Hamburg.
Sophie: *chuckles* Where to begin?
Nicky: Well, this is what you tell us in Sophie’s Run. *flicks through pages until she hits the right spot; clears throat.* And I quote: ‘So, I booked myself on a flight to Hamburg the next day. I stayed there for a couple of days while I figured out arrangements…’
Sophie: Yup, that’s right.
Nicky: That sounds like you hadn’t planned to stay in the city for any length of time, though.
Sophie: I hadn’t. I was a woman on the run, a woman with a mission, en route to someplace else. However, when I got there… well, it was just so beautiful. It was very much a city to my liking and I found I couldn’t just pass through. I extended my stay to take a closer look.
Nicky: Amazing. Very … blown with the wind.’
Sophie: Exactly. And Hamburg is a great place. Take a look at this picture of the Town Hall. The small image doesn’t do it justice, but it’s totally overwhelming when you’re stood in front of it. The place is full of history and there are dozens of little stone carvings telling the story of the city. I’m not a sightseeing buff but this had me captivated.

Rathaus
NB: ‘Rat’ in German means ‘Council.’ Rather than… well, rather than what you might have thought upon seeing this word.

HH Rathaus pano1

Source: By Daniel Schwen (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Sophie: But it’s the maritime side of the city that really captured me. This is a photo of St Pauli Landungsbrücken… the historic departure point for cruise liners. The harbor is tidal in the extreme… I forget now what the tidal difference is, but it’s huge. And this landing stage, it’s all on pontoons so the whole thing sways with the river. It’s weird and wonderful and I could just imagine boarding a big cruise liner there in the olden days and sailing across the sea.
Nicky: *sighs* That sounds so romantic!
Sophie: It is. My biggest problem was that I was all on my own when I visited Hamburg so I had no one to share the dream with! Maybe one day…

Landungsbrücken

Landungsbrücken

Source: By Ingo Weschke (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Nicky: What’s going on in the picture below?
Sophie: Ah, that’s the famous Fish Market. It wasn’t exactly on my list of things to do but I had terrible insomnia and my hotel wasn’t far from there, so the concierge recommended a look-see. My God, it was worth it. The hustle and bustle and all the fish! I nearly went crazy with frustration that I couldn’t splash out on some fresh seafood to cook at home, but I had some cooked prawns in a roll, and I even bought a lobster that I stored in the hotel mini bar and had for lunch later that day. I had to wipe the mini bar out with baby wipes to stop it from smelling!

Fish Market by Night

084 Fischmarkt bei Nacht
Source: By Frank Spakowski (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.0-de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/de/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Sophie: That same day, I took a harbor cruise. I know, that sounds a bit dorky, but it’s not, I assure you. It was absolutely fascinating. It took me all through the historic warehouse section and I got to see the working harbor. You wouldn’t believe the size of some of those container ships—
Nicky: *interrupts, looking stunned* Really? I mean, really? I didn’t have you down as a tonnage kind of nerd! *smiles*
Sophie: *bursts out laughing* No, me neither, I surprised myself, but it was totally worth doing. There’s lots of stuff I didn’t get to see as I had to leave the next day but I would do that harbor cruise again in a heartbeat. Maybe with my lovely heartthrob next to me next time…
Nicky: *has ears on red alert* Ah, now you’re talking. Heartthrob… tell us more!
Sophie: *laughs coyly* You’ll just have to read Sophie’s Run….

Hafen/Harbor

Hafen Hamburg

Source: By Vwpolonia75 (Jens K. Müller) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Wait, wait, wait, there’s more: Introducing the Sophie’s Run Give Away!

Sophie’s Run GIVEAWAYS

1) Standard Giveaway

Nicky Wells is giving away one delicious chocolate gift to a lucky winner in the UK or North America!

chocs

The small print: This Gift prize is a product of Unique Chocolate. The Gift prize is subject to availability in your country. If the Gift prize is not available in your country, Nicky Wells reserves the right to offer a substitute gift prize of a similar nature at her discretion. Nicky Wells will require the winner’s postal address for shipping purposes.

Rafflecopter Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OTI2ZmY2ZjlkMzQ0YzMxZGFhOTJkMzFjZjBhY2Q2OjA=/

2. Bonus Giveaway

Nicky Wells offers a giveaway of one Amazon gift voucher worth $20/£15 for one lucky winner. To enter, simply share your thoughts on Sophie’s Run with Nicky. Email your comment to nickywells@sapphirestarpublishing.com and your name will be entered into the draw. Competition closes 1 May 2013.

About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

Nicky_NEWAuthorPic_April12_useforwebsite

Rock On! Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door.  A signed author with U.S. publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky is in the throes of publishing her Rock Star Romance Trilogy. Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters.  When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant.

Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C.

Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress. You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook. Nicky is a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com and has joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Nicky also has author pages at Sapphire Star PublishingAmazon and, of course, Goodreads.

An Audience with an Author – Linn B Halton

It’s a great pleasure to drop by and visit you today Sue and tell you all about my latest book, Never Alone.

It’s the last of five manuscripts I wrote when I first began writing in 2009. At that time I hadn’t thought beyond the writing process, really! I had absolutely no idea how long it takes to go through the editing process and get a book out there. In the meantime I signed with Sapphire Star Publishing for two of those five manuscripts and decided I would also self-publish. I enjoy being able to mix it up and it has been a positive in terms of what I’ve learnt about the processes and publishing. It also means I can easily mix genres – so I now have one chick lit, three with a psychic hint to them and one true story.

With my debut novel (Touched By The Light) I really enjoyed weaving the complicated twists in the storyline and when I wrote Never Alone I set myself a challenge. Could I write a story and keep that ‘twist’ to the very end, whereas with Touched By The Light it unravels much earlier in the process. I wondered whether the readers would spot the subtle clues in Never Alone or be shocked when they read the final chapter.

I’m awaiting the first reviews, but early feedback I’ve had includes:

“I have hardly thought of anything else since I read it….that’s a good thing I think. In fact, I want to re-read it to make sure I didn’t miss any ‘hints’…I already re-read the ending right after I finished!”

“Thought provoking to say the least!”

“My jaw dropped open…”

As far as initial reactions go, I’m delighted! This story is meant to make readers think about life, the decisions we make and how we can often be guilty of living one day at a time without thinking too much about the future. That’s fine if you are happy, but what if that isn’t the case and you are choosing to gloss over it, because facing up to it means change? That’s the position Holly finds herself in, despite having ‘the perfect’ life…

A contemporary romance with a Twist!

NeverAlonecover“It’s a gift to be shown something that allows you to make a difference and alter the outcome of someone else’s life.neveralonegirl However, the weight of the responsibility that goes along with that is huge and what about the ethics? The thing I have to ask myself, is how did my actions change the future?” Holly Elizabeth Atherton

Holly is the envy of all her friends, she has lived with the gorgeous Will for five years and supported him every step of the way. His IT business is about to go global and they are on the verge of having all their dreams come true!  A life split between homes in the UK and Los Angeles beckons, offering them a glamorous and exciting lifestyle they will both fit into quite perfectly. So when Will pops the question, why won’t Holly say ‘yes’?

Portrait of man at home with computer

neveralonemale2A series of terrifying encounters unleashes an inherited psychic connection within Holly. Her ‘perfect’ life is turned upside down as she struggles with the reality of her ‘gift’. Help comes from a chance meeting with medium Peter Shaw and she discovers that she is also being given healing and protection by the spirits of two people. One of them is her best friend’s brother, Nick, who died suddenly in tragic circumstances. Holly finds herself confiding in him in an attempt to sort out her own life.

She begins to sense that the path she’s on isn’t the one she’s destined for, but is it too late to change things? The thought of hurting the people she loves the most causes her to bury her emotions, until fate takes a hand………..

Life’s all about the choices we make …

Thanks so much Sue for being a part of my Fiction Addiction Book Tour and for being a fab host!

Linn’s links:

Website 
A loveahappyending.com author
Signed by:http://www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/linnbhalton
Twitter: @LinnBHalton
Facebook: Linn B Halton
Romantic Novelists’ Association page

Amazon.co.uk (buy)
Amazon.com (buy)

neveralonebanner

It’s been a pleasure to have Linn here today and I would like to thank Fiction Addiction Book Tours for organising this.