Friday, 20 June 2014


“It’s too late; I can’t turn around, there’s nothing for me back there.” Kristin grumbled to herself. How life could be turned on its head like that was a complete mystery to her. She hadn’t seen her family for so long and it was all Tony’s fault. But wasn’t she just as bad for allowing him to manipulate her in that way?  The sign to Williamsburg finally came into view, for the first time in a long time her heart soared.
The only real plan she had been going to live with her mother and father, the sooner she could get her own place the better. Not many twenty eight year olds lived with their parents anymore.  A job wouldn’t be a problem she could work on her parent’s farm. One day she would own her own coffee shop cum bookshop, that little dream was a long way off.
The trees had turned golden brown, the sent of apple orchards wafted into the open window of her car. Her stomach growled as she thought of warm apple pie and cream. Kristin was surprised that the houses the town looked as though she had never left. Here time had stood still, the buildings in keeping with how they were in the 19th century.
Colonial style houses mixed with the modern, the tree lined road onto main street hadn’t changed the nearer she got to orchard Farm the lighter her heart felt. Men would be out of the equation permanently.   Kristen didn’t need any hassle from her parents as to why she had never left before.

They wouldn’t understand that it wasn’t as easy as that; it had all been her fault.  Or that’s how he made her feel and now it was up to her to carve out a new life, a new beginning. It was scary but she would do it she would have too.

Monday, 9 June 2014

My Writing Process

I was tagged by my friend to discuss my writing process.

1: At the moment I am trying to write a medical aimed at the M and B line as well as a first person story. The research I need for the first person story had been done several years before, because I myself needed the information for my own wedding. So its all there I just need to put it together. I have never attempted a first person before but I see it as a challenge. If all it does is sit on my computer for my own satisfaction at least I know that I can do it.

I'm awaiting an answer for two manuscripts that are out there and trying my best to forget about them. Trying hard not to think about the mistakes I have since found in it. Worrying that it would be a no because of them. It is so hard to do but I am trying to keep calm and carry on as they say.

2: I write because I love to do it. I have only been writing seriously for just over a year and have had a novel published through My Weekly pocket novels. My greatest triumph to date, seeing that book on the shop shelves sent a buzz through me that i'm not sure will be repeated at least not for a while. You never know though.  I read anything and everything I can get my hands on, not just in the romance genre that I write. I need books and I need to write. Practise makes perfect, rejections used to get to me and now i see it as well it wasn't right for that company but it could be right for someone else.

3:  I write long hand at first, there is something satisfying of using pen and paper to create your work. I then spend however long to type it up, adding and deleting as necessary.  I can't work in quiet so I sit in the living room surrounded by my boys and write. Often things they say or do will work there way into my books. They take an interest in what i am doing and suggest plot points names, places for me to use.

4: When I ask people to look at what I have done, I much prefer them to be as harsh and as critical as possible. Critique can only make a novel stronger.  From my author peers, I can take anything, even I at times have spat the dummy out of the pram but in the end I have known they are right. It is from this learning curve I am making my stories stronger.

5: Everyone dreams of being accepted by a brick built publisher and i am no different. Will it happen I don't know if I will ever make it, but I will keep on writing and submitting stories.

If you don't put words on a page then you will never get anywhere in this business.

Thursday, 5 June 2014


When you have created and published a novel either indie or with a publisher, you want to create a buzz for your work. The internet has created a huge outlet for you to get your book out there and seen by millions of readers.

There are several ways of doing a blog tour:

Pay a marketing company to set this up for you.

Your publisher could set this up as part of their marketing strategy.

Or you do it yourself by approaching bloggers.

Getting to know which bloggers will read your novel and give an honest and open review is essential. Not everyone will like the same sort of genre's or want to review your novel. As most people are on facebook and other social media sites, this task becomes easy to do. So many people do blog tours you can click on their links and see how that blogger has reviewed the authors work, what sort of question and answer session they have done. Have they included links to the authors website, twitter, facebook accounts and buy links for their book.

Follow the bloggers for a while.

Comment on their posts even if it isn't about novel's. Get to know what makes the blogger tick, is this someone you feel you can work with?

Does the blogger have a twitter account you can follow, what sort of tweets do they put up. 140 characters isn't much but will still give you a really good idea of their interests.

Promote their blogs on your social media accounts, If you have a favourite post of theirs promote it. Has a post you have read sparked your own thoughts? Write your own  post with link to their blog in it. Promote their work more than yours. "Quid pro quo" something for something.

Email them having a discussion about something on their blog or just a general chat about everyday things. Ask them to review your book and do a blog post on it most people will be happy too.

Obviously if their blog is filled with Horror genre reviews, they probably wont review a romantic work of fiction. If they read many genre's they will. Research is the key to both a good re pour with a blogger and success of your own blog tour.

If the blogger has you on the blog tour converse with people that leave comments. Don't just assume that the q and a session or which ever subject you have discussed is the end of your participation. If you do then your tour could fail if people see you are not as in touch with your readers as you should be.

Facebook is another good place to see the bloggers and personal pictures. It helps you get to know them much better if you know what they like don't like, do you have common interests which could spark a blog debate (nicely)

Sunday, 1 June 2014


The Awakening of Poppy Edwards, is the second in Marguerite Kaye's 1920's undone series.

Poppy travelled to the USA after the act with her sister broke up. Now a star on Broadway and in film. She is scared of rejection and of falling in Love the loss of her sister has been a huge burden on her. This is the reason that she has a keep their distance attitude with men. They are alright for a bit of fun but she is unable to handle anything serious.

Meeting Lewis after her act they spend one night together before she decides to up and leave. Never looking back she didn’t do that. When Lewis shows up in his business hat as the famous broadway producer Lewis Cartsdye Poppy is horrified. She has never been a casting couch victim and this is exactly what it appears she has done.

Lewis on the other hand doesn’t believe that is what she was. Yet they are unable to keep their hands off each other no matter how hard they try. Both Lewis and poppy are trying to find a way of not being scared about life. Lewis because he survived the horrors of the war and Poppy for the loss of her sister Daisy.

Lewis organises a reunion for the two sisters and along with her sisters beau Dominic I believe they lived quite happily in L.A.

I didn’t seem to connect as much with Poppy and Lewis, as I had reading Daisy and Dominic. I’m not sure why, the love scenes are hot and the story flowed well. I did find myself shouting at the book when Lewis said the USA won the war in Europe for us, which is a matter of opinion depending on which side of the pond you live. I am liking the era though and would happily read another of Ms Kayes books if she decided to set it in the 1920’s.



The Undoing of Daisy Edwards

Of all the places to meet a woman Dominic Harrington meets Daisy Edwards in a police station. After a night of drinking and injecting cocaine our heroine finds herself in the last place she thought she would be.

Daisy had lost her husband during the Great War, she now finds herself hiding from herself and everyone around her trying to find something to make herself feel alive again. Nothing does, she wants so much but feels guilty that she has lived and her husband is gone.

Dominic too feels guilt over the loss of his brother in the same war, now a Lord and heir to a stately home but refusing to use the house or title as they belonged to his brother. Not him, never him he is sad and lonely. Believing his mother blames him for being alive whilst her first born son is dead. Domanic too feels that his sister is against him and as such they don’t have a great relationship when in truth he has shut his family out.

Daisy only portrays Tragic characters and I loved the references to Shakespeare and Dickens in the novel. I did have to laugh at contraception being called a preservative something I had not heard before. This is a first person story of loss and trying to rebuild lives after the horrors of the war. Both our hero and heroine are fighting against themselves and denying the attraction they feel for each other. The love scenes are hot and sensual as I have come to expect from marguerites books.

The 1920’s is an era I actually no little about and this was the first book I have read set in that era. Through all the heartache of the war to the rebuilding of loves and lives our two characters find it hard to let go of their pasts and fordge a future together. Taking one step at a time, I was taken through many emotions whilst reading this from sadness, to happiness and then wanting to shout at the characters for being so silly and wanting them to give love a chance. They were too young to give up on life.


Monday, 19 May 2014



Today I would like to welcome Sam Birch author of The High-Street Brides Guide. Welcome Sam so glad you could join me. 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Listen to your gut. You know when what you’re writing is and isn’t working, and if it’s not, be brave enough to cut a section out, to edit a story arc or do what’s necessary to make you feel right about it again, even if it’s a big job. Slogging on writing something you know you’re not happy with because it’s daunting to make changes won’t bring out your best work. Just make sure you save and back up the original version before you make sweeping changes—knowing you can always go back frees you up to move forward.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope The High-Street Bride’s Guide helps to make planning your wedding cheaper, easier and more fun. When I wrote the book I wanted it to be practical, but also to be a laugh—none of this dry bullet-pointing or terrifying deadline-setting you sometimes get in wedding guidebooks—but one of the other great things brides and bridesmaids are telling me so far is that it’s been helping the woman of the hour relax and feel in control too, which I think is exactly what you need at what can be a pretty stressful time.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

To be honest, The High-Street Bride’s Guide came kind of naturally. I’d been writing about wedding planning for about four years when I started it, and I finished it in a month. I had a really clear plan for the book from the off, since it was non-fiction and I wanted to make sure I covered everything I could think of. Then I just sat down and went at it until it was done!

What books have most influenced your life most?

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been one of my favourite books the longest—I’ve loved it to bits ever since I was little, and I’ve even acted in the play twice. The first time I played the dodo and one of the Queen of Hearts’ card soldiers, but by the second time around I’d been promoted to Alice! My husband knows how much I love the book, and for one of our anniversaries he got me a reprint of the original handwritten version with Lewis Carroll’s own drawings—it’s one of the most precious things I own. I read it with awe, noticing even the tiniest differences between that and the published book.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Terry Pratchett, I think, because it kind of fits into the narrative of my writing career so far: I interviewed him back when I was Books Editor at my uni paper, York Vision, and that interview was what got me my first paid writing job, as Features Editor on a business magazine. It would make a weird kind of sense if he mentored me through my transition from journalism into books, and non-fiction into fiction.

What book are you reading now?

A couple by my fellow HarperImpulse authors: The Best Thing I Never Had by Erin Lawless, and The Right Side of Mr Wrong by Jane Linfoot. Two very different books, and quite a change from what I usually read—you might have noticed I’m a fan of J.K. Rowling, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and co.—but I love trying new things! Erin’s book makes me all nostalgic for my uni years and Jane’s is my first foray into something a bit steamy!

Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Don’t make me choose! I love Lewis Carroll, as you know by now, because of the crazy unexpectedness of his stories and the strange beauty of the world he creates—he can capture your imagination in such a unique way. I also love Terry Pratchett because I think we’ve got a really similar sense of humour—his books make me laugh more than any others—and Douglas Adams for his skewed logic, like what he says about dolphins in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”

Brides-to-be, this one’s for you!
You can say your vows in a catwalk gown so beautiful it reduces your mum to tears (and not because she paid for it).
You can style a reception so stunning your guests won’t believe you didn’t hire an A-list planner.
And you can sprinkle the day with personal touches that make everyone feel like you gave them special attention before they even got there. Without spending a house deposit on it. Honest.

Samantha Birch has written for GLAMOUR, Brides, You & Your Wedding and Cosmopolitan Bride. She knows a thing or two about planning a wedding on a budget, how much you can expect to pay for everything and where to go to get it for less. And she’s put it all down here.

Author Bio

So far I’m the author of one book: The High-Street Bride’s Guide. I’ve written about dresses, bridesmaids and cake toppers for Brides and You & Your Wedding, and regularly contribute to the likes of GLAMOUR and Love Baking – often while eating cake in my pyjamas. I live with my husband in a chaotically untidy flat in Letchworth, which I pretend is an artfully unkempt writer’s loft in St. Albans.

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