Thursday 13 December 2012




Diary of a debut author

May 30
Whilst browsing the internet one Wednesday evening, I come across Entangled Publishing's submission call for Christmas stories up to 15K words for their Flirts/Ever After imprint. Christmas is Cancelled is born. (Deadline June 10)
June 2
I flew off for a family holiday – complete with laptop – having not finished my short story before we left.

June 10
Deadline been and gone, but my story was going to be too long anyway.

June 16
Consider modifying the story so that it could adapt to the New Year call-out from Entangled, even rename it A Resolution Too Far and add a prologue.

July 15
Not being true to story so it’s time to abandon the Entangled submission call and start looking for other publishers seeking Christmas/holiday stories.

July 16
Email Breathless Press to see if they would accept a partial, or whether it had to be a full manuscript; the answer was full. With the school summer holidays looming though, writing was going to be difficult, so Christmas is Cancelled will have to be parked up until the schools return in September.

August 28
My main characters are harassing me...they won’t leave me alone, and insist I finish their story. I log back onto Breathless Press submissions page. Their deadline for Christmas stories is September 30, definitely do-able. Comment in Facebook group that I am going to try and submit my holiday story, and hear from the actual editor for the holiday stories, except the deadline is not end of September…it’s the end of August.  EEK! (Deadline extended to September 1)

September 1
Almost to the minute, I hit ‘send’ and just scrape in for the deadline. Now the anxious wait begins…

September 6
An email is waiting for me on my phone when I wake up. I stare at the words, blink, and read it a couple more times. It really does say what I think it does, so I leap out of bed and race down the stairs to show my husband. “Congratulations!” he says, a smile nowhere as big as mine. I text my best friends, the usual cryptic nonsense I tend to go for, “Christmas is NOT Cancelled,” I type. Unable to contain myself, I go onto my private critique group and quote: “This story was a real emotional read and I loved how you used Christmas as the point to turn everything around. It touched my heart deeply and if you consider this an unedited mess...well let's just say I'm very glad you sent it regardless.” I can’t stop smiling, thinking it’s a dream, but I haven’t gone ‘public’ yet as I’d rather wait for the contract.

September 7
I can’t help myself and make a blog announcement worthy of winning an Oscar.

September 8
Cover art request form arrives – I need to summarise my story, share my inspiration pictures, and also give my ideas for a front cover. I write: “I quite like the idea of having the snow-capped hills and maybe the hikers lodge in the background, with a picture of a couple in front of a large gaudily decorated artificial Christmas tree super-imposed over the top – if that makes sense?”

September 9
Contract is signed. I am a writer!!!

September 22
Pre-edits – I need to look for typos as well as Americanize everything, complying with the in-house style guide. Needed back within a week.

October 14
First round edits – I see the title of the email and my heart plummets. Will my ‘baby’ be ripped to shreds? Will there be nothing but track changes obliterating the page? Oh, maybe not… “Overall, you are a very clean writer. It was a delight. The only issue was some run on sentences and a tendency for repeating words. All in all, not that big of a deal.” Great! Or was the worst yet to come? “Usually a manuscript goes up to four rounds with me, then a round with the line editor. With how tight your writing is, I highly doubt we'll need more than two with me before I can send it to the line editor.”

October 17
All done. For now. The second round edits pretty much amounted to changing a word because it wasn’t known in the US, and accepting a couple of punctuation changes.

October 26
Work starts on my cover art, and by gosh it’s exciting watching it come together.

October 29
My cover art is done, complete with banners to use as well. I love it. It’s like the cover artist could see inside my head to come up with the perfect cover.

November 5
Release date penciled in. Originally was going to be after Christmas, which was a little confusing, but finally confirmed as December 21.

December 7
Line edits finally arrive after being held-up for a while, but it could have been worse. At least I have them, and aside from some commas and some ‘misplaced modifiers’, I was good to go.

December 8
Juggle first round edits of another story, with the line edits for Christmas is Cancelled. I start thinking about the blurb and excerpt so I’m ready.

December 9
Pre-Order! Time for another song and happy dance session. I even dragged my eldest in to look at “Mummy’s book” on the internet for people to buy. The blog tour has also kicked off, the start of a few weeks gallivanting from blog to blog across the globe. Which is what brings me here today…

December 21
Release day!

About Aurelia…

Short version

Aurelia B Rowl is a contemporary romance author but you can also find her masquerading as Allie A Burrow, her raunchier alter-ego.

She lives on the edge of the Peak District in the UK with her very understanding husband and their two fantastic children aged 5 and 3, along with their mad rescue mutt who doesn’t mind being used as a sounding post and source of inspiration. They are all used to her getting too caught up with her latest writing project... or five!... and she is guiltily counting down the months until she has both kids at school full-time.  

To find out more about Aurelia, or to check out what projects she's working on right now, you can visit her website

You can also find her hanging out on:

Blog –
Facebook –
Twitter – @AureliaBRowl
Google+ – +AureliaBRowl
Pinterest –
Goodreads –

About Christmas is Cancelled…

Contemporary romance
Release date: 21 December 2012
Publisher: Breathless Press
ISBN: 978-1-77101-938-5
Heat level: 3
Word count: 40,000+

Short blurb

Could Tilly's day get any worse? Even Christmas had been cancelled! Will Dean succumb to temptation as he endeavors to make Christmas better for both of them?

Full blurb

Matilda 'Tilly' Carter didn't think her day could get any worse, but even Christmas had just been cancelled.

The one girl Dean Watson has sworn never to have—never even expected to see again—just flared back into his life and into his home—his sanctuary—like she belonged there. Christmas would certainly be more bearable with Tilly around though…

As the chinks in Dean's armor appear, Tilly seizes the chance to win her knight once and for all. She's not about to take no for answer—not this time—but Dean must resist, even as his heart rebels and temptation threatens to undermine his resolve.

Win or lose? Love or honor? Which will Dean choose? Assuming he gets a choice…

Book trailer

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Tears welled in her eyes, clouding her vision. She turned and wandered blindly toward the exit as the first tear escaped, forging a track down her cheek for the rest to follow. Tilly took in a lungful of air and then another. Having made a spectacle of herself once already, she really didn't want to be the cause of yet another scene.

The crowds swarmed around her, with students and family members heading home for the holidays only adding to the usual rush-hour melee of commuters. They jostled past, threatening to swallow her whole, as they rushed en mass in the opposite direction, using their briefcases and suitcases as a battering ram.

It was suffocating. She had to get out of there. Breaking into a run, broken heel or not, she raced through the doors and out into the biting December chill. Her waterlogged eyes struggled to adjust to the dark, dreary sky after the bright station lights, but she didn't dare slow down, desperate to escape the throng of festivities and merriment.

Carol singers assembled outside burst into a jovial rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," full of joy and happiness. Didn't they know Christmas had just been cancelled?

"Ooof!" Tilly smacked her shin against the edge of a low bench, too dark to see as she tried to dodge the growing audience. She ended up sprawled across the bench, dropping the handle of her suitcase with a loud clatter.

At least the pain shooting down her leg gave her an excuse to be crying. Unfortunately, it meant she had to stop running too. Not good. Whenever things got too tough, too intimate, or too confrontational, you could rely on her to make a run for it. Running away was what she did best...

A tall figure loomed in the edge of her vision, something vaguely familiar about the man's loping gait. In an effort to see him more clearly, she wiped her eyes with the back of her hands, then cringed inwardly at the black streaks now etched all over them. Great. She could add impersonating a panda to her day from hell as well then.

The mascara stung her eyes, rendering her unable to focus properly. She blinked furiously as the man strode past her, talking into a mobile phone in a deep voice that resonated throughout her body and made the fine hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. A surge of adrenaline rushed to her legs, numbing the pain as her subconscious told her to run. Now!

The cloaked figure stopped mid-stride as if he'd heard her gasp. "Mike, I've gotta go," he barked into the phone, hanging up instantly. He backtracked until he was standing right in front of her, his tone changing from a growl to one of surprise. "Basmati?"

Great. She hadn't heard the nickname for years—nine years, four months and...sixteen days, to be exact—and even then, only one person had ever actually used it. She screwed her eyes tightly shut, shaking her head from side to side. No. No way. There was absolutely no way this could be happening to her. Not now. Not today of all days... Talk about kicking a girl when she was down.


Buy links:

Breathless Press (Pre-order now, download from 21 December 2012)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Taylor, Hi Aurelia.

    Congratulations Aurela, that was fascinating. It's so encouraging to read an account like this.