Wednesday 27 December 2023

My first two books

 My first two titles for Choc-lit are now being re-released by Joffe books. Both were written for a huge reality contest run in the US by the Romantic Times magazine and Dorchester Publishing - both sadly no more. And both books made the final! As you can imagine, that was a huge boost to an unpublished author, even though I didn't come anywhere near winning. Even so, it took a while to find a publisher here in the UK. Romantic suspense is not a well known genre, but then Choc-lit took a chance...

Although I would class all my books as romantic suspense, these two books are very different  from the Riviera series that I have been writing lately. Those books are lighter, escapist holiday reading. Never Coming Home and Out of Sight Out of Mind are still romances but much darker - and not just because they are both partially set in Wales, not on the Mediterranean! And I have to say that much as I love the Riviera books and love writing them, I have been hankering to return to my 'roots' for some time. The WIP is much more in that mould - and it's set in Wales. 

Since the books were first issued trends have changed. Now psychological thrillers are very much on trend and these two books are being marketed with that designation. I have to confess that this bothers me a little. They are thrillers, there are twists and turns, there is uncertainty, there is violence, there is bad language, they are scary and creepy in places, their heroes have dark pasts and the heroines have tragedy  in theirs, but they are still romances. 

Not sure how purist crime fans will view them. I'm braced for the reviews that mention Mills and Boon. I hope that there will be some new readers who will like a new view on the genre and a positive ending. 

Fingers crossed.  

Wednesday 20 December 2023

Out of Sight Out of Mind - re-release.

 As trailed last week - Joffe is re-releasing my first two published titles.  


Out of Sight Out of Mind is already out there. Never Coming Home will follow, before Xmas or soon after. 

Out of Sight Out of Mind only has a new cover - very modern and on trend. Never Coming Home has had some updating. Both stories remain the same. 

How it looked

While it is great that these two books are getting a second time around - I'm still very proud of them and both were award winners/nominees - I do get worried that people will think they are new. They are not - and they are very different from the Riviera books. Much grittier - not so escapist. They are both over a decade old. 

How it looks now

I was reading the Liberta blog at the weekend and Sophie Weston was writing about a category author Leigh Michaels has coined - the Accidental Historical - when a book that was contemporary is re-issued and becomes historical in the process. 

That's what these two books are. 

If you want to read the Librta post in full, you can find it HERE

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Coming around again.

My new publisher, Joffe Books, who have taken over the former Choc-Lit titles make something of a speciality of backlists and re-issues. It was only a matter of time before they re-discovered my older titles to give them a second time around, and now it's happening. 

Multi Award winning Never Coming Home and award nominee Out of Sight Out of Mind will be released soon with brand new covers. 

Both books are a decade or so old, written as competition entries for a big US reality contest where they both made the final,  and are very different from what I have been writing lately. They are very much in the romantic thriller mode, rather than romantic mystery.  More gritty, more violent, more bad language! (Sorry if that is not your thing.)  They still have independent heroines and red hot heroes, although the latter are a bit more ambiguous than the leading men in the Riviera series. 

Although I love the Riviera books and completely enjoy writing them I've been wanting for a while to get back to style of the books that began my career, so I am quite excited over the re-issue of these two. 

I have a new idea currently in research and development that lends itself to that style that will also take me back to locations in my native Wales, so I am looking forward to working  on it.

I have done some re-editing for Never Coming Home, and have seen the new updated cover for Out of Sight Out of Mind - which is very different and very on-trend, so it won't be long before I am able to share them with readers. Those who already have the books won't need to buy them again - unless you want to - but maybe there will be new readers out there who will be inspired to take a look. I hope so.

Working with those books I know that getting back to that style is going to be a challenge, but the new idea is one I have wanted to work on for some time. It will be a journey. I hope readers will come with me as I make it. 

Friday 8 December 2023

For one day only

Today Friday 8th I am the Joffe free book! Summer in San Remo is all yours for zero pence. It's the first in the Riviera Series. More of a rom-com with only a hint of crime/mystery, it was fun to write. The series gets much heavier on the suspense after that.

Wednesday 6 December 2023

Gadding about

 I'm a bit late posting this week as I have been out having fun. London at the weekend - a longer trip than intended as I got caught out by an unexpected train strike and had to stay over an extra day, not coming back until Monday. Then yesterday  I was out at Xmas lunch with some friends, and my last morning lecture today for the gardens course so it has been rather hectic

London was fun, as usual. Sang my first carols at a festive music concert at St Martin's in the Fields and ate my first mince pie - on the train coming home! 

The big event was the Romantic Novelists' Association London and South East Chapter Xmas lunch. I had a lovely time, met friends, ate nice food and got my picture taken with Santa, We were encouraged to take a book for the pic and to donate to prison literacy projects, which I was happy to do. 

I spent some time on one of my favourite things, wandering around London. Did some window shopping and some not window shopping, very indulgent and more so because I had the extra time to investigate the Glossier shop, in Covent Garden, which on weekends has long queues outside it but was much quieter on Monday!  The windows at Selfridges are always worth a visit and this year was no exception.  And I found a pop up shop in one of the back streets on the Portman Estate where you could send letters to Santa complete with golden pillar box.

I took some pictures and generally enjoyed myself 

Sending letters to Santa

Candy cane man, There is a face and body
 in there somewhere. 

I thought the masks on these three angels
were just a little bit spooky. 

Self indulgent shopping