Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Festival of Romantic Fiction Shortlisting!

Goodness me. I am still recovering from the exciting news that Doubting Abbey has been shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction's Best E-book award. The ceremony is in a couple of weeks, so I guess I'd better brush down my posh frock - or even better, buy a new one!

The competition is fierce, but I'm just so thrilled to be on this list, it makes all the sweat and tears - and hours at my desk, eating chocolate! - worthwhile.

Best of luck to everyone. Further details of the other shortlists - for authors and the romantic fiction industry - are here.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Tips For An Online Launch Party!

Well, From Paris with Love is finally "out there" and on Thursday I held a wonderful online launch party, on Facebook. I've done a few of these now, so here are a few tips to make yours enjoyable, based on what works for me:

I find setting it over lunchtime is most successful, that way people in work can pop in during their lunchtime - mine was from 11am to 2pm. Also, unless you have lots of giveaways and subjects to discuss, setting it for many hours means it can end up being very quiet.

Prepare lots of fun photos to upload eg of booze for the guests, savoury snacks, cake, handsome guests - then in between competitions you have plenty to discuss, eg what is your guests' favourite sweet nibble or tipple.

Make sure there is going to be plenty going on - I set one competition each hour, and make the entry question easy for lots of people to participate. My book, From Paris with Love has the themes of France, food, spies and rockstars, so I set the questions around those themes, but in a general way, eg, what is the best meal you have ever eaten out? Then, I would pick a winner  out of a hat (or beret!) from everyone who left a comment. If you make the questions more specific, eg related to the book or its prequel (if it has one) you risk alienating people who are new to you as an author - they won't be able to take part. 

Have decent prizes - they needn't be too expensive. Mine were gifts related to Paris, eg a bookmark and notebook, plus an Amazon voucher is always a good prize to fall back on. 

Make it fun! And most importantly, acknowledge every single comment - if people have given up their valuable time to participate, that is the least you owe them.

Enjoy it! Online launch parties, especially for us e-authors, can make your day very, very special. 

Thursday, 24 July 2014

It's Publication Day!

Finally it's arrived, the day I've been waiting for - the publication of my second novel, From Paris with Love. It follows the relationship of bonkers Gemma and Lord Edward, from Doubting Abbey, as they spend a month in Paris - although this book can be read as a standalone.

I'll be touring some lovely blogs over the next two weeks  and if you buy the book, I do hope you enjoy it. Some wonderful 4* and 5* reviews have already rolled in on Amazon and GoodReads.

Right, better go and get ready for my Facebook launch party - do come along if you can. My gorgeous (and knows it) female cat Mitzie has already packed her clutch bag :). 

From Paris with Love is available to buy from UK and US Amazon and other good e-book retailers.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Launch Party Prizes!

This Thursday 24th July sees the launch of my second novel From Paris with Love - just in case I haven't mentioned it before (which, um, is highly unlikely!) Below are photos of the prizes for three competitions I shall be running. There's a £10 Amazon voucher up for grabs, which would cover the cost of my book, plus leave change for another purchase! Plus a fancy Paris bookmark, and a cute Eiffel Tower necklace. Also vintage Paris themed coasters and a fab notebook.

I do hope you'll join me on Thursday, at my online Facebook event, before 11am and 2pm. There will, of course, be unlimited virtual cake and champagne... :)

Saturday, 5 July 2014

You are cordially invited...!

Finally July has arrived and it is precisely 19 days until my second novel, From Paris with Love, is published - squee! Hence me sitting in front of a computer on a Saturday, whilst the sun is shining - I am writing guest blogs for my tour and picking out some lovely prizes for my Facebook launch party on 24th July. Please, do come along and join in the fun! There will be plenty of virtual cake and fizz. Or, visit one of the stops on my blog tour, where I'll be listing the best and worst things about being published and talking about the fact that I'm a little bit bonkers, like my  main character, Gemma Goodwin.

My blog tour will begin on the 22nd July with three blogs posting the first chapter of From Paris with Love. It will run until the 6th of August, by which time I'll have eaten my weight in chocolate. I can't wait for you to follow Gemma's antics once more. Plus meet mystery stalker Joe Bloggs and hot rockstar Blade who makes her laugh. And, of course, loyal, gorgeous Lord Edward is also in the French capital. In fact he's become friends with an annoyingly attractive, snooty local called Monique. Watch the sparks fly between her and Gemma!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

From Paris with Love - the cover!

Isn't it preeetty? Well, okay, I'm biased - but I just love the cover to Doubting Abbey's sequel, From Paris with Love. Here's the blurb below! Not long now, it's out on July 24th  - I can't wait to unleash Gemma's Parisian adventure upon the world!

 Every girl dreams of hearing those four magical words Will you marry me? But no-one tells you what’s supposed to happen next…. 

Fun-loving Gemma Goodwin knows she should be revelling in her happy-ever-after. Except when her boyfriend Lord Edward popped the question, after a whirlwind romance, although she didn’t say no….she didn’t exactly say yes either!

 A month-long cookery course in Paris could be just the place to make sure her heart and her head are on the same page…  And however disenchanted with romance Gemma is feeling, the City of Love has plenty to keep her busy; the champagne is decadently quaffable, the croissants almost too delicious, and shopping is a national past-time!  In fact, everything in Paris makes her want to say Je t’aime…. Except Edward!

 But whilst Paris might offer plenty of distractions from wedding planning – including her new friends, mysterious Joe and hot  French rockstar Blade - there’s no reason she couldn’t just try one or two couture dresses is there? Just for fun…

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Why I Heart Paris!

On my lounge wall is a famous picture - the Parisian kiss photo, taken by Robert Doisneau - and it sums up everything I love about Paris. The romance - understated in a classy continental way. The sexy accents. The majestic tourist spots.

I lived there you see, a couple of times in my youth and this no doubt inspired the setting for From Paris With Love, the sequel to my romantic comedy e-book, Doubting Abbey.

I spent six months there as a university student, working for a chemical company, just off the Champs Elysees - my, how I enjoyed my lunch hours, strolling down that famous boulevard, taking in the fashionable passers-by and gawping at the glamorous, sophisticated boutiques.

No doubt the French capital holds a special place in my heart, as I fell in love, with an older Frenchman who wrote poetry and played the guitar. I have fond memories of whizzing around the Arc de Triomphe on his motorbike and us sitting together, at night, on the steps of the Sacre Coeur. We would visit jazz bars and eat couscous at Tunisian restaurants.

Of course, some things weren't quite so romantic - the musty smell of the underground... The time I got pick-pocketed... Being very ill after a meal of rare beef, cockles and oysters! But whenever I look back on my time in Paris, my chest glows. My fantasy is to have a little flat near the artists' haven, Montemartre... 

I revisit all my favourite places in From Paris With Love - the atmospheric Pere Lachaise cemetery, where Chopin, Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde are buried... The awesome Monet watercolour canvasses at the Orangerie Museum... The fabulous flea market in Porte de Clignacourt...

One day I hope to return there with my English husband, so that we can create some romantic memories of our own. 

Yes, I'll always have Paris... And it's been wonderful to take Doubting Abbey's bonkers main character, Gemma, there.

From Paris with Love is out on 24th July and is the standalone sequel to bestseller Doubting Abbey which is currently 39p on Amazon UK, $0.66 on Amazon.com and is today's Daily Find and 39p on Nook