Celebrating

A very short post because it’s been a long week. In my other job I’ve had a lesson observation and am in the throes of rehearsals for the Christmas play (insert all the traditional cliches about 5 year olds in Nativities- they’re all true).

On my non-school days (I hesitate to call them days off) I’ve been working on my revisions for my second book. A couple of days ago my editor emailed to say she loved them and we’re there with it.

I wondered if the thrill of having a manuscript accepted would wear off but if anything this feels even better than the first time around because it shows me I wasn’t just a one hit wonder. It’s also important because I’ve proved to myself that I can write to a deadline rather than taking my time over a few years with no real timescale as I did with the first one. Now I’m looking forward to the next stages of the process, which I didn’t even realise existed before FFHC was bought. Hello art sheets and browsing the internet for pictures of my hero to send the cover design team – such a trial. We shall not mention Word document track changes at this point…

To celebrate my sale I’m running a giveaway on Goodreads for a copy of Falling for Her Captor https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/117401?utm_medium=api&utm_source=giveaway_widget It’s UK only this time and ends next weekend in time to beat the Christmas postage mayhem so might make someone a fab present(and you don’t have to tell them it was a freebie) so spread the word.

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Review Roundup

I always said I would never read reviews if, and when I got published. I also said I’d stop biting my nails, exercise every day and only ever eat chocolate at the weekends.

Yeah, right. That was always going to work.

A few kind friends offered to vet them for me first but I can’t help myself so every so often I head over to Amazon and Goodreads to have a nosy. As a first time author I wasn’t sure whether getting bad reviews would be worse than getting none but as Oscar Wilde said ‘There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.’

I handed my revisions for book 2 in today so have got a bit of headspace to think about what book 3 is going to be, and reading reviews is a good way to focus my mind on why I write. There is something wonderful about knowing that something I’ve done has given people some enjoyment. If I had feedback like this in my other job then writing end of year reports would be much more fun!

I’m collating reviews from different places here so I can find them again easily and for anyone else who wants to have a look. Some of them were written by people I gave copies to but asked for their honest thoughts. What really pleased me about those was a couple of them admitted to not being the target audience but liked it anyway. One is from an author which makes it extra special. none of them (as far as I know) is from my mum.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23120083-falling-for-her-captor#other_reviews

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/0263909891/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

http://www.amazon.com/Falling-for-Her-Captor/product-reviews/0263909891/ref=pr_all_summary_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

I’m very excited by this one below because it is on a blog by someone who reads a huge number of books and who knows a lot about what she likes. She’s tough to please so I read it through my fingers but came out smiling at the other side.

http://wendythesuperlibrarian.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/falling-for-her-captor.html

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go do a press-up and eat a Malteser.

Sneak preview

I’m in the process of working through revisions for my second manuscript so thought I’d share the first meeting of my heroine and hero as I said I would share an excerpt when I had more Facebook likes.

‘The horseman cursed and wheeled his mount around. He galloped away from the water’s edge then turned. With a sudden bellow he cracked the reins sharply and sped back towards the river. As the horse reached the edge, the rider spurred it forward. The horse leapt through the air with ease to land on the deck alongside Eleanor. The ferry bucked, the far end almost rising from the water. Hooves clattered on the slippery wood and the animal gave a high-pitched whinny of alarm. It was not going to stop!

As a cumbersome looking saddlebag swung towards her Eleanor threw herself out of its way. The railing caught her behind the knees and she stumbled backwards, her ankle turning beneath her. Cursing, she flailed her arms helplessly, unable to regain her balance as the river came up to meet her.

The soaking never happened. Something stopped Eleanor with a jerk. Her feet slid on the deck and her head snapped back. Cold spray splashed over her face, her plait dipping below the surface of the water. Blinking rapidly, she raised her head to see what had stopped her fall.

The horseman, still mounted, had twisted across his saddle at what seamed an impossible angle. He leaned almost horizontally over the platform, the neck of Eleanor’s cloak bundled in one gloved hand. Eleanor found herself staring up into a pair of blue eyes half hidden in the depths of his hood.

With ease the man pulled Eleanor back to her feet. Still holding her he threw his leg back across the saddle and dismounted gracefully. As she stood upright a spear of pain shot through Eleanor’s ankle. She gave an involuntary gasp and her knees buckled. With the same speed as his initial rescue, the rider’s arms found their way round Eleanor’s waist, catching her tight and clasping her to him before she slipped to the ground.

“I’ve got you. Don’t wriggle!”

The man’s hood fell back and Eleanor saw him clearly for the first time. He was younger than his voice had suggested. A long scar ran from the outside corner of his eye and across his cheek, disappearing beneath a shaggy growth of beard at his jaw. A second ran parallel from below his eye to his top lip. His corn-coloured hair fell in loose tangles to his shoulder. Close up his eyes were startlingly blue.

Footsteps thundered on the deck as Eleanor’s coachman appeared. It struck Eleanor suddenly that the man was still holding her close, much closer than was necessary, in fact. She because conscious of the rise and fall of his chest, moving rhythmically against her own. Her heart was thumping so heavily she was sure he would be able to feel it through her clothing. As to why it was beating so rapidly she refused to think about.
“You can let go of me now,” she muttered.

The horseman’s eyes crinkled. “I could,” he said, “though I just saved your life. There must be some benefits to rescuing a beautiful maiden in distress, and holding her until she stops shaking is one of them. I suppose a kiss of gratitude is out of the question?”

“You didn’t save my life. I can swim,” Eleanor cried indignantly. It was true she was trembling, but now it was from anger. “I am most certainly not kissing you!”

The man’s forehead crinkled in disbelief. “Even though I saved you from a cold bath?”

Eleanor’s cheeks flamed. “It was your fault in the first instance, you reckless fool. You could have capsized us all. Your horse might have missed completely.”

The horseman laughed. “Nonsense, it was perfectly safe. Tobias could have cleared twice that distance. If you had stood still none of this would have happened. You panicked.”

With an irritated snort Eleanor pushed herself from the man’s grip, contriving to elbow him sharply in the stomach as she did so. She heard a satisfying grunt as she turned her back. She headed to the carriage but her ankle gave a sharp stab of pain. She stopped, balling her fists in irritation. The horseman leaned round beside her. “Allow me,” he said. Before Eleanor could object he had lifted her into his arms and strode the three paces to the coach. With one hand on the door-handle he cocked his head. “Still no kiss? Ah well, it’s a cruel day!”

“There are no circumstances under which I would kiss you!” Eleanor said haughtily, sweeping her gaze up and down him.

His face darkened and Eleanor took the opportunity to wriggle from his arms. Biting her lip to distract herself from the throbbing in her ankle she swung the door open herself and climbed in, slamming it loudly behind her.’

What do you think?

Fall Back in Time

Today on Twitter is the Historical Romance Network’s Fall Back in Time event

Now, I love a good historical read and have done ever since I was little. I remember spending a coach trip to the Lake District with my nose stuck in a Jean Plaidy (Murder Most Royal I think) and barely seeing the scenery.

I’m also a sucker for dressing up whenever I can. I date that back to being in Year 5 (aged around 9 or 10 for people thinking in old money) and being chosen to try on the crinoline on a school trip to the Castle museum. There’s something wonderful about putting on a costume and being transported to another time.

Here, for your amusement are a few of the times I’ve had fun dressing up. The one medieval outfit I’ve worn I don’t seem to have a photo of which is a shame. It was a lovely green dress (maybe that’s why Aline wears green) with huge sleeves and I like to think me hero wouldn’t have been able to resist me.

I encourage you to try costumes on whenever you can. Who knows where it might lead.

Lyme Park have a brilliant dressing up area where you can go wander around the grounds in costume.
Lyme Park has a brilliant dressing up area where you can go wander around the grounds in costume and hope to meet Mr Darcy (sadly I didn’t).
One of the joys of teaching is getting to do dressing up days.
One of the joys of teaching is getting to do dressing up days.

Or course some periods are more flattering than others..

Said in Eddie Izzard voice.
Hello, we’re the Romans.