Tag Archives: debut

$1.99 book sale!

Harlequin have been publishing ebooks for ten years!  To celebrate they’re offering 10,000 ebooks at $1.99 each, including my first book Falling for Her Captor.  If you haven’t read it now is your chance to get hold of a copy.

Falling for Her Captor at $1.99

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Readers have described it as

A feisty heroine, a drop-dead gorgeous hero, a nastier-than-real-life villain, and a plot you can sink your teeth into.

A really gripping, and at times dark, story that really kept my attention.

A satisfying read, with some great ambiance and a fast-paced romance, if you’ve not read this period before, then this is a great introduction to it.

Loads of emotional tension between the two of them keep you turning the pages and the ending is both heartfelt and satisfying. Highly recommend.

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One year on

This time last year I was reeling from The Call. Feeling nostalgic I decided to look back through this blog to reminisce and discovered I never wrote about it.
So here it is:

Have you ever wondered how writers feel when they finally get The Call? I know I have. Whenever I fantasised about it I imagined whooping with delight and grabbing devastatingly attractive strangers in spontaneous hugs (because one should never pass up the chance to grab an attractive stranger if the opportunity arises).

I certainly didn’t imagine the main sensation would be all encompassing queasiness. Not because I wasn’t completely over the moon, but because my call came after a 5am start, on a cross-channel ferry in February -remember those storms last year?- with the White Cliffs of Dover coming into view.

As it happens I had three calls before the big one and I’ve written about finding out I was through to the final 50 of SYTYCW2013 here https://elisabethhobbes.co.uk/page/5/.

I had two further calls. One telling me I was through to the final 10 which came while I was cooking dinner and almost resulted in me burning it, then another telling me I had finished third in the competition (yippee) but that the manuscript wasn’t quite right for the Harlequin guidelines (sob). Fortunately the editors saw promise so sent me revision notes and I set to work revising and redrafting.

A week or so before going on my annual child free skiing holiday (bad mother) I sent my revised manuscript to Sarah at Harlequin and kept everything crossed that the changes I’d made were enough to make the grade.

And then I got The Big Call. The one that mattered, and the one I never really believed I would get.

A week skiing almost managed to take my mind off things and the drive back from the Alps to Calais finished me off so all I cared about at that point was getting home in one piece. There I was, settled on a lumpy chair with a cardboard cup of lukewarm lemon and ginger tea, trying to ignore the way the horizon kept lurching, when the phone rang showing a number I didn’t recognise.

“Hi, it’s Sarah from Harlequin…”

Yes, she liked the changes. Yes, the manuscript fitted much better with Harlequin Historical’s reader promise. Yes, the emotional conflict between Aline and Hugh worked much better (which I gather readers agree with from the feedback I’ve had).

I tried to sound intelligent and sophisticated, but who am I kidding? I know I apologised for sounding vague, burbled about crossing half of France before breakfast, almost spilled my drink and tried to resist saying ‘please tell me if you want it before the ferry sinks!*’

Which of course, she did.

Cue huge grins and self-conscious glances at the other passengers in case they wondered why I was acting so strangely. Then Sarah mentioned the words ‘two book deal’ and I wished I’d ordered something a little stronger than tea!

As fate had it we were heading back to pick up our children from my in-laws so it was lovely to be able to turn up with such exciting news and a few bottles of Breton cider to celebrate.

And now Falling for Her Captor is out how do I feel? Absolutely thrilled. It’s been so exciting to follow my characters on their journey from my laptop to the pages and learn about what happens once that first life-changing phonecall is over. Reviews have been almost universally positive http://www.amazon.co.uk/Falling-Captor-Mills-Boon-Historical-ebook/dp/B00M1OL2X2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424637155&sr=8-1&keywords=falling+for+her+captor. I have a fabulous new editor, Julia, after Sarah left the company to pursue other things and I’ve met so many lovely people through doing this. I’ve been in the paper and done an interview on BBC Radio Manchester without throwing up in the studio!

I still can’t quite believe that from the first call in Cornwall to seeing my words in print was less than a year and that a year after getting The Big Call I’ve finished a second book and been offered a further contract for another two.

It’s been an amazing year since I sent off that first chapter, and with my second book, A Wager for the Widow, coming out in July and the third in progress the fun is still going on.

*not dissing P&O. It really was horrible weather.

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.

Casting the roles

Back long before I ever thought I’d get published I made a Facebook page for the book and amused myself by deciding who I would like to play the parts. For a bit of a distraction on a wet, gloomy Sunday afternoon here is the album. Hugh alternates between being Richard Armitage and Tom Ellis depending on my mood. Henry Cavill was always the bad guy though, I think it’s that stare that does it.

If you’ve read the book I’d be interested to see what you think of the choices. Who else did you have in mind when you read it? I’d love to hear!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.394639830627070.93535.393660027391717&type=1

An interview with Rachael Thomas

Since entering ‘So You Think You Can Write’ last year I’ve been lucky to get to know some fabulous writers and I’d like to share some of their stories with you.

Rachael Thomas was one of the Top 10 finalists in So You Think You Can Write 2013. Her debut novel ‘A Deal Before the Altar’ will be released in on October 1st in the Harlequin Presents imprint.

‘Georgina Henshaw will do anything to ensure her younger sister’s happiness—even marry the darkly enigmatic Santos Ramirez! She has just one condition: she’ll wear his ring, but she’ll never share his bed!’

Rachael's forthcoming book can be preordered from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deal-Before-Altar-Mills-Modern-ebook/dp/B00M1OL2FK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410551753&sr=8-1&keywords=a+deal+before+the+altar
Rachael’s forthcoming book can be preordered from Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deal-Before-Altar-Mills-Modern-ebook/dp/B00M1OL2FK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410551753&sr=8-1&keywords=a+deal+before+the+altar

Hi Rachael, first I’d like to congratulate you on your success in So You Think You Can Write. I loved your entry and can’t wait to read the book!

Do you have actors/celebrities in mind when you write your characters?
I always have a visual reference of my characters and once I ‘see’ them in my mind I go in search of the perfect picture of actors or celebrities to adorn my writing room wall.

Did you know how the book was going to end when you started writing it?
Obviously I knew the ending was going to be the ‘happy-ever-after’ Harlequin Presents are famous for, but I didn’t know exactly how my characters would arrive at that point. It’s such fun seeing it evolve on the page as I write.

What are you working on at the moment?
I have just started a brand new story and am really excited about where it is going to take me and getting to know my new characters Nikos and Serena.

Where were you when you got the call and how did you celebrate?
When I go the call, it was a wild and windy day and I was about to meet a writing friend for lunch. As I was all but blown along the street, my phone rang and I couldn’t believe it when it was an editor from Mills and Boon. I’d just sent revisions of my competition story in and thought the call may be to discuss those, so was really taken aback when she told me they’d like to buy my book!
After that, my friend and I had lunch, but we were so excited anyone else in the small seaside restaurant must have thought we were mad. I had so many messages on my phone the battery gave up in protest, so when I did get home I had lots of text messages, tweets and Facebook messages to catch up on and of course I opened a bottle of champagne!

Which period in history would you most like to visit?
I love history and have spent many happy hours in grand houses and castles. Despite the luxury of stately homes, it’s the lure of history within the thick castle walls which forever draw me. If I had to pick one period in history it would be the Tudor years.

Is there a song or image that sums up your characters or plot?
I don’t think there is one single song or image that would do that. I have lots of images on my wall and different songs will represent different parts of the story.

Rachael, thanks for talking to me and good luck with your next project.

Thanks Elisabeth for inviting me here and for such great questions.

You can find Rachael on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rachaelthomasromancewriter?fref=ts

Becoming a reality

For once I didn''t mind when the kids interrupted my shower to tell me someone was at the door.
For once I didn”t mind when the kids interrupted my shower to tell me someone was at the door.

In front of me on the table is a box of books. Six North American copies of my book (which from what I can see refers to me as a mom not mum). Mine. Which I wrote. As I write these words I can’t stop grinning.

The kids dragged me out of the shower to answer the door this morning (they’re well trained not to answer it themselves but to scream ‘mum’s coming’ through the letterbox). We’re packing to go on a marathon camping trip round France and Spain and have been buying all sorts of random things that have been arriving daily so I took delivery and was about to stick the box on the sofa and get back in the shower before the washing machine kicked in and stole the hot water. Then I spotted the red logo. I’ve already had my monthly delivery (which isn’t a euphemism) so surely it couldn’t be…

Picture the dignified scene of the new author wrapped in a towel and frantically ripping open parcel tape while shampoo drips onto the hall floor if you like. There, isn’t that pretty, aren’t you glad you did? Now picture the squeals prompting two children to barely glance up from their Lego and Loom Bands (yes, we’re stuck with them too) and shrug at Mum making a fuss again.

“Look, my book!”

*grunt*

“My book! Cease your play and come marvel, my offspring.”

“Very nice. I like her dress,” says my daughter. “Can I read it?”

Errr. Maybe when you’re 25. Or 40. Certainly not seven, however good at blending phonemes you are.

So. Six books now. Another box of UK copies to come. Better find a very high shelf because she’s got that look in her eye and I don’t want to be responsible for what gets passed round the playground come September 3rd!

Seriously though, I will be sending out review copies so if you’re reading this and you have a blog, book group or Goodreads account and you’d like me to send you one drop me a line.