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Thursday 22 October 2015

Writing A Series: The Princes Of Kharova—How It All Began...

I'm getting really excited! In less than two months Heart Of A Hostage, the third book in my Princes of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press, is published.

I started thinking about the plot of my eighteenth book, His Majesty’s Secret Passion, in the middle of a freezing winter. The sky was grey, and summer was months away. I needed an escape route, and I found it in writing the novel which turned into my twelfth contemporary romance. 

The idea of a powerful man taking on the job of rebuilding a country had been bubbling away in the back of my mind for a long time. Writing is all about living in a story world, and one miserable winter day, I was keen to escape to somewhere hot and sunny. Creating a new romance gave me the chance to do exactly that. I turned up the heating, switched on the white light box, poured myself some freshly squeezed orange juice (pretending I needed ice in it was a bit of a stretch, but I managed!) and dreamed up a luxury spa on a Greek island. King Leo was taking a break while waiting to be crowned, and Sara was a stressed executive in need of rest and relaxation.

I wanted to feel hot sun on my skin, and dig my toes into fine white sand. The only way I could do it was to lose myself in a fantasy. It was a lovely way to forget the dark days of winter. What began as a single idea for an escapist romance turned into a whole series of books. 
See myBook.to/HisMajestysSecret 

Leo and Sara’s story became His Majesty’s Secret Passion, the first book in my Princes Of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press. I wrote the second book, Her Royal Risk, after readers wrote to me wanting to know what happened next. Krisia, the perfect personal assistant, was given the impossible job of working for Leo’s wild younger brother, Athan. Both these books were nominated in The Romance Review’s Readers’ Awards for Winter 2015. Voting is open until the end of October, so you can still register your vote by hitting one (or both) of the nominee badges at the top of this page!

There’s something unusual about the hero and heroine of the third book in my Princes Of Kharova series. Their roles are reversed.  Maia is the sister of the two princes who star in the other books, which of course makes her a princess. Mihail is Public Enemy Number One...

The second in the series...
In Heart of A Hostage, the third book in the Princes Of Kharova series, Leo and Athan’s younger sister discovers not everyone is willing to  let her get her own way in life.  Mihail, head of the Kharovan rebels, takes Maia hostage as she returns from a break. In return, he expects to get a big ransom, but the king of Kharova doesn’t bow to blackmail. 

Maia is a long way from the glittering, story-book princess Mihail fantasized about when they were both teenagers. His hostage becomes the houseguest from hell, but when Maia discovers the secret behind Mihail’s mysterious double life, everything changes in an instant.

Heart of a Hostage will be published by The Wild Rose Press in December, just in time for the Christmas holiday season. Sign up for my newsletter here to get a sneak preview, with the chance to win a free copy of Heart Of A Hostage the moment it’s released.  

Here’s a taste of what you can look forward to....

Mihail walks out of Maia's past, and into her present. Who is in more trouble—kidnapper or victim?

Princess Maia has it all—including a horrible fiancĂ© chosen for her by the king, and a family bullying her into doing the right thing—but all she wants is her independence. When she falls into the hands of rebel leader, Mihail, she tastes real freedom for the first time. Mihail is a lone wolf, Public Enemy Number One, and heir to a fierce tradition. A dangerous reputation, a castle full of guilty secrets and now rescuing Maia are all woven into his master plan. He can’t lose.
Until his unexpected hostage turns out to be the house guest from hell...

Monday 12 October 2015

Blogging: What Do You Want? Newsletters: What Do You Need?

See http://bit.ly/1MpGd3D
I read a lot of blogs, but nothing like as many as I used to. I've been wondering if they still have value, so if you called into my blog earlier today, you'll have seen a different post on offer. (bonus points for anyone who knows what it was about!)

What do you look for in a blog? Do you like to read about a blogger's news, details about their work in progress, extracts, guest posts, tips on the craft of writing, or general chit-chat?

Which blogs do you follow, and which are your favourites? I'm busy re-designing my own blog ready for the New Year, and I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Right now I'm working on my Autumn newsletter, which will be going out any day now. Do you subscribe to any newsletters? Again, I'd love to know what aspects of them you enjoy. How often do you like to receive them? What entices you to open a newsletter, when it arrives in your email inbox?

I use my occasional newsletters to keep readers up to date with what I've been doing over the previous months, whether I've been writing, working in the kitchen, out in the garden, or with the bees.

See  http://bit.ly/1MpGd3D
My subscribers are the first to see the covers of my forthcoming books, and I include one of my favourite recipes with each issue. The newsletter going out later this month features Roasted Tomato Tart, so if you'd like to find out how to make it, you can sign up to my mailing list here.

Thanks again to everyone who has voted for my books in the Romance Review Readers' Awards.  The polls close on 31st October, so if you enjoyed the first two stories in my Princes Of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press and you haven't hit either (or preferably both!) buttons at the top of this page, please show your appreciation for His Majesty's Secret Passion here and Her Royal Risk here.

Post your comments about blogging and newsletters before Saturday 17th October, for a chance to win a signed book. The draw will take place over the weekend, and I'll post the winner's name next Monday.

Sunday 4 October 2015

Great News About The Romance Reviews Readers' Choice Awards!

Thanks to your help in first-round voting, the initial books in my Princes Of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press, His Majesty's Secret Passion and Her Royal Risk, have both made it through to the final round of The Romance Review's Readers' Choice Awards for Winter 2015 (Contemporary Romance category). 

Now it's a case of whichever book in each category gets the most votes, wins.

I'd be really grateful if you could spread the word about the competition for me, and if you enjoyed my books, then I'd love you to vote for them both again, too!

You can vote for each book by clicking on the respective buttons at the top of this page, or click on the following links:

For His Majesty's Secret Passion, the link is: http://www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooks.php?bookid=18902

And here's the link you'll need to vote for Her Royal Risk: http://www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooks.php?bookid=17729

Again, thanks so much for your support.  I really appreciate it!