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It’s been a while due to not driving so much and being rushed off my feet with Xmas and so on, but here’s the latest novel to grace my audible app/alexa…

John Grisham is one of my ‘must-read’ authors, even though some of his more recent ones have been a bit hit and miss, sounding more like an abridged version of itself, the reviews reflecting that, very often. BUT The Reckoning seems to be hitting the mark and has made me inquisitive enough to find myself thinking about the characters in between sessions…one of the best signs that it’s a good book.

See also below for the Stylist Magazine’s ‘Books to Watch out for in 2019’ list – very glad to see my mentor Julie Cohen’s next novel firmly on that list! Plus info about our writing retreat dates for 2019.

 

The Reckoning.

John Grisham returns to Clanton, Mississippi, to tell the story of an unthinkable murder, the bizarre trial that followed it and its profound and lasting effect on the people of Ford County.

Pete Banning was Clanton's favourite son, a returning war hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbour and a faithful member of the Methodist Church. Then one cool October morning in 1946, he rose early, drove into town, walked into the church, and calmly shot and killed the Reverend Dexter Bell.

As if the murder wasn't shocking enough, it was even more baffling that Pete's only statement about it - to the sheriff, to his defense attorney, to the judge, to his family and friends and to the people of Clanton - was 'I have nothing to say'.

And so the murder of the esteemed Reverend Bell became the most mysterious and unforgettable crime Ford County had ever known

 

More on Amazon here.

 

Books to watch out for

Looking forward to revamping my book of the week feature, after a lull at the end of 2018. This was in part due to re-listening to old books, and to not driving anywhere near as much for various reasons. So apart from my Book of the Week, here’s a nice little round up care of Stylist Magazine.

2019 is already looking like being a brilliant year for ‘watershed’ books – including a long-awaited thriller, a Booker winner and breakout debuts which have already been snapped up for the small and big screens. And amongst them, my mentor Julie Cohen’s next novel, Louis and Louise. This is released on 24th January so will have a fuller review then. For now, if you’re after some stonking new author recommendations, how about the following – here’s a selection from the Stylist list, which took my fancy:

Queenie – by British author Candice Carty-Williams. Being called ‘the one to watch out for’ this novel sounds like being the best anti-heroine antidote to the social media generation with a real life tragi-comedy storyline and proper ‘uplit’ feelgood factor – I will definitely be getting this when out in April.

The Wych Elm – by Tana French. Being called ‘the most highly anticipated thriller, this one looks fascinating. Having already made her name with the Dublin mysteries (must look those up) Tana brings us this stand-alone thriller based on unreliable memories of youth in a PR guy struggling to recover from a horrible incident and a discovery in a tree. Any book Stephen King calls ‘Incandescent’ has to be a must. Out 21 February.

Daisy Jones and the Six – by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This debut has been snapped up by none other than Reese Witherspoon’s book club (Reese ‘devoured it in a day’) and Amazon for a 13 part TV series, it’s very appealing – but do you wait for the TV series? I tend to do that as I prefer to see the TV series first, since the book always has so much more detail it’s better to do it that way round, IMO. Filled with the glamour and excess of the late 70s music scene (yessss!) it’s going to be on my hit list and I hope the TV series is in 2019. Well done Taylor though – great debut.

Louis and Louise – by my mentor Julie Cohen. I am unspeakably proud of Julie and know that this book, which I have yet to read, deliberately waiting till it’s on audiobook, will be huge. This is being called the ‘thinking lit,’ and will be a top choice for book clubs everywhere this year. Out in January, be the first to recommend it to yours! ‘Two lives, lived twice’ is the clever byline, and features the same life told twice – once as a female and the other as a male hero. What difference does sex make to events in our lives? Julie explores this and will have people discussing it for days after reading it. Can’t wait. On pre-sale now.

Cape May – by Chip Cheek. Set in 1957 this book will have you transported to a different era, with shades of Mad Men and Revolutionary Road, apparently. I love the 1950s (the Marvellous Mrs Maisel is my current go to binge watch show, am on season 2) and this one looks fascinating as it’s set in a racy world of money and risky encounters… Because of the setting I would give it a go. Out end April.

The others are listed on the Stylist .co.uk website and are worth looking up if you like dystopia, quirky Richard Curtis type rom-coms and fantasy amongst others. Meanwhile, my own writing has resumed and my new year’s ambition to get my 5th novel finished is marching on apace.

 

Other news

-          Latest dates for the upcoming season being finalised on my Retreats for You website - go to the blog page to see them once they appear.

-          One more place left on our ‘Pitch to a Publisher’ weekend in March – more here.

-          Sold out of Alison May’s June dates, now a second week has been released – Sept 23-27, book soon here.

Writers love our 1600s thatched, grade 2 listed house in deepest North Devon, along with home cooked meals, a dash of doggy therapy, or stint in the mini home gym, or a walk in the beautiful North Devon countryside right on our doorstep. Email us for more info!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

best wishes

debs

x

TIPS AND MY OWN FICTION - 

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, which is also a fabulous resource for beginners. And advanced writers!  Go here to read more.

Also - launched  in 2018, Jericho press is the new name for Writers' Workshop - and their £30 a month subs will get you all sorts of free info about how to write a novel and how to self publish. MORE HERE.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) and Goodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

 

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

 

  

FICTION

 HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

 Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback.

 Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback can be ordered from almost all bookshops. Reached no 79 in WHSmithsTravel charts.

 Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

 

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

 ‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

 The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

 'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

 

NON-FICTION

 Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – originally published in 2000. It was updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do and published on Amazon as TTFLS 2.0

It was followed a year later by Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon which introduced new concepts and latest theories on gut bacteria and the inner chimp plus six guises of Freedom Eater.

 Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Choc-Lit, UK independent publisher, gave it a revamp and put it on order in Bookshops early 2017 - published just as 'Till the Fat Lady Slims' and with a black silhouette cover, it pulls together elements of all the predecessors, and is a good place to begin if you haven't read any of it yet. Go here to get the Choc Lit 2017 Till the Fat lady Slims on Amazon or order in bookshops.

Amazon review - January 2018 - 

This is a great book and so easy to identify with the author. I have been there and reading this book was like a breath of fresh air. I took on board what was written and lost 3 pounds in the first week. I am still losing but I don't dwell on food or think about it all day which is brilliant. I feel I can get on with my life and food is in its proper place. I eat when I'm hungry and because I am hungry, I enjoy the food all the more. If you are struggling and have tried every diet known to woman - like I have - buy this book. You will not regret it. It is turning my life around and I feel so much more positive than I did.

 

Okay I finished it. I have to tell you that 'Together' by my amazing book doctor /mentor /friend Julie Cohen, is outstanding. Such a clever twist. Still reeling from its originality!

No wonder it is number one in several charts, and top 10 on Kindle overall! What an achievement! This is one that book groups will love. They will all be discussing what the ending can possibly be and congratulating themselves on guessing each stage of the way. If they can!

You can also get it for free on audiobook as your first audible novel. click on the link below to get yours. Author still gets relevant royalties by the way. And I loved the acknowledgements at the end read by Julie herself too.

I just put a five star review online for it as well.

So -

This tale was not only about guessing what happens at the end, this was about feeling like you were there with the characters every step of the way. And caring about them so much! I have to say I sat in the car longer than I should have, just to finish each chapter, and, something I have never done before, I actually put off reading the last 20 minutes, just because I did not want the pleasure and anticipation of it to be over! And then it was. And the twist was totally out of the blue.

Imagery is evocative and clever. Characterisation is powerful and compelling. And every book has been 'morish' to the point of creating little journeys I didn't really need to make right now, just so I can listen to some more in the car...

full info on Amazon here, including precis and reviews. BUT don't get it there, get the audiobook for free by clicking this link and filling in a few boxes - you don't have to sign up for tons of stuff and there's nothing to catch you out - genuine offer and as audiobooks in general are growing in popularity, it could be the start of a whole new accelerated year of book reading for you (during the housework, walking dogs, driving etc) Give it a go...

So Ms Cohen, when is The next one?

Julie Cohen Workshop Update


NEWSFLASH - one place has become available due to illness for this workshop - please email Julie as soon as possible as it is sure to be taken soon - or ask to go on waitlist should a place become available.

Julie Cohen's new novel 'Together' is now a bestseller! She has topped several charts on Amazon and hit the top ten of all kindle books - that's amazing. It's becoming a fast favourite for book groups to review due to its clever structure and incredible twist at the end... can you guess it? Just don't tell...

Offer to get the audiobook for free - if you sign up to audible you can get her book totally for free. Narrated brilliantly by Game of Thrones actress Gemma Whelan, click here to get it now (free at time of writing).

Looking forward to welcoming Julie and her workshop to Retreats for You on 25th September. Mentored by the master of show don't tell, plot doctor and award winner, email Julie direct to book the last place - it's not too late... This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Other news –

New dates for writing retreats with yoga and healthy menu. Since the August week is completely booked, I have arranged to more later in the year with local yoga instructor Jenny down from nimblelimbs.com. They will be on September 18 and October 16. £440 from Monday lunchtime to Friday lunchtime including morning and evening sessions of yoga, and a healthy menu. Do get in touch as soon as possible. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Other news - 

  • RFY summer dates - Still time to book on one of next month’s hols at Retreats for You in Devon -writing holidays for people who want to do nothing but write and be looked after in beautiful surroundings. From £90 per person per night full board inc wine, both 4th & 18th September (18th is yoga week) still have spaces. (Mon to Fri )  Email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
  • Memoirs offer - write your memoir - finally! With a four night stay 28th August - NOW FULLY BOOKED
  • Editor Week  - new dates for Bluepencilagency.com editor Sara Sarre - March 19th and 10 September 2018 (10th Sept next year)
  • Retreats West - have just announced their new tutored retreats for 2018 - both at RFY! March 12th and creating complex characters retreat on June 12-16th (or 11th - 15th) - email us for info
  • win a place at the Creating Complex Characters Retreat next march @retreatsforyou! Run by  @RetreatWest - fab chance

    https://www.retreatwest.co.uk/win-complex-character/

     

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, Go here to read more.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

Best wishes

Debs

X

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) andGoodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

 

FICTION

HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback in both PG original and steamy (just released last week!).

Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback coming to shops Dec 2015! yay!

Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

And Work in Progress, a compendium in paperback of Dairy of a Wannabe plus the two short stories in one volume.

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

NON-FICTION

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do.

Go here to get Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon

Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2017 version - 'how I broke free from Food Prison forever'

now available in bookshops to order, and online on all platforms, as well as on amazon here.

 

WORK IN PROGRESS

Rowan Coleman has done an amazing thing. In fact a series of quite possible things as it turns out, in her new novel The Summer of Impossible Things. She has created a riveting novel, that entranced me from the outset, and gripped me at the end. I always try to guess the ending and this one kept me guessing right to the end. Whilst I was reading it, on audiobook, listening to some very skilled New York accents amongst other things, I kept finding myself staring into space every so often, and realised that my mind was completely enraptured with the characters and their predicament. If this is not made into a film I will be very, very surprised. Rowan, well done, you have created one of the best books I have read in recent times. And one I will do something very rare with – I will almost certainly read it again on audiobook. I have only done that with Diana Gabledon's Outlander series and Mad About the Boy, The third Bridget Jones story. Anyway, this latest tome from Rowan has already got nearly 100 5* reviews on Amazon. Highly recommended.

"Thirty years ago something terrible happened to Luna's mother. Something she's prepared to reveal only after her death.

In settling her mother's affairs, Luna finds more questions than answers until something impossible and magical happens....

Luna meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977. If she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in order to save her mother's life, will she have to sacrifice her own?"

 The feedback on reviews so far has been outstanding - mostly five stars, and I'm not surprised.

"I loved this book and my only disappointment was when I finished it!
The story flows and the characters make you care about them. A mix of time travel, love, family and New York (Brooklyn) what's not to enjoy.
The pictures painted by the story telling made me feel like I was watch a film, they were so vibrant and believable.
Luna, the main character is a fabulous creation and you want things to work out for her and you truly admire her courage.
Without spoiling the plot, there are a couple of twists that I didn't see coming and they make this story even more clever.
I can only say that this story was magical and I loved it !"

Go here to get it on Amazon now, or read/listen to the first bit.

FREE COPY - or join audible and get it free as your first book - go here.

 Julie Cohen my expert mentor has also written a short story which was in My Weekly this week. Hope you can find a copy! If you are, or would like to be, a novel writer, why not come along to one of her workshops? She has just released a spare place for September 25 at our guest house retreats for you. Full board including wine at dinner, tuition, one-to-one et cetera, is around £600 also. More info This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New dates for writing retreats with yoga and healthy menu. Since the August week is completely booked, I have arranged to more later in the year with local yoga instructor Jenny down from nimblelimbs.com. They will be on September 18 and October 16. £440 from Monday lunchtime to Friday lunchtime including morning and evening sessions of yoga, and a healthy menu. Do get in touch as soon as possible. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Other news - 

  • RFY July dates - Still time to book on one of next month’s hols at Retreats for You in Devon -writing holidays for people who want to do nothing but write and be looked after in beautiful surroundings. From £90 per person per night full board inc wine, both 31st July andn 4th September have spaces. (Mon to Fri ) More here. Email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
  • Memoirs offer - write your memoir - finally! With a four night stay 28th August.

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, Go here to read more.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

Best wishes

Debs

X

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) andGoodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

 

FICTION

HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback in both PG original and steamy (just released last week!).

Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback coming to shops Dec 2015! yay!

Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

And Work in Progress, a compendium in paperback of Dairy of a Wannabe plus the two short stories in one volume.

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

NON-FICTION

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do.

Go here to get Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon

Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2017 version - 'how I broke free from Food Prison forever'

now available in bookshops to order, and online on all platforms, as well as on amazon here.

One of my top five authors EVER releases her latest novel this week - a fascinating tale whose structure will get people talking about it.

"On a morning that seems just like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually would. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart. As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie's actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret - one they will do absolutely anything to protect."

'Julie Cohen's writing is powerful, moving and truly beautiful' Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

'It takes a lot to tempt me from crime, but this is one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking stories I've read' Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths

'This big, clever, tender and twisty love story reminded me of One Day & The Time Traveler's Wife' Erin Kelly

'Complex, compelling and beautiful, Together is the kind of novel that will stay with you forever' Rowan Coleman, author of We Are All Made of Stars

'Brave, compelling and original' Alice Peterson, author of A Song for Tomorrow

More on Amazon here, where you can click on the 'look inside' on the picture on the Kindle option and read the first bit for free. 

Julie is truly one of the best writers I know - technically excellent and a super plotter. She's also an amazing mentor and tutor, and having been on most of her workshops I should know! 

Hardback is out now, along with kindle. Paperback later. Audiobook mid August - I've pre-ordered mine!

And watch out soon for her co-tutor Rowan Coleman's new book - 'the Summer of Impossible Things'... ever wish you could go back in time and change your past...? Squeeee!

other news - 

- writer's workshop list of reasons why it's good to take a writing workshop - thought this was a great little article - lots of gems and words of wisdom especially for beginners. go here

Other news - 

  • RFY July dates - Still time to book on one of next month’s hols at Retreats for You in Devon -writing holidays for people who want to do nothing but write and be looked after in beautiful surroundings. From £90 per person per night full board inc wine, both 17th and 31st July have spaces as does 28th August. (Mon to Fri ) More here. Email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
  • Memoirs offer - write your memoir - finally! With a four night stay 28th August.

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, Go here to read more.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

Best wishes

Debs

X

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) andGoodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

 

FICTION

HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback in both PG original and steamy (just released last week!).

Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback coming to shops Dec 2015! yay!

Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

And Work in Progress, a compendium in paperback of Dairy of a Wannabe plus the two short stories in one volume.

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

NON-FICTION

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do.

Go here to get Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon

Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2017 version - 'how I broke free from Food Prison forever'

now available in bookshops to order, and online on all platforms, as well as on amazon here.

 

 

 

This summer we are proud to be hosting several writing retreats aimed at authors who wish to develop their writing. Do email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss -

JULIE COHEN, TOP MENTOR, SEPTEMBER 25TH (four nights)

go here to see more on Julie's site. You will book with her direct.

One of the best writing tutors is author Julie Cohen, a former Richard and Judy book of the month author. I've been on most of her previous one day workshops, weekly retreats and weekends over the last seven years and enjoyed every one of them.She's currently mentoring me through my 'big one' - French or Dutch - which will be finished this summer.

Julie is offering a four night stay at our guest house Retreats for You in Sheepwash, Devon, with one to one mentoring and in depth discussion about your own work. Plus daily workshops. Full board, including endless hot drinks and snacks is on offer - own room, shared bathroom, wine at dinner - in a thatched 1600s house in picturesque North Devon with rolling hills and a river for local walks and a mini gym in the studio. A walled garden is also there for a change of scene. Comfortable rooms with tea and coffee making facilities, quaint and olde worlde, but with great wifi. 

September 25th - 29th. Prices on Julie's website (scroll down) nb - three of the seven places already gone (as at 24th March)

 

SARA SARRE, EDITOR WITH ACCESS TO TOP AGENT, June 5th (four nights)

Themed workshop – Perfecting Your First Chapter and submission with Sara Sarre.

Your first chapter is what will sell your novel time and time again: to your agent, your publisher, the marketing team and eventually to your reader. It needs to be good. The week will be dedicated to the opening line, the first paragraph and finally, the first chapter. We’ll look at how to hook your reader and to get your characters to leap off the page. Along with this, we’ll discuss the submission process and how to summarise your story. There will be three workshops and each participant will receive an hour long, one to one session with Sara.  For more details and availability email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07956336044 . For facilities go to www.retreatsforyou.co.uk tel (ansafone) 01409 231252.

£430 per person including afternoon workshops and a one to one. Direct access to an agent for exceptional work.

Two places taken (as at 24th March)  (Nb overspill into pub opposite - for B&B/en-suite )

Go here to read more on Sara's website - bluepencilagency  - then email us to book - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

COMING SOON - MEMOIRS WEEK in August WITH EDITOR ELAINE MANNING

email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are keen to go on waitlist. Probably one Mon to Fri in August 2017.

 

For prices of regular retreats, not including tutoring at £80 per person per night, go here to our website.

Full weeks can be blocked out for writing groups too.

If you are a tutor and want to use our venue please contact us also.

best wishes

Wendy and Deb

x

 

Two things this week - first, having just seen for the second time, the superb movie Bridget Jones's Baby, I'm making the book my book of the week, but it's not the same as the film - there's an alternative storyline...

Second, thought I'd mention that lovely Jo Cannon has done an amazing blog explaining how becoming a writer helped her overcome what happened to her, a tragic event which changed her life, several years ago. Her spin on the effect writing has had has really rammed the point home that successful people are not some super-woman or man, and often have their own story of adversity, so let it be an inspiration to you.

Go here to read her enlightening blog - The Person I've Become - or 'what I've really learned since becoming published.' And don't forget to check out the rest of her website, or my archives from around January, for news about her fabulous first novel 'The Trouble with Goats and Sheep.'

BOOK OF THE WEEK - Bridget Jones's Baby.

I couldn't resist this one. Partly because it's in audiobook - it'll be next on my list, believe me, for those long journeys I'm about to go do up and down the M4 from and to my new base in Devon. But also because... there's a twist - the book was written before Hugh Grant refused to play Daniel Cleaver once again. So in this book - there's no Jack Quant, it's all about Daniel and Mark Darcy again!

Now unlike some, I'm one of the many who LOVED Bridget Jones - Mad About the Boy, the 'ten years after' scenario published a couple of years ago, in which our Bridge is in her early 50s. I won't tell you what happens, but it presents a completely new era for our beloved singleton.

Well, 'Baby' is set in between. So Bridget is in her early forties, and still torn between two lovers. But in the film it's a newcomer, played by the delectable and heartbreakingly gorgeous Patrick Dempsey. Which was great, loved it. Reviewed it on my QVC blog 'watch' section, as usual. However, this book version is an intriguingly tempting alternative, and I'm looking forward to it chiefly because Samantha Bond is so bloody good at narration.

Go here to hear a sample and to get it on Amazon's Audible.

Considering 'Mad about the Boy' is the only audiobook novel I've listened to FOUR times, you can imagine how good the narration is.

So what's the new one all about?

Before motherhood before marriage Bridget with biological clock ticking very, very loudly finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at the eleventh hour: a joyful pregnancy which is dominated however by a crucial but terribly awkward question - who is the father? Mark Darcy: honourable decent notable human rights lawyer? Or Daniel Cleaver: charming witty notable f***wit?

One reviewer on Audible for 'Baby' says - "generally, Helen Fielding doesn't do subtlety and there are lots of funny and exaggerated swipes at the way life is these days, but the growing love between Bridget and her unborn baby and the final lines of the story hit a genuine and emotional high note."

fabulous.

Coming soon - the new Jack Reacher, timed to coincide with the latest movie on the big screen. And more lovely Christmassy themed delights.

other news -

- Joanna Penn's latest one day workshops on how to make a living from writing - go here to find out more - London, November.

- Dear Julie - Should I be Plotting my Novels? my mentor and all round talented super-author, Julie Cohen talks all things structure for a column on Novelicious - click here to see which camp you fall into - a plotter or a 'pantser'...

- and congrats to my writing pal Sue Bassett, who proudly tweeted recently that she was now a fully fledged agented author, with her first book on its way to various publishers soon - go here to see her mentioned on the website of Richford Becklow. Proud or what!

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, Go here to read more.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

Best wishes

Debs

X

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) and Goodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

 

FICTION

HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback in both PG original and steamy (just released last week!).

Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback coming to shops Dec 2015! yay!

Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

And Work in Progress, a compendium in paperback of Dairy of a Wannabe plus the two short stories in one volume.

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

NON-FICTION

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do.

Go here to get Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon

Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Have a lovely week

d

 

 

Book of the Week is actually a reprise of my mentor Julie Cohen's latest novel. Launched in August, it's called 'Falling' in the UK. But in the US it's 'the Day of Second Chances' and it's fabulous.

Hence the audiobook title, and that's what I've been 'reading' this week. 

WIN A SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY! All you have to do is to leave me a comment below - it won't show up immediately so don't worry! And the chances are pretty good so do enter! I will randomly pick the winner and contact you via the email you register with, closes Friday 14th October. The paperback copy of Falling, (aka The Day of Second Chances in the US and on audiobook) will be sent soon afterwards!

  

Julie always gives us a heartfelt, carefully-woven tale of relationships and emotions and this one is no exception. What is always original though is what the heroines 'are.' In other books it might have been their job or some aspect of their personality or being. In this one, it's a bit of all three - based around three women from the same family, from different generations. The youngest is struggling with her infatuation with her best pal, who is also female. The oldest is a stroppy Doctor character - whom I love - Honor is feisty despite having a broken hip. And Jo the mother is in between both of them, with an interesting back story. 

The audiobook is read by Jilly Bond, a quirky older narrator and after I got used to her distinctive enunciation I really liked the way she reads the novel - I pictured an old teacher when I was at school during storytime. Think Penelope Wilton in Downton. But her dialogue performance is excellent.

"Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.

Jo’s secret could smash apart the ‘normal’ family life she’s fought so hard to build.

Lydia’s could bring her love - or the loss of everything that matters to her.

Grandmother, mother and daughter – three women whose lives are falling apart. But one summer’s day, a single dramatic moment will force their secrets into the open.

Can they save each other from falling?"

Having been a Richard and Judy book of the month author, Julie gets attention when she publishes a new book - eg

"Tears you apart and puts you together again" (Katie Fforde)

"Gripping, intriguing, unique and gut-wrenchingly poignant . . . brilliantly original" (Heat)

"Beautifully crafted and utterly compelling . . . reflects perfectly the ecstatic highs and thundering lows of love, friendship and family." (Lucy Robinson)

"This moving novel will make you laugh and cry in equal measures and you won't be able to put it down" (Sunday Express)

And on amazon, one reviewer writes -

"...I love this book. I love the fact that the entre narrative discuses how strong women are and that they are even stronger when they support each other. The bonds between grandmother, mother and daughter are also fully explored, as is the delicate relationship between mother and daughter-in-law.

This book really was like a breath of fresh air and will make you evaluate the relationships that you have with the important women in your own life."

Find the ebook and paperback on amazon here Audiobook to come.

Join Julie's Writing Workshop for Published Authors in March 2017

And don't forget what I've mentioned before - come away for a three night stay to Folly Farm in Bristol to meet Julie (and me!) and Rowan Coleman and hear a talk from top agent Lizzy Kramer 

Go here to find out more and to book.

other news - 

- AJ hits the big time! Another friend has done it! Picador have signed up AJ Pearce, another Julie Cohen alumnus like me and Jo Cannon - my blog about it will be here. Full interview to come!

- Fancy some top writing tips from top authors? In a recent Guardian post, writers like William Boyd gave their top tips - read them here.

Former police officer offers consulting service - how brilliant - access to the horse's mouth for a fact-check, from Stuart Gibbon a former DCI in London - he says :

'I've helped writers with many different topics from the role of the Coroner in suspicious deaths, how the police promotion system works to forensic procedures and Court sentencing guidelines. One of the most interesting was explaining how the police would deal with a person in prison who had confessed to a serious crime (you may recognise this if you've read 'The Missing', by CL Taylor if you haven't keep an eye out for it!!!)
 
I also talk with Writing Groups on the subject of 'Murder investigation' and have a couple of national conferences booked for later this year as a speaker. I take the audience through a Murder case (using a generic case study) from discovery of a body to the arrest and detention of a suspect, explaining the challenges facing Detectives in such cases.'
 
What a great idea! Maybe when I'm running my own retreats one day we can book him to come do a talk! 

 Click here to read more

Joanna Cannon up for an award Speaking of the successful lady herself, do go vote for her as upcoming author in the Book Bag awards - go here to find out more - click here for 'love letter to a bookshop blog' - vote by 14th November here.

- Jo is also at Carlisle library this Saturday 8th october 11am, giving a talk - do go!

- and listen to Jo's latest interview on NTS - the kind of thing AJ will have to get used to once she's hitting the big time too! go here to find out if you're with the flock or against it #goatsandSheep

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, Go here to read more.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

Best wishes

Debs

X

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) and Goodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

 

FICTION

HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback in both PG original and steamy (just released last week!).

Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback coming to shops Dec 2015! yay!

Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

And Work in Progress, a compendium in paperback of Dairy of a Wannabe plus the two short stories in one volume.

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

NON-FICTION

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do.

Go here to get Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon

Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Was very pleased this week to go to the launch of Julie Cohen’s new book, Falling, Julie is my mentor for my novel writing and a successful Richard and Judy author herself. We went to Reading for the official launch party at Waterstones and very well attended it was too.

It’s been available in WHSTravel for a little while but on 28th it went on sale and I was delighted to get a copy signed by Julie at the ‘do’.

go here to see lots of pics and read more about the event!

FALLING

Can you imagine keeping a secret so devastating, you couldn’t even tell the people you love?

Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.

Jo’s secret could smash apart the ‘normal’ family life she’s fought so hard to build.

Lydia’s could bring her love - or the loss of everything that matters to her.

Grandmother, mother and daughter – three women whose lives are falling apart. But one summer’s day, a single dramatic moment will force their secrets into the open.

Can they save each other from falling?

Whooo hooo!

Looking forward to getting the audiobook too so I can crack on with reading it on my long car journeys. As regulars know, I’ve read more in the last three years via audiobook than in the last thirteen years via other books. Love it.

Julie spins a superb tale and this one is no exception.

Go here to get your ‘Falling’ on Amazon, or in all good book stores now!

Julie’s other books are also worth reading – I’d recommend ‘Dear Thing’ and ‘Getting Away With It’ as well as the most recent one ‘Where Love Lies’. Intelligent fiction from a master storyteller – what can I say, she is brilliant!

More from Julie here.

Other news – for Diana Gabaldon fans!

First – here’s a timely piece with the talented best selling, award winning author, on the occasion of her visit to Scotland on the 270th anniversary of the tragedy that was the Battle of Culloden, which features heavily in her first two books. Go here to read all about her visit and why it’s such an important landmark and tourist attraction.

The Outlander Effect - While the fans of the novels have been visiting Scotland to see historical sites mentioned in the books for years, the television adaptation has seen filming locations such as Doune Castle in Stirling enjoy record-breaking visitor numbers since the show aired. I’d love to go there actually!

Secondly – if you are like me and have ploughed through all eight tomes – (some are up to 55 hours on audiobook – each!) then you’ll be chomping at the bit to read the net instalment – well, here is a way of getting sneaky peeks – on her blog. She’s started posting regular snippets of her current work in progress – book 9.

"It's called Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone. It comes from an old celtic folklore custom when people kept beehives, it was traditional to go and tell the bees all the gossip of the community.

"If someone died and you didn't tell the bees, they would become annoyed and fly away so you would always go and tell the bees when something happened."

  It won’t be out for ages – probably two years – such is the work she puts into it and accurate historical research. Book 8 left us in 1780s America if I remember rightly. Here is the link to the full series on Amazon. Can’t wait for the full novel, but I think I’ll be waiting for a long while! Go here to read them on Diana Gabaldon’s website.

 

Best wishes

Debs

X

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing -  a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, Go here to read more.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs. 

luv

Debs

 x

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) and Goodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

eBooks  - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

 

  

 FICTION

HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback in both PG original and steamy (just released last week!).

Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher  available on Amazon. Paperback coming to shops Dec 2015! yay!

Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

  DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback

 

SHORT STORIES

 ‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

And Work in Progress, a compendium in paperback of Dairy of a Wannabe plus the two short stories in one volume.

 Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

 'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

  NON-FICTION

 Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do.

 Go here to get Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon

Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED - FULL UPDATE on my chez castillon holiday COMING WEDNESDAY 28TH ....

Plus extra pics and vids on my new QVC blog, being posted Friday afternoon - click on QVC tab above, when it's ready you'll see the link there!

BOOK OF THE WEEK - an amazingly eye opening self help book which was first published in August 1976. Wayne Dyer is a genius. End of. I you need help overcoming your limiting beliefs and others' outside influences then try this - as he says, 'escape negative thinking and take control of your life.' Ironic given teh 'take back control' meme flooding the media of late! lol. 

more here.

BACK TO YOU BLOG - on my regular well being blog, here's an insight into how i'm going to overcome my own blip in focus and control that's happened somewhat over the last year. Read about it here.

MDD UPDATE - KENT July 9th! Do join us - full info about the Rochester Castle bodybladers wobble and get together on Saturday July 9th around 11am, then the visit to the Kent County Show after, where Medical Detection Dogs will have a stand including tombola, lucky dip, 'guess the sniff' table etc - go here.

more to follow

Published in Debbie's News

Well I was off to the Coleman and Cohen retreat at Literature Wales this week, and fab as usual it was. Ooops, went a bit Yoda then. Lol.

The course itself was a bit more for beginners this time, which meant I could escape a little more to get back to the plot – which I have quite frankly, lost. Not literally – it exists on post-its, now on my wall in my bedroom at Ty Newydd near Portmadoc in West Wales and will soon exist again in my own (new) home – I move in this Saturday, finally.

Go here to my Facebook author page, to read more about the week and see some more fab pics of the place. - click here.

Rowan Coleman tempted me with her The Memory Book, as several of Rowan and Julie’s books came up during the workshops. See below for Author of the Week. And Archie Nolan, Family Detective, by Beverley Ward, another of the attendees, is being published next week so that gets a mention too – see below.

However, highlight of the week was clearly meeting and having a Q&A with famous author Katie Fforde – and what a lovely lady she is too. Her tips for being a successful writer and making a living included –

-          Read a lot

-          Persevere – possibly the most important

-          And be prepared to accept criticism

She also made us all feel better by saying that there are two Katie Ffordes really – the famous author one who goes on the stage and gets invited to Launch parties and talks to people. And the private one who does the hard work. What gets her out of bed each day is the challenge of the struggle – and it is still a daily struggle, even now, she says, to sit and get her words done, instead of playing spider patience (is that what she said? Is that even a thing?!)

The best part of starting a new novel is sitting doing the planning – making sure she has all the ‘ingredients’ included, in the plot etc. She tends to then write a few chapters then stop and write a bit more of the plan. And chapter two is always the hardest. She never really feels accomplished until the book is done. And tips for finding new professions to write about? The yellow pages! She’s had some great successes, including a ‘picture restorer’ through just picking up the phone book!

Katie was very gracious and sat chatting to us for ages, a point that Rowan was quick to mention is typical of Katie and Rowan holds her up as the best example of what an author should be. Katie said it took her 8 years of failed attempts at Mills and Boon submissions, before she got her book deal, and being so grateful for that has never gone away, meaning she always feels such gratitude she always wants to pay it back. She recounted the story of her first book deal which the Romantic Novelists Association’s New Writers’ Scheme led to, when the book doctor looking at her submission secretly passed it on to an agent and this led to a deal. However, soon afterwards the book, Living Dangerously, became a WHSmiths Fresh Talent winner – a massive deal in those days – and a cardboard cut out was displayed in her local town centre which meant she didn’t want to go there for fear of freaking out, till it was gone! She’s a lovely lady, a talented writer and it was a pleasure to meet her!

This is Katie Fforde’s Amazon page, where several of her books are currently only £1.99.

 

Rowan Coleman – Author of the Week

She’s pictured on the left in my top pic, alongside Julie who is lower down and Katie is sitting!

The Memory Book – is her current bestseller. I enjoyed Rowan’s classes this week, so I got it on audible – more here.

Rowan Coleman worked in bookselling and publishing for seven years before winning Company Magazine Young Writer of the Year in 2001. Her first novel GROWING UP TWICE was published in 2002 and was a WHS Fresh Talent winner. Since then Rowan has written twelve novels, including THE ACCIDENTAL MOTHER, THE BABY GROUP, and RUNAWAY WIFE, which won The Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read 2012, The RoNA Epic Romance novel of 2013 and was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year 2013 and is the book that inspired Rowan to release WOMAN WALKS INTO A BAR as an ebook (published 10th September 2013) with 100% of her royalties going to Refuge. Her Sunday Times bestselling novel THE MEMORY BOOK was a Richard and Judy Bookclub selection 2014, and Love Reading Novel of the Year, as voted for by readers. Her latest novel WE ARE ALL MADE OF STARS is out now. Rowan now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband, and large family of four children, including surprise toddler twins. Rowan is often quite tired. 

I’m not surprised! Haha! At least she had a nice rest this week! Lol.

Amazon page is here

Ps Julie Cohen’s Richard and Judy book, Dear Thing, is currently only £1.99 but get it soon as offer ends – get it here, it’s fabulously thought-provoking.

Other news –                                                                                                       

-          Charlie Nolan, Family Detective by Beverley Ward, specially written for the donor parents foundation, it's 2 weeks until the book is out and at the moment it's only available from the charity who commissioned it. All the details are on their website so that's easy.

Science geek Archie Nolan tries to keep a low profile, but when his class are told to research their family tree, he is terrified twin sister and school swot Jemima is going to reveal that they are donor conceived. Archie’s in turmoil. The only person who understands is his donor conceived friend Cameron, but he seems to have unearthed a village vampire…..and Archie's far more interested in investigating that!

Open Archie’s secret diary and join him and his friends on an action-packed adventure to find out what family really means.

It's here: http://www.dcnetwork.org/products/product/archie-nolan-family-detective-story-8-12yr-olds 

 

-          Don’t forget one more week of Take a Chance on Me being 99p!Offer ends 31st July – steamy romance set in Hawaii and Monaco between a playboy billionaire and a feisty businesswoman on a man ban. Get it here.

-          Go Set a Watchman Leads iBooks Bestsellers List - From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.MORE HERE and tops many amazon chart – get it here. REaaally dear for a kindle ebook tho! They’re not silly are they! I’d go for the audible book but apparently it’s not that good, and I bet there will be lots of bad reviews. Still, when I’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird maybe I’ll get that one. Too much on my audible app still to read atm…

best wishes

debs

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Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing -  a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, Go here to read more.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs. 

ps if you'd like to contact me, you can do so via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via @debbieflint on Twitter!#

 

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) and Goodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

eBooks  - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

FICTION

HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback in both PG original and steamy (just released last week!).

Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher  available on Amazon. Paperback coming to shops Dec 2015! yay!

Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback

 

SHORT STORIES

‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

And Work in Progress, a compendium in paperback of Dairy of a Wannabe plus the two short stories in one volume.

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

 

NON-FICTION

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do, following freedom eating and the Food Freedom technique. As used and recommended on our Back to You QVC Facebook group!  In paperback or eBook.

January 2015 - hardback signed with bonus content, Aqua cover, supplied exclusively to QVC, get it here whilst available.

NB the original, is included within version 2.0. The original on its own is also on Amazon (2002)

 

OTHER WORK IN PROGRESS (see Work In Progress tab for updates!)

 ‘The How to Find a Husband Manual’ – hehe. A spin off from the Hawaiian trilogy’s character Kate, Helen’s friend in New York.

‘French or Dutch’ – a cross between Mr Selfridge, Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife, following life-changing adventures around Britain of early pioneers of birth control.

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