Tuesday, July 31, 2012


We're off tomorrow to Wales for a lovely two weeks on the Cerediggion coast staying near Aberaeron and New Quay. We plan to go to the beach, watch the bottle nosed dolphins and the seals. We hope to eat Bara Brith and walk along the Welsh coastal path, metal detect on the sand and shop in Aberystwyth. We hope to see Red Kites and avoid the Olympics. I have my kindle loaded and Miss La is also suitably stocked with books. I will have no net access so if it's urgent it'll have to wait till I'm home. Hopefully there'll be some sunshine!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Grab a bargain!

All Astraea titles by me are just 99c or 77p for a limited time - so pop over to Amazon or B&N and stock up! Now is your chance to get all of the Cornish New Bay Series for a bargain price - Making Waves, September Song, A Cornish Christmas,Easter Holiday, New Bay Wedding and Dangerous to Know and Cue Me In too!

Monday, July 16, 2012

What we did in Penrith

This weekend was the annual romantic novelist association conference. This year we were back in Penrith. The conferences are always superbly organised by the wonderful Jan Jones and Roger Sanderson and this was no exception. The campus was jammed to the rafters with writers, editors and agents. I arrived on Friday afternoon and shared a taxi in with Jude Roust and another lovely friend from Twitter. Accomodation was in the student houses which have single bedrooms clustered around a communal kitchen. In my house I had Anna Louise Lucia, Biddy Coady, Julie Cohen, Liz Fenwick, first time conference attender Rose, and Kate Walker with her lovely hubby, Steve, aka the Babe Magnet. Steve and Kate celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary with us so it made the weekend extra special. It was lovely to be with friends and so nice to have time to catch up properly. My housemates appeared to have cornered the world wine market and stashed it in our fridge which always helps. I met up with my good friends Sandra and Ann for a belated celebration of Sandra's special birthday. Conference opened with a celebration of everyones good news, contest wins, agent signings, book sales etc and then a panel, ably chaired by the wonderful Janet Gover, which considered book translation and the international market. We had a delicious dinner, served by the incredible staff who were all so pleasant, patient and helpful they made the weekend a delight. After that it was kitchen party time! It was lovely to meet conference first timers, including Abbi, our youngest conference goer at sweet 16. I'm sure the poor girl is now corrupted for life - hopefully someone covered her ears when she met some of the erotica authors! Saturday had some fab workshops, I went to Maggie Seed, who gave a brilliant talk on submitting to Pocket Novels before giving my workshop on editing. Jan had warned me to expect a lot of people but the room was jammed! They were a fantastic group as always asking lots of inciteful questions and every handout disappeared - and I had a lot of handouts! In the afternoon I talked with Kim Young, one of the editors for Mira, which was great fun and very interesting. I then went to listen to Moira from Book review site Vulpes Libres. That was another good talk. By then I was a bit socialed out and needed a break so went back to the house kitchen where I spent a lovely hour with Biddy, Julie, Liz and Anna just chatting about books, writing, workshops, Pixar, and wine. The gala dinner was fab and I got to chat with Sally Clements who had come over from Ireland, and some of the other romaniacs, including Romy, who had come all the way from South Africa. After dinner, Sandra, Ann and I ended up in the Scottish kitchen with a group of lovely writers from north of the border where we chatted away for the rest of the night. Sunday bought sunshine and a fbulous funny talk from Jane Wenham - Jones, a great workshop on sex in YA books with Tamsyn Murray and a session with a life coach before it was time for lunch. I spent lunch with Cally Taylor and Rowan Coleman before we all headed for the station and the journey home. Another fab weekend gone too soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

RNA Conference 2012

Tomorrow I'm heading off to Penrith for the Romantic Novelist's Assoc annual conference. Last year was the first one I'd missed for years. This year I'm giving a workshop on editing - how to tweak, polish and shine your manuscript. My lovely editor at Astraea Press - Kay Springsteen Tate has generously shared some of her material with me and having had a an 'oh my God, what am I doing' moment yesterday, I think I'm now prepared. I love the conference as it gives me chance to catch up with old friends, make new ones, talk writing and drink wine for a whole weekend. What's not to love? The workshops are great and this years programme looks fantastic. Support from other writers is what makes romantic novelist's so special. I can honestly say I have always had nothing but support and help from my fellow authors and it's a pleasure to be in their company. Today I get to meet Phillipa Ashley and Elizabeth Hanbury, my fellow coffee crew members for lunch and a catch up. We have heard the Queen is visiting nearby, hope we're not anywhere she could eavesdrop on our conversations. Mind you, Prince Phillip might enjoy them!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Guest Blogger - Liz Fenwick

I'm delighted to welcome Liz Fenwick to the blog today. Liz is a long time writing friend and fellow RNA member and her first novel, The Cornish House is out now! Writer, ex-pat expert, wife, mother of three, and dreamer turned doer....born in Massachusetts, and after nine international moves now live in Dubai with her husband and two mad cats. She made her first trip to Cornwall in 1989, bought her home there 7 years later and although she lives in Dubai, her heart is forever in Cornwall, creating new stories. her debut novel THE CORNISH HOUSE is published by Orion and German, Dutch, Portuguese and Norwegian editions are being prepared.
When artist Maddie inherits a house in Cornwall shortly after the death of her husband, she hopes it will be the fresh start she and her step-daughter Hannah desperately need.

Trevenen is beautiful but neglected, a rambling house steeped in history. Maddie is enchanted by it and determined to learn as much as she can about its past. As she discovers the stories of generations of women who've lived there before, Maddie begins to feel her life is somehow intertwined within its walls.

But Maddie's dream of a calm life in the countryside is far from the reality she faces. Still struggling with her grief and battling with Hannah, Maddie is unable to find inspiration for her painting and realises she may face the prospect of having to sell Trevenen, just as she is coming to love it.

And as Maddie and Hannah pull at the seams of Trevenen's past, the house reveals secrets that have lain hidden for generations.

Excerpt... It was nearly eleven and Maddie had been behind the wheel of the car for over eight hours. She yawned and forced her eyes open wider. Slowing the car she approached yet another blind bend. Moonlight silhouetted the twisted trees against the sky. Their tortured shapes rose from the hedges, forming a tunnel. It seemed to be closing in around them. A shiver went down her spine. The engine stuttered.

“Come on old girl. It can’t be much further to Trevenen, and once there, both you and I can have a much deserved rest.” Maddie stroked the dashboard. Smoke seeped from the edges of the bonnet.

She glanced at her stepdaughter asleep in the passenger seat. Hannah looked sweet with her blonde hair in spiky disarray. She changed position and a tattoo appeared on the teen’s arm. Maddie shook her head. Hannah had disobeyed her. She’d had to call on all her patience reserves when Hannah had displayed it last night. Maddie had just let it go. She too had been a teenager. However she’d obeyed her parents.

Turning her attention back to the road, Maddie knew if the map was accurate they must be near their new home Trevenen. This, of course, assumed she’d followed it correctly and she’d no idea whether she had or not. The last thing she needed was to be stranded on a remote country lane.

When she’d visited the house back in April, the solicitor had driven her there. It hadn’t seemed confusing then, but maybe she hadn’t been paying attention as well as she should have. That was no surprise. She hadn’t done anything as well as she should have since her husband, John, had died.

1. Most authors are also big readers. Do you read the same genre that you write? and which book has influenced you most in your desire to be a writer? I love reading and I do read in the same genre that I write, but not when I am writing a first draft…don’t want to find I have lost my voice and begun using another person’s. I’m not sure any one book has influenced me to be a writer. I have always had stories going on in my head and eventually I felt the need to put them onto a page and share them.

2. Are you a plotter or a pantser when it comes to writing your book? A total panster – I begin with a title, a heroine, a setting and hope I will come out the other side with a complete story.

3. If you were giving a dinner party which four fictional characters would you most like to invite and why? This is so tough…OK starting with the most recent – Matthew Clairmont the Vampire from The Discovery of Witches, Professor Snape from Harry Potter, Julian from Regency Buck, and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice…but can I have them one at a time please…

4. What are you working on next? I’m working on my next book, August Rock, for my publishers in the UK. It, like The Cornish House, is set on the Lizard and is about Judith who flees her wedding in the States when she realizes she is living life my other people’s directions…but what happens when she starts taking control?

Available from Amazon and all good etailers Hardback also available - paperback to follow. Many thanks Liz for visiting and agreeing to be interviewed!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Guest Blogger - Tracy Krauss

Tracy Krauss is an author, artist, playwright, director, worship leader, and teacher. Originally from a small prairie town, she received her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Saskatchewan. She has lived in many places in northern Canada with her husband, a pastor, and their children. They currently live in Tumbler Ridge, BC.

Published works include four romantic suspense novels: AND THE BEAT GOES ON, where archeological evidence for creation comes at a heavy cost; MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER, the story of a ‘cougar’ who takes on more than she bargained for; PLAY IT AGAIN, about an unlikely match during the 1980s rock n’ roll scene; and WIND OVER MARSHDALE, where strong spiritual forces rock a seemingly peaceful prairie town. She also has several stage plays in print. Visit her website for more details. http://www.tracykrauss.com

Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens. A perfect place to start over… or get lost. There is definitely more to this prairie town than meets the eye. Once the meeting place of aboriginal tribes for miles around, some say the land itself was cursed because of the people’s sin. But its history goes farther back than even indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition? Wind Over Marshdale is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side as he tries to expose the truth. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty - prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.

Tracy kindly agreed to be interviewed as part of her stop here: 1. Most authors are also big readers. Do you read the same genre that you write? and which book has influenced you most in your desire to be a writer? Actually, I don’t write my favourite genre which is spec fiction or Sci-fi. When I was a teen all the girls my age were reading YA romances while I was heavy into Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan – all 30+ of them...) I was in love with Spock and had Star Trek posters in my room instead of the latest teen idol. My tastes really haven’t changed. I love a good Spec/ Sci-fi/ Fantasy/ Paranormal book with a really twisted ending. The irony is, I don’t write in this genre. I write Romantic Suspense, but I do try for an element of surprise at the end. After what I just said, it probably sounds out of sync to say that Lucy Maude Montgomery’s Anne series may have inspired me to follow my writing dreams. Anne is a strong heroine who loved to write and followed her dream by submitting her stories. There are so many inspiring authors it’s hard to pick one. I think I was also inspired early on by C.S. Lewis and Margaret Atwood. Lewis for his imagination and Atwood for her ability to tell her story her way.

2. Are you a plotter or a pantser when it comes to writing your book? I always start off as a ‘plotter’. I like to create detailed character sketches and I outline the basic plot. Then as I get going, things evolve and change so a lot of the ‘panster’ comes into play as well. I go through multiple rewrites, that’s for sure.

3. If you were giving a dinner party which four fictional characters would you most like to invite and why? Sherlock Holmes, Spock, Lizzy Bennett, and Festus the fool from ‘Twelfth Night’. All of them have a very keen intellect and while the first two are sparring over details and technicalities, Lizzy and Festus could make fun of them with sharp witted comments. It would be fun to watch. Of course, I’d probably have to invite them out somewhere since I really don’t enjoy throwing dinner parties and they might not like my cooking. (I’d like the sharp witted comments directed at one another, not my culinary abilities.)

4. What are you working on next? I’ve got two novels that need polishing up and which I hope to submit to my agent by the end of the summer. I’ve also got three new stage plays coming out sometime this year, so I’ll be busy promoting those. I also have a children’s book which I’ve illustrated which I’m in the process of shopping around.

Thanks, Tracy, that was fun and the book sounds great. You can get Tracy's book from: AMAZON or you can find her on Facebook or Her website.