Category Archives: women’s fiction

SECRETS WE KEEP by Faith Hogan ~ #extract #promo #giveaway

Faith Hogan

SECRETS we keep

by

Faith Hogan

 

Faith HoganGenre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: February 2017

Publisher: Aria Fiction – Head of Zeus

Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept…

A bittersweet story of love, loss and life. Perfect for fans of Patricia Scanlan, Adele Parks and Rosamunde Pilcher.

The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.

For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?

Extract from Secrets We Keep by Faith Hogan

‘I’ve never seen anything like it,’ Kate said. It was her first thought as they turned down the cove and saw the bathhouse snuggled into the cliff face. It was a turreted, stocky grown-ups sandcastle. ‘It could have been emptied from a child’s bucket,’ was her first reaction. It had been painted, white with a light blue trim once, then the waves and the spray had all but washed that away. It still sat proudly, if shabbily, on a huge flat rock, that upturned in a lip over the sea. It was a plate, large enough for any giant.

‘Genesis Rock – it’s a metamorphic rock, probably over a thousand million years old,’ Rita said. ‘Sorry, did I mention I taught geography and home economics, once upon a time.’

‘No, but I probably should have guessed.’

‘I don’t remember the bathhouse even being open. I could imagine that I’d have spent all my days here if I had.’ Rita looked at the washed white walls that reached high into the cliff face.

‘Well, Archie said they ran it for a few years, but he didn’t say when it shut.’ This place probably held sadness for Archie, if his brother died here. Kate couldn’t feel it. Instead, it made her feel energized, as though the sea was spraying something like an invitation deep into her lungs. It made her heart pound with an expectation she hadn’t felt in years. Even the deserted castle keep that loomed up in grey stone at the tip of the headland seemed to carry a hopeful secret in its towers.

‘It must have been lovely once. Even now, you can see.’ Rita rested her hands on the thick window ledge, her nose pressed firmly to the cold glass of the windows. ‘It looks like they just closed up one evening and never came back.’

Kate walked to the back of the bathhouse; it dug into the cliff face, as though the construction of one depended on the other. Alongside the building, a small narrow road clung to the cliff for a couple of hundred yards before it feathered off onto what counted as a main road in these parts. Far below, the waves lapped serenely against the stone. It was low tide now; Kate wondered how close the water actually came to the rock. ‘I’d love to get a look inside.’ Rita followed her round to the front of the bathhouse. They peered through a sea sprayed window for a few minutes. Inside, Kate could see there were tables and chairs, a small stove and an old-fashioned counter where once someone had taken orders for afternoon tea. ‘It’s a little café, wouldn’t it be lovely if it was open for coffee?’ Kate mused, it was so much more than just a bathhouse.

BUY LINKS

Amazon.com:

Secrets We Keep – Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Secrets We Keep – Amazon.UK

Kobo:

Secrets We Keep – Kobo

Nook:

Secrets We Keep – Nook

GooglePlay

Secrets We Keep – Googleplay

iBooks

Secrets We Keep – iBooks

ABOUT FAITH HOGAN

Faith Hogan

Already an international best seller, Faith Hogan is an original voice in women’s fiction, she has been hailed as a Maeve Binchey for a new generation. Her stories are warm and rooted in a contemporary Irish landscape which has lost none of its wit or emotion thanks to its modern vibe.

Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

‘Secrets We Keep,’ is her second novel published with Aria Fiction. Her first, My Husbands Wives has been a top ten best seller and is currently available in paperback.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/faithhoganauthor

Twitter: @gerhogan

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15109450.Faith_Hogan

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/faithhoganauthor/

Website: https://faithhogan.com

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2nd – 13th October?

Then email brookbooks@hotmail.co.uk

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A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate by Linn B Halton

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A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate

by

Linn B Halton

 

A Little Luck, a lot of fate 300 dpi

Genre: Romance/contemporary women’s

Release Date: 23 October 2016

Publisher: Choc Lit UK

When destiny calls, you need to pick up …

On the surface, Kristi Danielson has it all. She’s lifestyle coach to the rich and famous, has a bestselling book to her name and is described by her fans as “the veritable Queen of how to lead a fulfilling life”.

But the harsh truth is that Kristi has never practiced what she preaches. Her home life is a mess, her relationship with artist boyfriend, Tom, not much better – and now she has to redeem herself before all is lost.
At her wit’s end, Kristi is driven to seek out the help of Patrick Blakeslee, a tarot card reader and psychic medium, in an attempt to make sense of the mounting panic she’s feeling.

But Patrick’s visits have an unexpected effect on Kristi, leaving her with more questions than answers – and a life-changing decision to make.

BUY LINK

http://smarturl.it/ALittleLuckALotFate

A little luck, a lot of fate

EXCERPT

I’m the middle child, sandwiched between my eldest brother, Luke, and the baby of the family, Drew. My mother had three brothers and so, as the only two daughters in two generations, we were always in the minority. That rather tends to shape the way you look at things and there are only two ways it can go. Either you are the one whose voice is seldom heard above the sea of testosterone around you, or you make yours the loudest voice of them all. You become the organiser; the one who leads – in short, my brothers accepted that I was in charge. Maybe it was because I had inherited the bossy gene, if such a thing exists. But, from a tender age, what I lacked in practical knowledge, I made up for with sheer common sense and the dubious ability to be believable.

I say dubious, because I learnt that I had the power to organise and control what went on around me. I was a natural. What surprised me was the fact that people around me loved being told what to do. They sought my advice, opening up to me and looking for guidance at every step of the way. As a teenager I felt I had a heady power and it gave me a sense of confidence. At the time I didn’t understand that it was something to be treated with respect and a healthy dose of reality. People simply lapped-up what I told them and that, I suppose, was the blessing that has become a curse. When people are unsure about what to do next they look around for someone strong to advise them. In their desperation they are grateful and comforted and the person delivering the advice? Well, it’s addictive and each little success elevates you in their eyes, as well as in your own.

The truth is that I am supremely confident when it comes to organising other people’s lives. I’m extremely proud of the fact that I can inspire others and encourage them to develop their full potential. When it comes to my own life, it’s held together with the emotional equivalent of string and Blu-tack. Simply put, I’m a fraud.

Money and fame go hand-in-hand and there isn’t a chat show worth mentioning that hasn’t featured me at some point in the last few years. My name constantly crops up around the world and even in countries like the US, Japan, and Sweden, it’s instantly recognisable. Grab Life and Run With It is in its fourth season in the UK and I’ve just signed a contract for a further six episodes. My fan club is full of hopeful people, eager to share each of their milestones on Twitter, as they follow my celebrated Twelve Steps to Finding YOU plan.

To the world it appears I have all of the trappings of success. The harsh reality is that I spend my time trying to cover the tracks of a life that has no balance. All I have is my work – there is nothing else.

ABOUT LINN B HALTON

Linn B Halton

Bristol-born Linn B Halton lives on the edge of the small market town of Cinderford, in the Forest of Dean, in the UK.

“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of strong coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, writing … and house renovation! Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache…”

An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Under The Stars also became a best-seller in November 2016. Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.

Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LinnBHaltonAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LinnBHalton

Goodreads Author Page: http://ow.ly/pv6N306918g

Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/linnbhalton/

CONTEST – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY – No Purchase necessary

Three signed copies of A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love paperbacks.

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#NaNoWriMo 2016 Edition…

Well, I’ve taken the plunge. I’m doing #NaNoWriMo again this year. So committed to it, in fact, I’ve added a widget to the sidebar of my blog with the NaNo shield.

Will I be a winner this year? Who knows? I’m going to do my best.

Last year, I wrote my novel The Secret of Hillcrest House. While the finished product was less than 50,000 words, I did write every day so I still consider myself a winner.

The working title for this project is Second Chances. And here’s the short synopsis (subject to change, of course)…

Torn away from her first love, Jared Martin, in a family move to another country when she was a teenager, Katherine Murphy is devastated. Soon after her return to Aberdeen to attend University, she discovers Jared seemingly in a relationship with someone else. However; destiny has someone else in mind for Katherine – Colin Whithorn. They fall in love, marry and open a new and used bookshop. Their marriage comes to an abrupt end during the London bombings on July 7, 2005 when Colin is in the city on a buying trip for their store.

Devastated, she builds a wall around her heart determined not to let anyone in again who can hurt her – that is, until five years later when Jared walks into her shop. Despite him being her first love, he must tear down the barrier she’s created to protect herself. Given a second chance of a life with him, Katherine couldn’t be happier until another cruel twist of fate strikes and the helicopter he’s on returning from his job on an oil rig ditches in the North Sea. Will he survive the ordeal? Will they have a third chance at happiness? Or will Katherine have her heart broken yet again?

What do you think?

MISTAKES WE MAKE by Jenny Harper #excerpt #giveaway

mistakes

Mistakes We Make

by

Jenny Harper

mistakes

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

5th book in the Heartlands series (can be read as a standalone)

Release Date: 28 July 2016

Publisher: Accent Press

Sometimes you have to dig deep to discover what you really need.

Marketing events manager Molly Keir doesn’t realise how much she still cares for her ex until she meets him with another woman. Her answer is to seize the chance of a glittering job in London – even though this will mean leaving behind her aging father and pregnant best friend Lexie Gordon.

Adam Blair is in the wrong job. Pressured by his father to join the family law firm, the stress of work helped break his marriage. Now Molly is moving to London, and he knows he needs to move on – but events soon overtake his best intentions.

A year ago, Caitlyn Murray quit her well-paid job to avoid becoming a whistle-blower. Now she is stuck at home with her overworked mother and four needy step-siblings. Tempted by the offer of a good wage, she returns to her old firm – where her nightmare comes back to haunt her.

Molly and Adam seem to have gone too far to recover the love they once had, and when Caitlyn finds the courage to speak out, she brings all their worlds tumbling down.

EXTRACT

Molly Keir rummaged in her handbag and extracted her glasses.

‘Yum, this looks amazing. Scallops, black pudding, Gravadlax, sole paupiettes. Wow. I didn’t realise how ravenous I was till I started reading!’

Lexie whispered, ‘Molly.’

‘Mmm? What do you think about beef?’

‘Molly.’

Molly looked up at the note of urgency. ‘What?’

Lexie’s face had turned an odd shade, and her brown eyes had a panicky look about them. She was staring over Molly’s shoulder at the doorway.

Molly shoved her glasses back onto the top of her head and swung round. A woman was walking into the room. She was Asian – Indian perhaps? – and classically beautiful. Her hair fell in thick, shiny tresses halfway down her back, her eyes were dark as treacle and dramatically outlined in black. She was wearing scarlet. Afterwards, that was what Molly remembered most – the stunning silky dress, hugging a perfect figure.

For now, the dress and the woman faded improbably into the background because there was a man behind her. Not just any man – Adam Blair.

Molly’s husband.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

ABOUT JENNY HARPER

mistakes

I’ve been a writer for most of my life. I’ve written and co-authored a number of books on Scotland, a history of childbirth, a children’s novel and a romantic novel, all published some years ago. I’ve now turned my attention to writing the kind of novels I like to read – well written and with some depth, but not literary or too demanding. I like to tackle issues, but also to incorporate the complicated emotional challenges of day-to-day living.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjennyharper

Twitter: https://twitter.com/harper_jenny

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15692421-jenny-harper

Google+  https://plus.google.com/+JennyHarperauthor/posts

Blog:  http://jennyharperauthor.co.uk/category/myblog/

Website:  http://jennyharperauthor.co.uk/

GIVEAWAY

1st Prize – Paperback copy of the book
2nd Prize – ebook copy of the book (x2)

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THE MAGIC OF RAMBLINGS by Kate Field #guestpost #giveaway

Kate Field

The Magic of ramblings

by

Kate Field

Kate Field

Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction

Release Date: 8 September 2016

Publisher: Accent Press

Running away can be the answer if you run to the right place…

When Cassie accepts a job as companion to an old lady in a remote Lancashire village, she hopes for a quiet life where she can forget herself, her past and most especially men. The last thing she wants is to be drawn into saving a community that seems determined to take her to its heart – and to resuscitate hers…

Frances has lived a reclusive life at Ramblings, a Victorian Gothic mansion, for over thirty years and now Barney is hiding away there, forging a new life after his medical career ended in scandal. He doesn’t trust the mysterious woman who comes to live with his rich aunt, especially when she starts to steal Frances’ affection – and maybe his own too…

BUY LINK

AMAZON

**********

My Writing Room by Kate Field

One of my favourite blog posts by authors is the ‘My writing room’ feature. I’m unashamedly nosy, and love driving round at that time in the early evening when lamps are lit but curtains not yet closed, looking in at thumbnails of other people’s lives through front windows.

A couple of years after we moved to our current house, we finally emptied the last of the packing boxes, and bought a desk for the study. It’s a lovely room, with an overflowing bookcase filling one wall, a glorious view over fields, and on the rare occasion when we have a sunny day, the light streams through the window. Here it is:

Kate Field

I wish I could say that this was my writing room. It would be such a treat to come in here each morning for a few uninterrupted hours with my notebook and pen. But the truth is that I’ve never written a word at that desk. Like most other writers, I have a day job and a family, and writing has to fit in the gaps, whenever and wherever it can.

In reality, much of The Magic of Ramblings was written in the kitchen, while keeping an eye on the dinner and struggling to help with impossible homework questions. Some of it was written in the car outside school, or in Sainsbury’s car park while waiting for a Saturday morning activity to end. Sparks of inspiration for scenes and conversations flared during the ironing or on the drive to work.

For me, the important point isn’t where I write, but where I write about. Ramblings is set in Lancashire, the county where I live and which I love. Here’s a picture taken on one of my favourite walks:

Kate Field

This is the Lancashire where my stories come to life. Cassie, my heroine, might lean on this gate to admire the view as she takes her solitary walks around the Ramblings estate; Barney, my hero, would stride through these fields, his dog, Gin, scampering at his heels.

So I don’t think it matters whether I use a writing room or not. As long as I have a window, I can look out and see thumbnails of my characters’ lives, and it’s all the inspiration I need.

**********

ABOUT KATE FIELD

Kate Field

Kate Field lives in Lancashire with her husband, daughter, and a recently arrived Russian Blue kitten, who may prove so distracting that she never has time to write again. The Magic of Ramblings is her first published novel.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/KateFieldAuthor/

Twitter: @katehaswords

GIVEAWAY

A £25 or equivalent Amazon Voucher

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The Wendy House by Pauline Barclay #cover #reveal

wendy

The Wendy House

by

Pauline Barclay

 

When Nicola changes overnight from a bright, happy young child into a sullen, rebellious girl, ceasing to show interest in anything or anyone around her, her parents struggle to understand why. As she develops into a difficult, troubled, hostile teenager they put it down to hormones, believing it will pass. Yet Nicola goes from bad to worse and no matter how much her mother tries to reach out to her, it seems she is hell bent on self-destruction. When she leaves home at seventeen, rushing into the arms of a man ten years her senior and quickly becoming pregnant, her despairing mother almost gives up on her. A decade later, the events that stole Nicola’s childhood and changed the course of her life threaten finally to destroy her. She knows if she is to cling on to her sanity she must tell her mother the dreadful secret she has carried all these years, but her fear that she will be met with disbelief, hostility and branded an evil liar drives her to the edge.

A heart-rending story of betrayal, secrets and gripping fear.

Publication Date: Saturday 3rd September

Genre: Women’s Fiction / Family-Noir

 

The Wendy House is available in Kindle for pre-order on all Amazon sites including

Amazon co uk

Amazon com

A little about Pauline

Wendy

I am from Yorkshire, but have lived in several different locations including, Suffolk, Surrey and Holland.  Today, I live on one of the beautiful volcanic islands of the Canary Isles with my husband and our two gorgeous rescue doggies.

Years ago I gained a BA (Hons) degree from the Open University, today I spend my time writing fiction. I have five books published, plus a 20 minute short festive story.

My passion is to write about events that happen in life and change everything for those involved as well as those caught up in the maelstrom. I want my characters to sit at your side, steal your attention and sweep you up in their story. Stories that will bring tears to your eyes, have you laughing out loud and sometimes, what they share with you, will stay  in your hearts for a very long time.

www.paulinebarclay.co.uk

http://paulinembarclay.blogspot.com

Facebook

Twitter: @paulinembarclay

Instagram: @paulinebarclay

What Rosie Found Next by Helen J Rolfe ~ BOOK PROMO

Rosie

What Rosie Found Next

by Helen J Rolfe

 

Rosie

What Rosie Found Next

Genre: Romantic fiction / Women’s fiction

Release Date: 3rd November 2015

A shaky upbringing has left Rosie Stevens craving safety and security. She thinks she knows exactly what she needs to make her life complete – the stable job and perfect house-sit she’s just found in Magnolia Creek. The only thing she wants now is for her long-term boyfriend, Adam, to leave his overseas job and come home for good.

Owen Harrison is notoriously nomadic, and he roars into town on his Ducati for one reason and one reason only – to search his parents’ house while they’re away to find out what they’ve been hiding from him his entire life. When he meets Rosie, who refuses to quit the house-sit in his parents’ home, sparks fly.

Secrets are unearthed, promises are broken, friendships are put to the test and the real risk of bushfires under the hot Australian sun threatens to undo Rosie once and for all.

Will Rosie and Owen find what they want or what they really need?

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

ABOUT HELEN J ROLFE

 

Rosie

Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction. She enjoys weaving stories about family, relationships, friendships, love, and characters who face challenges and fight to overcome them.

Born and raised in the UK, Helen spent fourteen years living in Australia before returning home. She now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and children.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/helenjrolfe

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hjrolfe

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/helenjrolfe

Giveaway

£10 /$15 Amazon gift card

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BOOK PROMO ~ Seaside Nights by Melissa Foster

Seaside

Seaside Nights

by

Melissa Foster

 

seaside

Fall in love with Sky Lacroux and Sawyer Bass in Seaside Nights, the fifth book in the Seaside Summers series!

Sky Lacroux has finally realized her dream and opened her own tattoo shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She’s happy as can be, renting a cottage in the Seaside community while renovations to her new apartment are being completed and preparing the shop for its grand opening. The only thing missing is the one thing she longs for, and has no control over—love.

Sawyer Bass, a professional boxer, plays his guitar to escape the painful reality of his father’s failing health and a recent health warning of his own. But when he spots a stunning brunette across the room, escaping reality goes out the door—and the beautiful woman becomes the focus of his next song—and maybe even the rest of his life.

When Sawyer walks into Sky’s tattoo shop and sees the woman from the bar—Sky—the chemistry between them is instant. Sawyer is everything Sky could ever hope for in a man. He’s honest, loving, sensitive, and potently virile—but boxing goes against everything Sky believes in. The closer they become, the more she realizes that her alpha boxer is waging his own emotional battle—only the battle she thinks he’s waging isn’t the one that threatens to tear them apart.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON.COM

AMAZON UK

BARNES & NOBLE

iTUNES

KOBO

GOOGLE PLAY

SMASHWORDS

AUDIBLE

ABOUT MELISSA FOSTER

seaside

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the  World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Authors Links:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Goodreads

Sign up for Melissa’s newsletter to stay up to date with releases and giveaways

http://www.melissafoster.com/newsletter/

GIVEAWAY

The giveaway will be the previous book in the series SEASIDE SECRETS

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Author Interview with Linda Gillard

I’m thrilled to welcome Scottish author of seven brilliant novels, Linda Gillard, to Celtic Connexions. I’m so excited to host you here today.  I’ve read all of your novels and loved them. I’m anxiously waiting for number eight.

Shall we get started?

When did you first get bitten by the writing bug?

1999. I was at home recovering from a nervous breakdown. I’d recently given up teaching which I’d found very stressful. I taught in an unruly school in an impoverished area. One day a disturbed pupil punched me during a lesson and I decided I’d had enough.

I was diagnosed with depression and eventually mild bipolar. I recuperated at home doing a lot of reading and quilt-making, then I read a book called Writing as a Way of Healing by Louise deSalvo. One paragraph sent me straight to my PC and I started to write – almost automatically ­– the opening page of what became my first novel, EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY.

Linda Gillard

http://www.amazon.ca/EMOTIONAL-GEOLOGY-Linda-Gillard-ebook/dp/B0055T357G/ref=sr_1_6_twi_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423578797&sr=8-6&keywords=linda+gillard

I was writing for myself, just an escapist novel that was something like an alternative autobiography, but before long I was hooked on writing – and completely in love with my hero!

I’d been an actress and a journalist before I trained as a teacher and writing put me in touch with words and creativity again. I realised writing was the only thing I wanted to do and it led to a new and successful career as a novelist.

I was 53 when EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY was published, so I always tell people it’s never too late to start writing and you never have to retire!

 Are you a plotter or a pantster or a combination of the two?

I used not to plot very much and I’ve never begun a book knowing how it will end. Readers often describe my books as “un-put-downable” and I wonder if that’s because even I don’t know how they’re going to turn out. I write to find out what happens.

I think if you let it, your unconscious mind will write a better book than your conscious mind. Your conscious mind will go for quick fixes, easy answers. Your unconscious will surprise you and the reader.

When I was writing HOUSE OF SILENCE

Linda Gillard

http://www.amazon.ca/HOUSE-SILENCE-Linda-Gillard-ebook/dp/B004USSPN2/ref=sr_1_2_twi_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423578897&sr=8-2&keywords=linda+gillard I didn’t know until quite late on which man the heroine would end up with. The decision I eventually made was one my publisher wanted to reverse and that was one of the reasons I withdrew the book. I didn’t want to re-write for what I considered to be commercial reasons.

I’m now working on my eighth novel and I’ve planned the last few books a bit more, but there are always surprises. I can be writing a scene and some twist will suddenly strike me, or I’ll realise something important about a character’s back story that I didn’t realise. I always listen to my characters and write what they tell me to write, even when I think the story should go in a different direction. Your characters always know best.

Ed. note. House of Silence was the first novel written by you that I read. It’s stuck with me and I want to read it again but most of all, it made me look for more books written by you.

You parted ways with your publisher with House of Silence, because they said it would be too difficult to market, if I remember correctly. Any regrets?

No. It was the best thing I ever did, both creatively and financially, although at the time it felt like professional suicide. I hoped I’d get another publisher, but after 2 years my agent hadn’t found one. We just had a lot of nice rejection emails saying editors liked my books but couldn’t see how to market them.

My fans kept asking for a new book and I had two that my agent had been unable to sell, so I decided to publish them myself. This was in 2011 and indie publishing was quite new. I didn’t expect to sell many copies, but HOUSE OF SILENCE became a Kindle bestseller. Amazon selected it as one of their Top Ten in the indie author category. I re-published my out-of-print backlist and 4 new books and I now earn a living from writing non-genre fiction which is quite rare.

But it’s a lot of work being indie. I’d rather be writing than doing admin and marketing, but I’ve really enjoyed working with a designer on my covers. In my opinion two of my traditionally published novels were sabotaged by their covers and I had a title foisted on me that I hated, so it means a lot to have books that have titles and covers I’m proud of.

How much research do you have to do in advance of sitting down to write?

In advance, not that much. I do preliminary research but start writing as soon as I can. I think if you do too much research it can take over. It’s tempting to include fascinating facts even though they don’t actually help tell the story. I keep in mind Elmore Leonard’s advice to writers: “Try to leave out the parts readers skip”!

You need to do just enough research to be able to write the story. As you write, it becomes clear where the gaps are. But you can do more research later, after you’ve finished the book if necessary.

I recall seeing pictures on Facebook you’d taken while on a tour of a stately home for use in an upcoming book (possibly your work-in-progress). How many actual locations – castles, mansions, cottages, etc. make it into your novels as fictional ones?

I usually base my locations on real places and buildings but they’re adapted. I lift bits from several different places and combine them to make a new location. So the decrepit Scottish castle in CAULDSTANE

Linda Gillard

http://www.amazon.ca/CAULDSTANE-Linda-Gillard-ebook/dp/B00HZYAIOM/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423579166&sr=8-1&keywords=linda+gillard was inspired by several that I visited in the Highlands – Cawdor, Crathes, but mainly Craigievar in Aberdeenshire.

I visit places as part of my research but I also use photographs. I visited a lot of ruined tower houses for UNTYING THE KNOT http://www.amazon.ca/UNTYING-KNOT-Linda-Gillard-ebook/dp/B005JTAMQO/ref=sr_1_3_twi_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423579351&sr=8-3&keywords=linda+Gillard but for the restored version of Tullibardine Tower I had to rely on photographs of towers that had been refurbished as family homes.

Of all the books you’ve written to date, does one remain your favourite?

I think my best book is A LIFETIME BURNING but my favourite – the one of which I’m most fond – is HOUSE OF SILENCE. I really enjoyed writing that one, though the plot did rather strain my brain! Both HOS and ALB are family stories and I enjoy writing about extended families.

Of all the places you’ve lived in Scotland, is there one would you like to return to or would you like to stay in your current location?

I would like to return to the Isle of Skye where I lived for six years. I wish I had a holiday home there, but it wouldn’t be very convenient. Skye is a long way. When I lived there hardly anyone came to see me from the south and I didn’t see much of my adult children, so I think I’d just have to go back for holidays. But not in the summer. Skye midges are legendary for their ferociousness!

Linda Gillard

Linda Gillard

There are three words that come to mind when I look at these photographs of your home on Skye – beautiful, rugged, remote.

~~~

Linda GillardBiography

Linda Gillard lives in the Scottish Highlands and has been an actress, journalist and teacher. She is the author of seven novels, including STAR GAZING, short-listed in 2009 for Romantic Novel of the Year and HOUSE OF SILENCE, which became a Kindle bestseller and was selected by Amazon UK as one of their Top Ten “Best of 2011” in the Indie Author category.

Links

Website: www.lindagillard.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaGillardAuthor

OUTSIDE THE BOX ~ Women Writing Women

Outside the Box Tour BannerSeven authors, all with impeccable writing credentials, present their anthology called OUTSIDE THE BOX: Women Writing Women.

We’ve each proved our worth with awards, fellowships, teaching posts and commercial success. We’ve all self-published to keep our hard-earned independence and our artistic identity. Now we’re teaming up for an ebook collection of our full-length fiction featuring a diverse collection of unlikely heroines. There’s no one genre. Each novel is a character-led page-turner.

We want to prove that fine, original writers are creating work of value and quality. And we want to entertain you.

The anthology will be available for 90 days from February 21, 2015.

Outside the BoxOutside the Box

BLUE MERCY by Orna Ross

The book: Mercy stands accused of killing her elderly and tyrannical father. Now, at the end of her life, she needs Star, the daughter she fought to protect, to know what really happened that fateful night in 1989.

The author: Orna Ross writes novels, poems and the Go Creative! book series. The Bookseller calls her “one of the 100 most influential people in publishing” for her work with The Alliance of Independent Authors.

CRAZY FOR TRYING by Joni Rodgers

The book: A regional bestseller short-listed for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. In the 1970s, a troubled young woman heads west to create a new identity and shake off the burden of her mother’s radical past, but love and loneliness take her life in an unexpected direction.

The author: Joni Rogers hit the New York Times bestseller list with her cancer memoir Bald in the Land of Big Hair. She is also ghost-writer of numerous other bestsellers and founder of the League of Extraordinary Authors. Joni lives in Houston, Texas.

MY MEMORIES OF A FUTURE LIFE by Roz Morris

The book: In this work of literary fiction, a brilliant pianist’s career is ended by injury. She turns to a mysterious healer and faces the possibility that her life is someone else’s past incarnation.

The author: Roz Morris earned her spurs as a ghost-writer, selling more than four million books writing the novels of other people. She is a writers’ mentor and a radio show host, and she teaches writing masterclasses for The Guardian newspaper.

THE CENTAURESS by Kathleen Jones

The book: Bereaved biographer Alex Forbes goes to war-ravaged Croatia to research the life of a celebrity artist and finds herself at the centre of a family conflict after she uncovers a mutilated photograph, stolen letters and a story of indeterminate gender, passion and betrayal.

The author: Kathleen Jones lives in Italy and is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow.  She is best known for her award-winning biographies, and has also written extensively for the BBC.

AN UNCHOREOGRAPHED LIFE by Jane Davis

The book: Alison gave up the chance to be a prima ballerina when she became pregnant and turned to prostitution to provide for her child, but the tempting hope of a better life may come at a terrible price.

The author: Jane Davis won the Daily Mail Award for her first novel, which secured her a publishing contract. She has now gone on to self-publish four other novels and isn’t afraid to tackle the trickiest of subjects.

ONE NIGHT AT THE JACARANDA by Carol Cooper

The book: Diagnosed with cancer, Sanjay has no time to waste. Laure is a successful lawyer, Harriet is a struggling freelance writer, and Karen is a single mother of four. Before they can find a soul-mate, they each need to confront who they really are.

The author: Carol Cooper is a London-based journalist and award-winning non-fiction author. Her debut novel was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards 2014. In her spare time she’s a doctor.

 WHITE LADY by Jessica Bell

The book: Sonia, unfaithful wife of a Melbourne drug lord, yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she’s rehabilitating herself as a “normal” mother and maths teacher, it’s time to stop dreaming about slicing people’s throats. Easier said than done.

The author: Jessica Bell is an Australian novelist, poet, singer/ songwriter /guitarist who lives in Athens, Greece. She is Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and author of the bestselling Writing in a Nutshell series.

OUTSIDE THE BOX: Women Writing Women (February 20, 2015 for 90 days) £7.99/$9.99 from Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo and more.

More information on www.womenwritewomen.com.

Some of the authors have answered a couple of questions –

Why do you write?

Carol Cooper:

Outside the BoxI’ve always written though I can’t say exactly why. Most probably it began to fill a void. I was so lonely growing up that I invented a large family of sisters, all of them with Hispanic names, which I considered very romantic. As a child I wrote stories about witches burning to death from smoking in bed, perhaps a bit like the medical opinion pieces I now write for The Sun newspaper. As a student it was music reviews, which got me into the best gigs in Cambridge, but writing remained just a hobby till I began making money from magazine columns. The articles in Punch were frivolous, though pieces like those in the Financial Times were more solemn and came from my experience as a doctor. I then had a run of non-fiction books, and at the end of 2013 I published my novel One Night at the Jacaranda, which is finally the kind of fiction I’d most like to read myself for pleasure. It’s a departure in style for me, but it feels completely natural. After all, it’s still the same basic process of getting words down.

Why did you get together for this compilation?

Joni Rogers:

Outside the BoxI actually met Roz, Orna and Jane’s books before I met them, which is the best possible way to make friends with another author. I read and loved Orna’s linked novels After the Rising and Before the Fall and learned about her life as a publishing industry mover/shaker when I was searching to see what else she’d written. She turned me on to Roz’s book My Memories of a Future Life, which I inhaled one weekend when I was down with the flu, and as I recall, we connected on Facebook after I reviewed it. When I learned Jane Davis’s An Unchoreographed Life would be in this collection, I had already bought it on Kindle. I’m thrilled to be in such good company professionally, and we’re all quickly becoming good friends.

“Most collections are from just one author, or one publisher, or at least in the same genre, whether that’s historical romance or detective fiction. But these seven books are very different. [How] do you think the mix [of genres] will work for readers?”

Jessica Bell:

Outside the BoxTrue, most authors who have found success with the box sets were a part of very genre-driven compilations. But that’s where Outside the Box: Women Writing Women differs. The spotlight is on “unlikely heroines” and, though the seven novels included may all fit the Contemporary Fiction/Women’s Fiction slot, they are all remarkably and uniquely different in style, which I believe to be a very strong attraction. There are readers out there who don’t like to read the same kind of genre, or about the same kind of characters over and over. This box set is for them.

That’s a very striking cover. How did you choose it?

Jane Davis:

Outside the BoxWe have here a very experienced team of self-publishers. I think it’s fair to say that we all play to our strengths and know how we can best contribute. It has been wonderful to have someone who designs book covers and interiors spearhead the project. Like everything we’ve done together, all the decisions were democratic.

https://www.facebook.com/womenwritewomen

AMAZON UK

AMAZON.COM

FOLLOW THE TOUR AND READ MORE ABOUT THE LOVELY AUTHORS!

 

Giveaway

1st Prize- brand new kindle pre-loaded with the book

10 runners up prizes – A Digital swag bag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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