Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

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It’s Tuesday, which means it’s Romance Weekly Blog Hop time!

If you’ve joined me from Veronica Forand, then welcome! 🙂

This week the questions focus on characters.

1. How much free reign do you give your characters during a story?

I give them pretty much completely free reign. Although I love to have a plan, some of the best things can come from the unexpected moments when your character’s take the story out of your hands!

2. Have your characters ever done something so out of the blue that not only changed your story, but changed the tone and maybe even the genre you were originally going for? (Like your contemporary romance turned into a spicy paranormal)

I’ve had some characters do some things that were completely out of the blue, but I don’t think it’s ever changed the tone or genre. Though, it could still happen 😀

3. Do you have one character in your head that is sort of boss over all the rest? Or do you decide who to work on and when?

On my current WIP, I have a group of characters and I do have to say I’m pretty good at managing to spend time on each. Out of the group, there are three who are the strongest and the main focus, so obviously they get more time, but I do have a character with a smaller role who just loves to push his way into focus every time there’s a scene! 😀

Now why not go check out what Victoria Barbour has to say in response to these!

How would you answer these questions? Do you give your characters free reign to do as they wish when you write, or do you like to stick to a plan?

Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

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If you’ve joined me from the lovely Kim Handysides, then welcome!

So this week Sarah Hegger asked us to tell her our three favourite book boyfriends from any books we’ve read and why.

At first I thought, ‘pfft! Easy peasy!’, and then when I thought about it I found it quite difficult to choose just 3! 😀

Anyway, here are the ones that stood out the most to me:

1. Diesel from Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich

Ah, Diesel… What’s not to love about him? 😀

The man makes me swoon every time I read this book and although he doesn’t get together with Stephanie Plum, there is enough tension there to make the pages burn!

He is brash but kind, charming but understanding; definitely the type of guy I want in my life. Add to that the air of mystery about him and I’m sold!

2. Jonathan Harker from Bram Stoker’s, Dracula.

Ok, I watched the famous movie with Gary Oldman before I ever read this book and just assumed (bad, I know!) that the movie was a faithful retelling of the book. How wrong I was!

In the movie Jonathan Harker is a bit of a nothing, he doesn’t really do anything and certainly doesn’t inspire much romantic feeling.

Yet, in the book, he’s a COMPLETELY different character. Definitely one to swoon over. His dedication to Mina and his willingness to do whatever it takes to protect her makes my heart flutter, whilst at the same time he is a gentleman of his time with all the manners!

3. Otto from my book, Prophecy of Stones.

This is cheating a bit, seeing as it’s my own book 😀 But still, Otto is definitely a character that stands out to me as a man I would be happy to have around.

He’s calm, understanding, but strong; a man capable of leading his own life without relying on others. Although a secondary character, he stands out in his own right, and the intensity and depth that he shares with his bond mate is exactly what I’d want in my life.

And there we have it 😀 Those are the guys I’d pick straight away, if you know, they were real…

Anyways! Go find out who Veronica Forand has chosen for her three.

The Romance Weekly’s November Contest is up and ready if you want to enter! Some great prizes this month 🙂

Who would you choose as your book boyfriend/girlfriend?

Books and Reading Wednesday: End of October Indie Review

Hands of Evil by Melissa Barker-Simpson

Goodreads synopsis:
Jonathan Jukes is accustomed to working alongside the police within his role as close protection officer at Morgan and Fairchild. But when Detective Sergeant Charles Macavoy requests the team’s help, JJ finds it’s his toughest case yet.

A serial killer, whose calling card is to remove the hands of his victims, is targeting interpreters. When lines begin to blur and JJ’s past comes back to haunt him, he soon discovers the biggest threat comes from a woman who stands at the centre of it all

Review:

This is the second book I’ve read by Melissa Barker-Simpson and it most certainly will not be the last!

The author’s ability to draw the reader into the story and characters is incredible. Each time I sat down to read I planned on only doing it for an hour, but every time it ended up much longer. I would glance up at the clock and not even realise two hours had flown by.

The characters throughout were brilliantly written, and I loved how Melissa wrote the character of Grace. The interactions between the characters flowed really well and the dialogue was engaging and realistic.

Throughout the book the romance and action is balanced perfectly. The plot is well paced and I never once found myself skipping through sections, in fact, it was almost the opposite as there were some scenes I read over twice because they were so good!

I highly recommend this book. Melissa Barker-Simpson creates a engaging story filled with great moments, along with high quality writing and enjoyable characters.

Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

Goodreads

Switch Up!

I just want to say a BIG thank you to all the lovely encouraging and supportive comments on my last post (I may not have replied to all, but I read them all and was so touched!). It was so nice to hear from other writers who feel the same. This community really is so incredibly supportive! 🙂

Today is the first day of just giving myself over to writing, I am doing this blog post on my lunch break! 😀 It has been nice though, it was lovely to start writing this morning and have no pressure to finish at a certain time so as I could begin social media, I actually think the quality of my writing improved for it!

Anyway, I had a nice plan of action in place for the book I’m working on at the moment.

It was my usual plan- Write the first draft, edit the next month, and then release. So release day would have been the end of November.

But, this book is different then normal as it’s the first book in a series; a series I have been thinking about writing for a good 2 years now.

As I began writing my first draft I knew I was going to need more time with it. More time with these characters I’ve been cultivating for years and more time to delve into the start of this series I’ve loved planning for so long!

So, I’ve had a change of plan. My plan now is to work on the first draft (still finish by the end of this month!) and then give myself two months for editing.

In November I am going to work on a short Christmas novella to release in December, then January and February I am giving over completely to re-writing and doing drafts of the current first book in my series.

I hope that makes sense 😀

I do have to say, this is part of the reason I love self-publishing. I have no set time or specific book I need to work on. If I want or need to change up the order I release books or write books, I can! That is really a huge plus for writing and publishing books on my own!

Have you guys ever changed your writing plans? Have you started one book and then begun another at the same time?

Progress Report:

Status of first manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 2232 (Total word count: 28,368).

Books read: 2/4.

End of October Indie Review: Reading.

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly!

Thank you to everyone who commented on my posts over the weekend 🙂

I am trying to add a change to my routine which started today, and has left me completely out of whack! So, I haven’t had time to write a blog post and I haven’t been able to manage commenting on many blogs yet!

So instead, enjoy this awesome vlog review of Prophecy of Stones by Sierra of Permashift!

I always love her vlogs, she’s hilarious and always makes me smile 🙂

The Queen’s Jester also got an awesome review from Teri Lloyd! 🙂

Sorry for the all about my stuff post! Will hopefully get a hang of this new routine soon.

Tomorrow won’t be a Romance Weekly post as (again) still shuffling my work around. I will have a normal post instead tomorrow though! 😀

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 2830 (Total word count: 20,710).

Books read: 2/4.

Mid-October Book Review: Yeah, not going so well!

Something Different

These are some photosets I made for my books to go on Tumblr, but I’d thought I’d post them here too!

MSAll

“Stay,” she whispered.

Mal’s lips curled into a smile that made her request even more urgent and she gripped his shirt to yank him forwards. But he steadied his hands on the bed to remain unmoving. Alex frowned.

“I wish I could,” he replied, moving one hand to her face, his thumb running over her bottom lip. “Honestly, you have no idea how much I wish I could.”

The Magic Spark

What do a successful London businesswoman and a Scottish castle owner have in common?

A rom-com obsessed fairy godmother who won’t stop meddling in their love life!

The Magic Spark is a light, enjoyable read, full of romance, fun, and a dash of magic.

Buy Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

PAll

“I would not let you lose yourself, Milana,” Riff said, grabbing her arms so as she was forced to face him, yet still she kept her gaze averted. “You see the bond, our love, as a weakness. Why can you not see that it is power? It is what gives me strength. My love for you is what gives me the strength to keep going!” His emotion-filled words echoed around them, heavy enough that they seemed to land on her skin and make her shiver.

Prophecy of Stones

The bond of love can conquer all, but only if it is accepted.

Prophecy states that three champions imbued with the best virtues of the mortal race: heart, strength and soul, will be the ones to save them all from an enemy which threatens to steal the life from their world and those who live upon it.

Buy Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

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It’s that time again, Romance Weekly Blog Hop time!

If you’ve joined me from the lovely Josie Malone’s blog, author of The Hero Spell, then welcome!

Now onto the questions!

Which type of character do you prefer writing about: Sexy, romantic, sweet, quirky, mean, old, young, smart, silly or other?

I’d like to say sexy, but in all honesty it’s probably the snarky characters! 😀 Those ones that always have a comeback for everything and their sarcasm offers no useful input, but it’s fun anyway.

Have you ever killed off (or gotten back at) an ex in your writing? On paper, of course.

No, I haven’t. I do try to stay away from basing my characters off of real people, as I always worry someone will guess!

What hobbies do you have that you incorporate in your writing?

Gardening is probably the biggest one. I do tend to find when characters are in a garden, I have to hold off from going into explicit detail of how the flower would look and how best it should be cared for in the coming season 😀

Some interesting questions answered this week 😀 So head on over to J.J.Devine, author of Into the Darkness, and see what she has to say in response to them!

Also, why not check out the new Romance Writers Weekly Blog?

Or sign up for the newsletter?

There is a monthly giveaway and this month my newest release, The Magic Spark, is one of the prizes! 🙂

So, what about you guys- Have you ever got back at someone through your writing?

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 5283 (Total word count: 12,148).

Books read: 1/4

Mid-October Book Review: Writing review.

The Magic Spark Release Day!

I’m so excited! 😀 The Magic Spark is out now!

MagicSparkCS

Blurb:
Successful businesswoman Alex is content with her life in London, and any ideas of romance have been left on the back burner. But when her fairy godmother, FG, waltzes into her office one morning announcing she has come to help Alex rekindle a passion for life and love, she is about to check herself into therapy!

The fairy godmother’s incessant wand-flicking soon lands them in the isolation of the Scottish highlands, where Alex’s next client, Mal Ross, not only stirs her professional interest but her romantic ones too.

Tasked with the enormous challenge of turning a historic castle into a flourishing hotel, the pair must work closely together whilst attempting to avoid the awkward situations the rom-com obsessed fairy godmother keeps forcing them into.

But the path of love is never smooth, no matter how much magic you throw at it.

The Magic Spark is a light, enjoyable read, full of fun and romance.

Favourite Quotes:

“What happened?” FG asked, scooting forward, her eyes wide with curiosity.

Owen seemed more than willing to participate in gossip. “Nobody really knows, not even me and I’ve worked for that family all my life. Me and my hen live not far from here, and there was a big commotion about it all in the village, though it was all very hush-hush. Didn’t please the locals not to know what was happening, that’s for sure.” He bellowed with a laugh so loud it filled the entire car with its jolly sound.

FG furrowed her brow. “Why does he live with a chicken?” she whispered.

“I think he means his wife,” Alex replied in just as much a hushed tone, whilst trying to stifle a chuckle.

They stood for a moment in silence before Paul’s blue-eyed gaze shifted to FG and his brows rose. “Oh, I’m sorry.” Alex jerked into action, giving introductions. “This is FG, she’s my-” She choked on her words. What was she meant to say? ‘Oh, this is just my fairy godmother who’s trying to set me up with your gardener?’ She bet that would go down real well.

“You’ll get cold, come on.” He stepped forwards and, before Alex had time to protest, he scooped her into his arms and cradled her to his chest.

“Because this isn’t at all embarrassing,” she said, flushing red and hoping he would think it was from the alcohol and not the fact she enjoyed being pressed up against him like some damsel from a fairy tale.

FG would have a field day if she found out about this.

For a full excerpt, click here to see the cover reveal post!

Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Createspace (Paperback)

Smashwords

Goodreads

I really enjoyed writing The Magic Spark, it was a great book that I got to have some fun with, especially FG. That fairy godmother certainly made me chuckle!

The Magic Spark Cover Reveal!

Here it is! The title and cover reveal of my next book, The Magic Spark! 😀

TheMagicSparkCover

Blurb:

Successful businesswoman Alex is content with her life in London, and any ideas of romance have been left on the back burner. But when her fairy godmother, FG, waltzes into her office one morning announcing she has come to help Alex rekindle a passion for life and love, she is about to check herself into therapy!

The fairy godmother’s incessant wand-flicking soon lands them in the isolation of the Scottish highlands, where Alex’s next client, Mal Ross, not only stirs her professional interest but her romantic ones too.

Tasked with the enormous challenge of turning a historic castle into a flourishing hotel, the pair must work closely together whilst attempting to avoid the awkward situations the rom-com obsessed fairy godmother keeps forcing them into.

But the path of love is never smooth, no matter how much magic you throw at it.

The Magic Spark is a light, enjoyable read, full of fun and romance.

Excerpt:

Forking over a flowerbed by the castle walls was Alex’s supposed perfect match, his plain grey t-shirt stained with mud and his ripped jeans just as dirty. His face was hidden behind a thick curtain of dark brown hair, layered and falling to the base of his neck.

“That’s him?” Her voice choked.

FG beamed a grin. “Look at him!” She spread her hands out in emphasis, apparently proud of the man she’d found for Alex. He stood up, running his muddied hands through his hair, excitement bubbling within Alex as the hint of a chiseled jaw line shadowed with heavy stubble became visible.

Alex rolled her eyes and folded her arms at FG’s enthusiasm. “He’s lovely, but that’s not the point-”

“Lovely? That’s all you’re going with?” FG cocked an eyebrow and they both turned back to the man who dug his hands into a pile of compost, the muscles of his arms flexing as he did so. When he leant his head back, his face became visible.

Alex wished he hadn’t been so damn handsome, it only made attempting a blasé attitude that much harder.

“He’s very nice.” Alex tightened her lips, but FG kept her brow raised, the expression battering against Alex. “Fine! He’s gorgeous.” It wasn’t a hard admittance to make.

“You got that right.” They both looked at him again, the man thankfully too far away from them to hear the conversation. Her only consolation was that he was the gardener and not the owner, at least he could be avoided.

Alex ripped her focus from the man back towards FG as she pulled her wand out of thin air. The woman flicked the star end towards the gardener and a sudden ray of sunshine burst through the heavy cloud cover and lit the man in a spotlight.

Again FG flicked her wand, but this time directly at the man. A stream of gold glitter smashed against him, but he didn’t seem to notice it. Instead, he blew out a heavy breath as though growing hot under the beam of sun that shone only on him.

He gripped the edge of his shirt and yanked it up to wipe the sweat forming on his brow, revealing a lithe, well-toned body beneath that Alex couldn’t seem to rip her gaze away from.

It took quite a bit of mental strength to finally tear her attention away and avert it to the grass beneath her boots. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” she groaned. “Stop it!” She slapped FG’s hand, the wand now directed at the ground.

The sun disappeared and the man went back to working, instead of posing like a model in a Diet Coke ad.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy it,” FG said with a sly smile and a wiggle of her brows.

Alex gritted her teeth. “Let’s just find the owner and get this business over with.” She turned away, ignoring FG who was staring at the gardener once again with a dreamy gaze. “Shall we find our rooms?”

“Only if I can take him to mine,” FG replied and Alex rolled her eyes, nudging the woman back to the front of the castle.

I was pretty pleased with how the cover turned out, which once again I did myself, including drawing out the silhouettes!

The Magic Spark is out on Tuesday 30th September!

Hope you enjoyed the preview!

Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

It’s Romance Weekly Blog Hop time! And we’re back to questions this week 🙂

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If you’ve joined me from Carrie Elks’ blog, then a big welcome!

1. You’re moving right along with a storyline and suddenly it takes an unexpected twist. Do you go with the flow and follow where the twist leads you or do you conform your story to your way?

Suprisingly, considering my need for everything to be organised and go to plan, I actually go with the flow 😀

When a plot takes a route I wasn’t expecting, then to me that is one of the best things it can do. If it’s a surprise to me, then it will be a surprise to readers. Plus, it’s always great fun seeing if you can weave it back into your original plan and have fun with matching everything up again!

2. What time of year is your best time for writing? Winter, Summer, Fall, Spring?

Fall or Winter. Those are the seasons that inspire me to stay inside and cosy up with a cup of tea and get some writing done 😀 The weather also usually drives everyone else indoors, so it’s super quiet!

3. When looking for a publisher do you chose a traditional press, indie route, or one that does both,ebook and print?

I am a self published author, so thankfully I don’t have to worry about that! I love the freedom self publishing gives me and also the control I get to keep.

I’m not very good at giving over control of my work, especially things I’ve worked so hard on! 😀

Now check out what J.J. Devine, author of Into the Darkness, has to say in response to these!

How would you answer these questions? How do you react when a plot takes an unexpected twist?

Progress Report:

Status of fifth manuscript: With the readers.
– Finished the cover!
– Need to do promotional things.
– Need to write blurb.

Books read: 2/4

End of September Indie Review: Written and ready.