A Creative Life – Romance Weekly #LoveWriteChat Blog Hop – 30th June 2015

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Tracy Gee’s blog at LoveExtra.com, hi and thanks for clicking!

This week the multi-talented Xio Axelrod has asked us the following question: If you weren’t a writer, what other creative career would you most want to try?

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It’s funny, but I’ve never really seen myself as a creative person. From the youngest age, I always had a story in my head, one that I would escape into, day dreaming the hours away while other kids were playing in the street.

I was the child whose singing voice made everybody wince. The kid whose attempts at painting resulted in a terrifying rorschach test rather than the pretty house she’d planned. But in my mind–in my imagination–I was queen!

That’s not to say there aren’t creative endeavours I enjoy. I like sewing, though I’m not great at it, and I’ve even managed to knit a scarf or two in my time. I can whip up a meal from the scantiest of ingredients, often resulting in something my family ask me to cook again.

But all the while that I’m doing these things, I’m still thinking of characters and making up stories in my mind. I find that keeping busy with my hands allows my mind to wander in interesting directions, and I’ve often managed to solve a problem in my plot while distracting my logical mind with another task.

I realise none of this really answers the question, apart from to say I can’t imagine being anything but a writer. And if I couldn’t write, I’d tell those stories orally, and if I couldn’t speak, I’d live them in my mind!

But that’s enough about me. Now let’s hop over to  Leslie Hachtel’s blog and see what she has to say. 

Romance Weekly Chat

I’d Like to Thank my Agents… – Romance Weekly #LoveWriteChat Blog Hop – 23rd June 2015

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from J.J. Devine’s Blog, hi and thanks for clicking!

This week A.S. Fenichel has asked us the following question: What person living, dead, realative or stranger had the biggest influence on your life/writing career? Tell us what he/she was like or how they shaped you.

Answering this has been tough, not because I don’t have an answer, but because I owe so much to so many people. From my beta readers and editors to my publishers and family, not to mention my hugely supportive friends. But if I had to single out somebody (and I’m cheating a bit) to thank for where I have got to today, it would have to be my amazing Agents at the Bookcase Agency.

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Back in 2013, my agent, Meire Dias, contacted me to see if I’d be interested in being represented for my book, Fix You. She worked for the Bookcase Agency, which she had recently set up with Flavia Viotti, and the two of them were just starting on their journey. Having spoken with both Meire and Flavia a number of times, I knew they were going to be amazing. They had commitment, drive, and most of all a love of books, and I jumped at the chance to be represented by them.

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Fast forward six months, and they sold the Portuguese rights for my book to Brazil. Sempre Foi Voce (It Was Always You) was released in October 2014, and we really haven’t looked back!

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Fix You was released in the UK in December 2014, by the amazing folk at Corvus Books, and the rights have now been sold to Italy, Turkey and Germany, with publication coming soon. On top of that, they’ve recently sold the Portuguese rights for my Love in London books to Universe Dos Livros.

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Without these two ladies I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today. Their unstinting support, their commitment to their jobs, and their unending enthusiasm really make me want to write more stories, just so we can keep working together.

So that’s my rags to riches — or in this case online to published — story, and one I’m very grateful for.

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I’m so glad I got a chance to share how much these ladies have done for me, I really do owe them a lot! Now let’s hop over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog and see what she has to say. 

Romance Weekly Chat

Six Reasons that Dads are Amazing #fathersday #dads

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Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads (and single mums) out there! I’d like to take a moment to wish my own, very lovely, Dad a very happy day, and to tell him how much I love him.

Dads are amazing because…

1. They don’t care if you get dirty. In fact, they positively encourage it!

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2. They show you what unconditional love looks like, and teach you not to settle for anything less.

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3. They tell you not to wear that short skirt when you go out, then secretly whisper that you look beautiful anyway ❤

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4. When your heart is broken, they cuddle you even when they don’t know what to say.

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5. When you have children of your own, they do it all over again, but better. Especially because they’ve had so much practice!

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6. And finally, my Dad is the best dad of all because he makes me feel loved and cherished.

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Love you, Dad. And come on over, I’m lighting the barbecue at 12 xxx

What’s Your Superpower? – Romance Weekly #LoveWriteChat Blog Hop – 16th June 2015

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Raine Balkera’s Blog, hi and thanks for clicking!

This week Susan Scott Shelley has asked us the following question: You’ve been gifted with a super power. Which would you choose? Why?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the answer to this one over the past few days. Depending on the time of day–and what I’m doing at the time–the answer would vary immensely. Sometimes I’d like to be Laundry-Woman, able to clean ten loads of dirty clothes with the shake of my pretty, manicured hand. Other times I’d like to be Word-Girl, able to speed through a manuscript, putting 80,000 perfect words onto paper without batting an eyelid.
When my children are sad, I’d like to be Magnificent-Mum, able to magic away all their tears and make everything better. And when I get home from work after a long day at work, I’d love to be Chef-Tastic, able to whip up a gourmet-level meal using just two eggs and an old piece of bread.
But actually, when I stop and consider all of these, I don’t think I really need those powers. Laundry may not be fun, but with a washing machine and a tumble dryer (things my grandmother would have killed for) it isn’t exactly taxing, either. And when my kids are sad, sometimes a hug is all they need. I may not make all their problems disappear, but I make them feel better, and that’s good enough for me.
Word-Girl, that super-writer who speeds through a manuscript without breaking a sweat? Maybe she’s missing out on that wonderful feeling when you suddenly make a breakthrough with a plot point, or that simple pleasure of patting yourself on the back when you’ve managed to write 2000 words on a good day.
So rather than accept a superpower, I think I’ll just be glad I’m me. I make mistakes, things take some time, but life is pretty damn good anyway!

So those are my thoughts, I hope you enjoyed reading them and let me know what you think. Do you like your stories to have a message? Let’s hop over to J.J. Devine’s blog and see what she has to say. 

Romance Weekly Chat

Novels and Themes – Romance Weekly #LoveWriteChat Blog Hop – 9th June 2015

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Tracy Gee’s Blog, hi and thanks for clicking!

This week Ronnie Allen has asked us the following question: What is the  theme in your novels, recurring or in one, that sends a message about an issue in society to help people? Was it developed by you intentionally, or did it evolve through the characters and plot?

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What an interesting question! When I’m writing a story I don’t think I explicitly go into it intending to explore certain themes, although since my current books are all set in London it’s hard to avoid some of the issues that affect contemporary society. There are so many problems that affect people in cities (as well as the suburbs), from gang-culture and poverty, to drug use and discrimination as well as the pervasive effect of mental illness and depression, and some of these themes are explored in my novels.
In Coming Down, the plot scented around a Drug-Abuse clinic in central London, where the heroine–Beth–is a volunteer working with the children of addicts. Having taken drugs herself when she was younger, and seen the terrible effects that overdosing can have, she’s more aware of the issue than most. Coming Down, I hope, sends the message that although for some there may be a brighter future, the issue of drug abuse (particularly when mixed with poverty) isn’t going away, and while it may not be possible to solve the problem, treating people with kindness and determination can go a long way to manage it.
Mental Health is another issue that I’ve explored in my books. In Fix You, the heroine (Hanna) suffers from depression brought on after her mother’s death. This also leads to panic attacks, and having suffered from these myself, I can confirm that they are absolutely horrifying to experience. Similarly, in Broken Chords (my latest book) there is post-date depression, which is so common among new mothers, and although it wasn’t something I suffered from myself, I saw a close friend go through the detrimental affects that this can cause.
More than anything, I hope that my books send the message that there should be no stigma attached to mental illness. It’s something that affects both rich and poor, men and women, and we shouldn’t be ashamed to seek help. Having suffered myself, and found help through counselling and the support of family and friends, I’d urge anybody who is feeling the same to seek assistance, to find support and most of all, not to beat yourself up over it. Mental Health disorders should not be stigmatised, and I truly believe we should all strive to understand and support those who are going through them, just as we would support people going through any illness.

So those are my thoughts, I hope you enjoyed reading them and let me know what you think. Do you like your stories to have a message? Let’s hop over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog and see what she has to say. 

Romance Weekly Chat

GIVEAWAY – Win a Canvas Shopper signed by lots of great Romance Authors!!

TBBY Bag Giveaway

Following my trip to the Tattooed Bad Boys Author signing in April, I have an awesome giveaway for you! While I was there I managed to get this canvas bag signed by a whole host of attending authors including:
Abbi Glines, 
Samantha Towle, 
Nina Levine, 
Ker Dukey,
Lesley Jones, 
Natasha Preston, 
Amy Davis, 
Laura Barnard,
Jade West, 
Susan Elle, 
D.A. Keane, 
Jami Kay,
Marie Coulson, 
L.A. Cotton, 
T.A. McKay, 
Bethan Cooper,
Sarah Elizabeth, 
K.L. Shandwick, 
D. Breeze, 
Kirsty Anne Still,
Ava Manello, 
Amity Cross, 
Carrie Elks
If you want to get your hands on this bag, it’s simple, all you have to do is enter the rafflecopter by clicking the ‘enter’ button below. No purchase is required, and the giveaway is open worldwide. Closing date is June 24th 2015. 

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Flash Fiction Challenge! Romance Weekly #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop – 2nd June 2015

Romance Weekly ChatDo you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.
If you’ve arrived from J.J. Devine’s Blog, hi and thanks for clicking!

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 This week Fiona Riplee has given us the following challenge:

Write a flash fiction of 250 words or less about a long lost love. Include the words: hammer, chisel, and coping saw. 

Here’s what I’ve got for you…

 

The first time Ellie met him he was covered in blood. An industrial accident, Trent had said, something to do with a chisel and a coping saw. Not that she’d paid much attention; her focus was on suturing his wound and trying to ignore the persistent hammer of her heartbeat. Even after five years on the job, there was something about blood that made her dizzy. Her mom always told her she wasn’t cut out to be a nurse.
“You’re all sewn up.” She’d looked into his blue eyes. “Try to keep it dry for a few days.”
“Let me take you out to dinner to thank you.” It didn’t sound much like a question, in spite of his words. He’d taken her to a diner, around the corner from the hospital, offering her food as wholesome and down-to-earth as he was. When they went dancing, he’d held her close, smelling of warm cologne and sawdust.
She’d loved every minute of it.
That was back in November of ‘41, less than a month before Pearl Harbor, before life changed forever. Only a few weeks later, she was cleaning blood off more young men than she cared to think about, and that date with Trent Martin was little more than a saw-dust scented memory.
Somewhere among the casualties and the battles they’d lost touch. Ellie got married — a handsome marine who gave her two beautiful children — but she couldn’t help but wonder what happened to the gruff carpenter with the deep blue eyes.
She never did find out.

(255 words – I cheated a bit!!)

Thanks for reading. Now let’s hop over to Veronica Forand’s blog and have a read of her flash fiction.