Lynne can’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing stories. She sent her first novel off to a publisher when she was fourteen. They didn’t publish it, but a very kind editor wrote her a letter encouraging her to keep writing – she’s very glad she took that editor’s advice.
Before lockdown, Lynne enjoyed visiting the theatre, especially West End musicals, and is looking forward to the time when the theatres can re-open. An inability to sing in tune prevents her from singing on stage herself, but when her now adult children were young, she enjoyed a vicarious career as a stage mother, and she now writes books with characters that are musical theatre actors or dancers.
Lynne’s other great enthusiasm is travelling (again before lockdown!), and her debut novel was the result of a trip to Paris and an overheard conversation on the Eurostar. She finds overheard conversations on buses and trains – and in queues at the supermarket – a great a source of inspiration for stories.
Lynne is currently working on a novel inspired by her travels around the Greek islands, and planning her next trip abroad – hopefully to Japan, which has long been on her bucket list – for when we can all go travelling again.
Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, ‘French Kissing’ was published when it won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition.
She has published four novels: French Kissing, The One That I Want, There She Goes and the Summer of Taking Chances.
She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.
Blurb for The Summer of Taking Chances
It’s been ten years since Emma Stevens last laid eyes on Jake Murray. When he left the small seaside village of South Quay where they both grew up, Emma’s dreams left with him.
Then Jake, now a successful actor, returns to South Quay for the summer…
This week’s TOP AUTHOR POST welcomes brilliant writer, Anne Coates. Inspired by her mother who taught her to read before she went to school and by the Deputy Head at her secondary school in Harlow, Essex who encouraged her hunger for reading by granting her free access to the books not yet in the school library – she feels still grateful for this, in her eyes, amazing privilege.
During her career, she worked for publishers, as a journalist, writer, editor, and translator. The birth of her daughter, Olivia inspired her to write non-fiction books, such as ‘Your Only Child’ (Bloomsbury, 1996), books about applying to and surviving university (NeedtoKnow, 2013), but also short stories, tales with a twist, and stories exploring relationships, published in in various women’s magazines including Bella and Candis.
After working on Woman’s Weekly and Woman & Home, Anne went freelance and found herself interviewing all types of people from those working on gas rigs to prostitutes and some of their situations made her think “What if…” And so, investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge was born…
The Hannah Weybridge series is published by Urbane Publications. Anne lives with three demanding cats, enjoys reading, and is missing going to the theatre and cinema, wining and dining and time with her family and friends.
It only took one tap dancing class (and some coaching from my mother who had been a dancer) to realise that I would never be a Ginger Rogers but being a journalist and writing fiction has allowed me to explore all manner of careers and situations with far less embarrassment. During lockdown I have found returning to the 90s when my Hannah Weybridge series is set has been a relief and once again much of the action my WIP takes place in Waterloo – where my mother was born and some of my expended family lived. I can’t wait to walk those streets again and absorb the personal as well as public history. For me writing has been a way to reconnect and rediscover something we’ll all hopefully be doing more of soon.
Dulwich library is the scene of a suspicious death, followed swiftly by another in Manchester, the victims linked by nothing other than their Australian nationality. Police dismiss the idea of a serial killer, but journalist Hannah Weybridge isn’t convinced. She is drawn into an investigation in which more Australian men are killed as they try to trace their British families. Her research reveals past horrors and present sadness, and loss linked to children who went missing after the Second World War. Have those children returned now?
Once again Hannah finds herself embroiled in a deadly mystery, a mystery complicated by the murder of Harry Peters; brother of Lucy, one of the residents of Cardboard City she had become friendly with. It soon becomes clear Lucy is protecting secrets of her own – what is Lucy’s link to the murders and can Hannah discover the truth before the killer strikes again?
If you love poetry, then this is the book for you! I’m thrilled to be part of the launch of author M J Mallon‘s new poetry book, Lockdown Innit. M J is a big supporter of other authors and it’s great to be able to give something back. Grab your copy of this interesting and thought provoking book here: Universal link for kindle: https://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit
Lockdown Innit is a poetry collection of eighteen poems about life’s absurdities and frustrations during lockdown. Wherever you live in this world, this is for you. Expect humour, a dollop of banter and ridiculous rants here and there. Amongst other delights, witness the strange antics of a swan posing by a bin and two statuesque horses appearing like arc deco pieces in a field. Check out the violin player on a tightrope, or the cheeky unmentionables wafting in the lockdown breeze!
Lockdown Innit is the second book that Marjorie has released during this time period
The first, This Is Lockdown released in kindle in July 2020. This Is Lockdown is a compilation and anthology of my diaries, poetry, flash fiction and 28 wonderful contributions from international authors, bloggers and creatives sharing their thoughts, poetry, and flash fiction during covid19. Many old friends contributed to the anthology and she discovered many new authors, and creatives via compiling this anthology.
This Is Lockdown is available in a shorter paperback version with poetry, flash fiction and contributions (the diaries are only in the kindle version.)
Today’s top author of the week is an author you probably already know well. His books are so popular that they regularly sit at the top of the bestseller lists. David P. Perlmutter is also working on a book to movie project at the moment which means we will see his work as a movie sometime soon!
I have a led a very colourful life, with some episodes so noteworthy that so far they have produced three thrilling true stories, with more to follow.
Away from writing and along with my girlfriend, who is also my editor, I am a volunteer Cancer Campaigns Ambassador for Cancer Research UK, and have done many charity book signing events, to raise money for a cause that is very close to my heart.
I have four children and a grandson and I’m very close to my large family who feature in each of my books.
I started to write my first book when I lived in Portugal in 2013. I now live in London. The book, WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME, has been a #1 BESTSELLER on Amazon around the world, with many hundreds of 4 and 5* reviews. The story is based on true events that happened to me when I visited Marbella in 1991 and ended up wrongly arrested for arson and manslaughter.
I’m very excited to say that the book is currently being turned into a screenplay with a view to it becoming a movie in the very near future, which is every author’s dream and something I could never have imagined when I began writing.
Another of my true stories is called FIVE WEEKS, about a trip I made to Pennsylvania, America for five weeks of training for a new job. I won’t give too much away, apart from saying that I was nearly left for dead in a Pennsylvania wood, and that’s after having a gun in my back in London.
My most recent book, also a true story, follows my escapades as a 21 year old, seeking fame and fortune in America. Entitled 24 HOURS IN NEW YORK, the clue is in the name as to the duration of my stay.
Away from writing true stories, I also write self-help books for indie authors. There are eight books in the MY WAY series, the majority being guides to self publishing and book marketing, the others featuring authors from around the world in various different genres.
That’s a question many authors get. It makes me think there must be a little shop somewhere, hidden away down a dark alley, that sells ideas. Or an online shop that only those in the know have the web address for. Hang on, there’s a story developing here, isn’t there? About a magical shop…? I wonder what else it sells beside ideas…? And who owns it and why…?
That’s the answer really. Not the shop, but the question. Ideas can come from absolutely anywhere. It just takes one innocent sentence, thought or question and I’m off into a new world looking for the story. I’ve got an early and part written draft of another book which came out of a comment on social media. Someone said they were a sucker for any book cover which included a winged man. So, an angel? What might an angel really look like? I headed for some of the descriptions in the Bible. Hmm, three sets of wings? Why would they want threepairs of wings? How many Archangels are there really? What’s the difference between Archangels (capital A) and archangels (little a)? Somehow, twenty thousand words got written almost before I stopped for breath. But that story will have to wait until the full Choices and Consequences series is published.
As for the idea for Choices and Consequences, that started with a dream. If you haven’t read book 1, Strand of Faith, this is a Spoiler Alert. I dreamt the scene at the end of Strand of Faith where Prospero wraps his cloak around Leonie and proposes to her. (No, I have no idea what that says about my unconscious mind!) It was very intense in my dream and I needed to find out what happened to lead up to it, and what would happen next. Slowly, I started to ask questions, find answers and fit the pieces together. As I did so, other things in the world around me influenced what those answers and pieces were.
Surprisingly, one of those influences was a hymn. I am absolutely tone deaf. If I start singing, those around me wince. My only defence is that the Bible says make a joyfulnoise, not make a tunefulnoise. I can do joyful. Despite being tone deaf, I enjoy listening to music, but because I’m tone deaf, the influences are more about the lyrics than the tune.
Underlying the whole foundation and world building of Choices and Consequences, and particularly House St Peter (where the first two books are set) and House Tennant is Graham Kendrick’s Beauty for Brokenness, also sometimes known as God of the Poor. It was written in 1993 for the 25thanniversary of the charity Tearfund. It was influenced by a visit that Graham Kendrick made to India in 1992 and his perception of the contrast between Indian poverty and Western affluence. I wanted to build a world that tried to live up to those lyrics.
I can identify any number of other influences. Certainly my hobbies and interests affect my characters. Leonie loves reading and chocolate chip cookies because I do. Prospero is very musical because I’m not. Herbs are used extensively in medicine and cooking because I enjoy growing them. Most of those are just details, fleshing out the world and the characters. As far as the plot goes, well, we live in Lancashire, but our eldest was born in Yorkshire. I’ve always been fascinated by the War of the Roses, which at the time was known more as the Cousins’ War. And I’m involved at our local Youth Theatre which was putting on a version of Romeo and Juliet. But you’ll have to read the full series to find out just how both of those impact on the story!
Find out more about Rachel’s books:
Thread Of Hope
The enthralling sequel to the compelling Strand of Faith.
What if your secrets are so dangerous they could destroy the one you love?
Is honesty always the best policy?
Leonie may have run away but Prosperowill find her. He loves her and he wants a future with her by his side whatever the consequences. Only when he does find her, he ought to tell her who he really is, outside the monastery. That’ll make her run again. Dare he risk it? But if he doesn’t tell her, someone else may…
Marriage to Prospero is what Leonie wants most and the one thing she knows she can’t have. If he found out what she was really like, what she’d been, what she’d done, he’d despise her and she couldn’t bear that. Better to leave now than live a lie – but it’s harder than she expected. If only…
Gabriel is starting to discover the secrets inherent in Leonie, secrets that not even she knows, secrets that will tear the world apart. And the secrets he is keeping are tearing him apart. How can sacrificing those he loves possibly achieve peace when everything he discovers risks the death of millions?
During the book tour Strand of Faith will be at 99p, Thread of Hope is priced at £2.99.
Strand of Faith details…
A girl. A monk. An unthinkable sacrifice. When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide?
In a post-apocalyptic future, a girl and a monk, both with extraordinary mental powers, have compelling reasons not to fall in love. But their choices will have consequences for the rest of the world.
After the troubles of his youth, Brother Prospero has found comfort and fulfilment in the monastery. Then he discovers something that forces him to reconsider his whole vocation. How can it possibly be right to leave a life of worship and service for human desire? And if he does leave, will the pressures from his past destroy him?
Orphaned and mistreated, Leonie has found sanctuary and safety at the Abbey. When she comes into contact with Prospero everything spirals out of her control. Everyone she’s ever loved has died. She can’t do that to him. But how can she walk away from the first place she’s truly belonged?
Abbot Gabriel is faced with an impossible choice. He can do nothing and watch the world descend into war. Or he can manipulate events and ensure peace – at the cost of two lives that he is responsible for. Is he strong enough to sacrifice those he loves?
Rachel J Bonner is the author of the four book Choices and Consequences series, the first of which, Strand of Faith, is due out in November 2018.
Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in paranormal romance. Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun. When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club. Target shooting only, honest. Nothing to worry about.
She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary. It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.
Giveaway to Win Signed copies of both Strand of Faith and Thread of Hope, plus bookmarks and business cards that match each book, and one of the Holding Crosses that the monks and nuns have.(Open INT)*
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
I have read so many fantastic books this year, some by authors I hadn’t heard of before. So I’ve decided to do a post to share some of them with you. I really enjoy finding books by new authors and I have come across many in book groups, forums and on Twitter. Here are the ones that I couldn’t put down. I’ll share a few every couple of weeks.
This whole series by Heidi Catherine was so good. I bought the first book, then had to download the others as soon as they were available. If you like books that will lift your spirits and weave a story of love and loss through the ages, then give these books a try.
Love in La La Land and The Secret were two very different books. One lighthearted and glamorous, one intense and full of secrets and drama. Both beautifully written and enough to make me stay up reading them into the night.
Katharine Johnson likes writing about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. She’s passionate about old houses and the stories they have to tell. She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire but spends as much time as she can in the Lucca area of Tuscany. When not writing you’ll find her exploring cities, drinking coffee, playing netball badly and walking her madcap spaniel
This is the second book set at Villa Leonida, the house at the centre of The Silence which was published last year but it’s a standalone story.
In The Silence some bodies were discovered at Villa Leonida, an idyllic holiday home, during a children’s game of hide-and-seek on a family holiday. They were found to relate back to the summer of 1992.
A year on, in The Secret, the villa has been put up for sale. Which for elderly resident Sonia can only mean one thing – that the renewed interest and gossip will lead to the discovery of her own secret which relates to that same evening at the villa in 1992.
But while she’s desperate to keep the past hidden another resident, Carlo, can’t leave it alone. He’s determined to discover the truth about a wartime atrocity in which Sonia’s mother and his own played a part.
Here’s the blurb:
Love, lies and betrayal in wartime Italy. Two girls growing up in Mussolini’s Italy share a secret that has devastating consequences. Against a backdrop of fear, poverty and confusion during the Second World War friendship is tested and loyalties divided. But a chance encounter changes everything. The girls’ lives diverge when beautiful, daring Martina marries and moves into Villa Leonida, the most prestigious house I their Tuscan village while plain, studious Irena trains to be a teacher.
But neither marriage, nor life at Villa Leonida are as Martina imagined. And as other people’s lives take on a new purpose, Irena finds herself left behind.
Decades later a tragedy at the villa coincides with the discovery of an abandoned baby whose identity threatens to re-open old wounds. While Irena’s son is determined to get to the truth, Martina’s daughter is desperate to keep the past hidden.
The Secretis published by Crooked Cat Books and is available in paperback £6.99 and kindle £1.99 here: http://thesecretjohnson
A Journey into the Unknown by author Karen Ingalls.
My close friend exclaimed, “You must get this published. Every woman needs to read this.” I had reluctantly agreed to let her read my journal that I had kept since my cancer diagnosis. It was just one part of many journals I had kept starting around the age of ten. I had written poetry, short stories, and in my late teens I began my first novel. My times of writing were therapeutic and private. I found answers to the chaos in my dysfunctional family even though I never even told anyone that I did any writing. Though I dreamed of being a famous author, I did not believe that I had the talent. My family was not one to give out compliments regarding my grades, art projects, or how I looked.
Fifty years later, I was encouraged to publish my journal as a memoir, but I at the same time I felt overwhelmed and frightened. Yet, I had a sense of determination that carried me through. It was 2010, just two years since my diagnosis and little did I know that at 69, my life would forever be changed, renewed, and rewarded.
I went to the local bookstore and purchased a large book with instructions on how to write a query letter and lists of thousands of publishers and agents. One literary agent taught at Columbine High School at the same as a friend of mine. I used his name in introducing myself and sent an overview of and an excerpt from my manuscript. That rejection letter was one of approximately thirty. Such letters made me feel rejected and childhood memories tried to raise their ugly heads, but once again I turned to my mantra, “I can do this”.
I Googled for publishing houses in my area, the Twin Cities of Minnesota. One company asked for an overview of the manuscript to send to their email address. I not only sent my memoir, but I included my then finished novel which I had begun to write as a teenager. A half hour later I received a phone call from Beaver’s Pond Press. “Are you free tomorrow, I would love to meet with you?” Dara Beevas asked.
We concentrated on the memoir first since the market is narrower and be easier to sell. Over the next year I learned about editing, book design, marketing, selling, blogs, and social media. A whole new world opened up to me. My book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir was published in March 2012. I set up accounts with CreateSpace and Amazon, ordered books, and had my first launch.
Here are the main points I learned and continue to learn on this journey:
1. Believe in yourself.
2. Be willing to accept criticism and suggestions from those in the publishing world. Be open to learning.
3. Search the Internet for information on how to write a query letter, addresses of publishers and agents, independent author organizations.
4. Become familiar with social media.
5. Find an excellent editor. Your editor will bring your story to life and help you see errors that you have read over many times.
6. Know that marketing your book is the hardest task you will have, but do not be discouraged. This is where other authors, book or author organizations on the Internet can be of great help.
7. Join book clubs. The one I have found most helpful, supportive and enjoyable is Rave Reviews Book Club.
I have two published novels and a memoir. Now I am working on my third novel and second memoir. I have many published articles and am a speaker for a variety of different groups. I have two blogs. One is more for my memoir emphasizing health/wellness, spirituality and relationships at http://www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com. My second blog is Mind, Pen, & Spirit for authors and avid readers at http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com. I welcome you to follow my blogs and do a guest blog.
I am no longer a novice author, but a published author who continues to follow her dream. My journey as an author has been a wonderful learning experience, an opportunity to challenge myself, and a way to meet incredible authors and those who enjoy books. So, I encourage you to pick up the pen, write, and publish your book. Follow your dream.
Karen Ingalls is an author of two novels, a memoir, and several publications. She has a blog for authors and avid readers Mind, Pen & Spirit at www.kareningalls.blogspot.com and welcomes guest posts. She is a member of Rave Reviews Book Club, Rave Writers International Society of Authors, Independent Authors Network, and Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club.
The Creation of a New Series by guest author Staci Trolio.
Hi, everybody. I’m glad to be here today. Thanks for spending a few minutes with me.
The second installment of my Nightforce Security Series, Gamble, just released. I have a few standalone pieces, but I mostly write series. Over the course of my fiction career, I’ve been asked about my decision to write series rather than single titles. So, I thought I’d share my process with you.
Quite often, when a storyline forms in my mind, it develops in discrete chunks. When I link them altogether, the true story forms. Each installment is the “short game” or, in other words, what the villain hopes to accomplish at that particular time. But the series on the whole is the “long game” or the resolution of the overarching problem—the villain’s ultimate goal and whether it is achieved. In the case of my Cathedral Lake Series, the stories followed the Keller family. The first novel started with a family tragedy, and the last novel ended with all the mysteries solved. The process was similar with my Medici Protectorate Series. The first book began with a family in peril and ended with the danger revealed and dealt with.
But I started the Nightforce Security Series with a different goal in mind. There was a secondary character in my Medici Protectorate Series who really spoke to me. He had a story of his own, and not just as support for other main characters. This guy, Danny Caruso, was a lead character stuck in the background, and he really needed to be put in the spotlight. That’s how Passwordcame to be. Funny thing was, Danny had supporting characters in his story who also had lives worth examining. And that’s how my new series was born.
Instead of shorter installments as the overarching problem was resolved, these are standalone stories all linked together through character association. All of my heroes are employees at Nightforce Security, and every one of them is a magnet for strong women and dangerous situations.
If you’re a novelist with a list of standalone titles and you’re considering writing a series, you’ve got a few options.
Make the same character your hero in each standalone work. (Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Follow a different character in each story, starting with a problem in book one and solving it in the end of the last novel. (Sign of Seven Series by Nora Roberts)
Or, and this might be easiest for you, mine your existing novels for secondary characters that seem to have more to say, then write their stories. In other words, a spinoff. (Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them, a spinoff of the Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling)
I usually follow the second option, but with my newest series, I’m following the third, and I have to say it’s been a lot of fun taking supporting characters and making them stars. Even better, I get to revisit beloved characters whose stories are over. My readers and I miss them, so their cameo appearances are enjoyable for all of us.
If you’re thinking of making the move from standalone novels to series writing, maybe this method will make for an easy transition for you.
Blurb for Gamble:
Sometimes stakes are too high to gamble. Other times they’re too high not to.
Noah Crawford is a consummate bachelor—until a one-night stand piques his interest in something more. The only problem is, she wouldn’t give him her name, and he has no way to find her.
A week later, resigned to forgetting her, he accompanies his friends to a casino. Floor traffic promises to be light while everyone clusters at the sportsbook for the college basketball championship game. But Noah isn’t in the mood for frivolity and sets off on his own. No one is more surprised than he is when he bumps into his mystery woman.
He’s playing a far different game than cards when armed criminals take over the poker room. Noah is separated from his friends, and somehow the room has been cut off from security. Help isn’t coming. It’s up to him to keep everyone safe while he tries to thwart the gunmen.
Noah quickly realizes he’s trying to prevent more than a simple heist. And he doesn’t know who he can trust. The stakes have never been higher, and he’s all in. But one of the thieves might have an ace up his sleeve, and that could cost Noah everything.
Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.