Hello everyone. It’s a bank holiday weekend and I’m looking forward to relaxing with a good book! I hope you are too.
I don’t think we take enough time to sit back and rejuvenate after a long week of work and we are somehow conditioned to believe that if we are sitting still, that we are wasting time. Drinking a coffee and reading a magazine or book by a great view and having a little time off of work, not only makes me come back to my desk invigorated (not just by the coffee), but means I’m not too exhausted to begin work again.
I’m not sure how we can start to be a bit kinder to ourselves and to understand we are worth the fun and relaxation of taking time out and not looking at our phones or keyboards for a few hours. How we feel inside should offer as much validation as social media likes and praise, but somehow it feels like there is an imbalance. Our mental health is sometimes overlooked and grabbing a great book is a wonderful way to take time for yourself, jump into different dimensions and to basically have a good laugh. I’m going to try and read at least one book every couple of weeks this year and I’m sure I’ll enjoy every minute.
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.
Hi everyone. This was supposed to be an introducing post for an author, but there was a last minute change of plan. I thought I’d tell you all about my latest book. I have written about 45% of my 7th book and have had to do a bit of juggling as I’m currently also updating the first three books I wrote. I’ve just got one more edit of the third book and all of my books will have shiny new covers and tighter stories.
I visited Spain for a few days and it was wonderful to walk by the sea, catch up on reading some books I’ve been meaning to read for ages and also to relax a little. I took some photos of the books I finished, as I thought the authors might like to see their books travelling abroad. I really enjoy seeing photos of my own books sent in by readers when they travel, so I decided to take some snaps too and let the authors know. They were very happy, which made my day.
Do you take photos of books you read whilst abroad and share them with the authors? It’s a big help for them if they are allowed to use them for publicity and it’s also a lot of fun. Have a great week.
Happy new week everyone. What inspires your writing? For me it’s either getting to a point in a new story that I can’t wait to write, or sitting somewhere with a beautiful view. Just taking in the scenery is often enough to lift my mood and make me want to start writing. If you are feeling frustrated with finding time to write, then taking a walk and a notepad can refresh your mojo enough to get back to your work flow when you return.
I carry a notepad everywhere and often jot down characteristics of people I see when I’m wandering around and I like to note clothing, stance, how people use their hands to express themselves and other details like that. It comes in handy when I’m forming characters in my mind. Although they are often jumping up and down and introducing themselves before I’ve finished the previous manuscript, so I have to hold them back and tell them to be patient.
I hope you find some amazing new books to read this week!
Today’s special guest is Francine Beaton. She’s a fellow member of the Romantic Novelists Association and I’ll certainly be adding her books to my TBR list.
FRANCINE BEATON is a romance writer who lives in South Africa with her Scottish husband and teenage daughter. When she’s not reading or writing about love and Happily Ever After, she’s most likely busy painting or taking photos of everything that catches her eye. During rugby season, you’ll either find her next to the pitch or in front of the television, following her favourite teams. It’s probably not difficult to figure out why her debut novel, Eye on the Ball, as well as the series, Playing for Glory, has rugby as a theme. Whenever she gets the opportunity, she loves travelling to faraway places and considers Scotland her second home.
Hello everyone. I’ve been busily writing a new novel and am now over halfway there. I’ve changed my routine and have been going to the gym more… not to work out, as I have an injury, but to sit and write. Originally I took my work there as a way to keep myself in the habit of going to the gym, but now I find I can easily write 1-2,000 words in a couple of hours. I think it is because I know I will only be there for a a short while and I set myself a 1,000 word target, which I’m disappointed if I don’t reach. Do you find a change of scenery helps with your flow of words?
For todays marketing tips, I was thinking of the fact that I’ve been contacted by some bookshops recently and asked to do some author visits and book signings. These were wonderful and I’m looking forward to them. They saw my interaction with readers online and contacted me about visiting their shops. So here are my 3 quick tips for being asked to book signings.
Be social on social media and show your personality. Why would you be a good fit for a bookstore looking to fill their calendar with new authors?
Have a website that is easy to find, fits your brand and has a way for bookshops to contact you. Be professional.
Make it as easy as possible for the bookshop owner. Have press releases ready for them to send out. Have book links etc available for them and have author photos and book covers sent over for them to use in marketing material.
I’m sure it’s the same for everyone when we begin a new year and we set goals and try to achieve fresh dreams. For me, I am trying to find more writing time each day to complete the updates I started last year on some of my earliest books. I have managed to redesign all of my website headers, social media branding and anything to do with my book to reflect my genre, which is romance. I am also thinking of new ways to make my readers smile. I put a Facebook post up at the very start of the year which said my aim is to get as many people smiling as possible from reading my books. It received some really nice reactions, which is wonderful. When readers tell me that my work has made them happy for a while, it makes me want to rush to my desk and write more. My first book really got me through some tough times, so I write stories to hopefully give people a little time out from everyday worries and to help them focus on relaxing with a fun filled read for a while.
I currently have a finished manuscript, which I hope will be out in the not to distant future and I am about 20,000 words into writing a new story, which I am really enjoying. I hope that you are all enjoying what you are doing in life and that 2019 brings you a year full of smiles! From Lizzie.
A change from introducing a different author here today, I’m going to share some of my favourite photos from 2018. I launched two new books with my publisher last year and there are so many wonderful memories. I had no idea how special it would feel to hold the first ever paperback of one of my books and to be a traditionally published author. I had two virtual and physical book launches, which I’d never done before and begun my Facebook Group, Lizzie’s Book Group, for writers, to share my experiences.
I also saw my books become international bestsellers and to reach the #1 Hot New realise spot on Amazon. I couldn’t have done any of that without the support of my readers or the writing community, who have shown me endless kindness and shared news of my work with their friends and family and on their blogs and websites.
I’m excited to have finished writing a new book and have begun my 7th novel, so I will keep you updated on what is happening in 2019 and beyond! Happy New Year everyone.
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.
Introducing a fabulous festive read by author Sun Chara, All Wrapped Up. I’m delighted to be part of this book tour today. If you enjoy reading books set around Christmas and your favourite genre is romance, then this is the novella for you!
Their marriage hangs in the balance, but on this wind battered Christmas Eve, a miracle is born…
When Ellie hooked up with world renowned neurosurgeon, Peter Medeci, aka ‘Prince Charming’, she thought her dreams had come true. But the demands of being the model wife to his career triggers a mutiny within her and she decides to ditch the ‘royal’ life until he sees her as more than his bedroom playmate.
Author Bio – Sun Chara, an Amazon top 100 bestseller, writes sexy, hip ‘n fun contemporary romance, and romantic comedies w/a divine twist for HarperImpulse. She makes her home in southern California, and has appeared on stage/film to rave reviews in How the Other Half Loves, General Hospital, and McGee and Me. She has a Masters Degree in Education and membership in SAG/AFTRA and Romance Writers of America. Sipping Frappuccinos topped with whipped cream/sprinkles, and dancing on the beach make everyday a celebration!
Giveaway – Win a $20 Amazon Gift card and an e-copy of All Wrapped Up In You (Open Internationally)
*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.