Teaching down south-west?

Cornish Village School: Second Chances Book Cover Cornish Village School: Second Chances
Cornish Village School series Book 2
Kitty Wilson
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Canelo Escape
4 Oct. 2018

Ex-ballerina and single mum Sylvie is in trouble. Juggling her ballet classes in the next village, preparing shy Sam for his first day at Penmenna Village school and trying to finally move out from the farm she shares with her cantankerous Uncle Tom means life is anything but easy.

Television Journalist Alex is facing challenges of his own. Seeking a calmer environment for his newly adopted daughter, Ellie, he’s swapped reporting in war zones for the school PTA in quiet Penmenna, where his best friend Chase has persuaded him to start laying some roots.

Fireworks ignite when Sylvie and Alex meet but as Ellie and Sam become instant best friends, will they be able to keep things strictly platonic for the sake of the children?

 

The Author tells all:

Kitty Wilson tells us some secrets.

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

I knew I wanted to write romantic comedy, it’s what I love to escape into and is what I found myself writing whenever I put pen to paper. No matter how seriously I would begin, a little bit of romance and my sense of humour would sneak in. So, with genre decided, I then had to choose the subject matter.

There is an old adage ‘write what you know’ and as a new writer I thought it was worth following. Up until very recently I was lucky enough to have lived in Cornwall for twenty-five years (the first and much of the second book in the series were written whilst I was still there) and when living there became a parent and a primary school teacher, teaching infants in a reception class. So, when it came to story ideas I had to think what do I know? And the answer was Cornwall, schools and small children.

Luckily these are three things that I don’t just know but am passionate about. All three things make my soul sing loud. I’m hoping that is what makes my books slightly different, especially with so much women’s fiction set in Cornwall, the fact that I really know the county and love it, inside out.

The setting allowed me to create a fictional village where I could write about a strong sense of community, something that is very true of the Cornish. They look after each other. Community is important to me and although my books are light-hearted feelgood fiction, having a strong community around my characters allows me to explore the fact that all humans, no matter how lovely their life appears, have difficult things to deal with. And it is frequently the support of others that help us navigate the trickier times.

Having been both sides of the school door, as parent and teacher gives me insight, I hope, into how school communities work. As supportive as communities are I used to be amazed at how the playground can often be fiercely competitive, with parental games of one-upmanship and I wanted to write about this, but in a gently comedic way. I remember one mother used to quiz all the parent volunteers on their qualifications because she wanted to make sure they were people she deemed suitable for sitting and reading with her child!

I hope that my passion for the setting, the subject matter and the themes of each book come through to provide happy, escapist and reassuring reads.

  1. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

I have lost count of how many rejections I had before I got the first book in this series published. I had written a romcom before The Cornish Village School which I loved, it was based around an old stately home, a reality show and a new age guru and I naively assumed it would get published as soon as it was finished. I sent it everywhere and had rejection after rejection after rejection. This served the very useful purpose of forcing me to develop a thick skin and accept that getting published was a process and that each rejection was a step along the way. It also taught me the importance of editing my work. Whilst I may have thought a polished first draft was the finished article, all my rejections taught me that there was usually a lot more work to do and that work is best done with a fresh eye. The well-known suggestion to put your work away and then look at it again with an editing hat on is very sage advice, if time constraints allow.

I think tenacity is a vital quality for any wannabe author to have, most of us are going to be rejected time and time again before we get accepted and the one thing that is sure is that if you give up you’re never going to see that book in print.

3. What is your favourite genre?

I write romcom and I love to read it. I love being able to curl up with a book and lose myself in the romance of the will they, won’t they (when we know they will) of the genre. If it makes me giggle as well as sigh with the romanticism of it all, then I am very happy indeed. However, I like to mix up my reading so don’t just stick to one genre. I’m an avid devourer of historical fiction as well, and love a saga. I occasionally like to read literary fiction, have read a huge range of classics albeit in my teens and twenties and have recently dipped a toe into the murky world of crime (reading it, not doing it!). As long as it’s well written and pacy then I’m going to be a fan!

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

When I was eight years old I snuck one of my mother’s Jilly Cooper books out of the bookshelf and smuggled it upstairs. I read five chapters before I reluctantly accepted I didn’t understand a word and popped it back again. However, as a worldly-wise adolescent I gobbled them up. I had always been an avid reader but Jilly Cooper introduced me to romance as opposed to the derring-do of adventure. I was hooked. Not only did she write romance, she wrote it with humour. So, by introducing me to the genre, she had a huge influence. 

  1. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I am a shocking squirrel, I struggle to throw anything out. Much to the children’s disgust I still have all their teeth and I have even kept the bunk-bed screws from when my mother finally dismantled it (I loved that bed). This means that I have everything I have ever written. More or less.

I moved house earlier in the year and going through the attic I realised I had kept everything, all my exercise books from primary and secondary school, even my rough notes for essays. I’ve also kept every single silly scribbled note that you pass between your friends when you supposed to be doing geography. So, all the writing I did in school can be guaranteed to be in the attic, in fact I read a fair amount of it as I was having my clear out. Will any of it be re-jigged to try and get it to publishable standard? I think not. But if nothing else the poems of my tortured teens gave me a jolly good laugh all these years on.

 

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Author Bio: Kitty Wilson lived in Cornwall for twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. She is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom – and that her own children aren’t as hideous. Recently she has moved to Bristol, but only for love and on the understanding that she and her partner will be returning to Cornwall to live very soon. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard, dreaming of the beach or bombing back down the motorway for a quick visit! She has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.

Twitter: @KittyWilson23

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A blitz of a book!

If She Were Blind
The After Twelve, #1
Laney Wylde
Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Thriller
Crimson Tree Publishing
October 22nd 2018

Not everyone can get justice the traditional way—that’s where Estlyn Collins comes in. A young lawyer in Santa Monica, her “legal” service, After Twelve, works outside the courtroom to tip the scales when the justice system has failed.

For a price.

Thanks to her powerful underground network, Estlyn’s success rate is stellar, and her inbox stays filled with inquires from the desperate and vengeful. But when one of those names is a ghost from her past seeking vengeance against her, she’s shaken to her core. Off balance and scared to be alone, she makes an impulsive move for a guy. He’s a complication she doesn’t have time for, but it turns out he may also be an unlikely—if unwitting—asset.

Treading the rapidly thinning line between personal and professional, Estlyn pursues her target while outrunning the one on her own back—only to find she may be running into a lot more than she bargained for

IF SHE WERE BLIND is the first book in the engaging New Adult series AFTER TWELVE by author Laney Wylde. Perfect for fans of the television shows REVENGE, SCANDAL, and VERONICA MARS, the AFTER TWELVE Series is a gritty social-issue drama that delivers steamy romance, intrigue, and the most bittersweet revenge plots. Estlyn’s determination to right every wrong is sure to quench your thirst for justice, yet leave you wanting more.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40866623-if-she-were-blind

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-she-were-blind-laney-wylde/1129186876?ean=9781634223386

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“The Privilege to Write About Race”

I was eighteen the first time someone made me feel shitty about the color of my skin.

It was my sophomore year at Biola University, a Christian college in Los Angeles County committed to racial reconciliation. That fall, at our annual Torrey Bible Conference, to which attendance was required, a black speaker addressed the topic of racial injustice. At least, that’s what I think he talked about. I stopped listening after he told the gym full of mostly pale students that white people were racists.

I couldn’t believe it. He listed half a dozen races, victimizing each one for the challenges they faced. I waited for him to say something about whites. We were the last he mentioned, saying we simply didn’t understand what black people endured.

How dare he, I thought. How dare he assume that because my ancestors were from Europe that I held a hatred toward people who look like him. How dare he presume to know anything about me. Because he didn’t. He didn’t know that some of the most influential women of my adolescent years were black, that one of my exboyfriends was Mexican, that I had friends of all colors and shapes and sizes.

It’s funny now to reflect on that rage I felt. I made it to eighteen before someone stigmatized my race. I doubt the speaker had made it that long.

Fast forward six years. My husband and I were watching a documentary on Netflix called 13th about mass incarceration in the United States. Several men and women, white and black, were interviewed. Whenever a white person spoke about institutionalized racism black people still face in the United States, I listened. When a black person did, I did my best not to roll my eyes.

That’s white privilege.

Privilege is an insidious force. It was invisible to me, because, like many others, I just didn’t know any different. I was raised to be colorblind, and consequently never attributed injustice to race. In fact, calling out the police or politicians or the church or any individual on anything less than involvement in the KKK was unfair.

Because if a cop shot a black man, it was because he wasn’t compliant, because he was running, because he deserved it. If he was in prison for life, it was because he broke a law that warranted that kind of sentence. If he was poor, it was because he didn’t work hard enough.

Black people told me otherwise. They protested through tears. They shared stories of the sons they lost to police brutality. They voiced the pain of being stereotyped as criminals. But I didn’t listen.

Until a white person said something.

I’m not proud of this. But I think it’s important to admit, to say out loud that I had and still have blindspots because of my privileged skin. Because maybe other people with skin light as mine will feel free to say the same, and start asking questions they once thought they had the answers to.

So many of us are afraid to say that we’re ignorant, that we just don’t know. But, guess what: when I approached my black friends with questions about what it’s like to be them, they answered. Happily. They assured me that there’s nothing wrong with not knowing. There’s only something wrong with refusing to learn.

When I started writing If She Were Blind, the first installment of the After Twelve series, I wanted to explore racial issues by writing from the perspective of characters of color. I wrote these characters in first person so I could feel the fear, the indigence, the often futile fight against a false inferiority placed on them.

It was the first time I wept for the people whose stories I had once refused to hear.

So, I wrote If She Were Blind not only to revolutionize my own perspective, but for everyone else like me––those who need someone who looks like them to validate the stories of those who don’t.

Because privilege is only insidious if you never use it to speak for those who don’t have it.

Author Bio

Laney Wylde is enamored with all things southern California–the traffic, smog, surprise earthquakes, and nonindigenous palm trees. Consequently, it’s the landscape her strong and sometimes lovable female leads paint their stories on. Her New Adult novels Never Touched and the After Twelve series are bright with provocative themes, steamy romance, and inappropriately timed humor.

When Laney isn’t writing, she’s singing Taylor Swift with her little boy or asking her husband not to tell her about his work as a surgical resident while she’s eating. She daydreams about using her math degree to get into law school, then realizes that would be too much work and that she should just play pretend court on paper instead. While she loves a good book, nothing beats 30 Rock with a bag of popcorn and M&Ms.

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Enter the Magicians

Three Mages and a Margarita Book Cover Three Mages and a Margarita
The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1
Annette Marie
New Adult, Urban Fantasy
September 14th 2018
Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview—to see if I’d mesh with their “special” clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That’s the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they…offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn’t a bar. It’s a guild.  And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I’m exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there’s a good reason no one else wants to work here.

So what’s a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course—with a pay raise.

Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy


In the words of:

Annette Marie

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

The Guild Codex series was spawned entirely from a single idea: a human who found herself working for a guild. What crazy adventures would her magical customers drag her into her? What would they be like? And what would she be like—a girl without magic who could hold a job among the magically gifted?

I couldn’t let the idea go, and before I knew it, the characters had taken form and the world was half built. The Guild Codex offers the same fast-paced, high-adrenaline adventure and complex magic of my other books, but my approach differed a bit. Three Mages and a Margarita is all about fun and sass—a lighter read with as much humor as action.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

Every book and series is different, but in the case of the Guild Codex series, I started planning about two years before Three Mages and a Margarita came out. I was already working on the Spell Weaver trilogy, so the shiny new idea had to take a backseat, but in my downtime, I developed more about the characters and world. I have pages upon pages of notes, both handwritten and typed up.

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

As a fantasy/urban fantasy author, I haven’t often needed to take my research beyond reference books and Google, but I did reach out to a police department with a question about their uniforms. Calling them was too terrifying, so I fell back on Facebook. They answered my question in less than a day. Don’t be afraid to reach out! Most people are happy to help an author with their research.

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

I’ve been influenced by many authors, but the first one to really strike a chord with me was Anne Bishop and her Black Jewels Trilogy. I love her writing style, the depth and complexity of her characters, and the way she can shift seamlessly from dark, poetic prose to laugh-out-loud humor. Her books are ones that stay with you long after you finish reading them.

Author Bio

Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

http://www.authorannettemarie.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8546572.Annette_Marie

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnetteMarie

 

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S’More – not a pudding

Love You S'More Book Cover Love You S'More
(The Campfire Series Book 3)
Beth Merlin
Adult, Comedy, Contemporary
Firefly Hill Press, LLC
(25 Sept. 2018)

Having successfully designed the wedding gown of the century, Gigi Goldstein is on top of the world – that is until it all suddenly comes crashing down around her. When the paparazzi captures her and Perry Gillman in a compromising moment the night of the royal wedding, she finds herself entangled in a scandal of global proportion. Convinced her carelessness has ruined every relationship in her life, she’s surprised and moved by her boyfriend, Gideon’s, sudden proposal of marriage and accepts it without a second thought.

Four months later, Gigi’s living at Badgley Hall contemplating an entirely new kind of life, while guilt, regret, and obligation keep calling her back to her old one. Will Gigi stay in South Gloucestershire, marry Gideon, and become the Countess of Harronsby?

Or, will unfinished opportunities and an old flame bring her back across the pond to confront her past and reclaim her future?

Love You S’More – the author speaks

 1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

I do a lot of my research on the fly. I usually decide on the story element I need and then go in search of the thing that fits the bill. For example, in Love You S’more, Gigi chairs the Met Ball. I wanted to find something that would tie the Met Ball to Perry and Elizabeth. I stumbled onto a famous gown, the Rainbow Portrait Gown, worn by Elizabeth I that I could use in the story to bring Perry and Gigi together. I ended up doing a ton of research on the dress to make sure I got the details just right. The real Rainbow Portrait gown was unfortunately destroyed a few hundred years ago, but it was a fun element to use in the book.

  1. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

As a writer who didn’t have the budget to fly to London to research S’more to Lose and Love You S’more, the Internet was certainly my best resource. I scoured different sites to learn things like how many steps there were up to the Whispering Gallery in St. Paul’s Cathedral or what’s included in the Downton Abbey Tour. I think as writers we are living in very fortunate times, so much information is right at our fingertips.

  1. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Unfortunately for me, it does not…and I haven’t been able to quit my day job yet. 😊 The challenge, of course, is finding time to write while having a day job. I write early in the morning, late at night – basically any time I can squeeze it in.

  1. What is your favourite genre?

I love historical fiction, anything that has a sweeping epic sort of feel appeals to me like Gone with the Wind, North and South, The Thorn Birds, Game of Thrones. I’m a very fast reader, so I actually like when a book is a few hundred to even a thousand pages. Of course, I am also a huge fan of chick lit.

  1. If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

Anyone who wants to write “chick lit,” should start with Jane Austin. She nailed the genre before it even was one. Her books have some the best sexual tension and relationship plot devices of anything that’s ever been written!  In terms of living authors, I love Meg Wolitzer, Ken Follet, John Irving, and Sophie Kinsella.

  1. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

Parts of some of my short stories from when I studied Creative Writing in undergrad have ended up in the Campfire Series. One story in particular had a lot of the themes from One S’more Summer and I borrowed some dialogue I liked. The rest are in a folder in a box in my attic. I pull them out for ideas from time to time.

 

Author Bio:

Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36603938-love-you-s-more?ac=1&from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0764HVZ4S/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-you-smore-beth-merlin/1127182226?ean=9781943858156

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-you-smore/id1308724265?mt=11

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/love-you-s-more

http://www.bethmerlin.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16493075.Beth_Merlin   https://www.facebook.com/bethfmerlin/

https://twitter.com/bethmerlin80

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/eed0146c2/

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What Trouble? The Author Speaks

Nothing But Trouble Book Cover Nothing But Trouble
Irresistible Billionaires #1
Ashley Bostock
contemporary fiction, romance, Adult,

Billionaire CEO Michael Vilander needed just one date. Creating a fake profile on his own matchmaking website may not have been his brightest move. But then Sophia Baldwin’s arresting face pops up on his CHAT NOW feature. Not only is she gorgeous, but after spending half the night exchanging messages with her, he finds her to be naive, innocent and way too sexy.

Twenty-four-year-old Sophia Baldwin is barely able to make ends meet. Caring for her sick grandmother prevents her from having a normal life—aspirations of attending college full-time to become a nurse are on the back burner—but then she meets the charming and dazzling Clint on an online dating site. When he asks her to the Denver Arts Foundation’s Annual Valentine’s Day Gala, she’s confident things are looking up.

Once Sophia learns that her hot date is none other than website mogul Michael Vilander, she’s definitely not mentioning her night job. What’s a lie by omission anyway? After all, it’s only one date…Until Michael’s ex flaunts her fancy engagement ring in Michael’s face and something compels Sophia to announce her and Michael’s engagement. AKA, fake engagement. They agree on one month to pretend they’re in love before all bets are off.

Pretending to be in love with a sweet and sexy billionaire, but not actually falling in love, ahem, how hard could it be?

An Interview with Ashley 

Author Bio:

Ashley Bostock is a Colorado Native and currently lives in Nebraska, with daydreams of moving back home. All her books feature sexy-as-hell heroes and strong heroines. She loves reading any chance she gets – Jill Shalvis, M. O’Keefe, Rachel Gibson, Karen Robards and Jennifer Probst are some of her favorites! Ashley loves traveling – in a wanderlust’s eyes, she’s hardly touched the world but to those that rarely travel, she’s been everywhere. Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Turks & Caicos, Russia, China, Tahiti, Vietnam and Scotland, just to name a few.

Ashley is addicted to Instagram – if you want to follow her there: www.instagram.com/ashleybostock

If you want to stay in the know about new releases and receive EXCLUSIVE content, sign up for Ashley’s newsletter at this address: https://www.subscribepage.com/ashleybostock

http://www.ashleybostock.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12492128.Ashley_Bostock

https://www.facebook.com/authorashleybostock

https://twitter.com/_AshleyBostock

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

Well, depends. If I get an idea for a book or series but am currently writing a different book or I’m mid-series with something else, I take notes and write things down to go back to at a later date. The second I find a series or book to write, it sort of makes the decision for me as I’m writing book one. Like whether or not there is going to be a book three or book five. I think about what tropes I would like to see in the books. I enjoy friends-to-lovers and enemies to lovers as well as fake relationships turned real. This is if I’m mid-series. If I’m not, then I write whatever my heart is telling me to write. That could be notes I’ve taken previously, stories that I’ve maybe written the first ten pages of, or it could be a completely new idea that I have no notes for! I use a notebook to keep ideas in and note cards for scenes/plotting while I’m writing.

  1. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Not for me it hasn’t yet. It’s a slow process that takes a lot of work and dedication. It only happens overnight for very few people! Check back with me about how long it takes – I’m currently on my fourth year of self-publishing.

 3. What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I enjoy reading romance novels. Authors from the Avon line are usually my favorite: Jill Shalvis, Sophie Jordan, Lori Wilde and Rachel Gibson. I also enjoy reading romantic suspense – Karen Robards and Tess Gerritsen.

  1. What is your favourite genre?

Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance as well as Romantic Suspense. Those are my top three.

 

  1. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

Again, going back to the Avon line, I think my writing is influenced by those authors. However, I do like my sex scenes a little more explicit and spicier. I love the way those authors write. I just read Sophie Jordan’s Beautiful Lawman and I couldn’t put it down. I read it in a day. I strive to accomplish that for my readers.

 

  1. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I still have the things I wrote from high school. A lot of poems and some short stories as well as class assignments that I’ve kept.

 

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