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It’s cold ‘up north’….

Once Upon a Duke Book Cover Once Upon a Duke
The 12 Dukes of Christmas #1
Erica Ridley
historical romance, Regency, humour
WebMotion
(9 Oct. 2018)
Kindle

Beware romantic spirits from Christmas past...

Due to the terms of an estranged relative's will, the Duke of Silkridge must revisit the cold, unforgiving mountains where he lost everything he once loved. As soon as he restores his family legacy, he'll return to London where he belongs. He definitely won't rekindle the forbidden spark crackling between him and the irresistible spitfire he'd left behind...

Noelle Pratchett is immune to charming scoundrels like the arrogant duke. He stole her heart, stole a kiss, and then stole away one night never to return. Now he's back—and they both know he won't stay. But how can she maintain her icy shields when every heated glance melts her to her core?

The Twelve Dukes of Christmas is a laugh-out-loud historical romance series of heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village. After all, nothing heats up a winter night quite like finding oneself in the arms of a duke!

Another really nice historical romance by Erica Ridley.
Here we have a Duke – who has emotional issue due his childhood and is forced into going to a place he doesn’t like, and is also forced out of his normal life patterns by events.
Erica always writes in a way that we can see her heroes and heroines from a modern contemporary viewpoint and thus feel empathy for them. Her heroines are also not demure ‘never say boo to a goose’ females. Rater they are full of vim and vigur and have minds and accomplishments that are not necessarily expected in this genre. Which is why I like to read them…

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Lucky Xmas through the author’s words

A Very Lucky Xmas Book Cover A Very Lucky Xmas
Lilac Mills
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Canelo
Release Date: 20th August 2018

Things can't get worse for Daisy Jones... can they?

Christmas is meant to be the happiest time of year so why is absolutely everything going wrong for Daisy? Reeling from a bad breakup, moving back in with her parents and hounded by trouble at work she really shouldn’t be surprised when things go from bad to worse..and she ends up in A&E!

Her great-grandmother persuaded her to plant a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud for luck but choking on the coin isn’t the ‘change’ she’d wished for. Yet when dashing Dr Noah Hartley saves the day things finally start to look up. With Christmas Day just around the corner Daisy’s determined to make her own luck...and hopefully bag herself a dishy doc in the process!

A heart-warming christmas romance perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Debbie Johnson and Daisy James

Lilac Mills tells us about Xmas

  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?

Oh, I can mull something over for years before I bite the bullet. I’m currently just finishing up some edits for Canelo (the book is due to be published in the spring) on a story I first began about 13 years ago. I wrote about thirty-thousand words, then life got in the way and I did other stuff instead, but I always intended to come back to it, and when my lovely editor asked me if I had any ideas in the pipeline, it seemed an ideal time to develop and complete this poor little book-baby. The story has changed considerably from the very first half-draft, but then novels often tend to, but the concept is the same.

I also have an ideas folder, which I’m continually adding to, but what usually happens is that something will come to me which takes precedence over all of them, and I simply have to write it until the story is out of my system.

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

It depends on the book, but so far not too long, because I’m writing about what I know or have experienced myself. A Very Lucky Christmas came about from my grandmother’s tradition of making her own Christmas pudding and putting a sixpence in it for luck. Unlike Daisy, no one in my family actually swallowed the darned thing, but there were a couple of near misses and one cracked tooth.

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

I was accepted by a publisher on the first submission, but that wasn’t just luck. I had invested a great deal of time in researching publishers, and I knew what Canelo was looking for, so my pitch to them was right, and I sent them the sort of novel I knew would fit in with other novels in their chick lit stable. Of course, there was always the possibility that they did not want to take on another author in my genre at the time I submitted to them and I was fully prepared for that, or that my writing wasn’t as good as I hoped it was!

 4. Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?

Not necessarily, and many authors don’t. I just happened to think going down the self-publishing route was viable for me at the time. I’m quite impatient, and want my stories to be published as soon as they are ready, and not to have to wait to fit in with a publisher’s time-frame. Self-publishing has been a worthwhile experience though, as I have gained insights into marketing and advertising that I otherwise might not have done.

  1. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

My publisher liked the fact that I had an online presence and also liked that I had already published three books which were fairly well received by my target audience. It could very well have gone some way towards influencing Canelo to make me an offer. Self-publishing can be a risky business though and may backfire if you don’t do it right. Editing and proofreading is a must, as is a professional cover. The right marketing helps too, because no matter how slick and polished your novel might be, if readers aren’t aware of it, it’s not going to sell.

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

It hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve only been writing chick lit for eighteen months, with four novels published so far. Unless I write something which catches the imagination of the public in a huge way, I think it will be a while yet before my income from writing matches my income from my day job. And even then, I’m not sure I’m prepared to give up my job. It’s steady income, I know what is going into my bank account at the end of every month. I can’t say that about my income from book sales.

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

Nothing. I’m rarely ill, but when I am it tends to be the flu, and all I want to do is to curl up in a ball and feel sorry for myself.

 8. What is your favourite genre?

It has to be chick lit, although I do like the occasional psychological thriller. Besides writing in the chick lit genre, it does help to read it too, to keep abreast of trends and to see what other authors are writing about.

  1. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

I’ve just read a book by Stephanie Dagg called Fa-La-Llama-La: Christmas at the Little French Llama Farm. It was hilarious. Her second in this series is due out soon, and I can’t wait to read it. There’s something about her dry humour that strikes a chord in me.

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

I didn’t write in school, apart from those things pupils were forced to write. I didn’t do any creative writing under my own steam. I don’t think I thought it was possible. To me, authors were magical beings, creating stories out of thin air. I didn’t ever believe I could join their ranks. I didn’t actually start writing until I was in my early forties, but I didn’t start with a short story, or a novella, or even a 100,000-word novel. Nope, I went for it big time, and produced a massive 320,000-word effort. Looking back, some bits of it weren’t too bad, a few bits were actually quite good, most of it was meh, and there were some parts which were pretty dire. It will never see the light of day, but I cut my authory teeth on it, so to speak. It’s hidden safely away in the depths of my laptop and there it will stay.

Authors’ bio

Previous Books: Summer on the Turquoise Coast, Sunshine at Cherry Tree Farm and Love in the City by the Sea

Lilac Mills writes feel-good romantic women’s fiction, and is the author of Love in the City by the Sea, A Very Lucky Christmas, Summer on the Turquoise Coast, and Sunshine at Cherry Tree Farm. Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework! Home for Lilac is Worcester, England.

Twitter: @LilacMills

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Daisy admits to liking Xmas treats!

Mistletoe & Mystery Book Cover Mistletoe & Mystery
Paradise Cookery School #3
Author Name: Daisy James
Genre: Women’s Fiction, food, travel
Canelo
Release Date: 8th November 2018

Welcome to the Cotswolds Festive Feast cookery course...

Fresh off the successful opening of the Paradise Cookery School in St Lucia, Millie Harper is headed to the Cotswolds for Christmas!

Co-presenting Claudia Croft’s famous Festive Feast cookery course at Stonelea Manor is a dream come true for Millie…as is reuniting with gorgeous estate manager Zach Barker.

But arriving in a winter wonderland Millie learns the manor is under a mysterious threat. It’ll take a holiday miracle, but Millie is determined to save the school and get Zach under the mistletoe to finally finish what they started in the Caribbean!

Cosy up with this fun, festive visit to the Cotswolds premier cookery school! Perfect for fans of Jenny Oliver and Sarah Morgan

If you loved Mistletoe & Mystery, why not read the first two stories in The Paradise Cookery School series? Sunshine & Secrets and Confetti & Confusions are both available now!

Mistletoe & Mystery – Daisy James

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it?

I loved writing Mistletoe & Mystery, which is the third book in the Paradise Cookery School series. The story combines two things that really fire my imagination – and my taste buds! First of all, the story takes place in a fabulous country manor in the Cotswolds where the cookery school is based and is filled with a kaleidoscope of delicious recipes. Baking is one of my favourite things to do – I find it so relaxing and there’s usually something fabulous to eat at the end of it! Secondly, the story is set at Christmas and that gave me the chance to write about all the wonderful things we do to celebrate – not to mention all the foodie treats we associate with that time of year.

  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?

I always do a lot of research before I start writing a new novel. I really enjoy this part, and to be honest, I think I probably spend too much time on it. The first two books in the Paradise Cookery School series are set on the beautiful island of St Lucia, so I had an amazing few months taking virtual tours of the fabulous beaches, the lush rainforests, and the picturesque towns and markets all over the island. I listened to Caribbean music, learnt about the food and spices that are grown there, and tried out lots of amazing recipes. Cocoa beans are grown in St Lucia, so there had to be plenty of chocolate-filled desserts too.

Yes, I have a notebook where I jot down details that interest me, and I also have a collage of photographs and interesting articles that might come in useful for inspiration. I also always change my screensaver to a picture of the location I’m writing about.

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

So far I’ve always set my books in places that I’ve visited, but then I make sure that I back my personal experience up with detailed research, either by borrowing books on the topic from the library or spending time on the internet. The book I’m writing at the moment is set in Tuscany, so I’ve been spending lots of time reading up on that area, especially the local cuisine – and of course sampling it!

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures, such as the police, when you say you want to write about them?

I write romantic comedy, so thankfully the police don’t make a regular appearance! But I agree with you, if I’m going to write about a particular profession it makes sense to approach someone who has in depth knowledge of the industry, such as the daily routine, the procedures they have to follow, what qualifications they need, or any quirks that readers would find interesting. The main character in my next book is an interior designer. I love interior design, and I actually have a qualification in it, but I also have friends who can help if I’ve got any questions. I hope it will add a level of authenticity.

  1. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?

I really enjoy doing blog tours. I’m always interested to hear what readers think of my books, but, of course, there’s always that little kernel of anxiety about how the story will resonate with people. In my experience, the book blogging community is a very friendly and generous community and I’ve had some fabulous comments and reviews over the years for which I’m very grateful. I can’t think of anything funny that has happened, or even that has gone wrong, but that’s probably because everyone has been so professional!

  1. What is your favourite genre?

My favourite genre to read is travel autobiographies. I love those stories of people who have undertaken amazing journeys around the world and come home to write about them. I’ve recently read books about two girls who drove a Tuk-Tuk from Thailand to London, a woman who cycled around the world, a guy who hitchhiked to Australia and back, and a folk band who drove a red double-decker bus around the world. I really enjoy Simon Reeve’s books, Levison Wood’s books, Patrick Leigh Fermor & Nick Hunt. One of my favourites is Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart – what a fabulous title – so evocative of the part of Spain where he lives.

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

I’ve always loved writing and started to scribble stories when I was about eight years old. I even illustrated them myself and glued them together like a real book. I really wish I still had them now. I do have my very first full-length novel – handwritten in five exercise books – which is still in a shoe box on top of my wardrobe. I doubt it will ever see the light of day, but I won’t throw it out. It took me three years to write and I learned loads – mainly what not to write!

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Author Bio:

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her summerhouse, she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

 

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And Xmas romances abound

Merry and Bright Book Cover Merry and Bright
Nocturne Falls Universe
Fiona Roarke,‎ Cate Dean,‎ Jax Cassidy,‎ Alethea Kontis,‎ Wynter Daniel,‎ Sela Carsen,‎ Candace Colt,‎ Kira Nyte,‎ Larissa Emerald
Xmas themed, paranormal romances
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
(21 Nov. 2017)

The nine holiday stories in this collection: Have Yourself a Merry Little Alien by Fiona Roarke Draeken and Stella Phoenix are celebrating Christmas in Nocturne Falls with a festive holiday party in their new vacation home. Each has a big surprise for the other, but all’s fair in love and secret Christmas presents. Right? The Wizard’s Mistletoe Magic by Jax Cassidy Sent on a holiday gift giving mission, Kearney Maclachlan, wizard and royal bodyguard, reluctantly returns to Nocturne Falls where a fateful encounter with intuitive street artist Kaia Wyntir takes them on a journey to reclaim past memories and truths that may finally melt a warrior’s frozen heart. Unexpected miracles lead to everlasting love, all thanks to a kiss under the mistletoe. A Dragon’s Christmas Mayhem by Kira Nyte Firestorm dragon Zareh is a Christmas virgin, but that doesn’t stop him from doing his best to conjure up the perfect holiday celebration for his beloved lifemate, Kaylae. The fact she’s keeping something from him is tearing him apart. Their ancient enemies could strike at any time, bringing with them menace and mayhem. But that’s a tangible enemy. Can their love overcome some unexpected Christmas mayhem of the personal kind? The Mistletoe Misstep by Wynter Daniels Psychic hairdresser Amethyst Powers wants to keep the peace in her quarrelsome family, even if that means dating the wealthy vampire who could help her father’s fledgling business. She’ll get over the great guy she really likes. Superhuman mechanic, Dustin can’t believe his luck. When the purple-haired siren who broke up with him gets stuck, he helps her out. They share an intimate dinner, and one amazing kiss. But is she willing to buck her family’s wishes in the name of love? Sometimes all it takes is one part mistletoe and one part luck. The Psychics Say I Do by Candace Colt Cousins Brianna Putnam and Jess Callahan are headed to the altar to wed the handsome falcon-shifter Ford brothers. But when the brides' plans run amok, even their psychic powers can’t undo the chaos. The entire town pitches in to help, but will it be enough to pull off their Christmas dream weddings? The Meddlesome Misadventures of Merri and Bright by Alethea Kontis Fairy Merri Larousse never intended to become one half of a famous prankster/matchmaking duo with winter elf Polaris Brighton. Little did they know, the best match they would make would be their own! The Sorcerer’s Christmas Miracle by Cate Dean Tami Bennett came to Nocturne Falls to help her best friend, Lidia. It was supposed to be temporary – until she laid eyes on Jack Cross, sorcerer. As much as she wants to deny it, she’s falling for him. When Lidia’s werewolf fiancé is in trouble, Tami asks for Jack’s help. She knows that if he succeeds, she could lose her only excuse to stay – and lose the one man who has come close to stealing her heart. The Witch’s Snow Globe Wish by Larissa Emerald When a letter is delivered by mistake to clairvoyant witch Telia Kraft, she must return it to its rightful recipient, a handsome vampire neighbor, the very guy she had dated over the summer until he dropped her without a word. Jake Newburg is shocked to learn of his brother’s upcoming Christmas wedding in Nocturne Falls and rashly asks Telia to accompany him to the event. For once, he needs to stop second-guessing himself. Magic’s Frost by Sela Carsen Lonely werewolf Dima Samarin looks forward to watching his favorite winter elf every morning at the Hallowed Bean. He rescues her unfinished novel from the perils of spilled cocoa, and becomes her hero. Elin Bergstrom’s day job is at Santa’s Workshop, but she secretly writes sci-fi novels on the side. She accepts Dima’s invitation to the Christmas Ball, but when their date gets derailed by a drug deal gone bad, this elf isn’t about to stay on her shelf. Sometimes a werewolf can use a little helpful frost magic to win the day, and save their date.

A Nocturne Falls Universe set of short stories – one of my favourite towns in the world!

We have a collection of various authors with different characters living in the town – lots of romance and schmalz – and all themed for Xmas.. What’s not to like?

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