Wow! What a day! Today I have finally been able to share with you guys the thrilling news that I have signed another 2 book deal with the fabulous Books and The City Team, and if that wasn't exciting enough the title of the first book AND the cover have also been revealed. A red letter day indeed!
My brand new Christmas book is called...
Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at The Winter Wonderland
and this is the gorgeous clover...
As I'm sure you can appreciate, I'm absolutely thrilled with it!
The book is already available to order in both e-book and paperback, and will be published on November 1st, so in plenty of time to get you in the festive swing of things.
As so many of you loved the fine folk who live in Wynthorpe Hall we're heading back there again, but this time it's Hayley, the feisty housekeeper who is the focus of our attention and boy does she have a story to tell. The pages are packed full of festive feeling so be sure to have some Christmas biscuits to hand when you snuggle up to read!
The second book, which will be out in Summer '19 takes us back to Nightingale Square, but with so many of you reading the first book right now, I'm not going to reveal details about that just yet!
Here's a link to the Books and The City Website where my fabulous editor, Emma, is jump up and down excited about the news -
So there you have it, a new contract, a title and a cover reveal all in one day! Never let it be said that I don't deliver. May I take this opportunity to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has commented on and tweeted about the news already. You guys are the reason why I sit at my desk at silly o'clock every morning to get the words down and I'm thrilled that you are all so excited about and looking forward to two brand new books!
Today I am absolutely delighted to welcome Zara Stoneley to the blog to celebrate the launch of her absolutely brilliant book, The Wedding Date which is published tomorrow! I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy and I loved it. There are so many laugh out moments, you guys are going to adore it!
It's publication day for the paperback edition of 'The Wedding Date' tomorrow, and it's hard to explain just how exciting it is to see it in print. This will be my tenth (which is totally amazing, and unbelievable) book with Harper Impulse, and for me it's the perfect book to be hitting that milestone with.
When my editor and agent agreed that a wedding book sounded like a good idea, I was thrilled. Who doesn't love a summer wedding? They are romantic and beautiful, but can also be totally stressful and prone to disaster, because everybody wants the day to be perfect! Which meant I knew straight away that this book had to be a romcom. I also knew that I wanted this book to be romantic, to make people smile, but to be so much more. I wanted it to be about how far you'd go for your best friend, and also about being true to yourself.
My main character, Sam, was in my head immediately, she was like a best friend from the start. She's funny, prone to mishaps, has a mother who is hilarious (in a totally over the top way) but has a total heart of gold.
After being dumped by her horrible ex, and surviving the 'crying, eating too much pizza, and drinking too much wine' aftermath, Sam realises that he wasn't 'the one', or even 'the nearly one'. She'd changed for him, she'd forgotten her dreams, she'd tried to turn herself into the woman she thought he wanted her to be, rather than being herself - and this was a really important aspect of the book for me. It's important to make compromises for your other half - but how many women stop being true to themselves? For me, 'the one' loves you for who you are and lets you be that person, and I knew straight away that this was something Sam had to discover in The Wedding Date. I also knew that meant I needed a totally adorable hero, and from the reader comments so far, I think I found him!
The setting for the book was a no-brainer for me. If you're going to be trapped in the middle of nowhere (which Sam is) with all your family and closest friends, plus a man you hardly know who is supposedly your boyfriend, then where better than Scotland? There are men in kilts, a romantic castle, a lovely loch and a programme of outdoor pursuits that are guaranteed to lead to disaster.
I absolutely loved writing this book, it just came together beautifully because the characters were so special, and I had great fun including my own dog Harry in a cameo role!
I have to admit that when I found out I'd won a pair of tickets to the Strong Women Squad Summer Party I was rather unsure as to what to expect.
Run by gorgeous author and chum, Lisa Dickenson, the Twitter bio below tells you all you need to know...
I was sure that I (along with best pal Jenni Keer) would probably be among the eldest there and that the Trapeze Bar in Shoreditch wasn't my usual Saturday hangout, but what I didn't expect was the warmth, friendship and camaraderie I encountered as soon as we walked through the door.
The evening was packed with energetic displays of magic, hula hooping, fire dancing and the London Mermaid herself, but the best part for me was listening to the talks. Body positivity and the decision not to diet, ever, from @bodyposipanda_ had me ditching the sucky in pants and by the time we had to head home I was feeling more determined than ever to embrace my own Squad!
It was a wonderful evening and I absolutely loved it. With a packed goodie bag and a menu full of food for thought, it was a night which will keep me inspired until the next party... at least!
This week I am delighted to welcome lovely Kitty Wilson to the blog. An author chum and fellow RNA member, Kitty has just celebrated her first publication day and I am thrilled that she has found the time to pop along and share her obvious joy and excitement with us!
This Monday I had my first ever
publication day, it marked both the end of one stage of my writing career and
(hopefully) the beginnings of the next.
My route to publication had been a
long run, a marathon that suddenly turned into a sprint and that at one point
had me jumping up and down on my landing wearing nothing but a towel, shrieking
utter nonsense into the phone (I might have even moo-ed) as I thought my best
friend was pranking me by pretending to be an agent. She wasn’t.
After years of writing and
submitting, an offer of publication led to me pitching up on my neighbour’s
doorstep and sobbing with such passion that they thought I had suffered a
family bereavement. It took me gesticulating wildly and proffering my laptop
before they realised that the tears were because my hopes had become a reality
and I needed someone to check I hadn’t misinterpreted. More importantly, this
offer led to me landing my dream agent (surprisingly, a different one than the
one who had been subject to my virtually naked squawking) who quickly got to
The next, very speedy, step was the
opportunity to choose between two publishers. It was like living someone else’s
life. Suddenly I was catapulted from being someone awfully keen on pyjamas and
not brushing her hair into an author. An actual author with a book deal! I went
to London, nipped in and out of cabs wearing heels with a glitzy purse and did
all the things I imagined real life writers did. Still, it didn’t really sink
I worked tirelessly on social media
and badgered all my friends in real life to buy the book, share the book and to
bully others into doing the same. I was shameless. I even had a handbag full of
flyers I would press on unsuspecting people that were foolish enough to stop
and speak to me in the supermarket or on the street. Needless to say, Cornwall
is now littered with flyers for The Cornish Village School (I’m sure they’ll
decompose in no time) and I had discovered a whole new side to myself. But
still it hadn’t sunk in.
I wrote blog posts, answered
questions and even held a launch party where I read an excerpt - I have never
been so terrified, and I have jumped out of a plane and left to live in a foreign country with only the clothes I was
wearing. But it wasn’t until publication day itself when friends started
sending me screenshots of them reading my book, the book they had paid for,
that I began to realise I might actually be an author.
A few days on and the dog is
beginning to get a bit fed up with me wandering in and saying ‘I’m a writer,
you know’. I now have a whole series to write, based around a village full of
characters that I love and I couldn’t be more excited.
I’m Kitty Wilson and I am an
Wilson has lived in Cornwall for the last 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. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard or hiding out at
the beach and has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and
romantic heroines who speak their mind.
This month has been filled with 'firsts' - it started with my solo signing in Diss Bookshop and last night I gave my first author talk!
The Mendlesham Writers Group in Suffolk are a warm and welcoming bunch of authors who were not only happy to listen to me talk, at length, about my path to publication journey, but also had numerous questions ready for when I finally stopped to draw breath.
The evening was great fun and I'm already looking forward to the opportunity to spread the bookish love further afield! I have a library talk lined up for October in Wisbech library (the heart of Wynbridge country) and I'll be sharing further dates and details as they pop up.
Thanks again to the Mendlesham Writers and to my good pal and fellow author Jenni Keer, who not only came along to offer her support but also took this lovely pic.
Wow! What an experience. As we headed down the A140 to Diss yesterday morning with the wind blowing and the rain absolutely lashing down I really began to think that no one was going to turn out for my first solo signing in the beautiful Diss Bookshop, but I needn't have worried.
Not only did the space set aside for me look every bit as pretty as any of the settings in my books, (thanks to the adornment of book cover themed bunting and packets of sweet pea seeds), but friends, readers and a whole host of other folk arrived in abundance and the three hours absolutely flew by! I think my smile says it all...
New friends were made, old friendships were reaffirmed and the piles of books soon began to disappear. The Cherry Tree Café sold out completely, however, if you would still like a signed copy of either Sunshine and Sweet Peas, Cuckoo Cottage or Skylark Farm, I have left signed copies behind which the bookshop will keep on display.
Special thanks to the shop staff for making me feel so welcome, Paul, my OH, for braving the weather and RNA chums Jenni Keer, Rosie Hendry and Clare Marchant who not only came with friends and family but stayed far longer than I could have hoped and added their own excitement to the party atmosphere as they chatted about all things bookish.