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Hocus Pocus ’14 and Hallowe’en Fun

HOCUS POCUS ’14 OFFICAL LAUNCH DATE AND FREE DOWNLOAD

Hocus Pocus cover for press releases etc.Today is the official launch date of the Hallowe’en short story anthology – HOCUS POCUS ’14.

To celebrate the event, the short story anthology will be FREE to download from 31st October to 2nd November. So grab yours now. The contributors have organised a Facebook Event which will run through the whole day in hourly slots. There will be lots of giveaways to celebrate the launch of Hocus Pocus, so please come along, leave a comment/enter a competition and, hopefully, win a prize.

I will be ‘live’ from 7pm – 8pm. During that time I will be organising a fun competition to choose your ‘witchy name’ – with some copies of Hocus Pocus (paperback) up for grabs and/or a download of either Tall, Dark and Kilted or Boot Camp Bride. I was also be ‘manning’ the Facebook page and would love you to come and chat with me. Fellow writer and member of New Romantics Press, Adrienne Vaughan will be on earlier in the day. That’s us together in witches’ hats brandishing a copy of Hocus Pocus.  Pretty scary, huh?2014-10-18 12.24.23-1

The anthology is the brain child of Debbie Flint and the other authors/contributors are: Adrienne Vaughan  Lynda Renham  Alison May  Jane O’Reilly Jules Wake Mary Jane Hallowell Carolyn Mahony  Tina K. Burton

As part of the celebration, Debbie Flint asked us to write about a true life spooky event. I’ve called mine – Knock, Knock, Who’s There? I’ve included it in this blog post and I hope you enjoy reading it.

Have a great Hallowe’en and don’t get up to any Hocus Pocus!! 

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KNOCK, KNOCK, WHO’S THERE?

My Real Life Spooky Event – Leicester circa 1964

In 1962, my family –including Granny and the dog all moved from Scotland to live in Leicester in a rambling palisaded villa. Apart from my Granny, all the adults went out to work – Mother in one of the many shoe factories dotted around Leicester and Dad on a building site as a scaffolder. I was thirteen years old and my siblings ranged below me at eight, six and four years of age respectively. We were rarely alone in the house as Granny was there to welcome us home from school and to give us our evening meal before the adults arrived in from work.

There was something spooky about that house in College Avenue, it had a long dark corridor which led from the front door to the breakfast room, scullery and kitchen at the rear. Other doors opened off the corridor giving onto a sitting room and a gloomy dining room in turn. Once, the house must have been splendid, in a Gothic sort of way; high ceilings, marble fireplaces, deep cornices and even bells to ring for the servants in each room. But to us kids it was a scary place and we didn’t like to be left on our own. In fact, there were certain rooms which the dog wouldn’t enter – without its hackles rising.

One day Granny decided to visit her brother in London which meant leaving us alone for several hours until Mother returned from the factory. Granny was very unhappy with this arrangement, but eventually agreed to visit her brother – albeit with the proviso that all four children, plus dog locked ourselves in our parents’ bedroom and stayed there until Mother came home.

Granny left, and I locked us in our temporary prison with food, drink, comics, toys, radio, the dog and a chamber pot in case of emergencies! We watched Granny walk to the end of the street and then settled down for a boring couple of hours until Mother arrived home. Time passed slowly and we tried to guess where Granny was on her journey – Luton, Bedford, St Pancras, the underground . . .

Then, the strangest thing happened.

We heard Granny’s footsteps climbing the stairs and coming along the landing towards the bedroom. The door knob turned once and then sprang back to its original position. Being kids we thought nothing of it. Ours was an old house and things were always sticking and jamming. Then, stranger still, we heard Granny calling out my name: ‘Betty. Betty,’ in her unmistakable Scottish accent. I looked at my sister Ellen for confirmation of what I’d heard and then walked over to the bedroom door and tried the handle. The door was still locked and the key was on our side, just as I’d left it. I went to unlock the door, but remembering the promise I’d made to Granny to stay put until Mother came home, I changed my mind.

My sister and I sat down on the bed and looked at each other, more puzzled than frightened.  When Mother came home, we were simply glad to be allowed to run outside and play and didn’t tell her about Granny’s voice, the footsteps or the door knob turning.

Years later I brought up the subject with my sister.

‘We did hear Granny’s footsteps and her voice, didn’t we?’ I asked.

‘We did,’ my sister Ellen replied, emphatically. ‘She called out your name, twice and the door handle turned.’

1cfa569cda370dff36afed84de207545We exchanged a look and shuddered, knowing that, as adults, we were only just beginning to comprehend we’d seen and heard that day. Had Granny been so worried about us being in the house alone, that she’d projecting her anxiety across the miles from London to Leicester? Or was it something ‘else’; something which wanted us to leave the safety of the bedroom and venture out on to the landing where it was waiting?

The same nameless terror which made us run down the long dark corridor to the safety of the kitchen every time – and the dog refuse to enter the large cupboard under the stairs where we played? Or, was it the old lady my father (the least fanciful of men) purported to have seen on several occasions standing at the foot of his bed looking distracted and mournful?

You decide.

My sister considers herself a ‘wee bit psychic’, while I consider myself a complete pragmatist. I know there must be a logical explanation for what happened and I’d feel a whole lot better if someone experienced in this field could explain it to me.

Then I could finally lay this story to rest – where it belongs.

Remember: Tall, Dark and Kilted and Boot Camp Bride are both just 99p for one more day and then they revert back to £1.99 a download. Working hard on number three which will be published early 2015.

If You Don’t Have a Dream

newromantics4:

Adrienne’s turn on Joanne’s fabulous blog

Originally posted on Joanne Guidoccio:

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have author and public relations dynamo Adrienne Vaughan chatting about the importance of dreams.

Here’s Adrienne!

Adrienne and Winston

Adrienne and Winston

I’ve always loved that song, you know, the one from South Pacific, Happy Talk. It’s so true, if you don’t have a dream, how on earth are you going to make a dream come true?

There again, have you ever met anyone who doesn’t dream they were someone or something else? Most people wish for something different, but it’s the dreamers, and I mean the real dreamers who make a difference. Sighing and wishing achieves very little, as far as I can tell, it’s the proper, ‘let’s take this seriously’ dreamer who gets things done, changes themselves, their environment, the whole world if they mean too.

But it wasn’t until Joanne kindly invited me onto her blog, and I was giving this notion…

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Jan Brigden – My First Novel, and My Love of Proofreading …

newromantics4:

Jan has proof read both my novels and has a gimlet eye for mistakes. I would heartily recommend her to other indie authors or anyone who wants a professional looking manuscript.

Originally posted on The Romaniacs:

It’s no secret that my first novel took me a while to write. Okay, YONKS, mainly due to my endless tweaking and re-tweaking of it until it waved the white flag at me. I’m thrilled, therefore, to report that, having received a cracking report from my RNA New Writers’ Scheme reader, I’ve finally started submitting my book to agents.

To date, I’ve had four rejections.

Ouch!

They stung.

A lot.

I have, however, received some very encouraging feedback.

I’m under no illusions, and I’m certainly not averse to self-publishing, I simply want to try the traditional route first.

I must trust that someone will love my book and believe in it as much as I do …

My novel is a multi POV tale – three interwoven stories in one, if you like – entitled ‘As Weekends Go …’

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Here’s a little taster:

When Rebecca Stafford is gifted the chance…

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#FREE help For #Authors

Originally posted on Rosie Amber:

It’s come to my attention that some of you lovely authors out there need a little help with reaching your audience.

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Now I’m no professional in the matter, just a mad blogger who loves books, but this is what I’m seeing more and more of and it alarms me greatly.

When someone offers to help an author with some FREE publicity, some of you run for the hills in the opposite direction. “FREE that can’t possible be right! What’s the catch? What do I have to do? I haven’t got the time for that? It’s sounds scary, better not bother” Hands up if a bit of FREE publicity frightens you.

How many of you have a one page draft ready which can be used as a base for any publicity piece? All you need is a bit about yourself, where you’re from, when you started writing, what genres you write in…

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Breaking News – Adrienne shortlisted for award at Festival of Romantic Fiction

Originally posted on New Romantics 4:

Adrienne Vaughan

The New Romantics 4 are delighted to announce that Adrienne Vaughan’s 5 star novel  A Change of Heart has been shortlisted in the Romance Reader Awards at the Festival of Romantic Fiction.

chnage of heart

 

As Sarah Taylor, awards organiser, says: “With the highest number of entries the awards have had in their four year history, the standard this year was exceptionally high with many highly rated novels not making the shortlists. The breath and depth of quality writing in romantic fiction should be celebrated and that’s what these awards are all about.”.You can read the complete lists for all categories here but this is the line up for Adrienne’s category:

Best Author Published

A Change of Heart by Adrienne Vaughan

Mary Bennet by Kate Allan

Sweet Occasions by Linn B Halton

Drumbeats by Julia Ibbotson

Fairlights by Jan Jones

Christmas Yves by Nicola May

 

The award ceremony is at…

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Romancing September Across the World – Day 4 – Lizzie Lamb

newromantics4:

Thanks to Stephanie Hurt for hosting me on her blog as part of Romancing September across the world.

Originally posted on Stephanie Hurt - Author/Accountant/Children's Minister:

Welcome to Day 4 of the 2nd Annual Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour. I’ve teamed up with Rosie Amber again this year. We’re promoting 30 awesome romance authors in 30 days. Help us out by cross promoting when you can and check out these authors.

Don’t forget to go over to Rosie Amber’s page and check out her page too. I’ll put the link at the bottom of this post.

Today my guest author is Lizzie Lamb and I want to thank her for blogging with me today. Here is a little about her and her book Boot Camp Bride.

BookCover Boot Camp BrideLizzie Lamb

  • What inspired you to write this book?

I spend a great deal of time in north-west Norfolk and one day when I was sitting a bench overlooking the marshes the whole story unfolded before me. The heroine, Charlee, had been in my head for ages, begging me…

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Romancing September #RomancingSeptember – Day 4

newromantics4:

Many thanks to Rosie Amber for this great shout out.

Originally posted on Rosie Amber:

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Welcome to Day 4 of Romancing September Across The World Tour. Today our guest is Lizzie Lamb. Catch up with more from Lizzie in a few hours with the second part of our tour when Stephanie chats to her.

Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

Where is your home town? 

Leicester in the United Kingdom

How long have you been writing romance? 

I’ve been writing romance ever since I can remember. I first started submitting manuscripts to publishers in the late 80’s – starting, as we all did, with Mills and Boone and then progressing onto Little Black Dress. I landed an agent in 1990 (Dot Lumley) but due to pressure of work (I was a primary school deputy head teacher at the time) I had to temporarily abandon my fledgling writing career and concentrate on the day job. After taking early retirement from teaching in 2008 I was able to return to…

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NR4 Summer Celebration

newromantics4:

Watch our great promotional video

Originally posted on New Romantics 4:

September already! How the summer has flown by.  To celebrate the start of the new “school year”, we’ve made a short video about us and our writing – we hope you enjoy it.  And if you have a look below the “Loose Women,” you’ll find a few words from each of us about where we are with our projects.

 

~Lizzie Lamb

Two years ago I uploaded Tall, Dark and Kilted on Create Space and tentatively pressed the ‘GO’ button. That kick-started my adventure as an indie author and it’s been a whirlwind ride. I now have two books available on amazon, a raft of reviews, thriving social networking presence and a growing number of readers. It’s been hard work but I’ve done it and I’m proud to have travelled the road with my fellow New Romantics: June, Adrienne and Mags. What does the future hold for me? Hopefully…

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SUMMER READING – take me with you to the beach . . .

Lifes a beach poster FINAL

It doesn’t seem possible that two years have passed since I, and the other members of the New Romantics 4, decided to stop tweaking and editing our novels and publish them on amazon. Its been a whirlwind but worth it. So, here we are, published authors and working hard on our third novels and with a poster to prove it. We have a social media presence on FacebookTwitter and WordPress. launched our books in Waterstones and produced a video which will appear on YouTube and our blog in September. Added to that we have the satisfaction of knowing that we’ve done it ourselves – with a little help from our many, talented writer friends and supportive readers.

Thank you for buying our novels and for writing us a review on amazon or Goodreads

Other fledgling (and not so fledgling!) authors have asked me what my path to publication has been and how I became a published indie author from a standing start. I’ve covered that subject on the New Romantics 4’s blog and other sites and won’t go over it again on this page. To put it simply, once I’d broken free of the treadmill of honing a synopsis to perfection, endlessly polishing the first three chapters of my novel and sweating over the dreaded submission letter to agents, I freed myself to write the novel which had been clamouring in my head for a number of years. The one which I, as a reader, would like to read and which I – as an author –  felt compelled to write.

That’s how (after a few incarnations) Tall, Dark and Kilted was born.

IMG_0952Tall, Dark and Kilted

When writing Tall, Dark and Kilted I was able to transport myself to Scotland, meet a gorgeous, sexy laird Ruairi Urquhart and fall in love all over again. Luckily, it seems that the many readers who’ve made the journey with me feel the same. My hero is the starting place for my novels and if I don’t get him exactly right then the novel doesn’t take off. So, although I fell in love with Ruairi (seriously!) and adored my heroine brave, feisty Fliss, I had to move on and create a new set of characters for BOOT CAMP BRIDE. Believe me, it wasn’t easy to leave Tall Dark and Kilted and the gorgeous laird of Kinlochmara behind. But I managed it!

Painted in Waterlogue

Thornham Beach at low tide

From the highlands of Scotland to the marshes of Norfolk – quite a contrast, you say? But the hero I created, Rafael Fonseca-Ffinch, is anything but flat or dull. He’s survived a kidnap attempt in the rain forests of Columbia and thinks life has thrown him every curve ball possible. But he’s WRONG. He meets boisterous, opinionated Charlee Montague, they go on an undercover mission together and their lives change – for the better. Do they find true love and have a happy ending in this novel? You betcha.

An added advantage in writing this novel is that I get to travel with Rafa and Charlee in their vintage VW Camper van. I’d quite like one myself if I had £25,000 to spare!

Better get writing that third novel, then, Lizzie.

Poster

I am currently 60,000 words into my next romantic comedy, but I’m going to tease you and not reveal the title – just yet. Suffice to say that in #3 you’ll be travelling with me to the west coast of Scotland  where you’ll meet my new hero – BRODIE – an American who’s travelled to Cormorant Island to seek out his Celtic roots. But he is not all that he seems. Intrigued? So is my new heroine Ishabel Stuart who finds herself attracted to him but can’t quite bring herself to trust him.  Honestly, the hoops we make our poor characters jump through!

scottish button hole

So, keep an eye out for the new title in 2015 and find out what Brodie is up to!

For now, have a great summer holiday and thank you for all your support, emails and continued interest in what I’m up to. And – if you do go to the beach, take one of my novels with you on a kindle or as a paperback and don’t spill the suntan lotion all over it. And, if you haven’t got a holiday planned, download one of my novels and travel to the highlands of Scotland or the Norfolk marshes with my characters. As for myself, I’m off to spend two weeks in splendid isolation on the Isle of Wight in order to get the first draft of  #3 finished. See you in September. 

poster as a jpeg

 

 

What book have you read multiple times? Features “The Dud Avocado” by Elaine Dundy

Originally posted on Rosie Amber:

So a while a go I posed the question “What book have you read multiple times?” Here is the post http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5zp

Author June Kearns has read The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

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So why has June read it multiple times? She says,

Why do I love The Dud Avocado, by Elaine Dundy so much? I’ve read it time and time again since I was 16, and still find it very, very funny.
I just love American Sally Jay Gorce, with her pink hair and failed outfits, and the helter-skelter ride she takes us on, through Paris of the 1950s. She’s witty and charming and self-deprecating and her voice is so real, you feel as if you’re eavesdropping on a screwball comedy.
Someone said that Sally Jay blazed a trail for all those Carrie Bradshaws. Yes! I think she did!
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

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