Behind the book blog header

Behind the Book: The Story of my Grandparents’ Welsh Dresser

Behind the Book posts look at the inspiration behind and details within my books – and where they come from. First up, my Grandparents’ Welsh Dresser, as featured in Room for Love. 

When we were trying to sell our old house, there was one question every single person who came to view it asked. Not about local schools, or parking, or the mythical underfloor heating we’d been assure the house had when we bought it (but which turned out to actually just be the hot water pipes). No. Everyone asked:

will you sell the dresser?

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“I have a proposal for you…”

Dylan and Sadie’s story is out today!

A Proposal Worth Millions Quote

A Proposal Worth Millions was a real labour of love, and it’s such a relief to have it out on virtual and real bookshelves across the UK, North America and Australia this week. And even more so to have RT reviews say such lovely things about it as this:

Pembroke is a master at the romance genre, hitting all the right notes. She shows that dreams can come true and everything happens for a reason.

RT Reviews, 4 stars

The Idea…

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Falling for the Bridesmaid

Ready for summer?

It’s still cold and grey here in the south of England, but the daffodils and crocuses are out, which always gives me hope that spring is imminent – and that summer won’t be too far behind!

This summer, I’m very excited to be part of a trilogy of books with two other amazing writers – Jessica Gilmore and Scarlet Wilson. Our three books form the Summer Weddings trilogy from Harlequin Mills and Boon – telling the story of three sisters, one summer and a whole lot of romance.

The Huntingdon-Cross sisters seem to have it all – they’re the daughters of American rock legend Rick Cross and English society matron and ex-model Sherry Huntingdon. But none of them have ever been all that lucky in love – until now…

The first book in the trilogy – Expecting The Earl’s Baby – is out next month from Jessica Gilmore and is a must read – I absolutely devoured it. Then in May comes Scarlet Wilson’s A Bride For The Runaway Groom (which I also read in record time and just adored – it’s such a fun story!). Finally in June comes my latest book, Falling For The Bridesmaid, which is the story of the eldest sister, Violet.

Here’s what it’s all about:

Falling for the BridesmaidAlways the bridesmaid? 

Violet Huntingdon-Cross is always the bridesmaid—but given her disastrous romantic past, that’s fine by her. Then she meets gorgeous journalist Tom Buckley, and suddenly Violet realizes he’s the biggest threat to her heart yet.

Tom might be writing a book about Violet’s father, but this beautiful bridesmaid is a total distraction! Now Tom needs to persuade her he is different from all the other guys…and help her discover love isn’t just something that happens to other people…

I just got the North American cover through, and I love it! The colours, the shoes, the kiss… it’s perfect for the book. I can’t wait to see what they do with the British one now!

 

A Marriage of Convenience?

His Very Convenient BrideConfession: I am a total sucker for marriage of convenience stories. I’ve read hundreds of them, but have only really written one – His Very Convenient Bride, out this month from Harlequin Romance / Mills and Boon Cherish. 

I think what I like most about them is how inconvenient the marriage always turns out to be. And how, despite that, it turns out to be exactly what the hero and heroine need.

Traditionally, most MoC stories start with the characters’ assumptions that marriage – without love – will solve some other, seemingly more important, problem in the lives. But while it might provide the answer to their immediate problems – be it money, a business merger, a demanding will or dying relative or whatever – it soon becomes clear that marriage is more of a problem in itself. Especially when feelings get involved.

While few of us can claim to have entered a marriage of convenience of the sort so often featured in books, one of the things I enjoy about these stories is that the trope really isn’t as far fetched as it initially seems.

Most people, I think, enter marriage with certain expectations of what it will be like. And these days, given the prevalence of co-habitation before marriage, we quite often think life will just continue as normal with the added presence of sparkly jewellery and some nice photos of our big day. But in truth, marriage – or any sort of life long commitment, like having kids together – is intrinsically different to muddling along as a couple. Suddenly, there’s no easy way out if things get hard, and there’s more at stake than the rental deposit if you split up. More than that, just being referred to as someone’s wife, or husband, makes you start to think about your role and life differently. You become more of a team, more than just yourself.

Watching this happen to characters who haven’t even got as far as falling in love yet always amuses me. And then following their tumble into love leaves me breathless.

Because everyone knows that love is going to be far more problematic than whatever problem they got married to avoid in the first place, right?

That’s certainly the case for Helena and Flynn in His Very Convenient Bride. They get married for the same business reasons that Flynn was supposed to marry Helena’s sister (before she ran off at the end of A Groom Worth Waiting Forand to cover up Thea’s sudden disappearance. They figure they’ve known each other all their lives, they understand what they’re getting into, and neither of them is under the illusion of love. It will be fine.

Until, of course, feelings get involved – and secrets come out…

So, that’s my first Marriage of Convenience story. But what’s your all time favourite book featuring the trope? Or, if MoC isn’t for you, what tropes do you love and always pick up? (I’m also a sucker for best friends to lovers…)

His Very Convenient Bride

(January 2015)

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From bridesmaid to bride…

Stepping into her sister’s place at the altar beside gorgeous tycoon Flynn Ashton, Helena Morrison hopes saying ”I do” and uniting their two families will finally be enough to redeem her in her father’s eyes. It has nothing to do with the fact that she’s always held a special place in her heart for her childhood crush!

But after embarking on the perfect Tuscan honeymoon, their paper marriage dissolves to ash as an unexpected heat flares between them… Dare Helena dream that this convenient marriage could be the fresh start they’ve both been searching for?

 

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Hive ~ Nook

Back to School

It’s September 1st!

Dragon Parade

The daughter taking part in a Dragon Parade at Manorbier Castle

As much as I love summer – and this one has been particularly awesome – there’s something about the start of autumn that makes me want to buy a new notebook and pencil case and start planning stuff. (Okay, full disclosure, I want that notebook and pencil case pretty much all year round. But still, September is special.)

More than anything, it feels like a fresh start. A chance to look back at all the lovely things that happened over the last couple of months, then pack them away ready to tackle new adventures. To knuckle down and get to work again. (Which is just as well, as I’ve been slacking and now have to write All The Words.)

So first, the looking back part…

Summer Party 2014

Summer Party 2014

Since school broke up in July, it’s been a summer of constant adventure and fun, and occasional travel sickness. We’ve had a summer party to celebrate my mum’s retirement (there was limoncello, an Italian feast, and only twenty minutes of rain), a trip to London to see Hetty Feather on the stage (and have lunch at Joe Allen’s), a day out at Duxford, BBQs with friends, not to mention sleepovers, holiday club and a Frozen dance workshop for the daughter. We had a week in beautiful Pembrokeshire with my family, a few days in a log cabin in stunning Snowdonia with friends, and now we’re back home again, preparing for school. (I have sewed a lot of labels into pinafores and cardigans today… Next year, someone remind me to do it at the start of the holiday, please?)

A Groom Worth Waiting For UK coverBook-wise, my third Harlequin Romance, A Groom Worth Waiting For, was released in August and – leading nicely into the What Comes Next? part – I just got the blurb for the sequel, His Very Convenient Bride, which will be out in January! Here’s what it’s about:

From bridesmaid to bride…  

Stepping into her sister’s place at the altar beside gorgeous tycoon Flynn Ashton, Helena Morrison hopes saying ”I do” and uniting their two families will finally be enough to redeem her in her father’s eyes. It has nothing to do with the fact that she’s always held a special place in her heart for her childhood crush! 

But after embarking on the perfect Tuscan honeymoon, their paper marriage dissolves to ash as an unexpected heat flares between them… Dare Helena dream that this convenient marriage could be the fresh start they’ve both been searching for?

So, what else do I have planned for the next few months? Well, I just discovered this morning that my first Harlequin Romance, Stranded with the Tycoon, will be coming out in translation in Italy and Germany next month, which I am ferociously excited about. My first foreign language releases!

Writing-wise, I need to finish up my installment of the Summer Weddings trilogy coming out next summer. Jessica Gilmore and Scarlett Wilson have already finished theirs (mine is the last in the trilogy) and I can tell you they’re both wonderful. I have two very tough acts to follow!

After that, I have another standalone Harlequin to write, then… well, you’ll have to wait and see. But I’m working on a proposal for something very exciting right now!

Oh, and before any of that, there might be a special festive something coming out too…

See? I told you September was the time to get stuck into new adventures!

What adventures have you got planned? 

Release day for Thea and Zeke!

A Groom Worth Waiting For UK coverIt’s August at last! Apart from meaning I’m only two weeks away from a truly epic family holiday (10 people, 2 under sixes, 7 days, 1 flat…) it also means it’s release day for my latest Harlequin Mills and Boon Romance – A Groom Worth Waiting For.

This was such a perfectly summery book to write. Set in Tuscany in the height of summer, it’s the story of Thea Morrison, who is about to get married for security, business and other sensible reasons – until her groom’s brother, Zeke, walks back into her life, eight years after she refused to elope with him.

Here’s a snippet from the first meeting in eight years:

‘What do you mean, he’s coming here?’ Thea Morrison clasped her arms around her body, as if the action could somehow hide the fact that she was wearing a ridiculously expensive, pearl-encrusted, embroidered ivory wedding dress, complete with six-foot train. ‘He can’t!’

Her sister rolled her big blue eyes. ‘Oh, calm down. He just told me to tell you that you’re late to meet with the wedding planner and if you aren’t there in five minutes he’ll come and get you,’ Helena said.

‘Well, stop him!’

No, that wouldn’t work. Nothing stopped Flynn Ashton when he really wanted something. He was always polite, but utterly tenacious. That was why his father had appointed him his right-hand man at Morrison-Ashton media. And why she was marrying him in the first place.

‘Get me out of this dress before he gets here!’

‘I don’t know why you care so much,’ Helena said, fumbling with the zip at the back of the dress. ‘It’s not like this is a real wedding anyway.’

‘In two days there’ll be a priest, a cake, some flowers, and a legally binding pre-nup saying otherwise.’ Thea wriggled to try and get the strapless dress down over her hips. ‘And everyone knows it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride in the wedding dress before the big day.’

It was more than a superstition, it was a rule. Standard Operating Procedure for weddings. Flynn was not seeing this dress a single moment before she walked down the aisle of the tiny Tuscan church at the bottom of the hill from the villa. Not one second.

‘Which is why he sent me instead.’

Thea froze, her blood suddenly solid in her veins. She knew that voice. It might have been eight years since she’d heard it, but she hadn’t forgotten. Any of it.

The owner of that voice really shouldn’t be seeing her in nothing but her wedding lingerie. Especially since she was marrying his brother in two days.

Yanking the dress back up over her ivory corset, Thea held it tight against her chest and stared at him. ‘I thought you weren’t coming.’ But there he was. Large as life and twice as… Hell, she couldn’t even lie in her brain and finish that with ugly. He looked…grown up. Not twenty-one and angry at everything any more. More relaxed, more in control.

And every inch as gorgeous as he’d always been. Curse him.

Helena laughed. ‘Eight years and that’s all you have to say to him?’ Skipping across the room, blonde hair bouncing, she wrapped her arms around him and pressed a kiss against his cheek. ‘It’s good to see you, Zeke.’

‘Little Helena, all grown up.’ Zeke returned the hug, but his gaze never left Thea’s. ‘It’s good to see you too. And rather more of your sister than I’d bargained on.’

There was a mocking edge in his voice. As if she’d planned for him to walk in on her in her underwear. He wasn’t even supposed to be in the country! Flynn had told her he wouldn’t come and she’d been flooded with relief—even if she could never explain why to her husband-to-be. But now here Zeke was, staring at her, and Thea had never felt so exposed.

She clutched the dress tighter—a barrier between them. ‘Well, I was expecting your brother.’

‘Your fiancé,’ Zeke said. ‘Of course. Sorry. Seems he thought I should get started with my best man duties a few days early.’

Thea blinked. ‘You’re Flynn’s best man?’

‘Who else would he choose?’ He said it as if he hadn’t been gone for eight years. As if he’d never taunted Flynn about not being a real Ashton, only an adopted one, a fall-back plan. As if he hadn’t sworn that he was never coming back.

‘Anyone in the world.’ Quite literally. Flynn could have appointed the Russian Prime Minister as his best man and Thea would have been less surprised.

The second part of this duet, which is Helena’s story, has just been signed off – and been given a title!  His Very Convenient Bride will be out in January, for a sunny, post Christmas pick-me-up.

And now, back to work on what will be my FIFTH novel for Harlequin M&B… it’s going well!

A Groom Worth Waiting For CoverWhere to buy:

A Groom Worth Waiting For

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Mills & Boon ~ Kobo ~ Nook

 

Summer of Love cover

My Summer of Love at the RNA Conference

Writing can be a lonely business in some ways. I mean, yes, you have your beloved characters to keep you company and engage in the sort of dazzlingly quick dialogue you (well, I, anyway) never quite manage in real life, but it’s not the same as talking to real people, is it? And even when I do get to talk to real people, at the school gates or whatever, it’s a little hard to engage them on the subjects of character conflict and plot, or RSI prevention, or worthwhile promo ops, or the baffling world of royalties statements.

Which is why it was so lovely to get away to Telford at the annual Romantic Novelists’ Association conference this weekend.

This year’s conference was expertly organised, brilliantly run, and just so, so much fun. It was hot and sticky, but nowhere near as bad as last year, the food was incredibly good, and the kitchen parties as epic as ever (even if I did change into my pyjamas for one of them. It had been a long day, and the holdy-in knickers were getting a little tight!)

My top 5 highlights of the weekend were:

  1. Nikki Logan’s incredible ‘Chemistry of Reading’ talk. Anyone who has an interest in learning how to affect readers so that they fall in love with your story (and hopefully hurry out to buy everything else you’ve ever written!) should pick up her book: The Chemistry of Reading – Arousing Your Reader. I know I am! And it’s only £1.95 on kindle right now.
  2. Janet Gover’s ‘Location, Location, Location,’ session. Such a useful reminder of how much setting can bring to a story – and some great tips for how to make the most of it.
  3. Sitting down with Scarlett Wilson and Jessica Gilmore to talk about an exciting project we have coming up next year… Watch this space!
  4. Sipping prosecco with the lovely Lucy Gilmour and Victoria Oundjian from Carina UK and chatting about Joey and Pacey, the West Wing, sports romance movies and, eventually, books. It was very uplifting to hear how pleased they are with how The Love Trilogy has been received, and to chat about some plans for the future…
  5. The giant Yorkshire puddings for lunch on Sunday!

It’s back to work for me today – but with a bounce rather than a bump. I left the conference feeling inspired, and eager to get on with my various writing projects. Starting today, with the release of the third and final book in The Love Trilogy – Summer of Love! Perfect for these sunshiny days we’ve been enjoying.

Here’s a little preview from Chapter Four…

Summer of Love cover

Watching Alex as he painstakingly arranged her rings and pendants to best catch the light, Lily found it hard to believe this was really the same boy who’d torn up the town in his youth. Or even the same man who’d taken the financial world by storm, making fortunes for others, and enough for himself by all accounts. The man Cora had described as having a different woman every night, and two on Saturdays, while he was living the high life in London.

Now, he looked… settled. Content. The restlessness she remembered from when he was a teenager had left him. Maybe he’d finally found his place in the world, unlikely though it seemed.

Lily wished she could say the same about herself.

But she was a grown up now. Maybe Alex could drop his old life and start a new one, but that wasn’t so easy for most people. He’d left behind colleagues and friends, sure, but he’d moved home to family. If she wanted to start over again… She had nowhere to go. She’d used up all her second chances by the age of nineteen.

She had to make this life work.

But… did she have to marry Edward to do that?

‘Can you hold this for me?’ Alex asked, not looking up, and Lily hurried to his side to assist, keen to leave her unpleasant thoughts behind. ‘Like this.’ He draped a chain over her fingers, leaving the pendant dangling down above the champagne glass full of rings. ‘Perfect.’

Stepping back, Alex lifted his camera and Lily blinked at the flash as he took several photos in rapid succession. Then he moved back again, lifted the camera slightly, and took a few more.

‘If I was in that last set, we’re burning the negatives,’ Lily said.

Alex smirked. ‘Digital camera, I’m afraid. But I’ll let you have a copy of the files.’

Like she’d want a reminder of how wretched she looked and felt on this day. Although, with Alex there, distracting her, the day had improved somewhat. Maybe the crush she’d had at school was ten years out of date, but being around Alex was relaxing. Fun, even. ‘Okay, what do you want to photograph next?’

Glancing around him, Alex settled on the cabinet of engagement and wedding rings on the other side of the room. Striding towards it, he said, ‘Let’s get some shots of the really good stuff, now. But I’m going to need you to model them for me.’

Lily hung back until Alex held his hand out for the key. She passed it to him, biting her lip. Modelling her engagement rings, the ones she hadn’t been allowed to make for her own hand… Was that weird? It felt weird. She swallowed. ‘There’s a variety of sizes there. They won’t all fit perfectly.’

‘But enough of them will fit well enough?’

She nodded. Her fingers were fairly average size, maybe slimmer than most. Some might hang a little loose, but he could hide that in the photos, she was sure.

He looked at her, eyes serious. What was he trying to prove here? His expression gave nothing away. He simply tipped his head in acknowledgement and said, ‘Okay then. Let’s get started.’

Alex sat her, not at her workbench, as she’d expected, but by the window, the May sun streaming through and warming her skin. Using the folding table he’d commandeered for the other shots, draped in a snowy white cloth to best reflect the light, he’d settled her into a comfortable enough position, where her hand could rest at the best angle. When he was happy, he said, ‘Right then. Inferior ring off. Let’s see which of yours suits you best.’

Lily looked at the ring she hadn’t chosen on her hand. This was stupid. She took it off all the time at home – to do the washing up or when she put on moisturiser. The diamond stuck out at just the right angle to catch her skin, or her tights, or get encrusted in soap. It really wasn’t a practical ring. It only made sense not to wear it all the time.

Resolved, she slipped it off her finger, placing it on the windowsill for safekeeping. Then she bent her head over the tray of rings and chose her favourite, next to the one she’d made for Cora. White gold, with a blue diamond, bezel set low on the band so its surface was almost level with the rest of the ring. Simple, practical, and stunning. She was proud of that ring. Even if she’d never wear it herself in reality, she wanted to show it off.

Holding it up for him to see, she said, ‘How about we start with this one?’

* * * *

The ring Lily picked was utterly her, Alex realized. Simple but captivating, and just a little bit unusual. Was that the sort of ring she would have designed for herself? If she’d been given the chance, that is. Without thinking, he plucked the ring from her grasp and said, ‘An excellent choice, milady. Shall we see how it fits?’

It wasn’t until he’d lifted her left hand and slipped the ring onto her fourth finger that he realized quite what it meant. His heart racing, he jerked his head up to meet her gaze as he pushed the ring home. Her eyes were wide and green, caught in the moment like him. A pink tongue darted out to wet her lips, and Alex clamped down on the urge, sudden and overwhelming, to lean forward and capture her mouth with his.

In the past, he’d have done it. He’d have taken the perfect romantic opportunity, and won her over. Seduced her with the right smile, the right words, the right look. But he wasn’t that person, now. And besides, he’d never have done it with a ring. He’d always known that marriage, commitment, settling down… that had to be saved until it was the right person, in the right place. And being back home might have put him in the right place, but Lily Thomas couldn’t be the right person. Not least because she was engaged to marry someone else.

But still, he couldn’t shake the thought that this was exactly how it should feel to propose marriage. Terrifying, heart racing, arousing and perfectly right.

Except he wasn’t proposing, was he? He was supposed to be taking photos.

Dropping her hand, Alex swallowed hard. ‘Right then,’ he said, busying himself with his camera so he couldn’t see if her eyes were still wide and wanting, or if her lips were still parted in that sweet, alluring way. ‘Let’s get started.’

‘Right. Yes. Okay.’ Was it his imagination, or did her voice sound husky? Maybe he wasn’t the only one affected by the moment. ‘How do you want me?’

Naked under me,Alex thought, the image vivid and desperate in his head. How had this happened? He’d seen her twice in the last decade. How had she got so completely under his skin in so little time?

‘Um, just rest your hand like… that, perfect. Great.’ With a deep breath, Alex lifted the camera and started to shoot, focusing on the light, the framing, the angle. They weren’t going to be his best-ever photos, he knew. Hopefully he could fix them later, once he had them on his computer.

For now, he just had to get through the tray of rings between them without succumbing to his desires.

He just had to remember that Lily was engaged to someone else. That those weren’t his rings on her finger. That he didn’t want Lily for his bride anyway. He was looking for the steady, supportive wife his father had wanted for him. Not the wild child best friend of his cousin.

Focus. That’s what he needed. ‘Right. Next ring.’

It took hours to get through all of them, but Alex couldn’t bring himself to stop. He wanted to see every single ring on her slim fingers. Wanted her to see how every one of them was a better match for her than the one Edward had picked.

As the afternoon light faded into evening, they reached the last ring, and he smiled at Lily as he reached in for it, not realizing she was doing the same thing. She sucked in a breath when their hands brushed against each other. Unfortunately, the sound was followed immediately by the clatter of the shop door opening…

Want to read more of The Love Trilogy?

Room for Love

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Mills & Boon ~ Kobo ~ Nook ~ Blinkbox

An A to Z of Love

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Mills & Boon ~ Kobo ~ Nook ~ Blinkbox

Summer of Love 

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Mills & Boon ~ Kobo ~ Nook ~ Blinkbox

A New Perspective

It’s funny how you can spend weeks, months, years seeing things one way – until something changes your view. And it never ceases to amaze me how two people can see the same thing so differently.

Take, for instance, my lounge.

Some backstory. When we bought this house, almost two years ago, one of the things we liked most about it was that it didn’t need much work doing to it. Our previous house, when we moved in, needed serious redecorating in every room, and also had a doorway shaped like a coffin. We were DIYed out.

But, of course, the reason the new house didn’t need much doing was that everything painted magnolia. And after eighteen months of beige and brown, it started to get a little… dull.

So the husband and I discussed colours. I thought a nice pale duck egg blue would look nice with the chocolate brown sofas and brown and beige curtains and carpet. He agreed.

Then I went away for two weeks over Easter and when I returned he’d furnished the downstairs of our house with a variety of bright turquoise and dark teal accessories. Not quite what I had in mind…

Still, since he’d put in so much effort, I decided we’d go with it. And a week or two later, my boring beige and brown lounge looks like this:

2014-06-23 09.13.31 2014-06-23 20.35.24

We painted one wall, shifted some furniture around and put up a new shelf, and suddenly it feels like a completely different room. And because my sofa is now on the other side of the room, I suddenly have a whole new perspective on the entire downstairs of my house.

I love it. It’s not at all what I imagined that I wanted, but now I have it, I love it. His vision of the same room was different to mine, but perfectly wonderful, all the same.

The same thing happens with book covers, I find.

When I finish writing a book (or sometimes, if I’m running a little behind schedule, while I’m writing the book) I fill in an Art Fact Sheet (AFS). The AFS is my chance to tell the designers and everyone else involved what my book is about, what my characters look like, where it’s set. I get to describe a few of my favourite scenes, tell them what my characters are wearing, and where they are. I describe the mood of the book, the feel of the story.

And then they go away and design my cover, while I wait impatiently and bite my fingernails, desperate to see what they come up with.

The funny thing is, because I get a couple of different covers for each book – one for the UK and one for the US at the least – I get to see different interpretations of the same information, the same story, the same characters. And it amazes me, every time, how each version completely nails the book – even when they’re totally different!

A few examples:

Stranded with the Tycoon

Stranded with the Tycoon Cover

North America Cover

Stranded with the Tycoon UK Cover

UK Cover

A large and important part of this book takes place in a cosy Welsh cottage during a snow storm – and I have to say that the North American cover conveys that perfectly.

But the characters meet in a swanky hotel, drink champagne and go out to dinner together. So the UK cover hits that nicely too. Same story, different pictures.

 

Heiress on the Run

Heiress on the Run US Cover

North America Cover

Heiress on the Run UK

UK Cover

Here, the UK cover focusses entirely on Faith, the heroine. In lots of ways it is her story, and she’s the one in the title, so it makes sense. And I love the look on her face, the challenge in her eyes – that truly is Faith.

But some of the most important scenes in the book take place in St James’s Park (one of my very favourite places) and I love that the North American cover encompasses that. (On the other hand, I have no idea where the bike came from. After my latest covers, I’m starting to worry that inexplicable bikes may now be a theme in my book covers.)

A Groom Worth Waiting For

This is my upcoming release, due out in August, and my author copies have just arrived – and they’re beyond gorgeous. I think this book might have two of my favourite covers of all time. Just look:

A Groom Worth Waiting For Cover

North America Cover

A Groom Worth Waiting For UK cover

UK Cover

The only thing these two covers seem to have in common is a woman with dark hair in a wedding dress. The North American cover has Thea’s car on it, which I love, while the UK one has another inexplicable bike, but the UK cover screams Tuscany in summer…

They’re both gorgeous, and they both feel like the book to me. I can’t wait for you all to read it!

 

 

Covers and releases galore!

I’m just catching my breath after three months of very intensive work (58,000 words written in under two weeks at one point. Ow.) and looked up to see that I suddenly have a lot of books coming out this summer! So I’m afraid that this is a rather book heavy post…

Room for LoveFirst off, my current release, Room for Love (the first in the Love trilogy) has been getting some great reviews. Here are a couple of snippets of my favourites:

Carrie is a workaholic, out trying to prove she can do anything, do it herself, and do it well. She can, of course…. but the handsome gardener decides to help. And that, my friends, is the start of something beautiful… Funny, crazy, nostalgic, and beautiful.

Calliope, Random Book Muses

There’s an absolute HEAP of fabulous characters included in Room for Love. It’s almost as if the story itself is alive with happiness and laughter. I just couldn’t get enough of the uplifting and positive feel that was spread throughout the story. Sophie conveyed it perfectly and I couldn’t help but feel warm and cosy when reading about them all.

Becca, Becca’s Books

An A to Z of LoveAnd then yesterday, Carina UK revealed the cover for Book 2 in the trilogyAn A to Z of Love. Isn’t it gorgeous?

An A to Z of Love is set in the Welsh seaside town of Aberarian, so I love the beachy feel of the cover. Here’s what the book’s about…

Mia Page has been the subject of gossip in Aberarian for half her life, ever since her father ran off with his secretary–and the contents of the local museum safe–when she was fourteen.

Still, Mia loves her hometown, loves working at the A to Z shop, eating seafood with her best friend Charlie at his restaurant, catching the classic midnight movie at the crumbling Coliseum cinema. And if she ever wonders if things might be even better if Charlie were more than just a friend, well, it’s only an idle thought in a lonely moment. After all, friendship always trumps romance, doesn’t it? And she’s never been one to rock the boat.

But everything she loves is suddenly under threat from Charlie’s ex-girlfriend, Becky, and her plans to turn Mia’s beloved Coliseum into a casino, transforming the sleepy seaside town forever. As Mia tries to pull the people of Aberarian together to save the town they adore, her father reappears, and people start asking what he wants to take from them this time…

An A to Z of Love is out on the 12th June, so not very long to wait at all! Book 3 of the Love trilogy, Summer of Love, will follow next month, on the 14th July. I can’t wait to see what they do with the cover for that one!

You’d think three books would be enough for one summer, but no! By some quirk of publishing fate, I actually have another TWO stories coming out. (I promise there’ll be a break after that, at least for a few months!)

The Bodyguard in her RoomFirst up is The Bodyguard in her Room  a digital short story written as part of the fabulous world of the Chatsfield Hotel, created by Mills and Boon. It’s available for download in the UK right now  at a bargain price.

Here’s what it’s about:

Step behind the hotel room doors of The Chatsfield, London…

In London for her latest Hollywood film’s press junket, up and coming actress Bethany Lord is hiding from a storm of scandal that could threaten everything she’s worked so hard to achieve. But little does she know that the biggest threat to her isn’t the press outside The Chatsfield, London, it’s the shocking sensual tension caused by man who has been sent to protect her!

This one was so much fun to write! I love London hotels, and coming up with a suitably scandalous story to match the Chatsfield’s reputation was a challenge I relished. It’s a quick, fun read, and I really hope you all enjoy it!

As I say, it’s out in the UK now, and then on August 1st it will be released as part of a 5 e-book bundle in North America – the same day as the release of my final story of the summer…

A Groom Worth Waiting For CoverLast up is my third book for Harlequin Romance / Mills & Boon Cherish. Part of their International Weddings month, A Groom Worth Waiting For is actually the first part of a duet featuring two sisters, Thea and Helena Morrison. I’m just finishing up edits on the second book in the duet now, and that will be out early next year, I believe.

I love the North American cover for this one, mostly because it feels very much like the book – plus, the scene with Thea and Zeke beside her little red sports car, in the middle of nowhere in the Tuscan countryside, is one of my favourites in the book.

The UK cover is continuing my inexplicable bike on cover theme, as started with the NA cover for Heiress on the run, and I like it – especially the sunset over the hill. Very romantic!

Here’s the blurb:

A Groom Worth Waiting For UK coverUnder the Tuscan sun…

It’s everything Thea has ever dreamed of. A Tuscan wedding, the perfect dress, a handsome groom…and her wedding will unite two families in more than business. So why is it only when her groom’s brother Zeke Ashton arrives that things start feeling right?

Watching the woman he once loved sacrifice her happiness for duty is impossible. Zeke has to remind her of the carefree, happy girl she once was before she says “I do” if Thea—or he—is ever to have a chance at happiness….

So many summery releases. So why not sit back with a cold drink (preferably with a little umbrella) and enjoy a little light reading?

Where to grab them:

Room for Love

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Mills & Boon ~ Kobo ~ Nook

An A to Z of Love (pre-order)

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Mills & Boon ~ Kobo ~ Nook

Summer of Love (pre-order)

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Mills & Boon ~ Kobo ~ Nook

The Bodyguard in her Room

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Mills & Boon ~ Kobo ~ Nook

A Groom Worth Waiting For (pre-order)

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Mills & Boon ~ Kobo ~ Nook

Room for Love

Big News, and much Love From Wales

All the way back in January, I mentioned that my first three novels, the Love From Wales trilogy, were going to be unavailable for a time. Well, I’m pleased to announce that they’re about to be re-released, better than ever.

Once a book is out there, on the shelves and e-readers of the world, it’s usually too late to decide you want to make changes. Which means that most writers, I imagine, look at their early works occasionally and think ‘if only I’d known then what I know now…’

I first wrote Room for Love almost six years ago, and An A to Z of Love around the same time. Even Summer of Love was first drafted three years ago. So, when I was given the opportunity to regain the rights to all three Love From Wales books, I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to brighten, tighten and improve them with everything I’ve learnt over the last few years. And who better to help me do that than the publisher I’m now writing romances for?

So I contacted Carina UK, the digital first imprint of Harlequin Mills and Boon, and asked if they’d be interested in re-releasing the new and improved books – and lucky for me, they said they’d love to!

So, for the past few months, while also keeping on top of my usual writing schedule, I’ve also been polishing, primping and preparing these three books to go back out into the world again – and now it’s very nearly time.

Room for LoveRoom for Love is set to be released on May 15th, with An A to Z of Love following in June and Summer of Love in July. In fact, Room for Love is already up for pre-order on Amazon – and look at its gorgeous new cover!

If you’ve never had the chance to read these books before, I hope you’ll give them a try. Set in my homeland of Wales, and featuring a cast of characters that still feel like family to me, these books are very dear to my heart. If you want to know more about them, check out the series page.

And if you read all three the first time around… well, if you feel like revisiting Carrie and Nate at the Avalon, or Charlie and Mia in Aberarian, or Lily and Alex on their summer of weddings, you many find things a little different – but definitely improved!