Rosewood in print!

I’m so excited that, as from today, you can buy The Last Days of Summer in paperback! It’s available from Sainsbury’s stores across the country, or to order online.

This novel has always been incredibly close to my heart, and it’s just so special to hold a printed copy at last.

If you missed it when it came out as an e-book last year, now’s your chance to catch up! And if you’re wondering what this Rosewood place is, well, read all about it here.

 

Winter Giveaway!

giveaway-facebook-postIf you follow me on social media, then you’ll know I’ve been writing A LOT of books set at Christmas and New Year lately. You might even say it’s become something of a niche for me!

And since we’re heading into the most wonderful time of the year, I thought I’d host a competition to give away signed copies of some of my most fabulously festive stories!

All you need to do to enter is sign up to the Sophie Pembroke newsletter, by clicking the Enter Now link below – super easy. I’ll be announcing the winner through the newsletter on December 7th, so get your name down now to be in with a chance to win.

Good luck!

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A Happy/Sad Day

It’s a day of mixed emotions here at Pembroke cottage. On the one hand, it’s release day for Christmas at Rosewood, and I’m so excited!

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When I originally wrote The Last Days of Summer, many moons ago, the story was split into two parts – one set in the summer, one the following Christmas. While bringing all the action together into the summer made for a better book, it did mean I had to say goodbye to all my wintery, festive Rosewood scenes. So I was delighted to be able to revisit Rosewood for Christmas in this novella.

The Last Days of Summer was dedicated to my mother’s parents, so it felt only right that this one be dedicated to my father’s parents.

The dedication reads:

For my Gran, Lesley Kathleen Stella Cannon

and in memory of my Grandpa, William Charles Cannon

with so much Christmas love xxx

Sadly, my wonderful Gran passed away a few days ago, just before the book was published, making today feel a little bittersweet. But just like Grandpa’s orange fishing jumper appeared in the first book as a key part of Nathaniel’s wardrobe, Gran lives on in my books. Isabelle’s elegance and perfect hostess abilities, Therese’s talent for putting together the perfect outfit for any occasion – that’s all Gran.

When we were small, my brothers, cousins and I all thought that Gran was a bit like the Queen, only slightly posher. Regal, immaculate, imperious and with a encyclopaedic knowledge of etiquette. And even in her last months, she was always the perfect hostess – she couldn’t help but ask if you needed a cup of tea, or some cake.

We’ll all miss Gran tremendously this Christmas, and every other day. But my Aunt told me a story that helped to ease the pain a little. When Gran used to visit her out in Australia, my Aunt would always be very sad when she had to put her back on the plane to go home again. So she’d call Grandpa, who would say, “I need her too.”

Grandpa has waited a long time to have her home with him again. It makes me smile to think that they’ll be together this Christmas, at last.

Gran, with my Aunt

Gran, with my Aunt

Gran

Gran

Here’s what it’s all about:

christmas-at-rosewoodAll Freya Hollis wants to do is hide from the world, instead she’s spending Christmas Eve driving her son and nagging mother through the snowy countryside to spend the holidays at Rosewood, with her brother’s new family.

Already nervous about trying to merge two family traditions together, Freya is shocked to find out that Rosewood has an extra guest for Christmas…Aiden, her brother’s best friend and the – almost – love of her life.

She’s never told anyone about the Christmas they spent together and has no intention of dredging it up now! Except Rosewood has a way of drawing out even your most buried secrets and Freya might discover that this ghost from Christmas past could just be a part of her future…

And here’s where to buy it!

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Happy Claude-mas, everybody!

It may still only be October, but my second Christmas book of the year is out today!

Claude’s Christmas Adventure is the story of a big-hearted (and large stomached) French Bulldog called Claude, who is accidentally left behind by his beloved family at Christmas. While his family are battling to get back home to him, Claude sets out on his own adventure – and manages to bring the whole community together in the process.

Or, it’s sort of like Home Alone meets Mog’s Christmas Calamity. Whichever you prefer…

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The advance reviews of the book have been stunning, and I’m so grateful to everyone who took the time to read and write about Claude. Also, I want to mention that Avon Books have made the whole package absolutely gorgeous. The book is a smaller hardback, with doggy footprint end papers and beautiful snowflake detailing on the pages. I’m just in love with it! (And, I have to say, it would make a really lovely Christmas present for the readers on your list….)

I’m so proud to see Claude waddling out into the world by himself. I hope you all enjoy reading his adventures as much as I loved writing them.

 

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Meet Claude. He’s a loveable, big-eared, permanently hungry French Bulldog, who loves his humans – the McCawley family of number 11 Maple Drive to be precise.

When Daisy and Oliver McCawley start using new words like, ‘ferry’, ‘chateau’ and ‘France’, Claude realises they won’t be spending this Christmas at home. Only, when he finds himself on the street, as the family car pulls away, Claude realises he is ALONE. And more importantly, he is without all the yummy treats he knows the festive season brings…

Cue the start of Claude’s Christmas Adventure. It all begins with a belly-flop through next door’s catflap, where he finds newly single and craft-a-holic Holly, Jack the ex-army postman, his arch nemesis Perdita the cat … and serious amounts of gingerbread.

Maple Drive’s cutest resident is about to bring the street together for Christmas, in ways no-one could have imagined …

Read It Now!

Sneak Peek Sunday: The Last Days of Summer

Only 11 days now until my latest book, The Last Days of Summer, is released!

I know lots of you have preordered it already, for which I am immensely grateful. But in case you can’t wait until June 9th, I thought you might enjoy a little sneak peek!

This excerpt is from Chapter 1, and starts just after Saskia walks into Rosewood again for the first time in two years, and finds her Grandmother, Isabelle, arranging flowers…

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If you’d like to know more about the book, check out the Last Days of Summer page, where you’ll find the blurb, pre-order links, a cast of characters, reviews and more!


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An Invitation to Rosewood

Come one, come all, and join us at Rosewood – home of literary legend, Nathaniel Drury, and his family.

Rosewood invite - plain

Amazingly, there’s only two weeks left until my new book, The Last Days of Summer, hits the virtual shelves on June 9th. (It’s up for pre-order right now pretty much everywhere.)

As we get closer to release day, I thought it might be fun to share some more details about the book, and give you a few behind the scenes glimpses to ease you into the world of Rosewood.

The Last Days of Summer CoverSo, what’s the book about? Well, it’s a grown up coming of age story about Saskia Ryan, granddaughter of celebrated novelist Nathaniel Drury. She returns home to Rosewood to face her family after two years in exile, unsure as to whether the secret that drove her away is out yet. She expects to be in and out in a weekend – just long enough to get through her Grandparents’ Golden Wedding Anniversary party. But that’s before she meets Nathaniel’s new assistant, before Nathaniel makes his big announcement, and before she realises that she’s not the only member of her family keeping secrets…

If you’d like to meet the cast of characters from the book, check out the brilliant poster my publisher, Carina UK, put together for me. And if you’d like to read about how this book came to be published, twelve long years after I first had the idea, take a look at this post I wrote earlier in the month for the Carina UK site. And if you’d like to pre-order the book, well, I’d be immensely grateful!

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I’ll be back on Sunday with a sneak peek extract of the book. Until then, enjoy finding out all about Rosewood!


To make sure you don’t miss any of the latest news from Rosewood, sign up today for the Sophie Pembroke newsletter!

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Release day for Tom and Violet!

Falling for the Bridesmaid is out in shops and on e-shelves in the UK, Australia and North America today! Romantic Times gave it a brilliant 4* review, saying:

Readers will get a kick out of the dry humour and several ups and downs, which make Pembroke’s latest a real page turner.

So what’s it 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. 

…and help her discover love isn’t just something that happens to other people…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

Continue reading

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 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!

 

 

Room for Love

Release Day for Room for Love!

I’m so excited to be able to say today that I am an official part of the Carina UK family because – Room for Love is available to buy right now!

Even better, it’s already got some lovely reviews from the nice people who requested it from Netgalley. Like these:

Rachel Cotterill, 5 stars:

It’s Carrie’s personal struggle to accept friendship, love, and assistance which lies at the heart of this book. A very sweet story which I really loved; I finished it in no time.

Rosee, Goodreads, 5 stars:

“What a delightful story! I loved the descriptions of the old inn and surrounding countryside and the occupants of the inn were irresistible. This book is a real treat.”

So, what’s it all about? Well…

Room for LoveWhen wedding planner Carrie Archer inherits the crumbling Avalon Inn where she spent her childhood summers, she knows she’ll do whatever it takes to make it home. With no money for renovations, that means finding investors if she ever hopes to turn the Avalon into a dream wedding venue.

But Carrie has been left more than the inn—she’s also inherited its occupants, including three senior citizens, a single-father chef with childcare issues, a panicky receptionist, and one very gorgeous gardener.

So when her cousin Ruth declares her intention to get married at the Avalon on Christmas Eve, Carrie finds herself juggling decorating with dance nights, budgeting with bridge games…and sabotage with seduction.

And don’t forget, the next two books in the trilogy will be out soon – An A to Z of Love hits the virtual shelves in June, with Summer of Love following in July, just in time for the summer holidays!

I really hope you all enjoy reading them as much as I loved writing them. Here’s a little sneak peak of Room for Love to tempt you into the Avalon Inn…

 

Chapter 1

It’s a money pit, Carrie. You don’t have to do this. You can’t do this.

Carrie stared out of the car window at the familiar, crumbling form of the Avalon Inn, her father’s words still echoing in her head. Five, and it barely seemed to have changed at all. The roof tiles still sat wonky, the terrace seemed to be sinking into the grass, and moss had crept so far up the building it appeared to have taken over the stonework.

In other words, it still looked like home.

The place she’d spent endless childhood summers, reading by firelight or adventuring through overgrown gardens. The scene of her first kiss. Fourteen years old, dressed in Grandma Nancy’s second-best silk gown, dancing on the terrace with one of the local boys. He’d sung along to the music, his breath warm against her ear as they’d hidden in the darkness, peering through the window at the women dancing, their long dresses swirling. Cigar smoke and music had filled the air, and Carrie had known in that moment that the Avalon Inn was where she truly belonged.

Even now, so many years later, she knew this place, deep in her bones. Just through the front door stood the ornate, curving main staircase, the site of her cousin Ruth’s many fictional weddings. And somewhere, shoved in the bottom of a cupboard, she’d probably find a dressing-up box holding the endless parade of second-hand bridesmaid’s dresses Ruth had dressed Carrie in for the occasions. The unicorn tapestry would still be hanging over the reception desk, and the old Welsh dresser must still dominate the dining room.

All so, so familiar.

She could almost see Grandma Nancy skipping down the front steps, if she tried. Carrie squinted for a second, before the twinge of guilt that always accompanied the thought of five years of absence caught up with her. Because Grandma Nancy would never walk down those steps again. Because now the Avalon Inn belonged to Carrie.

She shouldn’t have done it, Carrie. It wasn’t fair. You don’t have the knowledge or the experience to run an inn. Especially not a crumbling old heap like the Avalon.

She could still see her father, shaking his head as he spoke, hands trembling as he held the whisky glass Uncle Patrick had forced into his hand the moment the funeral service was over.

“I’ve been organising society weddings for five years,” Carrie argued, even though her dad was two weeks and three hundred miles away. “I think I can manage one venue.”

Think of what you’re throwing away! It’ll swallow up all your savings in one gulp, and God knows Mum didn’t have much money to leave you. And what then? Do you think that boss of yours will take you back again? Anna gave you a job when you needed one, when no one else would, as a favour to Uncle Patrick. And now you’re walking out on her. You’re burning your bridges, Carrie.

Enough. She might have burned every bridge, aqueduct and underpass she had, but she was here. And she couldn’t just sit in her car waiting for something to happen. She was on her own now.

Sucking in a deep breath, Carrie opened the door and stepped out, locking the car behind her automatically before she caught herself. She almost laughed. Who did she think was going to steal her tiny city car here in the middle of the Welsh mountains? There probably wasn’t even anyone there to see it.

Behind her, the peaks and valleys of Snowdonia stretched out, green and vibrant and damp in the autumn afternoon. The air tasted different here. Fresher than London, of course, but more than that. Almost as if it had more life in it.

For the first time in the two weeks since the funeral, since that awful fight with her father, Carrie felt something inside her relax. This was the right thing to do. Grandma Nancy had left her the Avalon—not Dad, or Uncle Patrick, or even Ruth—so she’d obviously believed she was up to the challenge.

No matter what everyone else thought.

Carrie was going to save the Avalon Inn, all by herself. And then she was going to take great pleasure in saying ‘I told you so’ to everyone who said she couldn’t do it.

Just as Gran would have wanted.