Heart Of A Hostage is published on December 4th! Order your copy from The Wild Rose Press

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Giveaways And Prizes—Not To Mention Romance, Royalty, and Rhinovirus...
Gah! No nonsense this week, as I've been felled by a bug that's been doing the rounds of OH's office. Now I (and the next generation) have been felled by it, too.

It would happen, this week of all weeks. On Friday, the third book in my Princes Of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press, Heart of A Hostageis released. If you join the Goodreads giveaway before December 2nd, you can be part of the draw for a free signed copy of Heart Of A Hostage.

As part of The Wild Rose Press's holiday season, you can get 40% off the ebook versions of the first two books in the Princes Of Kharova series, His Majesty's Secret Passion and Her Royal Risk, but you'll have to be quick. This is a time-limited offer!

It's Advent Sunday today, so in the spirit of the festive season I'll be holding a draw for subscribers to my newsletter. Sign up to my mailing list here before December 2nd, and you'll be entered in a draw to win two signed books—a copy of both His Majesty's Secret Passion and Her Royal Risk, so you can catch up with the romantic excitement in Kharova before Heart Of A Hostage is released on Friday.

In my Christmas newsletter, there's a competition to win all three of the Princes Of Kharova books in one romantic bundle along with other prizes, so sign up here today!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Heart Of A Hostage—Three Chances Of Winning A Free Book!
Find out more here 
How would you like to win a copy of my new book? The 4th December sees the launch of my next book, Heart Of A Hostage. To be in with a chance to win an advance copy of the ebook, or one of two signed paperbacks, read on...

Heart Of A Hostage is the third book in my Princes Of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press. The ruling family of Kharova has already been rocked by abdication, riot and revolt in the first two romantic novels in the series. His Majesty's Secret Passion was the story of how businesswoman Sara turned King Leo's life upside down, while he changed her future. Her Royal Risk pitted perfect personal assistant Krisia against career soldier Prince Athan, while Heart Of A Hostage gives  Leo and Athan's younger sister Princess Maia a chance to shine. You can find out more about all three books at 

I'm running a Goodreads Giveaway for two signed paperback copies of Heart Of A Hostage right now, over at My previous book, Her Royal Risk, ended with rebels disrupting the King of Kharova's coronation. Princess Maia is taken hostage after the celebrations. Hidden away in the rebel stronghold of Castle Dukagjini, she gets the better of her captor after discovering his terrible secret—and discovers a lot about the nature of independence, too.

You can find out more from The Wild Rose Press.

Meanwhile, here's a little taster..

She couldn’t pull back. Mihail was crossing more lines than she could count, and his deadly smile was a reminder of exactly how much trouble she was in...

...and there's a longer extract from Heart Of A Hostage here.
I'm also running a separate draw for readers of this blog. The prize is a pdf copy of Heart Of A Hostage. Just post a comment here, and I'll announce the winner next Friday, 27th November. 

Good luck!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Goodreads Giveaway: His Majesty's Secret Passion... 
I'm running a Goodreads Giveaway this week over at, with the chance to win a free copy of His Majesty's Secret Passion. That was the book which launched my Princes Of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press, and you can find out more about it in my blog post  Writing A Series.

The Goodreads giveaway is running ahead of the launch on 4th December of the third book in the Princes Of Kharova series, Heart Of A Hostage. His Majesty's Secret Passion is the romance between King Leo and Sara, the career girl who captures his heart. Heart Of A Hostage is the story of King Leo's younger sister, Maia. She's heading for an arranged marriage into a horrible, money-mad family of social climbers. She must obey her brother the king's command, but secretly dreams of breaking free to find her independence. There's no hope of that, short of a miracle...

...and then, on the way back from celebrations for her brother's coronation, Maia's car breaks down. She's stranded in the middle of nowhere, alone, until a strangely familiar figure strides into view. It's Kharovan royal family's sworn enemy, gorgeous rebel Mihail.

Here's an extract from Heart Of A Hostage to whet your appetite... 
“What’s the matter?” His voice was as rough as his stubble.
“I want to go back to my car.”
“Not possible. Sorry.” 
That must top the chart of most insincere apologies, ever.
“My driver and my bodyguard…they’ll be worried.”
“Not about you. They've got other things to think about, such as their own skins. I’ve got lookouts posted everywhere. They’re busy taking your vehicles to a place of safety.”
“You mean they’re stealing them.”
“Haven’t you heard the saying ‘all’s fair in love and war’?”
 Maia looked him up and down. There wasn’t any room to hide a weapon in his white tee shirt and tight jeans, so she lifted her chin and tried to calm her breathing.
  “This is neither. You’re a rebel and a thief, Mihail Dukagjini, and I want to go home.”
“No. And I haven’t stolen anything for years.”
He reached out, ready to trail his fingers down her cheek. Maia recoiled. Truffle tensed, and she waited for the  little dog to lunge at her attacker, but he wasn’t going to challenge Mihail. Petrified to have someone stand up to his threats for once, Truffle turned tail and hid. 

To find out more, and to order Heart Of A Hostage ahead of publication, go to 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015: The Writing Begins!

A wintry mystery...Pic by Alexas Fotos
I’m posting my blog a day early today, as the first of November marks the start of NaNoWrMo—(National Novel Writing Month). The Na should properly be Int, as it’s an international  phenomenon now!

I’m going to be pretty busy for the next month, trying to hit an average word count of 2,100 per day. My project for this year’s NaNoWriMo is the first draft of Wolf's Bane, the second book in my Brackenridge trilogy of romantic novels.  I want to reach a total of 63,000 words by the end of November. It’s a mountain to climb, but that’s the beauty of NaNoWriMo. By breaking the task of producing a complete manuscript down into individual bite-sized chunks, it doesn’t feel so hard. That’s the theory, anyway... 

Finishing the first draft is one thing. There’ll be plenty of polishing to be done, but that can wait. NaNoWriMo simply gets the framework in place. I’ve already filled out character sheets for my protagonists, Sophia and Josh, so I know how they'll react to whatever is thrown at them while I'm writing at speed. You can find out more about how I develop my characters here.

Josh and Sophia met in Love Lies Bleeding, a contemporary crime novel which is currently in post-production. In Wolf’s Bane, the perfect new life Sophia has built for herself is leaving her faintly dissatisfied. She’s spent years dreaming about becoming a lawyer, then she does a good turn which makes her question her motives—and makes Josh realise that danger haunts them both, every moment of every day. Dark secrets and ancient legends are a deadly combination...

Have you tried using NaNoWriMo to help you make a start on writing your book? There's a copy of my Romance Review's Readers' Choice Nominee, His Majesty's Secret Passion, on offer for a comment drawn at random on 7th November.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Writing A Series: The Princes Of Kharova—How It All Began...

I'm getting really excited! In less than two months Heart Of A Hostage, the third book in my Princes of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press, is published.

I started thinking about the plot of my eighteenth book, His Majesty’s Secret Passion, in the middle of a freezing winter. The sky was grey, and summer was months away. I needed an escape route, and I found it in writing the novel which turned into my twelfth contemporary romance. 

The idea of a powerful man taking on the job of rebuilding a country had been bubbling away in the back of my mind for a long time. Writing is all about living in a story world, and one miserable winter day, I was keen to escape to somewhere hot and sunny. Creating a new romance gave me the chance to do exactly that. I turned up the heating, switched on the white light box, poured myself some freshly squeezed orange juice (pretending I needed ice in it was a bit of a stretch, but I managed!) and dreamed up a luxury spa on a Greek island. King Leo was taking a break while waiting to be crowned, and Sara was a stressed executive in need of rest and relaxation.

I wanted to feel hot sun on my skin, and dig my toes into fine white sand. The only way I could do it was to lose myself in a fantasy. It was a lovely way to forget the dark days of winter. What began as a single idea for an escapist romance turned into a whole series of books.

Leo and Sara’s story became His Majesty’s Secret Passion, the first book in my Princes Of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press. I wrote the second book, Her Royal Risk, after readers wrote to me wanting to know what happened next. Krisia, the perfect personal assistant, was given the impossible job of working for Leo’s wild younger brother, Athan. Both these books were nominated in The Romance Review’s Readers’ Awards for Winter 2015. Voting is open until the end of October, so you can still register your vote by hitting one (or both) of the nominee badges at the top of this page!

There’s something unusual about the hero and heroine of the third book in my Princes Of Kharova series. Their roles are reversed.  Maia is the sister of the two princes who star in the other books, which of course makes her a princess. Mihail is Public Enemy Number One...

The second in the series...
In Heart of A Hostage, the third book in the Princes Of Kharova series, Leo and Athan’s younger sister discovers not everyone is willing to  let her get her own way in life.  Mihail, head of the Kharovan rebels, takes Maia hostage as she returns from a break. In return, he expects to get a big ransom, but the king of Kharova doesn’t bow to blackmail. 

Maia is a long way from the glittering, story-book princess Mihail fantasized about when they were both teenagers. His hostage becomes the houseguest from hell, but when Maia discovers the secret behind Mihail’s mysterious double life, everything changes in an instant.

Heart of a Hostage will be published by The Wild Rose Press in December, just in time for the Christmas holiday season. Sign up for my newsletter here to get a sneak preview, with the chance to win a free copy of Heart Of A Hostage the moment it’s released.  

Here’s a taste of what you can look forward to....

Mihail walks out of Maia's past, and into her present. Who is in more trouble—kidnapper or victim?

Princess Maia has it all—including a horrible fiancĂ© chosen for her by the king, and a family bullying her into doing the right thing—but all she wants is her independence. When she falls into the hands of rebel leader, Mihail, she tastes real freedom for the first time. Mihail is a lone wolf, Public Enemy Number One, and heir to a fierce tradition. A dangerous reputation, a castle full of guilty secrets and now rescuing Maia are all woven into his master plan. He can’t lose.
Until his unexpected hostage turns out to be the house guest from hell...

Monday, 12 October 2015

Blogging: What Do You Want? Newsletters: What Do You Need?

I read a lot of blogs, but nothing like as many as I used to. I've been wondering if they still have value, so if you called into my blog earlier today, you'll have seen a different post on offer. (bonus points for anyone who knows what it was about!)

What do you look for in a blog? Do you like to read about a blogger's news, details about their work in progress, extracts, guest posts, tips on the craft of writing, or general chit-chat?

Which blogs do you follow, and which are your favourites? I'm busy re-designing my own blog ready for the New Year, and I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Right now I'm working on my Autumn newsletter, which will be going out any day now. Do you subscribe to any newsletters? Again, I'd love to know what aspects of them you enjoy. How often do you like to receive them? What entices you to open a newsletter, when it arrives in your email inbox?

I use my occasional newsletters to keep readers up to date with what I've been doing over the previous months, whether I've been writing, working in the kitchen, out in the garden, or with the bees.

My subscribers are the first to see the covers of my forthcoming books, and I include one of my favourite recipes with each issue. The newsletter going out later this month features Roasted Tomato Tart, so if you'd like to find out how to make it, you can sign up to my mailing list here.

Thanks again to everyone who has voted for my books in the Romance Review Readers' Awards.  The polls close on 31st October, so if you enjoyed the first two stories in my Princes Of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press and you haven't hit either (or preferably both!) buttons at the top of this page, please show your appreciation for His Majesty's Secret Passion here and Her Royal Risk here.

Post your comments about blogging and newsletters before Saturday 17th October, for a chance to win a signed book. The draw will take place over the weekend, and I'll post the winner's name next Monday.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Great News About The Romance Reviews Readers' Choice Awards!

Thanks to your help in first-round voting, the initial books in my Princes Of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press, His Majesty's Secret Passion and Her Royal Risk, have both made it through to the final round of The Romance Review's Readers' Choice Awards for Winter 2015 (Contemporary Romance category). 

Now it's a case of whichever book in each category gets the most votes, wins.

I'd be really grateful if you could spread the word about the competition for me, and if you enjoyed my books, then I'd love you to vote for them both again, too!

You can vote for each book by clicking on the respective buttons at the top of this page, or click on the following links:

For His Majesty's Secret Passion, the link is:

And here's the link you'll need to vote for Her Royal Risk:

Again, thanks so much for your support.  I really appreciate it!