It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a cursed jewel
must be in want of a witch…
The young ladies who attend Miss Bertram’s Academy call themselves Practitioners, and use their skills to help, heal and defend those in need.
War hero Leo Sterne doesn’t know it yet, but he’s in need of all the help he can get. A centuries-old curse has caused the premature death of every Earl of Ravenshaw, and he has just inherited the title. The clock is ticking on his survival, and the most inexperienced young lady at Miss Bertram’s has been assigned to save his life.
Caroline Noone has only her wits, training and an unpredictable assistant to aid her, and she is shocked to discover that the mysterious stranger who has been haunting her dreams for months is the new earl. Passion flares between them, but what will happen when disaster strikes?
Can Caroline save Leo’s life? Read Caroline’s Gift to find out!
Buy it from Amazon.com here, and Amazon.co.uk here!
Not convinced? Try the prologue and the first chapter here!
If you asked me if I wanted to sit down and write out a list of numbers from one to one hundred and ninety, the answer would be no. I mean, of course it would be no. What sane person wants to sit down and write out a list of numbers?
If, however, you asked me if I wanted to sit down with a brand new extra-large Orchid Purple Moleskine journal with dotted paper and an internal storage pocket and number the pages ready to start a proper bullet journal, then the answer would be oh my God, yes, give me my fineliners and get out of the way!
I hadn’t come across the idea of a bullet journal before, but a work colleague started one and shared a Buzzfeed article about it on Facebook. Once I did a bit of research I decided to start a practice one, just to see if I could do it. A week in and I’m hooked!
Bullet journaling is all about keeping track of your life in a simple format.It keeps a record of the past, tracks the present and helps organise the future. I have tried to use apps to help me do this, but I haven’t found one that does everything I want. Plus, there’s the added bonus that a journal will never run out of battery, unlike my iPad or iPhone.
It’s easy to customise and make your own. A simple Google search will show you examples of insanely beautiful journals, created by true artistic talents. Lots of amazing calligraphy, pretty doodles and washi tape all over the place! Mine…well, let’s just say that mine won’t look like that! I’m no artist, to put it mildly, and I’m not a particularly visual person. I have ordered a stencil from Etsy to help pretty mine up, but that will be the extent of it, I think.
This video, from the creator of the bullet journal, explains it better than I can.
I’m making a conscious effort not to include my day job in the journal. This is to plan my writing, my personal goals and my outside work life. I’m trying to claw back some work/life balance, and I hope that the bullet journal will help me do that.
So far, I’ve got the weekly planner set up although I’m trialing a few different layouts to see which ones I like. I have a future log for events I know will be happening – birthdays, the car MOT, etc – and a monthly tracking list for events that need to get done at some point – perhaps this month, perhaps not, depending on circumstances. I’m tracking some of my habits, both bad and good, and I’m making lists of things I want to remember. I have a list of books that aren’t out yet that I want to read, because I’m tired of missing release dates. I used to really be into music, but since I’ve stopped listening to fanmixes I’ve stopped discovering new artists that I like. I’m going to keep track of songs that I come across that I like, so I can find albums by the artist. I have a list of recipes I want to try, and I’m going to try and work my Slimming World planning into it as well, as losing weight is a constant (unreached!) goal of mine. I’m trying to make one bullet every day about something I’m grateful for, although I’m not sure if I should do that in a separate log or include it in my daily one.
At some point, I’ll use the journal to plan books too, although I’m going to have to think about how to do that so it’s practical and useful.
I’m pinning whatever I can find about bullet journals on Pintrest and printing out helpful free things that other journalers are kind enough to produce. If anybody has any ideas or tips, send them my way!
Well, in 73 days. But I have a release date for not one but two – that’s right, two brand new books!
August 13th 2016 will see the release of the third novel in The Ruttingdon Club series. It was so large – over 150000 words – that I made the decision to split it into two halves. Me and George R R Martin, folks. Too wordy for our own good.
Having Faith, the first half, tells the story of how the very good and respectable Miss Faith Halstead found her normal life ripped away from her because of one dreadful mistake. Alone, vulnerable and now a fallen woman, a mix-up at a railway station lands her in front of the Duke of Buckingham, premiere member of the Ruttingdon Club and a man who demands his own way – and gets it. In need of female companionship for an upcoming Ruttingdon Club house party, he offers the role to Faith; in return for her submission, she would earn enough money to start her life afresh.
One week of sin with the most handsome duke in England – dare she refuse?
Well no, she doesn’t, otherwise I wouldn’t have had to write Keeping Faith, the concluding half!
Faith Halstead has done it again – she’s fallen in love with the wrong man. The Duke of Buckingham may have bought her body, but she’s given her heart away for nothing. Her week with the duke has been extended to a month, and she’s never been happier, but it’s bittersweet; soon she will have to leave him and start a new life somewhere far away from the blissful depravity of the duke’s country home. Meanwhile, the duke has been wrestling with his own feelings towards the beautiful, naive woman who has blossomed into the perfect submissive before him. The Ruttingdon Club’s house party at his country home opens his eyes to the darker side of the private club’s traditions and members, and the house party turns into a desperate race to save Faith from the evil clutches of the villainous Sir Leslie. It’s a good thing for the Duke of Buckingham that he can rely on his friend the Duke of Rothmuir and his new wife for help bring Faith back where she belongs – in his arms.
Yes, despite this being a book about a completely different couple, Annabelle and her husband have made an appearance in Keeping Faith. I couldn’t help it; Annabelle was so excited to go to a Club meeting at the end of Annabelle Awakens, I couldn’t keep her out of it! Then when everything takes a turn for the dramatic, she acts as how I imagine a spirited woman of the age would have acted, especially when supported by her besotted husband. Let’s just say that Annabelle makes her mark on the villain, and we’ll leave it as that!
The books will be released simultaneously, to make sure that nobody has to deal with any annoying cliffhangers. I’m waiting for a revised contract and for my poor editor to get to grips with the enormity of the task ahead of him, but when I get the go-ahead I’ll post the first chapter for free here, as I usually do.
I’ve been working like a crazy person for the last two weeks, and finally it’s finished. I’ve written the final draft of what I hope will be the first in a new series of books for the lovely people at Blushing Books!
I think it’s the most concentrated period of writing I’ve ever done. Time restraints have forced me to sit down and bloody well write this thing. No sitting and pondering the deep meaning of every single word choice – just prop myself up in the corner of the sofa, move the cat from my notes, open up Word and go for it. I edited as I wrote, often going back mid-chapter to tweak, re-word and often hit the delete key with so much force that I think it won’t work properly now.
Previously, I had a completed, imperfect MS and then went back to redraft the whole thing as a unit. This time, it’s been a constant process of editing as I went along. I’m not sure which is the most useful way to handle editing and re-drafting, or whether I can manage this editing style when I have to return to a 5000 word a week schedule, rather than 40000 words in 50+ hours of one week like I’ve done this time.
I’m glad this book is done. It works as a stand alone story, as well as leading into a bigger cast of characters. I have 20000 words of the second in the series, which had been intended to be the first. That’s been sitting on my hard drive for about a year and will need a bit of a re-write to make it fit with what I’ve established in this, but it does give me an impetus to finish it now. I was stuck – it’s far more sexually explicit than the stuff I’ve written before,a nod there’s a big shift away from just spanking to more bdsm and power exchange stuff. I think I needed a lead-in to it, which is what the first novel is. What that toys with, the second will jump straight into.
I’ve popped my bdsm cherry, so to speak, and now I’m ready to explore!