Today the Libertà hive are in celebratory mood, springing towards summer by relaunching our collection of novellas, Beach Hut Surprise.
In spring, says the poet, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. (Actually it was Tennyson in Locksley Hall, written when he was twenty-five and presumably knew what he was talking about. At least in the Young Man Department anyway.)
This spring, after a grim year of Covid 19 and at least three lockdowns, most of us, even the least romantic, are starting to think of Getting Out A Bit. It gives us hope. Continue reading →
Last Monday saw the Romantic Novel Award for each of nine different categories presented – online.
Normally I would be brushing the cobwebs off the posh frock, polishing the tiara and heading for an evening of fizz, friendship and books to add to the TBR pile in some Big Hall somewhere in central London.
Or I might start with lunch and/or tea with out-of-town friends and rock up to the awards with a good deal of the f and f already under the belt.
Not so this year, of course. Lockdown had turned the party virtual.
This year there were ten awards, nine for books in various categories and one Outstanding Achievement Award for a body of work, many supported by various bookish sponsors, including Libertà. So all of the hive, and friends, were sitting at our computers ready to party.
Over the last year I’ve spent a lot of time on reading recommendations and other ways of finding books to read. For all sorts of reasons, I’ve had spurts of reading wa-a-a-ay out of my regular sunny uplands.
One of the few cheering things at the moment is how willing people are to share recommendations – new books, favourite books, books their children love….
Of course, recommendations aren’t the only route. I find a lot of my experiments by following some byway that takes my fancy. I must tell you how I found the wondrous Goblin Emperor sometime. Continue reading →
I meant to use my next blog to cover a few hints on Finding Your Voice but the short list for the Shorter Romantic Novel Award elbowed it out of the way. (In case you didn’t know, the Romantic Novelists’ Association announced the short list for their suite of awards for romantic fiction last Monday.) For Libertà Books are sponsoring that award again this year.
As you may imagine, the whole hive are proud enthusiasts for the genre, both as writers and readers. So many, many congratulations to our short listers.
The Libertà Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award
A Will, a Wish and a Wedding, Kate Hardy, Mills & Boon True Love The Warrior Knight and the Widow, Ella Matthews, Mills & Boon Historical The Day That Changed Everything, Catherine Miller, Bookouture Second Chance for the Single Mum, Sophie Pembroke, Mills & Boon True Love The Return of the Disappearing Duke, Lara Temple, Mills & Boon Historical Cinderella and the Surgeon, Scarlet Wilson, Mills & Boon Medical Continue reading →
This week, four things have conspired to make me think again about the author’s voice. First, a friend asked me a question about some editorial revisions he had received. Then I started the second draft of a new book and found myself uncertain about my own voice. Was it too – well – romantic? There will be romance in this book (actually series) but not for a long time after Chapter One.
On top of that, a very good friend strongly recommended a novel. Excited, I bought it at once. I’m a great fan of her own books and we very often love the same authors. But I am really struggling to get into it. I admit I put it down and walk away a lot. Which pleases the cat. We will discuss it when next we zoom. AAARGH!
CHRISTMAS MYSTERY by Sophie Weston: EPISODE 12 Conclusion Missed the start? Click here to read from episode 1
The nurse lived a good way out and insisted on taking them in for a drink to celebrate the New Year. As it turned out, this included a substantial ham sandwich which Patrick snarfed down like a starving wolf.
“Wonderful,” he said. “Busy day. First chance to eat.”
The nurse beamed and waved them off with a care package of goodies from the meal she was preparing to see in the New Year.
In the car on the way back, Liv relaxed, even when Patrick said, “Why didn’t you tell me to drive you to the Food Bank?”
She was surprised. “You were completely immersed in your research. I didn’t want to break your concentration.”
CHRISTMAS MYSTERY by Sophie Weston: EPISODE 12 Part 1 Missed the start? Click here to read from episode 1
The nurse was instantly alert. “Does he want to hurt you?”
“I don’t know,” said Liv. “And I don’t know why he’s following me. I don’t even know who he is.”
Except that the daring, athletic cyclist was definitely not Francis. That was a relief in one way. But only a small way. She could feel the hamster wheel of panic start up again. She breathed carefully.
I can deal with this. I CAN DEAL WITH THIS.
But she felt as if her bones had turned to netting and her stomach cramped.
The nurse stayed cool and stuck to the important stuff. “He’s followed you before?” Continue reading →
CHRISTMAS MYSTERY by Sophie Weston: EPISODE 11 Missed the start? Click here to read from episode 1
“No,” said Liv.
She went on saying it while Patrick Fell delivered a lecture from the podium on why this was absolutely the best—no, the only—solution. In the end, she was so cold that she said in desperation, “Can we discuss this in your car? I’m freezing.”
He harrumphed a bit, but agreed, though he made her put her mask on and opened all the car windows. “If this takes too long, I shall have to lower the top,” he warned her. “With current virus restrictions, it behoves people like us to be responsible.”
Liv swung round to look at him in disbelief. “Who the hell says behoves in the twenty-first century?”
“It’s a nice economical word and it says what I mean. Now, your place or mine?” Continue reading →
CHRISTMAS MYSTERY by Sophie Weston: EPISODE 10 Missed the start? Click here to read from episode 1
Liv tried to sleep that night. She really tried. But her head was buzzing with half-formed ideas, questions, splinters of memory that she couldn’t get rid of.
At 2.13 a.m., she got up and made tea. She huddled into the rented couch in the rented room and remembered the big, uncomfortable chairs in Francis’s beloved drawing room That Night.
Even the professional florist’s arrangement had been too big. Come to think of it, Liv had never ordered it. Francis must have sent it specially. Set dressing for a supposedly impromptu celebration after the board meeting at Temple Blake Rossignol. Continue reading →