The Orchid

The Orchid

Friday, 27 December 2013

Risking it All!

And it's release day for my fifth book, the WW2 novella, Risking it All! Published by The Wild Rose Press, this is an exciting tale of love and spitfire planes, based on the stories my grandfather used to tell me. Available now for £1.29. ($1.99). 

I love this book due to my hero, Billy Jenkins, who is one of my most memorable male characters. I've put an extract below from when he meets the heroine Lynne at an RAF dance. 


Lynne stood in the mess hall, squinting through the wisps of white cigarette smoke. Billy sat slumped in a chair, his dark hair stuck upwards as though he’d dragged a hand through it, his blue uniform partly unbuttoned, showing a flash of white vest. The floor trembled from a foot-tapping jive and she jerked to avoid two dancers who leapt with wild abandon. The room, with its closed windows covered in black-outs, reeked of sweat, cigarettes and bluebell perfume.
“I think your friend’s had a few,” Barbara said.
“It’s hard for them,” Lynne said. “Going up several times a day, watching their comrades plummet down,
smoke pouring from their planes. I hear them over my radio. I can’t imagine what it must be like up in the
clouds playing hide and seek with the enemy, wondering if you’ll be next.”
Barbara’s brow creased. “You’re not falling for him are you?”
Lynne laughed. “No, never a pilot and never him.”
She wasn’t that girl anymore—the fool who hung around for an invite to the flicks. Glancing at him again,
she saw his hand fumble for his bottle of beer. Raising it to his lips, he drank, staring into the room with an
expression of adult pain in the face of the boy she remembered. She looked away.
“He’s coming over,” Barbara said.
Lynne stood still until she caught a familiar musky scent.
“Dance?” Billy said.


Beneath bomb-filled skies, Head Radio Operator Lynne Cecil takes the safety of her RAF pilots seriously. They're England's last defense against the Luftwaffe. But too many pilots die on her watch. The top brass harass her for answers, but her team is giving their all. 

Devastated by the death of his brother, Spitfire ace Billy Jenkins accepts a secret assignment to investigate the high rate of deaths. But the person who seems at fault is his old flame, Lynne. Torn between duty and love, Billy must discover if the woman he still adores is responsible for the loss of his fellow flyers. 

Lynne can't afford the distraction of falling for a fighter pilot like Billy at this dangerous time. But every flight could be Billy's last. Will she settle for one night of passion or risk losing him forever?

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

How to Write a Love Scene

On this happy Christmas Eve, I thought I'd do a writing post on that tricky area to write, the love scene. To make it clear, not all books need these scenes, not even all romance books. I'm quite partial to a 'sweet,' romance, but the fact is, heat does sell, something I learnt through experience.

I don't write 50 Shades style works or erotica, I write romance with a touch of spice, however sometimes that spice is more scotch bonnet than paprika. People often ask me how I write these scenes, and the truth is, in exactly the same way I write any other! Typed out on the keyboard, with an eye on the clock so I don't miss the school run.

It does take practice though, the first time I wrote one, I put it off for days because I didn't think I could do it. After I started though, I found it wasn't as hard as I thought.

The important things to remember are that these parts of a story are of high emotion, especially if it's the first time between the couple. They're nervous, excited and desperate for each other. The scene has to move the plot and characters forward; what are they learning about each other, and their own feelings?

You also need to ensure you keep to one person's point of view. In other words, describe the scene from either the male or female's (or M/M, F/M depending on what you're writing), view, and check back to ensure you have only put down what that particular person is feeling. Love scenes are usually done from the female POV, but can work very well from the male. In my new manuscript, Bound by a Common Enemy, the first scene between my characters was done from the man's POV, because he had the highest level of emotion due to a tragedy.

If your book has several of these scenes, it's important to make them a bit different. I vary the locations--outside can work well--or the positions. Always remembering the all important emotions. Why are they doing this? It needs to be more than just lust to bring depth to a novel. Be cautious of putting a love scene as the last chapter in the book. The final chapter is for tying up lose ends, the conflict has been resolved, so a spicy scene between your characters doesn't always serve much purpose, and has a tendency to look as though it has been put in because the writer couldn't think of a way to end the book.

When you've finished writing, it's a good idea to put the story away for a few weeks, longer if you can, before re-reading it. You see it with a fresh set of eyes, and can start re-writing. The original work might even be scrapped completely, but rest assured, this is very normal. Writing is a long and time consuming process. When you re-read your work, what do you feel? If it's nothing, then you need to look at the emotions again.

Once you're written a few of these pieces, they do flow much easier, I promise! Now I rattle them off, but I've been writing them for quite a few years now. Good luck and do comment with any queries, but since this is not an 18+ blog, please phrase them nicely!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Release of Risking it All

Delighted to have a release date for Risking it All, my WW2 novella. An exciting tale of love amongst spitfires and battlefields, it's due to be released by The Wild Rose Press on the 27th December 2013. 

In the meantime, if anyone fancies a spicy romance novella, the Victorian mystery, Summer in Rye was released from Musa publishing on Friday. Available for £1.88, it's a tale of love and dark secrets in the terrifying manor house of Rye Hall. 


A tragedy brought Eva Brookwell and Samuel Shaw back into each other’s lives. But will lies from the past destroy their chances of a future? 

Left penniless after the death of her philandering father, Eva Brookwell takes a job as a governess at Rye Hall, but didn’t expect to find her young charges scarred and blinded from smallpox. Rye Hall is an unhappy house with a tyrannical master and Eva is forced to turn to her pupils’ uncle, Samuel Shaw for help. 

Eva and Samuel had once been engaged, until his lies drove them apart. Still in love with him, Eva knows she could never trust him again; however he is her only ally in the dark and disturbed household she now lives in.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Spicy Historical Romance!

My dark and spicy historical romance, Summer in Rye, has been released today by Musa Publishing. One of my favourite books, it's set in the time of the first small pox vaccination scheme and is about about secrets and forgiveness. 


A tragedy brought Eva Brookwell and Samuel Shaw back into each other’s lives. But will lies from the past destroy their chances of a future? 

Left penniless after the death of her philandering father, Eva Brookwell takes a job as a governess at Rye Hall, but didn’t expect to find her young charges scarred and blinded from smallpox. Rye Hall is an unhappy house with a tyrannical master and Eva is forced to turn to her pupils’ uncle, Samuel Shaw for help. 

Eva and Samuel had once been engaged, until his lies drove them apart. Still in love with him, Eva knows she could never trust him again; however he is her only ally in the dark and disturbed household she now lives in.

Available from Amazon and other retailers for a great price of £1.88. (2.99).

Friday, 6 December 2013

Bringing a Town to Life

I thought I'd do a writing blog today, so if anyone has any writing queries, do comment and I'll do my best to  answer them. 

An important part of writing that can get overlooked amongst the more exciting characters and emotions, is the setting. It doesn’t jump around, rage or swear, it just sits there, looking pretty. Or sometimes, not so pretty. Imagine Lord of the Rings without the powerful setting of Mount Doom, or Jane Eyre minus the brooding moors, or Jamaica Inn missing the dark, grey forbidding tavern. In these books, the setting becomes a person in its own right; influencing the plot and the characters, foreshadowing and adding atmosphere.

To create a strong sense of place, the setting must be woven into the story. But what’s the best way to do this? A single paragraph at the start of the book isn’t enough and several paragraphs will generally lose you the reader—no one wants to trawl through pages and pages of description. The trick is to slot it into the narrative. Have your characters breathing in the salty sea air, hearing the cry of gulls above them, feeling the breeze against their cheeks. Every character has five senses and all of these should be used to bring the setting alive.   

It can help to have a picture of the scene you’re describing beside you. When I was writing my medieval romance, I had a photo of a forest on my desk and glanced at it while my computer was switching on to focus my mind. Even if your characters are sitting in the lounge, then I want to know what that room looks like. Drop little hints into the narrative, rather than a big block of text, so I can picture it.

I read a book recently where a ballroom was described as, ‘stunningly beautiful.’ Well, I’ll have to take the writer’s word for that, because she never told me what it looked like. It’s lazy writing and added nothing to the book. Don’t tell me what it looks like; show me.

In my novel Winter Storms, it was the setting that appeared first; a glimpse of wet cobblestones and the sound of a breaker exploding a seawall. From that original image, the town of Haven Bay appeared, nestled at the base of giant black cliff and surrounded by a raging sea that echoed the powerful emotions of Carly and Daniel.

Below, I’ve added an extract of Daniel’s arrival at the Bay after two years away. Read it, and see if you can picture the setting in your own mind.

Extract Winter Storms 
by Lucy Oliver

The powerful sea wind hit Daniel Edwards with the force of a gybing boom. Hissing between his teeth, he yanked the wet dinghy painter and cursed as it scraped red burns across his hands. It was tempting to toss the rope away and watch the hated boat bob off into the ocean, but his teammates would never forgive him; the Olympic racing craft was worth a fortune. He never should have brought it out in this weather. Seeing the lifeboat bobbing beside a fishing trawler, waves exploding over the deck, made him realise how stupid and how lucky he’d been.

The mast had snapped when he reached the jetty, another expense he’d have to pay for. Not that he cared very much, when his sponsors discovered he’d risked the boat in a storm, they’d cancel his contract anyway. They already had what they wanted—double Olympic gold medals—now he was superfluous to requirements.

Hauling on the rope, Daniel tied it fast and straightened. Pulling down his waterproof hood, he stared across the harbour at the cluster of shops glowing with Christmas lights; it hadn’t changed much in two years. Turning to look at the black cliffs standing like gateposts either side of the harbour entrance, he recalled her scream and shuddered. Should he have come back?

But Haven Bay was where he grew up and he couldn’t stay away forever, paying expensive hotel bills for his family to visit him. And after the Olympics, his urge to visit had grown stronger, pictures flashing through his mind like an old-fashioned projector, images of places and people, of a girl he had known.

Imogen, his ex-fiancĂ©e, said she’d suspected for months that something wasn’t right. Standing in the hallway of their luxury flat, suitcases at her feet, she looked at him, not in anger, but with something akin to pity.
           “There’s a part of you I can’t reach,” she said.
Daniel opened his mouth to protest, but she held her left hand up, showing a white ring of pale skin around her suntanned finger.
“I hoped our relationship would improve after you got the Olympic golds, but it’s worse, I never know what’s going through your mind. I keep expecting to come home to find the wardrobe half-empty and a note on the table telling me you’ve gone.” Putting hands on her hips, she stared at him. “I’m not the person you’re looking for."
Daniel gazed now at the lights of Haven Bay. Had Imogen been right? A face, pushed for years into the back of his mind, was emerging, growing stronger and less blurry each day. Two years ago, Carly had broken off their relationship with five hard words.
“I do not love you,” she said.
And, refusing to beg, he left town on the next train. Only later did he wish he’d demanded an explanation, but it was too late by then, his pride wouldn’t let him return. So what if Carly didn’t want to know him? Many other girls did. Until Imogen showed him the truth: that he couldn’t love anyone else.
Slinging a rucksack over his shoulder, he stepped across the floating jetty to the sea wall. A rank odour of dead fish, salt water, and rust hit him, scents he remembered from his childhood. Boats creaked at their moorings and faint music drifted over from a pub. Brick steps led up the harbour wall, slippery with rubbery, rotting seaweed and when he reached the top, he froze, waiting for the bright flash of a camera.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Summer in Rye

Here is the cover for my new release, due out on 13th December. Summer in Rye is a Victorian romance novella set during the time of the small pox vaccination programme. 

Blurb: Left penniless after the death of her philandering father, Eva Brookwell takes a job as a governess at Rye Hall, but didn’t expect to find her young charges scarred and blinded from smallpox. Rye Hall is an unhappy house with a tyrannical master and Eva is forced to turn to her pupils’ uncle, Samuel Shaw for help.

Eva and Samuel had once been engaged, until his lies drove them apart. Still in love with him, Eva knows she could never trust him again; however he is her only ally in the dark and disturbed household she now lives in.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Risking It All

I'm excited to have received the cover for my next release, Risking It All!

This book especially close to my heart because it is a WW2 novella, set in the world of Spitfire planes. Spitfires and their brave pilots, were the last remaining defence after the Battle of France was lost, and the Battle of Britain began. 

As Churchill stated in his famous speech;

"The gratitude of every home in our island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. " - Winston Churchill.

The Battle of Britain began on the 10 July 1940, and for 107 terrible days bombs rained from the sky, causing devastation and death in a country weakened by the Battle for France. 

Britain's vastly outnumbered band of Spitfire and Hurricane pilots were forced to fight the mighty Luffwaffe in dogfights in a desperate battle for air supremacy. If they lost, Britain would have been invaded.

My Granny, as a fifteen year-old watched the fighting in the skies above her home in London, travelling into the City each day to work. Frequently she was unable to return home, and spent the night in either public bomb shelters or the underground. She said the war made you grow up very fast.

In Risking It All, Spitfire pilot Billy, is grieving for his brother who was killed during the Battle of Britain. Many pilots never fully recovered from the trauma of those months, pushed to breaking point by exhaustion and fear. However they still continued to fly, often arguing with doctors who tried to ground them. These were young men with everything to live for, yet they were willing to risk their lives to defend their homes.

I only hope that had I been alive at this time, I could have shown a similar courage.  I asked my granny if she had been scared during the Battle of Britain, knowing that the German army was just across the channel. She looked me straight in the eye.

“No,” she said, “because I never thought for one moment that we would lose.’

And with spirit like that, I don’t think we ever could have done!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Hot Vampires & Wanton Ladies

If you're enjoying the new Dracula series, then my recent book is a spicy adaption of the original Bram Stoker classic. Termed 'sexy and dangerous,' by a recent reviewer, it is published by Crimson Romance and released in two volumes.

If you fancy a book to accompany the series, then both book are available now from Amazon and other retailers at the great price of £2.49.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

New Erotic Romance from USA Today

Delighted that my new hot version of Dracula has featured in USA Today as one of their New Erotic Romance titles. Available from Amazon for only £2.98, it's been awarded five stars by reviewers.

If anyone fancies a read, please find the links on the side of the page!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Fancy a spicy vampire?

My latest release will be a spiced up version of the Bram Stoker classic, Dracula. Due out on 19th September 2013, it will be under the name Lucy Hartbury due to the high heat level. Check out lucyhartbury on twitter, or the new blog at for details!

I've put a sneak preview of the cover below.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Anniversary Special Offer and Book Extract

In honour of the Crimson Romance Anniversary Book Sale, I've put an extract below of my book published by them, Winter Storms. Set in a Cornish fishing village, Winter Storms is a story about second chance love and learning to forgive. 

Daniel looked at the lifeboat station sitting beside the beach. It had been rebuilt since he was last here, the wooden shed replaced by smart brickwork and a long ramp, which ran directly down to the sea. Shells crunched under his boots and he breathed in the familiar scent of salty sea breeze and decomposing seaweed. An orange inshore boat bobbed beside the slope, a dry suit flung over one seat, it was a measure of how important the lifeboats were viewed here that no one had stolen it.
“Looks good,” he said, over his shoulder to Carly.
She nodded, pulling her stick out of the sand as she walked along the beach. He stepped over to help, but before he reached her, a man appeared from behind the building and took her arm. Daniel drew a sharp breath, before narrowing his eyes; it was Liam.
When he left Haven Bay, Liam had been a spot covered youth with a permanent scowl who, Daniel had privately believed, would get no further then jail. He must be about eighteen now, a foot taller than his sister with hair dyed fashionably yellow at the tips.
“Liam,” Daniel said, holding out his hand.
Carly’s brother ignored it and from the expression in his eyes, he could tell Liam was as eager to forgive him as she’d been. The Roberts family had a strong line of stubbornness, but for her sake, he’d make an effort.
“What are you doing now, Liam?” he said.
“Bit here and there,” he answered.
 “He’s starting work on the fishing trawlers, aren’t you” Carly said. “And volunteers in the office at the lifeboat station.”
“I joined the Padstow life crew,” Daniel said. “I don’t go out so often now though.”
“Busy training?” she said.
He nodded, not wanting to explain that every time they plucked a casualty from the seas, he imagined it was her, hair flowing wet behind her, face white and unmoving. It made him reckless, risking everything to save the victim and you couldn’t have that in a team; it put other people’s lives at risk.
The lifeboat station door opened and a man glanced out at them, a blue tattoo down one cheek and bulging arms stretching the thin t-short he wore. Daniel glanced at his own thick jumper and shook his head slightly.
“Carly, love!” Stepping out, the man hugged her tight. “What good news do you have for us today?”
Laughing, she detangled herself. “Daniel, this is Mick, coxswain of the lifeboat rew.”
She turned to the tattooed man. “I’ve come to add an extra £400 to the pot, raised by our Christmas singers.”
“Brave lot, I’d not stand in a street singing, couldn’t be that cruel to anyone.” Mick smiled, showing rows of fillings. “And Daniel, I heard you were back, well done on that medal.”
He shook his head, being congratulated for a gold medal by a man who risked his life saving others was embarrassing.
“Come in,” Mick said. “I’ve just been sorting the equipment.”
Daniel followed him into the curved boathouse and stood in front of the gleaming orange lifeboat, breathing in the familiar smell of oil and dried seawater. A narrow walkway led to a flight of stairs and tilting his head, he looked up to see a second mezzanine floor, bordered by a black rail draped with waterproof jackets and trousers.
Obviously familiar with the building, Carly vanished upstairs, her cane echoing from the metal steps.
“She’s gone to update the fundraising chart,” Mick said, “won’t be long.”
“Is she all right on those stairs?” Daniel said.
Mick laughed. “I’d never dare suggest otherwise.” He looked up at the balcony. “But I’d best help her find the papers, I did some tidying earlier.” He followed her up.
Daniel rested his hand on the boat, there didn’t seem much point in talking to Liam, from the youth’s clenched fists, he still wasn’t in too friendly a mood. Had Carly told people that she’d asked him to go, or did they believe he walked out, leaving her in hospital?
“What are you doing here?” Liam said.
“I’m not sure, it was an impulsive decision.” Daniel tapped his fingers against the dinghy. Why was he here? It had started as a desire to see Carly, to convince himself that she was all right, but now he didn’t want to leave. He glanced up, hoping to see her walking back down; it felt wrong not to have her by his side. She had fitted back into his life with an ease that both unnerved and excited him. Was this why the relationship with Imogen hadn’t worked? Because deep inside he was still in love with Carly?
“I want you to stay away from my sister, you’ve already destroyed her life once.”
 “I think that’s her decision.” Daniel kept his voice level, he wasn’t getting into an argument with Carly’s brother, although part of him was glad that she had someone looking out for her.
“She won’t take you back, not after you abandoned her.”
Daniel thrust his fists into his pockets, knuckles whitening. “It wasn’t my decision to go.”
“She wanted you to leave, I know. But she was hurt and terrified of being a burden, you should have realised that she didn’t mean what she said.”
Daniel remembered her hard eyes, snapping with fury; oh yes, she’d meant every word. Each insult had been planned to cause maximum pain, to ensure he left Haven Bay, and it worked, because for two years he stayed away. That day, he saw a different Carly, one consumed with a rage she couldn’t control.
“It’s none of your business, Liam.”
“It is my business. I spent hours pushing wheelchairs down hospital corridors while she struggled ahead with a walking frame, weeping in frustration when she fell. Do you have any idea how many operations she’s endured, or the terrible pain she copes with each day? No, you know none of that. You left her crying in a hospital bed to continue with your career and glamorous girlfriends, until you eventually return, thinking you can start again where you left off. Well you can’t, we’ve all moved on, there’s no place for you here.”
“I tried.” Daniel said. “She refused to let me into her room, told the nurses to bar me.
She made her feelings very clear. I wasn’t wanted, she hated me for what happened.”
“With good reason.”
“Yes, with good reason. It was my fault and I accept the blame, I always have. She wouldn’t be in this position now if it hadn’t been for me and I’ve spent the last two years living with such terrible guilt it’s driven me half mad. But there is nothing I can do to change things, I can’t undo what happened.”
Muted laughter came from the stairs, sounding strange in the tense atmosphere, followed by footsteps and the clunk of a cane on metal. Striding to the steps, he watched her climb down, gripping the rail tight, Mick walking slowly in front.
“We’re doing well!” he said, seeing Daniel. “Only another million to raise. Are you coming to the sailing club Christmas party? Ten pounds a ticket with half going to the lifeboat station.”
“I’m not sure.” He glanced at Carly, but she had bent her head to look at the last step, crimson hair falling over her features.
“It wouldn’t be your type of thing, beer served in plastic glasses, bowls of crisps and sausage rolls,” Liam said.
“Do you think I live off champagne and oysters? Thanks, Mick, I’d love to come.” He
pulled a ten-pound note out of his wallet and held it out.

“Excellent, let me get you a ticket.” He strode off and Daniel glanced at Carly again. Was it his imagination, or did a brief smile flick across her lips?

Also available in paperback, the Kindle version, for my US readers, is part of the July 2013 anniversary sale at $1.99 and my UK readers can pick up a Kindle copy for just £2.47. Perfect for a holiday beach read!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Crimson Romance Special Offer

For my US readers, the publishers Crimson Romance are starting a month long celebration today for their first year anniversary!

All back titles, including my own Winter Storms, are priced at $1.99. So if you fancy some great summer reading, take a look at the huge range of titles available on special offer here on Amazon.

Monday, 3 June 2013

New Spitfire Fighter Planes Novella

I am delighted to announce that I have signed with The Wild Rose Press for a WW2 fighter pilots novella. My grandfather worked on the Spitfire aircraft during the war and had many stories— funny, inspiring and heart-breaking—about the pilots he worked with. He would have loved to read this book, but sadly he passed away last year, so I will dedicate it to him instead.

While researching, I was humbled by the incredible courage of both the pilots and the ground crew. Under continual bombing raids, they scrambled the planes and shot up into skies filled with shrapnal and bullets, risking their lives again and again. 

Particularly inspiring was the book by Geoffrey Wellum, 'First Light,' in which he describes his life as a young fighter pilot. This was also made into an excellent BBC series that honoured both the pilots and the ground crew, who also worked under dangerous and challenging conditions. 

If anyone would like to find out more, I have put a link here to a selection of personal stories on the BBC website, which are fascinating to read. 

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Wonderful New Review

Marvellous new review of Winter Storms by Brandy at the Romancebookworm's Review site! I'm especially delighted that she liked the setting. The story takes place in Cornwall, UK, which is a beautiful part of the country, and with it's tiny fishing villages and cobbled streets, the perfect setting for a romance at sea.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

New Five Star Review

I was delighted to receive another Five Star review for my Cornish romance,Winter Storms, from independent book reviewers, I Heart Books.

I have put the link below, and if anyone would like a copy, Winter Storms is still on offer at Amazon for £2.47!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Extract of Winter Storms

Since I'm a bit pressed this week for my usual blog post, I thought I would put in an extract from Winter Storms for people to read. I'm currently working on a new Haven Bay story for release later in the year, and thoroughly enjoying being back with old friends! 

This section is from when Carly agrees to sail again after her terrible accident.  

Carly looked at him as he sailed. He said he loved her, but he was in love with the girl he used to know, the risk taker who leant backwards over the edge of the boat, head inches from the waves, wind whipping her hair.
     “I need to go back,” she said.
     Reaching into his bag, Daniel held out a flask of coffee. “Drink this first.”
     With trembling fingers, she poured a cup, breathing in the rich sweet scent. Thick with sugar, it settled her stomach and as the waves raced past, she clutched the warm cup to her like a safety belt. Against her own wishes, she had sailed again, not completely successfully, but it was a start; next time it might be easier.
     Wrapping her jacket tighter around her shoulders, she watched him alter the sail. Behind him, in the distant town, street lamps were switching off as the pale sun rose high in the sky. She and Daniel had always sailed early, creeping out their houses to meet on the common, grasping hands so they could run to the harbour, hair flying, legs racing. Daniel used to kiss her before they set sail, his lips warm against her cold mouth.
     He had been the centre of her world, she needed no one else, neither her mother nor her absent father. In her young dreams, she pictured them winning together and later, married with children of their own. But that terrible December day had changed everything; the life she had planned out wasn’t going to happen anymore. 
     Their small boat drew level with the harbour entrance and she stared at the ocean, its waves choppy under an increasing sea breeze. Grey shapes flickered in the mist above, crying out with the peculiarly mournful lament of a sea bird, and brief flashes from the lighthouse shone in the distance. They had come far, further then she intended.
     “Do you want to take the tiller?” Daniel said.
     “Not today.” But another day, she might.
     “Going about.”
     Carly ducked as the boom swung over and automatically sat on the opposite seat, it had been an easy move, one twist of her good leg did it.
     “Home now,” he said.
     Weak winter sun glowed from the water, Carly rubbed her cold hands together and pulled her hat down over her numb ears. Daniel swung the tiller to avoid a buoy, long muscular hands on the wood, a narrow white scar on his wrist. It was a rope burn, she remembered. What other scars did he have? Raising her head, she caught his gaze and excitement bubbled in her stomach like the water under the stern. With a bump, their dinghy hit the pontoon and Daniel tied it up, before reaching for her hand. She shivered at his touch.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Delightful Review

I'm absolutely thrilled with this new review  for Winter Storms  from an independent book review site. The reviewer understood Carly, my main character, so well; she is flawed, but she also has great strengths. I like my characters to be human, and as we also have flaws and quirks, so do they.

If anyone would like to try Winter Storms, it is still on offer today at Amazon for £2.47 or for my US readers, $3.79.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Crimson Stories

Quite a few people have asked me for details of my publishers, Crimson Romance, so I thought I’d do a short post on them. The Crimson Romance line is run by the large American publisher F&W Media. I have put their website and details below if anyone fancies taking a look. They publish four new romance books every Monday from a selection of contemporary, spicy, historical, paranormal and suspense.

What I like about the Crimson books, which is why I write for them, is their quirkiness. They publish sensual romance books that are a little bit different. I have read many of my fellow author’s books and there is a huge variety in the styles and plots. My own book, Winter Storms, is set in Cornwall in the world of Olympic dinghy sailing, but I have also enjoyed books set in stunning stately homes (Her New Worst Enemy by Christy Mckellen, a wonderful Spicy read ) and the seas around New Zealand (Romancing the Seas by Cait O'Sullivan, a perfect holiday read with marvellous descriptions of scenery, and food!)

The books are available both as e-book and in print at Amazon, Whsmiths, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, All Romance, and many other retailers. I have also just checked Amazon, and found my own book, Winter Storms (which an independent review site recently called their Book of the Year), is on offer at £2.47 ($3.79 in US), and I don't know how long for! So if you fancy a romantic read for the Easter break, pop over and take a look at the wide range offered by Crimson Romance. 

Friday, 22 March 2013

Lovely New Review!

I was delighted by this independent review from mum blogger, Jennifer, for Winter Storms. When people enjoy my books, it makes all the long hours and stress of writing them so worth it! (Check out her craft pages too, I am certainly going to make that car mat!)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Winner of Winter Storms

I am delighted to announce the winner of the Mother's Day competition is Sally Jenkins with her wonderful description of cross-country skiing! As I had so many entries, I'm going to do a 2nd runners-up giveaway to Patsy for her original camper-van idea. A couple of years ago I visited Norway and always vowed to return with a camper-van to tour the stunning fjords.

Thank you for entering everyone, and do keep checking back as I intend to run more giveaways in the upcoming months. There were some marvellous holiday ideas there! 

I can get in touch with the winners through their google accounts. 

(I'm having trouble getting hold of you Sally! Could you check your original comment below?)

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

New Historical Book Contracted

Now my contract has arrived for signing, I am delighted to announce that I’ve had a Victorian novella, Summer in Rye, accepted by the highly regarded, Musa Publishing. It is a story that I particularly love as it is set during one of the most important breakthroughs in medical science in Victorian Britain; the compulsory vaccination against small pox. 

Small pox was a terrible disease killing 30% of those it infected and leaving the remainder either blinded or with terrible scars. Highly contagious, it destroyed whole families and the vaccination, discovered in 1797 by Edward Jenner, has saved millions of lives worldwide. Summer in Rye is a romance, set against the backdrop of these rapidly changing times during one of the most fascinating periods in British history. 

As soon as I get a release date, I'll announce it on my twitter page at Writingoliver. Feel free to pop over and say hello; I love hearing from readers. In the meantime, the competition to win a copy of Winter Storms, published by Crimson Romance, is due to end lunchtime tomorrow (12th March 2013). Just add into the comments section below, your favourite winter holiday destination. 

Have a good week everyone! 

Sunday, 10 March 2013


In honour of Mother's Day, I am hosting a giveaway of an e-copy of Winter Storms! The winner can chose either mobi (for Kindle) or epub (Sony, Bluefire or Ibis reader). Since it's cold outside and thoughts are heading towards summer holidays, if you'd like to write in the comments section your favourite destination for a winter holiday, I will select one on Wednesday. So return then to see if you are a lucky winner!

(Please don't put any personal details in the comments, such as your email address, I'll ask the winner to send me this privately.)

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Delighted by this new independent review for Winter Storms from writer and reviewer Hannah Fielding. She understood the book so perfectly.

Monday, 25 February 2013

From Darcy to Heathcliff

I have a confession to make—on my Kindle, amongst the bestsellers, new releases, popular romances and strange stories I downloaded simply because they were free, are a selection of books in plain covers. These books didn’t cost me any money either and they are, in the main, quite brilliant. They are also bestsellers, but their authors won’t see a penny of income from them anymore.

Yes, I’m talking about the classics. That huge, diverse range of books that we’re still reading hundreds of years after the writer’s death.

Now, I have two views on these books:

1) They shouldn’t be called classics.
2) They aren’t all good.

Why shouldn’t they be called classics? Personally I believe this title makes people think the books will be difficult to read. It also puts novels of completely different genre’s into one big pool. On a modern bookshop, horror, romance, detective and fantasy books would never be piled on the same shelf, yet in my local shop, Sherlock Holmes sits quite happily next to Elizabeth Bennet, even though he never would have admired her fine eyes.

Not all classics are equal; some have dated more than others, or are dry and hard to read. The dull set books at school have put many people off reading the classics, when in fact there is a huge range of amusing, fantastical, emotional and thought-provoking novels, which have been best sellers for centuries.

Jane Austen’s books are witty, with brilliant characters and light to read. Mansfield Park has dated, but the rest, especially Pride and Prejudice, are wonderful. If you like Chick-Lit, try some with Regency style. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is a powerful masterpiece, but it’s not an easy read; a dark tale of obsessive love, it’s not for the faint-hearted.

If you fancy a warming read on a cold day, I recommend Diary of a Nobody, by George and Weedon Grossmith, which is a wonderful tale of the fictional Mr. Pooter, set in late Victorian London.

For detective fans, the Sherlock Holmes originals by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, are a personal favourite. Mainly short stories, the longer novels such as the Hound of the Baskervilles and A Study in Scarlet stay in the imagination long after the last page has been turned. 

And finally for fans of fear, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, still sends a shiver down the spine. The description of the Count climbing down the outside wall of the castle is terrifying. A Victorian gothic horror, it has wonderful characters and settings, although I will admit that the ending does slightly disappoint.

And finally, for sci-fi and fantasy readers, there is Jules Verne. My favourites are Around the World in Eighty Days, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The latter in particular has fantastic descriptions of life under the ocean waves.

Everyone will have their own opinions of the classics, and their own favourites. The one I love best is Villette by Charlotte Bonte, but this is a post on relaxing books and Villette needs to be read with a French dictionary beside you.

And now it’s time to put my feet up, make a cup of tea, and settle down with Mr. Darcy, or Pooter, or Sherlock....but not Heathcliff, I need courage to face Heathcliff. 

Friday, 22 February 2013

New Review for Winter Storms

Just a quick post to say that I have received a lovely new review from WiLoveBooks, which I'm delighted about. I've posted it below if you'd like to read it. I'm particularly pleased that she loved the characters, because they are favourites of mine!