Saturday, 29 December 2012

Christmas is Cancelled... or is it? Let's ask Aurelia B Rowl


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is suitably stuffed and relaxed. I personally don't think I'll be able to eat again for a week. Except for those left over chocs. And the last slice of cheesecake of course.

Anyway.

It's my great pleasure to welcome Aurelia B Rowl to my blog today for a special post-christmas questioning. Her debut novel CHRISTMAS IS CANCELLED was released on the 19th December and has already had some fabulous reviews. Aurelia has a wonderfully sparky voice which made reading her story a real pleasure for me. Without further ado, let's get her over here...


Hi Aurelia, thanks so much for stopping by.

Hi Christy, thank you for having me.

Let the questioning commence!

Uh-oh!

Don't worry, I'll be gentle :)

If you had to choose a place to be stuck with the man of your dreams, where would it be?

Oooh, maybe an idyllic cottage with an open fire set amidst rolling green hills yet only walking distance from the sea. There would be plenty of food in, and bookshelves filled with well-worn treasures waiting to be discovered again. Maybe throw in a four-poster bed too. Or is that being greedy? (Can you see why I got married on Valentine’s Day yet? LOL)

Not greedy at all! What’s your favourite song from your childhood?

I’ve had to wrack my brains for this one and it’s a toss-up between ‘Tiger Feet’ by Mud, and ‘Little Donkey’, the Christmas hymn.

Eclectic tastes! I love it! What was the hardest scene to write in your book?

The hardest scene was probably the one where Tilly wakes in the hotel, as there are no other characters involved and no-one to talk to, so it is a lot of introspection. I can’t say too much about it though as it would be too much of a spoiler.

Tell us about the best present you’ve ever received.

Do my kids count? They feel like a gift, most of the time anyway. Otherwise my kindle is right up there, and I’m sure there’s something I’m forgetting.

Favourite sex scene in a film or book?

The scene from Top Gun is forever embedded in my memory, perhaps because I was at an influential age when I first saw it.
Nice choice! That one has a special place in my heart too :)

Thanks so much for coming over and letting me grill you today, Aurelia!

If you're looking for a fun, flirty read look no further:


Blurb

Matilda 'Tilly' Carter didn't think her day could get any worse, but even Christmas had just been cancelled.

The one girl Dean Watson has sworn never to have—never even expected to see again—just flared back into his life and into his home—his sanctuary—like she belonged there. Christmas would certainly be more bearable with Tilly around though…
As the chinks in Dean's armor appear, Tilly seizes the chance to win her knight once and for all. She's not about to take no for answer—not this time—but Dean must resist, even as his heart rebels and temptation threatens to undermine his resolve.
Win or lose? Love or honor? Which will Dean choose? Assuming he gets a choice…


Excerpt

Tears welled in her eyes, clouding her vision. She turned and wandered blindly toward the exit as the first tear escaped, forging a track down her cheek for the rest to follow. Tilly took in a lungful of air and then another. Having made a spectacle of herself once already, she really didn't want to be the cause of yet another scene.

The crowds swarmed around her, with students and family members heading home for the holidays only adding to the usual rush-hour melee of commuters. They jostled past, threatening to swallow her whole, as they rushed en mass in the opposite direction, using their briefcases and suitcases as a battering ram.

It was suffocating. She had to get out of there. Breaking into a run, broken heel or not, she raced through the doors and out into the biting December chill. Her waterlogged eyes struggled to adjust to the dark, dreary sky after the bright station lights, but she didn't dare slow down, desperate to escape the throng of festivities and merriment.

Carol singers assembled outside burst into a jovial rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," full of joy and happiness. Didn't they know Christmas had just been cancelled?

"Ooof!" Tilly smacked her shin against the edge of a low bench, too dark to see as she tried to dodge the growing audience. She ended up sprawled across the bench, dropping the handle of her suitcase with a loud clatter.

At least the pain shooting down her leg gave her an excuse to be crying. Unfortunately, it meant she had to stop running too. Not good. Whenever things got too tough, too intimate, or too confrontational, you could rely on her to make a run for it. Running away was what she did best...

A tall figure loomed in the edge of her vision, something vaguely familiar about the man's loping gait. In an effort to see him more clearly, she wiped her eyes with the back of her hands, then cringed inwardly at the black streaks now etched all over them. Great. She could add impersonating a panda to her day from hell as well then.

The mascara stung her eyes, rendering her unable to focus properly. She blinked furiously as the man strode past her, talking into a mobile phone in a deep voice that resonated throughout her body and made the fine hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. A surge of adrenaline rushed to her legs, numbing the pain as her subconscious told her to run. Now!

The cloaked figure stopped mid-stride as if he'd heard her gasp. "Mike, I've gotta go," he barked into the phone, hanging up instantly. He backtracked until he was standing right in front of her, his tone changing from a growl to one of surprise. "Basmati?"

Great. She hadn't heard the nickname for years—nine years, four months and...sixteen days, to be exact—and even then, only one person had ever actually used it. She screwed her eyes tightly shut, shaking her head from side to side. No. No way. There was absolutely no way this could be happening to her. Not now. Not today of all days... Talk about kicking a girl when she was down.

Links…

Amazon
Amazon UK
All Romance Books
Bookstrand
Breathless Press





Aurelia B Rowl is a contemporary romance author but you can also find her masquerading as Allie A Burrow, her raunchier alter-ego.

She lives on the edge of the Peak District in the UK with her very understanding husband and their two fantastic children aged 5 and 3, along with their mad rescue mutt who doesn’t mind being used as a sounding post and source of inspiration. They are all used to her getting too caught up with her latest writing project... or five!... and she is guiltily counting down the months until she has both kids at school full-time.

To find out more about Aurelia, or to check out what projects she's working on right now, you can visit her website 
www.aureliabrowl.


Thanks again Aurelia.

Have a fantastic New Year everyone x C x  

Sunday, 23 December 2012

My 10 favourite things about Christmas

So Christmas is just around the corner and the kids have finally finished at school. The atmosphere in the house is electric with excitement. Favourite thing #1

The tree is decorated, and despite the alarming wonk, is still standing in the corner. Favourite thing #2

Everyone is a bit tired due to the aforementioned end of term excitement + lack of sunlight, so I get to laze around a bit and read, in between making hot chocolate and cutting out snowflake decorations with daughter #1. Favourite thing #3 

Walnuts were on offer in the supermarket about a month ago so I bought far too many of them and will be eating them with dates and satsumas well after Christmas has finished. Favourite thing #4

Our new wood-burning stove was installed just in time for the frosty weather, and even though the weather people now predict rain on Christmas day, I shall be lighting an aromatic fire and huddling down next to it to drink my sherry. Favourite thing #5

Mulled wine and mince pies! Favourite thing #6

I did my final - please god let it be the final - food shopping trip and bought croissants for breakfast on Christmas day. Favourite thing #7

We're hosting Christmas this year for my family and will be travelling down to Devon at the end of the week to be hosted by my parents-in-law, so double Christmas dinner! Favourite thing #8

I've managed to find some cracking presents for people this year and can't wait to hand them over Favorite thing #9

I've finally remembered to buy the Christmas Radio Times and will be going through it with my biro and marking the 'must watch' programmes. Favourite thing #10

So that's my Christmas. How about you? What are your top Christmas treats?

Whatever they are, hope you enjoy them! 

x Merry Christmas x


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Cover me...

I have the cover for Her New Worst Enemy! 



I can't tell you how pleased I am with it. I manages to capture the playful nature of the story as well as the sexiness. I adore the lady 'playing' Ellie - she has a Julia Roberts look about her I think. Even though you can't see too much of my hero I kind of like that too. It suits Gideon's emotional elusiveness :)

After I've checked over my final galley this week my baby's leaving home. I'm feeling a mixture of excitement and apprehension at the moment, which I'm sure is a common reaction for a new author. I'll be doing a blog hop once the book is released, so check back here soon for dates if you fancy meeting me out in the ether!


Monday, 3 December 2012

Ooh...look!

Happy December.

I love the run-up to Christmas and this year it's even more exciting because I'm gearing up for the release of my debut novel Her New Worst Enemy (due out 7th Jan - just in case you missed me shouting about it everywhere I go.)

Susie Medwell has kindly tagged me to take on the Look Challenge. My snippet contains look/looked/looking from chapter two of Her New Worst Enemy. This is the first time anyone - other than my editor and crit partners - has seen anything from it. Are you excited? :)



“How many bedrooms did you say you have here?”
“Twelve.”
“Wow.” Ellie stood in the impressive entrance hall, her gaze following the grand sweep of the staircase to the magnificent stained glass windows above them. “What are
you going to use them all for? Sleep in a different one every month of the year?” She ran her hands over the highly polished wooden banister; it felt beautifully sleek under her
fingers.
“Trust you to think of something as loopy as that.” He grinned over at her. “You’d do that if you had the chance.”
“Of course.” She grinned back at him and looked away quickly as the idea of christening each of the rooms with him flitted through her mind. The thought made her breath catch in her throat.


I tag Cait O'Sullivan, my fabulous fellow Crimson releasee to give us her best 'look'.  




Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Next Big Thing


I’ve been tagged by two very talented ladies for The Next Big Thing blog chain. The gorgeous Charlotte Phillips: whose new book is available for pre-order at Amazon (I’m waiting with eager anticipation for my copy to arrive) and the fabulous Susie Medwell who writes hot erotic romance under the pen name Zara Stoneley - you’ll definitely need a fan and a cool shower after reading her books, I did!

So, without further ado...


What is the title of your book?

Her New Worst Enemy, which is a multi-faceted title - you’ll understand me once you’ve read it, I promise. 

How did you come by the idea?

The theme of dealing with the fallout from a controlling, destructive relationship is one that I’ve had some experience with. A good friend of mine hit rock bottom when her horrible ex dumped her after submitting her to years of psychological abuse. She’s an absolute inspiration to me; she pulled herself up by her bootstraps and she’s now in a loving and positive relationship with a fabulous man. One of the other themes - dealing with a ticking body-clock - is one that a lot of my friends have had varying degrees of heartache with. The pressure on women approaching the age of thirty is phenomenal if they don't already feel settled with a partner and they want to have children. Considering what my heroine, Ellie, has to deal with in the story it’s amazing she’s as sane as she is :)

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a sexy contemporary which falls under Crimson Romance’s Spicy line.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie?

I think physically, Aidan Turner is a good fit for Gideon and Carey Mulligan (with long hair) would make a fabulous Ellie.

What is a brief synopsis of your book?

Six months ago Ellie Holdsworthy’s life was all planned out - kids, wedding, happy ever after - until her boyfriend dumped her for another woman. Now her best friend, Penny - an heiress to a small fortune - looks set to run off with a gold-digger, and Ellie is determined to save her from certain doom - and fast. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is the one person she’d rather not ask...

Little does Ellie know, persuading her brother’s best friend - commitment phobic, playboy businessman, Gideon DeLancy - to hold an intervention at his beautiful Georgian manor would be the easy part. Keeping her hands off him is a whole other matter. 

Gideon doesn’t intend to fall for his friend's snarky sister, and he sure as hell doesn’t expect their weekend to develop into a full-on sex-fest. When passion takes a strangle-hold, their differences don’t seem to matter. After all, a torrid weekend affair should be the easiest thing in the world to walk away from, so why are they finding it so difficult...?

Will your book be self-published or traditional?

It will be traditionally published as an e-first book with a print on demand option by Crimson Romance.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My love of writing romance - especially the older brother’s best friend trope (my favourite) inspired me to write it, and characters who would not leave me alone made me finish it. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I wrote a variation of the story a couple of years ago, but it sat patiently on my computer waiting to be completed while I had my third child. As it was written at two separate times, it’s a bit hard to gauge exactly how long it took. The version that became Her New Worst Enemy was written in spring this year and probably took about six weeks.

What about your book might pique your readers interest?

A hot playboy businessman, a damsel in distress, sexual tension, snarky humour and scorching hot sex; what’s not to like?


Her New Worst Enemy will be released on 7th January 2013; the perfect late Christmas present! 

I’m going to tag the fabulous Aimee Carson, who has a new story out in an anthology with some other wonderful writers, to be the next link in the chain. Over to you Aimee!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

So the good news is...


I’ve signed a contract with Crimson Romance to publish one of my ‘spicy’ romances with them. 

I’m incredibly excited about this because I LOVE this story. I feel like the characters are my friends and it would have been cruel to leave them languishing on a hard-drive for all eternity. 

The title is Her New Worst Enemy and it uses the ‘falling for the brother’s best friend’ trope which is my absolute favourite one to read. I’ve already sent through my cover art worksheet and begun to think about the big marketing push. There’s so much to do *gulp*.

I don’t have any idea about release dates yet, but as soon as I do I’ll post them here.

For now I’m trying to distract myself with my next story. This one’s quite a bit darker in tone, but just and sexy...

Do you have a favourite romance trope? What is it about it that appeals?

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Love in the South Hams

I took my husband away to celebrate his birthday last weekend. My fabulous mother-in-law had the kids so we were actually able to talk to each other without being interrupted and everything.

I adore the South Hams in Devon and found us a fantastic old manor house to stay in called Fingals.

Espresso shots in the bar

A quirky welcome

This place was so full of character



Anyone for tennis?


The hot tub & pool complete with paintings of ladies with their boobs out (not pictured)


 We did a couple of trips out once we could drag ourselves away from the hotel.


Funky Totnes
Time warp


There's always time for high-tea



We also went to Dartmouth, which is just cool.


Sitting on the dock of the bay, eating a cream tea
Boats...




If you're ever looking for a diverse, funky place to visit, I can highly recommend the South Hams. There are amazing shops, idilic Devon villages and some truly fabulous seascapes.

Where's your favourite place for a weekend away?


Sunday, 1 July 2012

Lacking wisdom


I’ve been suffering this week. I had a wisdom tooth out on Monday afternoon which wasn’t the nicest experience of my life. I don’t think I’d quite prepared myself for the brutality of it. All those cracks and pulling... yuk. 
Anyway, I’ve been living on adrenaline for quite a while now (I suspect this isn’t an unusual state for someone with three children under seven) but this operation brought me down to earth with a resounding crash. I don’t think I realised just how much I relied on that adrenaline for my writing inspiration too. I’ve been trying to write this week, but it’s been like wading through treacle. 
Up until then I’d been gliding along, with everything sparkly and bright, each action and reaction seeming to be exactly as it should be. Maybe my body’s been on a serotonin bender or something? Ever felt like that yourself?
I did wonder at one point whether my wisdom tooth was the source of all my power and I’d just blithely had it yanked away from me :)
Anyway, woke up this morning feeling almost alive again, thank God!
I’ve nearly finished the first chapter of my New Years Eve story and have a pretty solid outline worked out. It’s good to know where you’re going - at least I find it is. 
I used to be a bit of a pantser, that was before I realised my hero and heroine each needed a character arc as well as finding a good story arc that would keep a reader... well... reading. Now, I find if I’ve got an idea about what I need to put each of them through to give them that ‘aha!’ moment I can let myself tap away, giving them fun sexy times, while meandering towards a crunch point. It seems to be working out okay so far. 
I guess it takes a while to figure out the best method for you, and as long as you keep yourself open to trying new things, it’s all going to come out well in the wash. 
What’s your favoured writing method? Have you always worked that way or was it a case of trial and error for you?
Happy writing!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Coming to the end...


I’m coming to the end of my work in progress now and I have to admit I’m feeling a bit wobbly about it. I’ve lived with these characters for weeks now and I’m going to miss them, damn it. 
It doesn’t help that they’ve already featured in my previous story so they’ve become firm friends of mine. I’m happy to give them their happy ending though, they deserve it after all the crap I’ve put them through :)
I’ve already got a new idea brewing for another story, which is going to be quite a bit darker than the last two, but there are some sexy-times ahead. Hurrah!
I’m wondering how far I can go with this one. I guess it’s always a risk pushing those boundaries, but the story’s just not going to work unless I do. 
Have you ever written anything that’s scared the bejesus out of you? If so, did you get away with it in the end?

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Writing as an aphrodisiac


So I guess it's about time I wrote another blog post. It’s been a while...
The reason I’ve been so quiet here is because I’ve been writing. A story that is. It’s the sister story to the one I’ve just finished and runs parallel - showing the other characters’ viewpoints of the action at some points and going off on their own tangent at others. It’s been a lot of fun to write, not least because it’s VERY sexy. I mean, it has a LOT of sex in it. 
These are the sort of stories I love to write. I adore the feeling of entering into someone else’s very private sex-life without the fear of being outed as a peeping Thomaseeta. 
The really great thing about it - and my husband will testify to this - is that it makes me very horny. Not something you expect to feel when you’ve been looking after three young children all day. 
There was a really great guest-post a day or so ago by Ruthie Knox talking about how she needs writing to keep her life exciting and fresh for her when she’s looking after her child or working through the tougher parts of her day job. I can totally relate to this. I went through a period after my third child was born when I felt like I had nothing left of ME in me. Everyone wanted a piece and there weren’t even scraps left behind. Even now, between the nappy-changing and the constant round of making food and clearing up the debris, it’s very easy to be swamped by it all. So I escape into my writing, and you know what? I think it makes me a better mother. I’m more excited to play with my children, to listen to their outrageous claims and questions and to allow myself to enjoy being with them, because I know there’s more to me than just being a mum. I have a secret life of my own completely apart from real life and all the challenges it brings. 
So the mojo is back with a vengeance, and long may it stay. 
Any thoughts?

Friday, 20 April 2012

This is me...

... big boots wearing, road-running, children’s charities supporting, good at listening, nudie sunbathing (I love nude sunbathing, so freeing... only in very hot countries I hasten to add), tea drinking, purple-loving - and last but not least - writer of smart, sexy contemporary romance.
How about you?