Friday 27 May 2016

My to-do list keeps getting bigger

I would like to say a huge thank you to my guest bloggers/interviewees over the past couple of weeks. Sometimes, when I'm in the middle of writing, everything else goes pear-shaped - I'm lucky I remember to go to work, some days!

I've been deep into some serious rewriting for a resubmission - so serious that my 39,000 word novella is looking like it's going to be a 50,000 novel. Possibly longer. I'm not sure how I feel about this at the moment - the story I wanted to tell is getting lost. I'm going to keep going, but during my re-read it might scale right the way back to 39,000 words again. But, obviously, different ones!

As well as writing, I'm trying to keep on top of marketing my new book. You know the one. It's over there, on the left, keep going... That's it, the one with the amazing cover.

Today I was told that all the pre-order links are live - print and ebook. If you'd like to check it out, click here now, to find the pre-order links, add it to your Goodreads TBR list, or to look around the site and find other great titles.

I've got three events coming up - two book signings and a book fair in my hometown, all within a couple of weeks of each other. I just hope I've got enough books to sell - and that the locals don't get bored of me. Because of those events, I'm designing a large banner to take around with me. Well, okay, I'm not, but my wonderful husband is - right now, in fact.

On top of that, I thought that maybe my web site needed an overhaul, so I'm currently trying to tie it in with the new banner and some business cards. I even thought about having some new author photos taken, but given the fact I'm procrastinating over my passport photos, it's probably not a wise idea.

Oh, and I've got the posts for my blog tour to write and send out. If you've signed up as a tour stop, rest assured I haven't forgotten you.

You know, I thought by writing it all down, it wouldn't seem such a mammoth list. But it is, isn't it? I'm not complaining - before my first book was published, I used to look enviously at all those writers who were juggling their tasks. Plus, the wine I'm drinking is helping. How many other jobs are there where drinking wine is practically a prerequisite?

What's keeping you busy at the moment?

Wednesday 25 May 2016

A chat with Sally Quilford

Today, I'm welcoming Sally Quilford to my blog, an amazingly prolific writer - the author of over 60 published short stories, and 15 pocket novels - who was one of my early blog contacts. And now she's launching her book The Secret of Lakeham Abbey. Phew - I think I need to lie down!

1)    Hi Sally. We met when you set up a blog challenge, 80k in 80 days. Can you remember what you wrote for that challenge, and what happened to it?

Do you know, I honestly can’t remember?  Now you’ve got me thinking. I think I wrote a pocket novel, but I can’t remember which one. It was a fun challenge, with lots of energy from those involved. It’s now become 100k in 100 days and it’s still very popular, even though we don’t always all manage to do it now. I hate to say it but sometime I write more between the challenges than during them…

2)    You've written short stories, 30k and 40k novellas, and now a novel - what's your favourite length to write?

Most of the novellas I write for My Weekly Pocket Novels are 50k now, so I’m used to that length. The Secret of Lakeham Abbey is actually a bit longer, at 55k. So not quite full novel length. Obviously 30k is great as it can be done fairly quickly. I’ve written 30k novellas in a week before now! But 50k allows for a bit more character development and plot. I do want to build up to full-length 80k novels. I have written one; a saga called The Steps of the Priory. But I’ve struggled to write that much. I’ve become so used to writing the shorter form.

That’s not a bad thing as there are so many publishers out there now, particularly ebook first publishers like Crooked Cat, who like shorter novels, because that’s what readers like. Shorter novels are ideal for e-reader devices and for our busier society.

3)    What was your inspiration to start writing and submitting?

My inspiration to start writing was just that I’d always wanted to have a go, but without ever really trying. Then, when I was 30 I went back to school to do a literature GCSE, and it opened the floodgates for me. I started writing then and haven’t looked back. It was so therapeutic, and lovely to be able to put all the dreams in my head down in writing.

I started submitting because there is no greater validation than having an editor say ‘Yes, I like that and I want to pay you money to publish it.’ Even now I get a thrill when I have work accepted. And even now I have a sick feeling in my stomach every time I submit something, fearing it won’t be good enough. That keeps me on my toes, and keeps me trying to improve my writing.

4)    Because I've got kids, people always ask me if I write children’s stories (I don't). You've got grandchildren, do you get the same question? And, you know... do you?

I do get asked that, along with questions like ‘Do you want to be the next JK Rowling?’ which is silly as there’s only one JK Rowling and she’s magnificent. I don’t write children’s stories, even though Percy Sullivan, the main character in The Secret of Lakeham Abbey, is a child. My granddaughter, Gracie, is always asking me to write a story about her and some unicorns, and I hate to admit to her that I just don’t have the right skills for writing a children’s story. All the children’s authors I know are just in tune with children and know just what makes them tick. I adore my grandchildren, but I’m not sure I know enough about the other children around them to write a convincing story that speaks to their age group. But I should do it for her, shouldn’t I? Just because she asked me…

The Secret of Lakeham Abbey Blurb


When Percy Sullivan’s family take over Lakeham Abbey for the summer, it was a chance to get away from battered post-war London and be cossetted by the capable and pretty housekeeper, Anne Pargeter.

They soon learn that the Abbey conceals a dark secret; one that someone was willing to kill to hide. When Anne is convicted of murder and sentenced to execution, Percy is determined to do all he can to save his friend from the gallows.

He encourages everyone to tell their side of the story. This leads to some startling revelations, including a shocking secret that Percy’s mother tried to hide from him.

Will it be enough to save Anne’s life?

Check out Sally's blog for more info

Buy The Secret of Lakeham Abbey: Amazon UK // Amazon US // Smashwords  

Friday 20 May 2016

Welcoming Elizabeth Seckman

Another guest post, this time the wonderful Elizabeth Seckman. Hey Liz, take it away...

Hi Annalisa! Thanks for having me over. Book promotion can be such a drag, but Swept Away is set on an island with so much history and fascinating tales, I could never get bored talking about the place.

Ocracoke Island is a small spot off the coast of North Carolina that is only reachable by ferry.  It’s a quiet hamlet where old seaside homes line sand-packed streets. Nestled among these quaint homes is a very special place.

The British Cemetery. Back when I was much younger, a local tour guide explained the story of this white picket-fenced spot, and it will forever by my favourite version of a very special tale.

The waters off the coast of the Outer Banks are known as the Diamond Shoals. But during World War II, this area it was quickly renamed Torpedo Alley thanks to German U Boat activity. No one knew if the Germans were there simply to upset cargo and passenger transports, or if they were planning an attack on the US mainland.

No matter what the German’s intentions were, they were thwarted with much help from the English Navy. It’s quite possible their dedicated assistance prevented the war from ever hitting US soil.

On May 12, 1942, the HMS Bedfordshire was patrolling the troubled waters and encountered a German submarine. The Bedfordshire was struck by a torpedo and sank to the bottom of the ocean. Island residents saw the explosion and diligently patrolled the beaches hoping to find survivors. Sadly, all they managed to recover was a few of the thirty-four bodies of the fallen heroes.
The people of Ocracoke buried the men together in a small plot, and the village of Ocracoke deeded the land to the British government. They couldn’t send these sailors home, so they did their best to bring a piece of home to them.  

Every May, the village of Ocracoke, the US Coast Guard, and the British Navy honour these fallen heroes with a wreath laying ceremony, a 21-gun salute, and the playing of Taps.

Did you know there was still a piece of the British Empire in the United States?

He came looking for a ghost. Instead, he found a girl. 

Tucker Boone is a war-hardened Marine on a ghost hunt. Fresh out of the corps, Tucker learns he has a missing half-sister, Maddy. The only clue to her whereabouts is a cryptic note…I’ve gone Mad, Mags. Tucker agrees to search for her and heads to Ocracoke, North Carolina where a ghost named Mad Mags is said to haunt the ancient graveyards dotting the island. 

The note doesn’t bring him any closer to finding Maddy, but it does offer him a diversion to the doldrums of civilian life— his new island neighbor, Josie McCoy. Tucker is drawn to her quiet spirit. There’s something special about Josie…a connection he can’t quite explain. 

By summer’s end, he’s mixed up in deception, murder, and the love of a lifetime. Logic tells him to head home and forget the truths he found on the island. But can he walk away? Josie offers him more than love; she offers him hope. When the clues pile up and it looks like she can never be the girl for him, he has to make a choice- play it safe and break her heart, or risk everything for a chance at being swept away.

Elizabeth is a multi-published author and family laundry wench.  She is the mother of four boys, who are quickly all becoming men! Her life is filled with stinky size-twelve shoes and beard clippings in the sink. Is it any wonder she enjoys days spent writing women's fiction of stories of romance and happily ever after? 

Tuesday 17 May 2016

How Endless became the start of a trilogy - Misha Gerrick

I'm in the middle of some very in-depth edits at the moment, so it's with pleasure that I welcome Misha Gerrick to my blog to take over for a while... Take it away, Misha...

I have a confession to make.

My mind is naturally geared to longer stories. If you want to see me stress about my writing, tell me to limit my word count to 5000 words or less.

I’m serious. At school, I was that kid in English class that haggled my creative writing word-counts up. (Yes, I was really popular in my class.) I don’t like being limited in my writing. I want to write a story until it’s done.

If it takes ten books, so be it. Don’t worry, my longest series following on each other—as supposed to a series of standalone books—will probably consist of six books. Endless has a bit more of an interesting story behind it, though.

See, I had just finished rewriting a 120k word monster that would go on to be books one and two in the above-mentioned series. Then I wrote an emotionally wrought start to a romantic series.

So when the idea finally solidified into “One immortal suffers from amnesia and falls in love with another, not knowing they used to be enemies,” I was actually excited to finally have an idea that could actually be contained in a single book.

It would be like a break. A nice holiday from constantly worrying about how what I’ve written would impact the rest of the books in the series.

I finished the rough draft with a sense that I had actually succeeded in writing an actual stand-alone.

About a year later, I re-read the book and realized I was woefully incorrect. I had in fact written the foundation for two books. After banging my head on my desk a hundred times or so, I took another long look at my rough draft and realized that even if I wrote two books, the overall story probably still wouldn’t be done.

And like a house of cards, my goal of writing a stand-alone collapsed. The rest, as they say, is history.


It’s actually just an idea for the next two books.

How do you decide if you’re going to write a series? If you don’t write series, how do you stick to only writing stand-alones?

About the Book
“First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals.

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them.

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless.

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.

About the Author
Misha Gerrick lives near Cape Town, South Africa, and can usually be found staring at her surroundings while figuring out her next book. 

If you’d like to see what Misha’s up to at the moment, you can find her on these social networks: 

Monday 9 May 2016

Cover Reveal: Final Score by Kyra Lennon

FSFullCover Reveal
Title: Final Score
Series: Game On: Book 5
Author: Kyra Lennon
Expected release: July 22nd
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover design: Clare Dugmore
Cover models: Scott King and Lucy Jay


Leah Walker and Radleigh McCoy have overcome a lot of personal demons to be together, but what happens when everything they’ve worked to build is threatened? With wedding plans in full swing and Leah settled into her role as a stay at home mum, life is just about perfect. However, an unexpected job offer sparks tension between the couple, and when someone from Radleigh’s past shows up in Westberg with a life-altering revelation, Leah and Radleigh’s relationship is shaken to the core. Just when Leah and Radleigh seemed to have it all together, their happy home is ripped in two, leaving them both with some tough choices to make. Will they be able to overcome their problems and make it down the aisle, or will outside temptations make them say goodbye forever?

final score


Game On: Book 1

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Blindsided: Book 2

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Sidelined: Book 3

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Play On: Book 4

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play on  
Author Bio
Kyra is a self-confessed book-a-holic, and has been since she first learned to read. When she's not reading, you'll usually find her hanging out in coffee shops with her trusty laptop and/or her friends, or girling it up at the nearest shopping mall. Lennon is a proud supporter of several charities. She currently volunteers for her local cat shelter as a fundraiser and social media guru. Kyra has also had stories published in charity anthologies to raise money for Cats Protection and the British Heart Foundation. Kyra grew up on the South Coast of England and refuses to move away from the seaside which provides massive inspiration for her novels. Her debut novel, Game On (New Adult Contemporary Romance), was released in July 2012, and she scored her first Amazon Top 20 listing with her New Adult novella, If I Let You Go in November.

Social Links: Website // Facebook // Goodreads

Monday 2 May 2016

Promo, request and question

Promo... and request

I'm six weeks away from the launch of my new book, You. I. Us. I'm sorting out the book launch and signing at my local bookshop this week. I veer from being excited and busy, to twiddling my thumbs wondering why it isn't June yet.

I'm also organising a blog tour, and I've still got a couple of days left to fill. If you're interested, please email, message or leave a comment below. The tour is starting on 13 June, and will last until I run out of tour stops.

In the meantime, you can check out the book on Goodreads to find out more about it.


I'm writing an adult book, but the main character starts the story at 17 and ends it at 20. It's not an NA book, but it seems that these days younger characters automatically get slotted into the NA category. Even my first book, Cat and The Dreamer, about a 30 year old, finds it's way into the YA listings on Amazon!

If you were reading about a 20 year old, would you expect a NA story?