Monday, 6 November 2017

               FREE LIMITED TIME... 7th Nov

#FREE - Blinded by Desire
#USA ....
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#BedtimeReading #Romance #Kindle #Review

  Jason Andre is a successful billionaire architect who thinks he can get what he wants when he wants.
  Beth Ashton is a feisty redhead with an up-and-coming career as a landscape designer . . . and she wants nothing to do with Jason.
  From the outset, sparks fly between them.
  She excites him and he infuriates her.
  When Jason's light aircraft crashed and he temporarily loses his sight, Beth steps in and does exactly what she promised she wouldn't do . . . she works for him.
  Beth has stipulated it's to be a working relationship only, but after spending a tempestuous hot steamy night in his bed, their relationship develops into something more.

Happy-ever-after reading...

Friday, 16 June 2017

Submitting to an Agent or Publisher...

Finished the manuscript? What’s the next step?

My latest Regency manuscript was read and critiqued by a professional editorial service. And taking on board the editor’s advice, I made some essential additions to what I had thought was a reasonable first draft. With corrections made, I am now ready to start the long, long, long submission process to a literary agent.
However the dilemma is…can you submit an unedited manuscript or should you go the whole hog and have the MS copy edited and proofread before handing it over?
In other words…is the manuscript finished, does it shine and does it contain perfect punctuation so that it appeals to the reader/agent/publisher; or is it going to hit the slush pile because it needs a final polish?

I’ve been told some literary agents are prepared (and prefer) to copy edit, line edit and proofread a MS themselves prior to approaching a publisher with the MS they represent.
Other agents like the ‘T’ to be crossed and the ‘I’ dotted before you send your submissions to them.

Whether submitting to an agent or publisher, generally you will be asked to provide:
A. A Cover Letter (which contains…)
- Title of your novel
- Author name
- Word count
- Your contact details
- A short bio about you, mentioning your writing experience and credentials, (awards and competitions won, etc.)

B. Your Pitch
This is a short (three sentence) description of your novel. Something you might use in a magazine to promote or advertise the book.

C. A Detailed Synopsis
A synopsis is usually 1-2 pages in length and tells the story from cover to cover. It includes the spoiler…who murdered who, or the Happy-Ever-After ending. As well as giving an outline of what happens as each chapter unfolds, it’s also advisable to give details or at least some sort of insight into your characters emotional motives and conflicts.

D. Sample of Your Novel
Generally an agent or publisher requests you submit the first three chapters of the completed manuscript.

Agents and publishers have their own preferences. Visit their websites, read their submission page carefully, and stick to their rules.
If they request double spaced, font 12, wide margins…then that’s what you give them. If they are only open to postal submissions…then start printing.

Good luck with your submissions…

Sunday, 21 May 2017

A Night On The Town...

As a contender for the 2017 RNA - New Writers' Scheme - Joan Hessayon Award, I have had an absolutely amazing experience. Whilst visiting the capital, we toured the sights, stayed in a wonderful hotel, and of course...attended the RNA's NWS - #JoanHessayonAwards and #SummerParty.

First and foremost I would like to thank all those involved in organising the event. To the judges of the nominated novels, to the admin workers, social media promotors, and the meet and greet name-tag ladies on the door, etc...a big thank you. You made the evening special and a night to remember.

In total, there were eleven of us, and it was lovely to connect with follow contenders:
Victoria Cornwall
Kate Field
Terri Fleming
Jen Gilroy
Morton S Gray
Vivien Hampshire, Author
April Hardy
Emily Kerr
Abbey MacMunn
Lynda Stacey
Wishing you all much success with any books, novels or publication you write in the future.

Congratulation to Kate Field, winner of the Joan Hessayon Award with her debut novel, "The Magic of Ramblings." I hope there are many more of her manuscripts in the making.

And although I didn't return to Bristol with a shiny trophy to put on the mantel, I did however, come away with a sense that I had achieved something. I had achieved publication of my novel and was presented with an accolade...
The Joan Hessayon New Writers' Award 2017 Finalist certificate.

Well done to all of us!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Joan Hessayon Contenders 2017; Arabella Sheen
Today we welcome the second of the contenders for the Joan Hessayon award.

Welcome to the RNA blog, Arabella, and many congratulations on being one of the contenders for this year’s award.

How long have you been writing - Is this your first published work?
First came the reading and then, in my head and in my heart, I’ve been plotting and writing contemporary romance since secondary school. The moment I realised I was compelled to read entire sections of romantic fiction in the school’s library, I knew I was hooked on the genre. From reading about heroine's and hero’s I wanted to write about them. It’s taken a long time to achieve that goal; travel, work and everyday life got in the way, but finally the words are being written.
Castell’s Passion is the first novel I’ve published with a traditional publisher, and it’s been an amazing experience. The feedback and professional comments my lovely editor, Pamela Tyner of Beachwalk Press hurled back at me, has, in my humble opinion, not only made Castell’s Passion shine, it has also had a constructive effect on the way I now plot and write.
With two other contemporary novels―Temporary Bride and Blinded by Desire―under my belt, I hope to keep on going and publish lots more in the not too distant future.      

How many years were you a member of the NWS and did you submit a manuscript each year?
I was a member of the RNA-New Writers’ Scheme for two years and submitted a novel in each of those years.
Castell’s Passion was my first submission to the NWS. And when the call came from the organiser for a completed manuscript, I eagerly printed off a hard copy, placed it into a bubble-squeak envelope and posted my inexperienced scribbles to the RNA for assessment. The wait was nail biting but it was worth it. The critique I received from the reader was encouraging and for me that was all I needed. Someone had confidence in my “newbie” writing and it gave me the boost I needed to continue.
After a couple of chapter tweaks and a subplot or two added here and there, Castell’s Passion was proofread and the long and challenging process of submitting to publishers began.
There were long delays before any replies to my manuscript queries arrived, but in the meantime I kept writing and preparing my second novel for the NWS annual submission.

What came first, agent or publisher?
Having written Marc and Kate’s story, I realised a publisher was needed but the idea of seeking agent representation for Castell’s Passion hadn’t yet enter my head. I was still under the impression that only “proper” authors and artists had agents.
Educated in the error of my ways, my latest manuscript is searching for a home and is being emailed to literary agents in the hope of finding representation. However, I’ve been forewarned―a contract with an agent is a rare and valued commodity…and it is seldom given.
One can always hope.

If you do have an agent who is it that represents you?
The answer to this question is―no agent, as yet.
That’s two things to include on my shopping list…the ever illusive publicity manager and the perfect literary agent. Or perhaps they are one and the same.

How did you find your publisher?
I have some supportive author friends on my Twitter and Facebook pages. We message one another quite regularly and when they discovered my manuscript had been completed and I was searching for a great publisher, a few publishing houses were suggested and Beachwalk Press was among them.
I’ve found Beachwalk Press to be a perfect fit for the sensual style of contemporary romance I write and with an ever growing list of readers, I’m happy.

Do you have a contract for one book or more?
Castell’s Passion is a standalone single title. However, my publisher handles sequels…so watch this space.

When was your book published?
After an amazing teamwork effort of editing, proofreading and cover image selection, the book went live in August, 2016.

Tell us something about your book 

When writing Castell’s Passion it was as if the book had a life of its own. It evolved, spilling onto the page as I wrote. Marc and Kate relationship deepened as they travelled together from London to Paris, and then on to Cannes. And after an explosive parting, they met again on the exotic Îles d'Hyères in the south of France and they realised their love and passion for one another was long lasting. It couldn’t be denied.
I love the way Marc respects Kate’s emotional needs above his own desires. And the HEA ending…well, even I got a bit teary-eyed.

What are you currently working on?
At the moment I’m working on a sensual contemporary romance and I’ve more or less reached the halfway mark. It’s a billionaire romance set in the UK. A power struggle is going on between the hero and heroine; and not wishing to reveal too much about their sophisticated lifestyle or their aspirations and inner conflicts, they both have goals and ambitions to achieve―but this could all change at the drop of a hat.
I’ve been known to cancel a wedding, kill off the mother-in-law and delete two chapters, just because the story unexpectedly headed off at a tangent.
So the WIP is just what it is…a work-in-progress.

What piece of advice would you give current members of the NWS?
Join a local RNA Chapter group. The support and writing tips that are aired and shared during these meetings are invaluable.
I love my BathWiltsRNA Chapter ladies (guy’s welcome), and it was through this group that I discovered the existence of the RNA-New Writers’ Scheme

Facebook:  @ArabellaSheenAuthor
Twitter:   @ArabellaSheen

Thank you, Arabella. Congratulations again on graduating the New Writers’ Scheme and I hope you enjoy the Summer Party.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

RNA-NWS Joan Hessayon Award 2017

This week the Romantic Novelists’ Association has announced a list of contenders shortlisted for the prestigious Joan Hessayon Award 2017.

The shortlist is made up of Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers Scheme members whose debut novels have been accepted for publication by traditional publishers following a critique assessment by a panel of skilled RNA authors.

Each year 250 New Writers Scheme places are offered to unpublished writers eager to learn more about the art of writing romantic fiction. Within that year, NWS members can write and submit a complete manuscript to a team of RNA authors and in return, they receive invaluable feedback and comments about their completed "work-in-progress".
NWS members are also encouraged to attend RNA events and Chapter meetings. Attending these events offers a wide range of opportunities such as networking with other NWS members or published authors, along with other literary professionals - including agents and publishers.

The Joan Hessayon Award will be presented at the RNA Summer Party on Thursday 18 May at The Royal Over-Seas League, Park Place, London SW1A 1LR at 19.15.

The Joan Hessayon Award is sponsored by gardening expert Dr. David Hessayon OBE, in honour of his late wife Joan, who was a longstanding member of the RNA and a supporter of its New Writers’ Scheme.

The full list of authors and their books for 2017 is:

Victoria Cornwall 
The Thief's Daughter - Choc Lit

Kate Field
The Magic of Rambling - Accent Press          

Terri Flemming
 Perception - Orion         


Jen GilroyThe Cottage at Firefly Lake - Forever, Grand                                                              Central, Hachette

Morton S. Gray
The Girl on The Beach - Choc Lit     

Vivien Hampshire 
How to Win Back Your Husband - HQ Digital

April Hardy
Sitting Pretty - Accent Press               

Emily Kerr
Who Does He Think He Is?  - Crooked Cat          

Abbey Macmunn
Touched - Tirgearr Publishing      

Arabella Sheen

Castell's Passion - Beachwalk Press Inc.

Lynda Stacey 
House of Secrets - Choc Lit      

Arabella Sheen says...
So thrilled my novel, Castell's Passion, published with Beachwalk Press has been shortlisted for the Joan Hessayon Award 2017.
Well done to all the RNA-NWS nominees for making it to publication. And a big thank you to our judges, Eileen Ramsey and Nicola Cornick for the many hours of romantic reading they had to 'endure'.
Thank you, everyone.
Good luck to all those entered for the Joan Hessayon Award and may this be the start of a long and prosperous writing career.
Happy romantic reading...