Monday, 2 January 2017

Writing Resolutions

I am not a fan of New Year resolutions but do write a plan for my writing for the year and try and keep to it.
2016 was a good year for my writing. Two and a half books in The Duke's Alliance series, the first book in a three book series about an ATA girl - Ellen's War -  Blue Skies & Tiger Moths  -coming out in March. The final book in the At Pemberley series -A Spy at Pemberley. A Christmas book and  another duke book.
'Search for a Duke' is my first book this year -written as 'A Suitable Husband' in 2006 for Robert Hale. Re-edited and re-covered it is now on pre-order and will be out on 10th January.
This year I intend to write a further six books - the first of which will be the final book in The Nightingale Chronicles. I have a detailed outline for this story but no title as yet.
Then there will be the second book in the Ellen's War series - An ATA Girl.
Next will be another two books for The Duke's Alliance series -this time Giselle and Perry's stories. This will leave one more book -the one I'm looking forward to writing most - the duke's story. Beau has been in all of them and I'm hoping my readers will be as eager as I am to see who he marries.
Then there will be at least one Christmas book - hoping to write two this time.
So - that's one Victorian, one WW2, and 4/5 Regency.
I just watched the episode following four older people around the world. This one was in Japan - made me think about my lifestyle and general health. It has made me determined to lose weight and take more exercise. The Japanese live longer than anyone else and work as long as they want to. I can't join a gym as it would be impossible to go often enough because of looking after my husband.  However, I can take a short brisk walk every day when he's having a sleep.
I've also decided not to stress about things I can't change -Brexit/Trump/husband's illness etc and try and live every day equally. Enjoy the moments of happiness, and there are many, and be glad I am  fortunate to have a loving family, good friends and earn more than enough money to do what I want. I try to pass on my good fortune to as many as I can - I'm not religious but do think how you live your life makes a difference.
 What have you decided to do to improve your life? Even a small change can be important.
Happy new Year
Fenella J Miller

Friday, 23 December 2016

Christmas Greetings.


Another year gone by and six books to show for it. Already have my plans in place for 2017 - two more books in The Duke's Alliance series/ a third in The Nightingale Chronicles/ the first of three in  the Ellen's War series -Blue Skies and Tiger Moths + two 'duke' books and two Christmas stories.
Pre-order now.
Out 10th Janaury 2017

Search for a Duke (published by Robert hale in 2006 entitled A Suitable Husband) is now available on pre-order.

Someone is trying to murder Sarah Haverstock and her young son Edward. His tutor, and veteran of the Peninsular War, Captain Oliver Mayhew is the perfect man to protect them and root out the perpetrators. Oliver accepts the position with the intention of charming his employer into matrimony, the attacks giving him the perfect opportunity to further his aims.
Indeed, as the danger escalates, Sarah comes to rely on him more and more but before they can find the happiness they both seek, they must face the evil that stalks them...

I re-edited this book and was delighted that the story was still one of my favourites. A romance as always, but also a thriller.

Iwould like to thank my editor, RAchel bevan, my cover dsigner J D Smith and my friends for all thier support this year.
However, I wouldn't be in the position Im in wihtout th esuport of my readers. Thank you for buying my books and enjoying them.
Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.















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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

One Good Turn becomes Count Your Blessings

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After a lot of thought I decided to take the radical step of changing the title of the book that had caused me so much anxiety and stress last month.
Although those readers who left one star reviews were justified in doing so, they didn't in fact lose out financially. What had happened was that I had taken down book one to change something on the front page and then the put up the file that contained both books.
Therefore those readers who were angry about getting a repeat of the second half of book one, actually got the same content as everyone else for the same price. Indeed, as the majority of them demanded their money back, they actually got the second book free.
By changing the title I have lost all the negative reviews and the book can start again. Unfortunately, this means losing all the five star reviews as well, but that can't be helped.
I am writing a third book in this series and it should be ready to be published in the summer – there might be a fourth book as well, but it depends on the sales of the third.
I've only ever changed the title of a book after publication once before and that was when I inadvertently used the same title as a friend's book.
 A few weeks ago I bought a book for my husband thinking it was another in the series and it turneed out to be the same book with a different cover. They refunded my money and postage -but I was disappointed.
I think it's quite clear Count Your Blessings is the same book as One Good Turn and hopefully no one will buy it in error.

Fenella J Miller


Friday, 4 November 2016

Christmas Box Set - around and around!


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Here we go again. I've now packaged three of my Christmas books in a box set at the bargain price of £0.99 & $0.99
If you haven't already read them then now's a good time to download them - three for the price of one.
The Regency Romantics box set is a best seller in tow categories - that's another bargain at £2.99 for six books -four of them new titles.



Christmas at Hartford Hall
( First published by DC Thomson in 2009)
A sweet Cinderella story – perfect for Christmas reading.
When Elizabeth's grandfather died, there was no sign of a will; and, devastatingly, she discovered she was now dependent on his heir. When the new Lord and Lady Hartford and their twin daughters arrived, they reduced her status to that of a servant. Elizabeth is determined to leave Hartford Hall in the New Year and find work as a governess. But the arrival of Sir James Worthington to make an offer for Lady Eleanor Hartford only leads to her difficulties....

Christmas at Highfield Court was previously published as Lord Atherton's Ward.
Extra scenes have been added to this book.
When their father, Sir John, dies leaving Sarah Ellison and her younger sister Jane orphaned, his choice of guardian is entirely disagreeable to Sarah – particularly with Lord Atherton's insistence that they leave their family home and move to Highfield Court to remain under the care of his mother. Will the spirit of Christmas work it's magic or will Sarah continue to alienate Lord Atherton with her headstrong behaviour or prove that she is a girl he can respect?

Christmas at Castle Elrick is a Regency fairy tale - Miss Verity Sanderson the beauty and Sir Ralph Elrick the beast. He was severely injured in the Napoleonic wars and has been brooding in his castle for years waiting for Verity to reach her majority and come to him. Her father had promised his daughter to Ralph in return for his financial support. Verity decides marriage to a wealthy stranger is preferable to remaining with her step-mother and half-sisters so sets off, the week before Christmas, to become his wife.
Castle Elrick is a cold, unwelcoming place situated on the bleak Northumbrian coast and Ralph and his small staff are not the only residents. Will Christmas be a celebration or will the ghosts of Castle Elrick force them apart?

Sunday, 16 October 2016

A Collection of 6 Regency Romances from Bestselling Authors

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The winter box set from Regency Romantics is now live and already in the charts. I love being part of this great group of fellow Regency writers and I'm sure you will all enjoy these books. Four of them, including mine, were written especially for this box set. There are also six books this time instead of five.

Here are the blurbs:

A Collection of Six Regency Romances from Bestselling Authors
One Night at the Abbey – Amanda Grange
When Miss Hilary Wentworth takes up an appointment at Carisbrooke Abbey, she finds it embroils her in a winter of mystery and romance. What secret haunts Lord Carisbrooke? And when Hilary uncovers it, can they find the love and happiness they deserve?
A Most Unexpected Christmas - Fenella Miller
Lydia Halstead has no desire to remarry or to attend social gatherings. However, she is persuaded to accompany her brother and his family to Fakenham Manor.
Lord Theodore Fakenham is not pleased to discover his mama has arranged a Christmas house party without his permission. This is not an auspicious start to the festive period.
An infestation of mice in the nursery, a riotous snowball fight and an accident in the study make for a very unexpected Christmas.
Dancing Through the Snow – Monica Fairview
Amelia Neville is convinced she has found the perfect husband, but unfortunate circumstances throw her into the company of the distrustful Duke of Sutcliff. Forced to attend the Duke’s Christmas house party by her matchmaking Mama, Amelia knows she’s going to hate every minute. But romance is in the air in the snowy landscape…. A traditional Regency romance with a touch of laughter.
Christmas at Castleray – Wendy Soliman
When Alisa Langdon and Chase Beaumont are invited to Castleray for Christmas, they expect a peaceful holiday. But instead they are attacked on the road and then Alisa’s servants are ostracised in the local village. Can Chase and Alisa discover who attacked them? And can Chase ignore his growing attraction to Alisa, who appears intent upon honouring her father’s dying wish by marrying her indolent stepbrother…
A Winter’s Madcap Escapade - Elizabeth Bailey
A stranger hiding in Lord Dymond's coach pitchforks him into a chaotic enterprise to protect young Apple from her own folly - much to her indignation!
The Duke's Christmas Bride - Melinda Hammond
Waldo, the fifth Duke of Charingden, shows no inclination to marry. In desperation his family invite a string of eligible beauties to the Christmas Ball at Birklands for him to choose from, but the only young lady to interest the duke is little Clara Tillotson, who is herself desperate to avoid being forced into marriage….. A sparkling Regency romance with just a touch of snow!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Christmas deliver - A Most Unusual Christmas

Out now - £1.50 $1.99

I love Christmas, but even so I always feel a bit premature putting up my Christmas title in September. However, as the Regency Romantics box set is coming out on October 9th I had no option, unless I was going to wait until November.
I love the cover by J.D. Smith – I'm sure her expertise is one of the reasons for my success.
Here is the blurb for the book:

Miss Cressida Hadley is delighted when Lord Bromley and his family are unexpectedly obliged to spend Christmas at The Abbey. Despite the fact that Lord Harry has a broken leg, her papa and the earl take an instant dislike to each other, the Dowager Lady Bromley drinks too much and her older brother, Richard has got into another scrape – Cressida is convinced she can overcome these difficulties and make the house party successful. However, she had not taken into consideration the fact that she might fall in love with Lord Bromley.

Just in case this isn't enough festive fun for you, I shall be releasing a box set with three previous Christmas titles in November.
I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I did writing it. It made me laugh out loud when I was editing it and that can't be bad.

Fenella J Miller

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Thursday, 1 September 2016

Book Reviews – how important are they?


I'm not sure that reviews are as essential as some people think as far as sales are concerned. Certainly, I am not influenced by a book having a few one and two star reviews as long as they have just as many four and five-star. What I find suspicious is when a book has fifty five-star reviews and nothing else. Neither am I influenced by a book not having more than a few reviews – I rarely leave a review myself – and I think a lot of readers feel the same. Too much of a chore to go through that process.
However, I have been turned down many times by BookBub and I can't think of any reason why this has happened unless it's because I don't have enough reviews for the book I've submitted. The only book they have accepted –Barbara's War – and goodness me, what a massive impact that had on my sales and income – had twenty reviews and now has double that. None of my other books have as many.
Therefore, I just paid for choosybookworm to put my book in their system. It was £100 to do this which is quite expensive, but fortunately I'm in the position to be able to speculate a little nowadays.
This is what they do:
you submit your book and they see if it's up to the standard they wish to promote.
they then, on the given day, send your book title etc to their thousands of subscribers and the subscribers decide if they want to have a free book in return for a fair/honest review.
they guarantee you will get 30+ reviews and keep putting your book out there until you have achieved that.
The reviewer has to put a disclaimer at the bottom of their review saying they received a free copy in return for a fair and honest review.
They sent me an initial list of ten names and already eight of them have responded and received the file.
My worry is that somehow this contravenes the rules on Amazon that reviews mustn't be paid for. Giving a reviewer a gift card to purchase the book contravenes the rules – I pointed this out to choosybookworm and they immediately changed my submission so that I was offering files rather than gift cards.
The reviewer isn't paid any money – I'm paying the facilitator. Does this count as a paid review or is it the same thing as sending an ARC?
I certainly wouldn't have invested so much money if I didn't think it might help me get a BookBub promotion for this book. I don't like to ask my readers at the end of the book to put up a review – I already have my free book  advert there, which a reader receives in return for signing to my subscribers list. I think that's more than enough.
It remains to be seen if this works and when I have 40+ reviews I actually get accepted for a BookBub promotion. It's always possible I've been turned down another reason.
What do you think? Is this breaking the rules or an excellent opportunity for writers to get those extra reviews?
Fenella J MIller